One specific toothpaste won't save your smile from every possible dental disaster, but using the right toothpaste for your teeth is a critical piece in maintaining excellent oral health. The power of dental products can only be beneficial if you are using them and sticking to a great home hygiene regimen.
The most effective products are the ones that you like to use because you're more likely to stick with something when it isn't a burden. We've detailed some of the best kinds of toothpaste in today's oral hygiene market to help you find a new love for brushing your teeth twice a day.
For Sensitive Teeth
When your teeth are sensitive, your enamel cannot protect the inner layers of your teeth. This leads to a slow increase in sensitivity that can be made worse when brushing, flossing, eating, and drinking. If you suffer from sensitivity, be sure to brush gently, as overly forceful brushing can cause receding gums and worn enamel. When it comes to finding the perfect toothpaste for sensitivity, choose a toothpaste with a desensitizing agent like potassium nitrate. Sensodyne is a widely available option, and many dentists recommend it to patients that suffer from tooth sensitivity.
For Stained or Discolored Teeth
Whitening toothpaste contains abrasive agents that polish the surfaces of the teeth to break up stains. That said, most whitening toothpastes are most effective on newer stains and won't have a noticeable impact on deeper stains and discoloration. If you're not seeing a whiter smile after a few weeks, schedule a consultation with your dentist to discuss your best options for teeth whitening treatments.
For Teeth Prone To Plaque and Decay
Plaque is constantly fighting to form on the surfaces of your teeth, and it clings there for as long as possible. The plaque interacts with foods like sugars to produce harmful acids that erode enamel and eventually leads to cavities. If you are someone who always seems to have a cavity or two discovered at your routine dental exams, trying a different type of toothpaste can help to restrengthen your smile. If you're prone to cavities, look for a toothpaste with fluoride, which fights cavities naturally. Fluoride strengthens your natural tooth enamel which protects them from cavity-causing acids. Any toothpaste marketed as "anti-cavity" will provide these benefits to your teeth. After brushing, don't rinse the fluoride toothpaste off your teeth, so the fluoride has more time to work on strengthening your enamel.
For Braces and Orthodontics
Braces make maintaining excellent oral hygiene a challenge – even after you get the hang of cleaning around brackets and wires. Patients with braces want to avoid enamel decalcification, which shows up as white spots after braces are removed. Using a fluoride toothpaste will help keep this problem from affecting your newly straightened teeth, in addition to protecting teeth from cavities.
For Dentures and Oral Appliances
Dentures and other oral appliances like bridges or implants don't require special toothpastes to maintain their functionality. Regular toothpaste works just as well on dental restorations as it does on your natural teeth. For extra help keeping appliances like dentures clean, try products created specifically for cleaning dentures like Fixodent to wash away lurking bacteria.
General Rules of Thumb To Follow
- Always use toothpaste with the ADA seal on its packaging – this shows that the toothpaste is safe and effective.
- Try a few different flavors and brands to see which product you enjoy using the most.
- Use the right amount of product when brushing. Just a pea-sized amount is all your teeth need to achieve a thorough clean.
- Brush for at least two minutes, twice a day.
- Brush every surface of your teeth, and don't forget to brush your tongue!
Checking in on Your Oral Health at Your Dental Exams
Your daily cleaning routine makes a difference in your long-term oral health, and dental exams are the perfect opportunity to have your hygiene habits evaluated by a professional. If you're ever concerned about the health of your teeth and gums:
- Talk to your hygienist about areas for improvement during your professional teeth cleaning.
- Ask for product recommendations from a trusted dental professional.
- Schedule dental exams every six months or more if at a heightened risk for gum disease.
At Tompkins Dental, our highly knowledgeable staff is always here to help you achieve the healthiest smile possible. Ask us which type of toothpaste your teeth could benefit from the most at your next appointment.