Looking after your dental health is important at any age. Whether you’re teaching your young children to brush, experiencing changes to your teeth, or looking into your first dental implants, using the right products makes a big difference over time. Asking, “what kind of toothpaste should I use” is a good place to start.
While most options you’ll find on the shelf at your nearest supermarket will do a serviceable job of cleaning your teeth and freshening your breath, not all toothpastes are created equal. With so many choices available, picking just one brand or type can complicate what should be a simple purchase.
How can toothpaste help?
Different types of teeth may require different types of care. For the following conditions, you can easily find a toothpaste that works to address the problem.
If your teeth ache when you drink hot or cold beverages, you might benefit from a toothpaste that contains ingredients to numb the reaction. These chemicals used to desensitize – like potassium nitrate, stannous fluoride, or strontium chloride – are quite safe for daily use. If your sensitivity is extreme, however, it’s best to consult with your dentist first, since it can be a sign of more serious issues.
- Enamel Protection
Since tooth sensitivity is often tied to weakened or missing enamel, a toothpaste to help maintain the remaining enamel can help. These options are usually pH neutral to combat erosion through acidity and also contain fluoride to slow demineralization, which can cause further weakening. Though enamel can’t be restored once lost, you can take steps to keep and strengthen what you have.
- Dry Mouth
Chronic dry mouth can lead to grave dental problems if left untreated. Because your mouth isn’t getting enough moisture from saliva to aid in cleaning and digestion, it’s easier for bacteria to build up. Without regular care to help fight off this build up, you’re more prone to gingivitis, tooth decay, and infections like thrush. Dry mouth toothpastes are designed to be less irritating (and therefore less likely to cause further dryness) and to allow faster distribution of fluoride.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (called SLS) is a common ingredient in many toothpastes used as a “thickener” that helps it to foam up. While it’s normally safe for brushing, some people suffer from side effects that often go ignored or are attributed to other issues. Irritation, canker sores, and mouth ulcers may be a result of a reaction to SLS. Switching over to an SLS-free option can reduce the pain caused by brushing.
What kind of toothpaste should I use?
For patients with particularly sensitive teeth, we often recommend using an SLS-free toothpaste and gentle mouthwash. They’re manufactured to be less irritating and abrasive than regular products, but are also just as effective at cleaning your teeth, helping to prevent cavities, and freshening your breath.
If you have problems with halitosis, gum disease, tonsil stones, or dry mouth especially, TheraBreath is a powerful solution to try. Dr. Wes recommends this line of clinical strength toothpastes, oral rinses, throat sprays, lozenges, and more because of its effectiveness in oxygenating the mouth to destroy bad breath odors.
Taking good care of your teeth is mostly a matter of routine. Visit your dentist at least twice a year, floss and rinse regularly, and brush several times a day with the right toothpaste for your needs. If you’re still wondering, “what kind of toothpaste should I use,” then a consultation with a dental professional is probably in order. Schedule your next checkup to learn about the health of your teeth and receive personalized suggestions for maintaining a bright and healthy smile.