At Finney Family Dentistry we often get asked the question “which toothpaste should I use?” With the vast options available at the drug store, this can be a very daunting choice! But not to worry, we’ll break it down for you right here.
So what toothpaste do we at Finney Family Dentistry recommend? Simple! ANYTHING that has fluoride in it and you like the taste of! Sound too good to be true? It’s not. While toothpaste is important, it’s not so much what you use but rather how you use it. Proper brushing technique and habits are every bit as important as the kind of toothpaste you use. Fluoride is the most important ingredient in toothpaste, for children (over age two) and adults. We know this is a controversial topic, and if you need more information on fluoride and its benefits you can ask us in office or visit this link to the American Dental Association: http://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/fluoride-supplements
Now if you are looking for more in your toothpaste, like whitening, cavity protection, or formulas for sensitive teeth, you have many options to choose from. Whitening toothpastes often promise you drastic results, which in reality may be minimal. They can also be abrasive to your teeth or cause allergic reactions in certain instances. Think about it-the more ingredients that are thrown into toothpaste, the more likely you are to have a reaction to any one of them. Our theory is the simpler the better. For more predictable whitening results ask us about other forms of treatment.
As far as sensitivity toothpastes go, these can work wonders for many people that suffer from general tooth sensitivity. However, toothpastes like Sensodyne and Crest Sensitivity only mask the symptoms. They don’t actually treat the underlying problem. Yes, they can help relieve your sensitivity; the potassium nitrate in them is what does the trick and numbs sensitive teeth, but what happens when you take that toothpaste away? Your sensitivity is likely to return quickly. So rather than mask the symptoms, it’s better to treat the cause. This is where prescription toothpastes come in. We know it sounds crazy to spend more money on toothpaste, but believe us it’s WORTH IT. Prescription toothpastes come with higher fluoride content and some also have tricalcium phosphate formulas, which contain phosphate and calcium. These ingredients are great at actually getting to the root of the problem in people with high cavity rates and sensitivity by repairing damaged teeth. They contain minerals found in your saliva naturally, and they incorporate into your teeth and repair damage caused by acid and bacteria. Two particular brands of prescription toothpaste that we like are Prevident and 3M’s Clinpro 5000. We have patients that absolutely swear by them. Let us know if you’d like to try one of them!