Did you know that toothpaste were in use since 5000BC? If you looked into the ingredient list back then, you might come across things like powdered ox hooves, ashes, crushed bones, and burnt eggshells. Thankfully, we have progressed a bit further and have nicer tasting toothpaste these days!
A question that often gets asked is “Which toothpaste should I be using?”. Given the number of options available at the supermarket, it’s not surprising that we get overwhelmed!
The main thing to remember is that it’s the technique of brushing and flossing which will make the biggest difference to your oral health. Having said that, there are a few comments to make about the toothpastes available out there:
“Regular” toothpaste (usually around 1000 parts per million fluoride):
For people with a low risk of dental decay, your regular fluoride containing toothpaste is sufficient. It is important to brush at least twice daily (once in the morning and once at night before bed).
These toothpastes can be more effective in removing extrinsic stains. They work in two ways: they are more abrasive and so can actually lead to teeth appearing more yellow if overused and the outer enamel layer of the tooth is abraded away, or they contain hydrogen peroxide which is a chemical bleaching agent. Apart from toothpaste, there are also other ways of achieving whiter teeth (such as dental bleaching or veneers). Let us know if this is a concern, and we can explore the options!
Sensitivity toothpaste (e.g. Sensodyne range, Colgate ProRelief):
These toothpastes can are fantastic in reducing dental sensitivity. They either form a physical barrier to protect the root surface or act directly to change the sensitivity of the nerve in the tooth. When trying new sensitivity toothpaste, you should give it at least two weeks to start taking effect. As with all toothpastes, the recommendation is to spit not rinse. Keep in mind that Sensodyne Original does not contain fluoride and so should be supplemented with a fluoride containing toothpaste.
High fluoride concentration toothpaste (e.g. Neutroflor 5000) :
We often recommend this group of toothpastes when you are at higher risk of decay. It is used in place of regular toothpaste, and we will advise on how long to use it for (for more information on preventing dental decay, see our post on What causes dental decay?)
Dry mouth toothpaste/’allergy-free’ toothpaste:
The Oral7 range of toothpastes are specifically designed for patients with a dry mouth, and contain substitutes for protective salivary proteins. Many patients with dry mouth are also more susceptible to irritation from SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate, which is a foaming agent). Some brands of toothpaste without SLS include Oxyfresh, Biotene, Pronamel, Paro, most of the Sensodyne range. Brands which contain minimal flavouring additives are Plain Toothpaste (Soul Pattinson), Regular Plain Toothpaste (Oral hygiene solutions) Pharmacy Health Plain Toothpaste(Pharmacy Health)
As you can see, “regular” toothpaste is what most people need unless you have a specific concern or issue. One of our Dentists or Oral Health Therapists can help you in deciding which toothpaste is right for you.
If you have any questions about your dental health, feel free to Contact Us and ask our friendly dental team!