Everything You Need to Know About Toothpaste

The last time you visited the toothpaste aisle, you were probably greeted by endless shelves of colorful product boxes. The toothpaste market has exploded with new products that are more targeted than ever. While more choices are always good for consumers, it can make finding the right product overwhelming. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions that will help you find the right toothpaste for you and your family.

What are the different types of toothpaste?

The good news for consumers is there is a wide range of toothpaste brands and products on the market. You can choose from products that are designed to whiten teeth, help treat bad breath, decrease the symptoms of dry mouth, and much more. If you have gum disease, sensitive teeth, or any other oral health problem, there is a toothpaste specifically created with your needs in mind. Instead of spending time scouring the aisle, do some research ahead of time so you know exactly what you are looking for next time you head to the store.

What is the best toothpaste to use?

In general, you can feel good about purchasing name brands, such as Crest, Pepsodent, and Sensodyne, although it is always a good idea to do your own research and consult with your dentist. A professional will be able to recommend a product based on your current needs and dental history.

What is charcoal toothpaste?

In recent years, charcoal toothpaste has become an increasingly popular product. It uses something known as activated charcoal, which is created using wood, coconut shells, and other organic matter. Extreme heat is used to oxidize these substances and turn them into a fine powder, which can then be used as a toothpaste. 

Charcoal toothpaste products claim to remove stains better than other alternatives; however, it is important to remember that these toothpastes are too harsh to be used every day and they don’t contain fluoride, which is an important ingredient that helps fight cavities and keep your enamel strong. 

Ultimately, the benefits of charcoal toothpastes haven’t been scientifically proven and little is known about the long-term effects of using these products. That is why it is important to use them sparingly and not as your main toothpaste.

Is toothpaste harmful when swallowed and ingested?

While toothpaste does contain fluoride, which can cause an upset stomach when ingested in large amounts, there is no danger in swallowing toothpaste. Typically, kids are the ones who end up experimenting with and eating toothpaste, but if this happens, there is no need to panic. They aren’t in any danger. If they do experience an upset stomach, feed them something that contains calcium, such as milk, cheese, or yogurt. The calcium will bind with the fluoride and help with indigestion.

Are teeth whitening toothpastes safe and effective?

Yes, you can safely use whitening toothpastes without worrying about harmful side effects. These products use a combination of abrasive materials that polish the teeth and peroxide, which works to break down stains. While everyone will experience different results, these products do help remove stains and make teeth appear brighter and whiter. When shopping around for the right product, look for brands that have been endorsed by professional organizations, such as the American Dental Association.

How long does it take whitening toothpastes to provide results?

On average, it takes about six weeks for whitening toothpastes to provide noticeable results. If you want to achieve faster or more noticeable results, you should talk to your dentist about available in-office treatments.

Do all toothpastes contain fluoride?

There are fluoride-free products available that are often marketed as “natural” alternatives; however, fluoride is actually a mineral that naturally occurs in water. Using fluoride toothpaste helps people fight cavities and tooth decay. Opting for fluoride-free options can put users at a higher risk for oral health problems, which can exacerbate existing health problems. Dentists recommend patients use toothpastes that have been approved by the American Dental Association. This endorsement guarantees that the product contains safe levels of FDA-approved fluoride.

What toothpaste should I use if I have sensitive teeth?

If you suffer from sensitive teeth, there are products that will help you brush with less discomfort and can help minimize pain while eating and drinking. Teeth contain thin tubes known as tubules, which run from the nerves deep in the tooth to the surface of the tooth. When the enamel wears away and these tubules become exposed, you may experience pain. Toothpaste that is designed for sensitive teeth works to both numb the pain and block the tubules. Again, if you aren’t sure about which brand or product is right for you, consult with your dentist.

What toothpaste is best for children?

You should begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they emerge through the gums. While you might be scared about them swallowing toothpaste—especially since they won’t be proficient at spitting and eliminating toothpaste from their mouth—remember that fluoride won’t harm them. Choose toothpastes that contain fluoride and use a pea-sized amount. This will ensure they get the protection they need to enjoy better oral health while avoiding an upset stomach. Tom’s, Burt’s Bees, and Hello all offer highly rated children’s toothpastes, and your dentist will be able to suggest other products.    

When it comes to choosing the right toothpaste, start with one that contains fluoride and has been approved by the American Dental Association. From there, you can find different products that address your specific oral health needs and goals. If you still aren’t sure where to begin, simply contact Millennium Dental. Our team has the knowledge and experience to help you find the products that will help support your oral health regimen and allow you to enjoy a better, brighter smile.

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