Walk into the store and go to the toothpaste section. The varieties of toothpaste are nearly endless: various flavors, sizes, and ingredients, not to mention the different functions the various toothpastes claim to serve. With so many choices in front of you, how can you hope to choose the right one?
Here are a few pointers to help you narrow down the section.
Things to look for in a toothpaste
First and foremost, you want to be sure that the toothpaste you are considering is approved by the ADA. You don’t just want to smear some minty paste around your mouth; you want to be sure that the product works the way it is supposed to. The ADA seal is an indicator that the toothpaste passes muster and is appropriate for cleaning your teeth.
Next, you want to be sure that the toothpaste contains fluoride. Fluoride strengthens your teeth and makes them less prone to cavities. Some municipalities add it to their drinking water; if yours does not, you need to make sure that your toothpaste has this mineral.
If you have small children who frequently forget (or just neglect) to brush, look for a toothpaste that they will enjoy using. As you probably know, getting a child to do a good job at something that he or she doesn’t want to do can be a challenge to say the least. By giving them a flavor they like (such as bubble gum) or choosing fun packaging and/or dispensers you can help your cause and head off any bedtime battles.
Finally, consider what your needs are. Do you have some tough stains that just won’t come out? Consider a whitening toothpaste. Do you have sensitive teeth? They make toothpaste especially for use on teeth such as yours. Do you prefer more natural pastes? Some manufacturers offer toothpastes made out of more traditional ingredients such as baking soda.
As far as the form of the toothpaste, both gels and traditional pastes deliver the same benefits. Functionally speaking, there isn’t much of a difference between the two, so just pick whichever form you prefer.