At All Smiles Family Dentistry in Dundee, we care about your smile and the health of your teeth and gums. Something as simple as choosing the right toothpaste can have long-lasting effects on your oral health. With over 350 different kinds of toothpaste on the market, picking the right one can be confusing.
Which Toothpaste Should I Use?
First, you need to decide what your needs are from your toothpaste. Do you have sensitive teeth? Are your gums bleeding when you brush or floss? Do you have stains on your teeth? The billion-dollar industry has different types of toothpaste to meet all your needs. However, not all are created equal, and safe.
Toothpaste Do’s and Dont’s
Many kinds of toothpaste contain helpful ingredients. Potassium nitrate or strontium chloride is good for sensitive teeth. However, teeth whitening ingredients such as calcium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, or phosphates, are highly abrasive. In turn, this can cause your teeth to become sensitive. If you have areas of notching on your teeth near the gum line, abrasive toothpaste can cause your teeth to abrade further.
What about charcoal toothpaste?
There is insufficient clinical data to substantiate the safety of charcoal toothpaste. Three studies showed an increase in caries, enamel abrasion, and no therapeutic benefits such as being antibacterial, antifungal, or antiviral.
Did you know some kinds of toothpaste contain an ingredient that can cause aphthous ulcers (canker sores) and tissue sloughing? If you have problems with frequent canker sores, avoid tubes containing sodium lauryl sulfate.
What about fluoride?
Is fluoride necessary? Is fluoride safe? Depending on who you ask, you may receive many different opinions on the safety of its use. Fluoride has been proven to have many benefits for children and adults. Fluoride hardens the tooth surface, making it more resistant to the acid attacks of bacteria. It can remineralize microscopic cavities that form on the tooth surface, reversing incipient lesions that may lead to caries. If you are not comfortable using fluoride, some alternatives contain an amino acid known as arginine. Arginine is naturally found in healthy saliva. Toothpaste, such as Tom’s of Maine Rapid Relief Sensitive Toothpaste contains the ingredient. Benefits received from its use include reducing the risk for caries. Tom’s of Main Rapid Relief Sensitive also neutralizes the oral pH and is a potent desensitizer if you have sensitive teeth. Lastly, it also remineralizes the tooth enamel surface much as fluoride does.
What does the RDA value of toothpaste mean for my teeth? RDA stands for relative dentin abrasiveness. The FDA requires companies to disclose how abrasive their toothpaste is to the dentin surface. The dentin surface is the softer layer of the tooth beneath the enamel. When teeth lose their protective layer of enamel, the dentin becomes exposed. This can be caused by excessive brushing or a high acidic diet. Exposed dentin can also lead to an increased risk for sensitive teeth and dental caries.
Abrasive toothpaste can increase teeth sensitivity when dentin is exposed. In turn, this can cause notching on the tooth’s root surface. Because dentin is softer, it decays more rapidly than enamel due to its rougher surface that attracts sticky plaque. At All Smiles Family Dentistry, we recommend sticking with RDA values around 100 or less. If you have moderate to heavy stains caused by drinking coffee, tea, or wine, you can use a more abrasive toothpaste 1 to 2 times a week to help cut down on stains. The next page lists RDA values, however not all companies readily disclose their RDA value.
Additional Information: American Dental Association (ADA) – Toothpaste
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At All Smiles Family Dentistry, we are proud to provide high-quality care to all our patients both young and old thanks to our compassionate and experienced dental team. We offer a clean and comfortable clinic to help you feel relaxed during your visit. Contact All Smiles Family Dentist.