You hear it in toothpaste commercials all the time: 9 out of 10 dentists recommend so-and-so toothpaste. I don’t know who these dentists are, because no one has ever asked me what toothpaste I recommend, but if they did, my response would be this:
It depends on the patient. Different toothpastes are designed to meet different oral health needs. When buying toothpaste, it’s helpful to know what features you’re looking for in your toothpaste.
Made with pyrophosphates, zinc citrate, and triclosan, tartar control toothpaste is designed to break down plaque and prevent it from hardening and becoming tartar, which causes gum disease and is very hard to remove.
While these toothpastes are not designed to actually whiten your teeth, peroxides in them are supposed to polish your teeth, removing surface stains and enabling them to appear whiter.
Toothpastes for sensitive teeth are designed without many of the abrasive chemicals used in the above toothpastes. They commonly feature strontium chloride and potassium nitrate, which have been recognized by the ADA as effective in treating sensitive teeth and gums. When it comes to toothpaste for those with sensitive teeth, I would recommend Pronamel, which we carry at our office.
For those who prefer more natural ingredients, there are a growing variety of natural toothpastes which use simple ingredients such as baking soda, stevia extracts, bamboo, and peppermint oil.
All that being said, there aren’t major differences between these types of toothpastes, and as long as the toothpaste is ADA approved, it’ll work just fine. The real work being done while brushing your teeth, however, is the action of brushing itself, which scrapes the bacteria and buildup off of your teeth. That is why proper brushing technique is so important!