Almost every personal care product comes in about a million variants. A quick stroll through the shampoo aisle can be almost overwhelming. Although there are fewer variants of toothpaste (you won’t have color treated, curly, or blonde teeth), there are still a few varieties to choose from. Are you choosing the right variety for your teeth?
1. Sensitive Toothpaste
Some people have particularly sensitive teeth. People with weakened or thinned enamel often have a pain response to extreme temperatures. Hot drinks and cold drinks are both equally painful to sensitive teeth. Sensitive toothpaste contains a substance called potassium nitrate. Over time, potassium nitrate works to desensitize and protect teeth from the pain associated with eating or drinking anything that isn’t room temperature.
2. Herbal Toothpaste
Herbal toothpaste the perfect solution for anyone looking to steer clear of artificial additives. Some of the best fluoride free toothpaste is also herbal toothpaste. Herbal toothpastes exclusively use ingredients that are safe to digest. If you (or your youngster learning to brush her own teeth) accidentally ingest some of the toothpaste, you’re completely in the clear.
Herbal toothpastes often incorporate as many organic components as possible. This makes them a favorite among environmentally conscious people, along with health conscious people. Many herbal toothpastes are deemed to be just as safe and effective as their non-herbal counterparts, inspiring droves of consumers to make the switch.
3. Fluoride Free Toothpaste
Regular fluoride free toothpaste is a compromise between herbal or natural toothpaste and conventional toothpaste. At its core, plain fluoride free toothpaste is the same as other toothpaste, but the fluoride has been replaced with other remineralizing agents that are incapable of causing fluorosis.
A great example of conventional fluoride free toothpaste would be children’s toothpaste. Fluoride can be dangerous if swallowed in large amounts, which is exactly what a curious toddler is bound to do at some point. To reduce the risk to the child, children’s toothpastes utilize a formula that mimics normal adult toothpaste but contains no fluoride. No need to call poison control if the toddler thinks their toothpaste tastes a little too good.
4. Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste contains agents designed to gradually whiten teeth. Mildly abrasive ingredients like baking soda can help to scrub away surface stains, while gentle bleaches like peroxide can help to lighten teeth several shades over time. Whitening toothpastes don’t work as effectively as professional whitening treatments delivered by a dentist, but they can still help to keep surface stains at bay. Red wine and coffee drinkers often use whitening toothpaste as a preventative measure.
5. “Anti-“ Toothpaste
The “Anti” toothpaste can be one of a dozen things, but in essence, they’re all the same. Antiplaque, anticavity, anti-tartar, antigingivitis. At its core, all toothpastes are anti-something. They’re looking to prevent the effects of poor oral hygiene habits, and almost all of these conditions can come as a result of failing to brush, floss, and wash thoroughly and often. More often times than not, these “anti” words are just marketing text for your normal run-of-the-mill toothpaste.
If you’re looking to prevent plaque, tartar, bad breath, decay, and the negative impact of gum disease, just about any toothpaste will do. It’s not so much dependent upon the specific “anti” ingredients of a formula as it is about good habits and general cleanliness. It’s also worth noting that “anti-“ toothpastes do not treat or cure conditions. Only the care of a dentist can remedy cavities or plaque.
There are many types of toothpaste, and some of them are more beneficial than others. When choosing a toothpaste, consider what’s most important to you. If your sensitive teeth cause you pain on a daily basis, you’ll undoubtedly want a sensitive toothpaste. If you’re concerned with the possible negative effects of fluoride, opt for a fluoride free variety. If you want to keep your mouth clean and free from cavities, tartar, and plaque, choose any toothpaste and brush twice a day the way your dentist taught you.