Choosing the Best Toothpaste for You

Choosing the Best Toothpaste for You

Charcoal, natural, or tarter-control, which toothpaste to choose? Picking the correct formulation for your smile can seem as complex as selecting a fine wine. 

Dr. Nathan Klabunde of Northwoods Dental Group in Columbus, Ohio, is here to demystify the options and help you choose the best toothpaste for your oral healthcare needs.

When selecting toothpaste, the most essential criterion for everyone is to choose one that has at least 1,000 parts per million fluoride and carries the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. This seal means that the ADA has independently determined the product to be safe and effective.

Beyond that, Dr. Klabunde offers the following individualized guidelines.  

Should I go for a whitening toothpaste?

Whitening toothpaste does work. However, most don’t contain enough whitening ingredients to deliver noticeable results quickly.

Whitening toothpaste can lighten stains and brighten teeth over the long term, but results may be less immediate and effective than other options, such as professional dental treatments.

What if I have sensitive teeth?

If you have sensitive teeth, over-the-counter toothpaste can work well and is a great starting place.

But if you need to get the desired results, your dentist can recommend a prescription toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

There are three different active ingredients that sensitive teeth toothpaste may contain: 

These work as nerve-calming agents. 

The only difference is that prescription-strength toothpaste has a significantly higher concentration of active ingredients than over-the-counter toothpaste.

Can toothpaste restore enamel?

Enamel is the protective outer covering of your tooth. It protects your tooth crown (the part you can see above your gums).

Tooth enamel is immensely durable. It’s the hardest substance in your body — harder even than your bones.

Even so, enamel can break down over time.

Many toothpastes claim to restore enamel. This is possible but depends on the condition of your teeth. If your tooth or teeth are already decaying, it’s unlikely to help.

What about charcoal toothpaste?

Charcoal toothpaste is the latest trend to hit store shelves and the internet. In general, you should avoid using charcoal-containing products on your teeth.

Charcoal is abrasive, and there is little evidence that suggests any benefit to using it. Charcoal may even damage the enamel layer of your teeth and cause long-term sensitivity.

Are natural toothpastes effective?

Natural ingredients, such as baking soda or essential oils, are an excellent option for those who prefer natural products, have allergies, or are sensitive to artificial ingredients.

However, these products may not be as effective as conventional toothpaste in preventing tooth decay and cavities. Often, they do not contain fluoride, the most effective ingredient in toothpaste for preventing cavities.

Does toothpaste expire?

Toothpaste expires, but using toothpaste past its expiration date isn’t harmful. It just isn’t beneficial. That’s because the active ingredients become less effective over time.

Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) require toothpaste to have an expiration date. Each tube of toothpaste should have its expiration date printed on the box and tube. It’s typically about two years after the toothpaste was manufactured.

For more information about toothpaste and all of your oral healthcare needs, contact our office today. Call 614-333-8858 or request an appointment through our website.


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