It’s easy to get confused by all of the brands and varieties of toothpaste available in your drugstore aisle. General toothpaste is fine for most people, but there are some key ingredients and features to look for when making your selection. Consider the following guidelines the next time you’re in the market for toothpaste.
The American Dental Association (ADA) puts a seal of approval on toothpastes that meet their standards of quality after careful testing. Toothpastes without the ADA seal might not provide the same benefits as those with the seal, which is a good indication of toothpaste quality. Remember that novelty toothpastes often don’t carry the ADA seal of approval, so be sure and check before you choose that kind even if it seems like a fun gimmick or flavor.
Some toothpaste is specialized for certain goals or problems. Here are some common specialty purposes:
Whitening toothpaste contains ingredients that can help brighten your smile.
Toothpaste for sensitive teeth works to calm the nerves in your teeth so that they are less sensitive.
Anti-cavity toothpaste contains higher levels of fluoride. If you need extra fluoride, your dentist may recommend prescription toothpaste with the ideal amount of fluoride for you.
Most toothpaste comes in either paste or gel form. Usually either choice has the same cleansing benefits, so it’s often a matter of personal preference.
Fluoride is a mineral you should make sure is included as an ingredient in the toothpaste you choose. It provides an important level of protection for your teeth. Also look for triclosan as an ingredient, which is an antibacterial agent that helps prevent gum disease.