Even thought you rarely give much thought to it, toothpaste is something everyone should use daily. There’re dozens of choices, brands, and flavors of toothpaste and it can be hard to decide. What makes each toothpaste different? How do I choose a toothpaste?

Toothpaste has been around since the ancient Egyptians used crushed bone, ashes, and/or pumice to clean their teeth. Since its implementation, toothpaste has evolved to be more effective and an overall better prevention method. Today’s ingredients include:

Abrasives, a gritty substance that helps remove stains and surface deposits. This is typically made of silica, alumina, calcium carbonate, or dicalciam phosphate. Abrasives are vital as they help make the action of brushing more effective.

Detergents, the most used detergent is sodium lauryl sulfate. These detergents create the bubbly foam that you might notice when you’re brushing. The goal of this component is to dissolve and destroy anything that might be harder to wash away.

Fluoride, you’ve likely heard of fluoride! It’s the most important ingredient in toothpaste, as it protects your teeth. There are a few different ways it’s listed in the ingredients: sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride, or sodium monofluorophosphate(MFP). Fluoride has been scientifically proven to assist in preventing tooth decay and strengthening your enamel.

Apart from these active ingredients a majority of toothpastes also contain binders, flavoring, and preservatives. These additional ingredients help keep your toothpaste from separating, drying out, or tasting awful. There are other specialty toothpastes that have ingredients to help with any ailments.

Whitening toothpastes usually contain special abrasives or enzymes formulated to help remove stains on tooth surfaces. If a whitening toothpaste is going to work for you depends on whether your teeth aren’t white in the first place. If the cause of your yellow teeth is a surface stain, it may be effective. However, whitening toothpaste certainly won’t assist with the internal discoloration that could need a skilled whitening procedure.

Sensitive teeth toothpaste frequently contains additives such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride that can suppress pain stimuli. Teeth may become vulnerable when dentin (a dental substance usually protected by enamel or gums) is revealed in the mouth. These additives may make brushing less unpleasant, but it may take a few weeks for you to fully feel their effects.

So, how do I choose the best toothpaste for me? The most important thing you should look for is the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance on box or tube. This seal signifies that the toothpaste contains fluoride and that the toothpaste has been investigated and verified.

Once you’ve chosen a toothpaste you prefer remember that it’s your responsibility to brush regularly. No toothpaste can replace regular and correct brushing. It’s up to you to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent your teeth from decaying.

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