With the sheer amount of toothpaste brands that are stocked in our local supermarkets, it can be difficult choosing the right one for you and your family.
Finding that perfect blend of abrasives, dentist-approved ingredients, and the right amount of fluoride can be difficult. But no need to worry. Your McAllen dentists at WhiteWing Dental want to share a couple of tips that you can use to identify the best and safest toothpaste for you and your family.
Find Fluoridated Toothpastes
Toothpaste with fluoride provides powerful protection against harmful oral bacteria that can cause gum diseases like gingivitis. Fluoride is so effective that the American Dental Association (ADA) has recommended that people purchase fluoridated toothpaste.
A fluoridated toothpaste helps:
- Prevent cavities and tooth decay.
- Improve tooth sensitivity, especially around exposed roots.
- Strengthen spots in weakened areas due to enamel erosion.
- Whiten teeth while reducing gingivitis and tartar build-up.
When using a fluoridated toothpaste, however, you will want to ensure that your little ones rinse and spit out properly after brushing. If your child frequently swallows an excessive amount of fluoride, it can cause a condition known as fluorosis.
The condition can cause discolored spots, streaks, or stains that are mainly white, yellow, or brown. Fluorosis can also cause the enamel on their teeth to become pitted; a surface irregularity that gives a rough texture to teeth. Fluorosis usually occurs in the first 8 years of life when permanent teeth are forming.
No need to worry just yet, though. Even if your child is suffering from this condition, there are plenty of treatments available to improve the condition including crowns and veneers.
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Ditch toothpaste that has a lot of harmful abrasives.
In practice, abrasives in a toothpaste can really help chip off all the plaque and other debris off your teeth, as well as buff out those surface stains. However, because abrasives aren’t active ingredients, they don’t actually reduce the risk of cavities or other poor oral health conditions.
That means that too much of them can actually do damage to teeth – especially children’s teeth. Specifically to their enamel. Because of this, you’ll want to avoid toothpaste that contains a harmful amount of:
- Magnesium carbonate
- Calcium carbonate
- Dehydrated silica gels
- Hydrated aluminum oxides
Usually, toothpaste boxes come with a relative dentin abrasivity (RDA) number that indicates what amount is considered safe. Staying within 0 to 100— the low to medium range — ensures that you are still using a safe amount while protecting your teeth.
Less is more when it comes to abrasives in your toothpaste.
Children like Tasty Toothpaste
A toothpaste brimming with flavor can help to encourage the kiddos to brush their teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time.
You’ll want to choose a flavorful toothpaste that children like. That means disregarding traditional flavors like mint and opting for flavors like bubblegum instead. Bonus points if the tube has their favorite cartoon character on it.
We know that tasty might be associated with sugary, but these types of toothpaste usually come with sweeteners like saccharin and sorbitol, which shouldn’t cause any problems. In fact, the ADA approves of their use in children’s toothpaste because they do not cause tooth decay.
Look for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance
Toothpaste and other dental products are put through rigorous testing procedures in an effort to test the products’ effectiveness. These tests look for scientific proof that shows it is safe and effective at combating and prevent tooth decay and gum diseases.
If the toothpaste passes these stringent tests, the ADA will place their seal of acceptance, normally visible on the box.
These tips should make choosing the right toothpaste for you and your children much easier. But don’t forget that a routine dentist check-up is still necessary to keep those smiles shining.
In tandem with proper daily brushing and flossing, a routine visit to our McAllen dentist – normally every three to six months – is what your family needs to maintain bright and healthy smiles for years to come.