There are many options when picking out a tube of toothpaste. Should you buy tartar control or maybe fluoride? And what about the tooth whitening toothpastes or maybe one with all-natural ingredients? Do you have sensitive teeth? Although toothpaste comes in different forms, such as paste, gel or power, there are some ingredients common to most varieties.
According to WebMD they include:
- Abrasive agents. Scratchy materials, including calcium carbonate and silicates, help remove food, bacteria, and some stains from your teeth
- Flavoring. Artificial sweeteners, including saccharin, are often added to toothpaste to make them taste better. While many people equate the flavor of toothpaste with mint, toothpaste is available in a variety of flavors, including cinnamon, lemon-lime, and even bubblegum (for kids — or kids at heart).
- Humectants for moisture retention. Paste and gel formulations often contain substances like glycerol to prevent the toothpaste from drying out.
- Thickeners. Agents that add thickness to the toothpaste, including gums and gooey molecules found in some seaweeds, help achieve and maintain proper toothpaste texture.
- Detergents. Those suds you see when you brush your teeth are from detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate.
So what toothpaste should you use?
- Opt for ADA approval. Whatever your toothpaste needs, be sure to choose toothpaste that has earned an American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. Toothpastes that have earned this distinction have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness by an independent review board of scientific experts. All toothpastes earning the ADA seal contain fluoride — the most important ingredient in any toothpaste.
- Be wary of imposters. In 2007, some toothpastes imported from China were found to contain a toxic substance, diethylene glycol. The FDA advises against choosing toothpaste that says it was made in China.
- Consider your needs and the needs of your family members. As long as you select a fluoride-containing toothpaste, the best toothpaste is a matter of personal choice and preference. If you’re committed to an all-natural lifestyle, you may want to opt for ADA-approved toothpastes that contain only natural ingredients. For people trying to instill good oral hygiene habits in your children, why not choose fruit-flavored toothpastes with sparkles to entice them to brush their teeth? Some people are eager to restore whiteness to their teeth with whitening toothpastes. Others like the feeling of brushing their teeth with toothpaste containing hydrogen peroxide or baking soda.
With so many varieties to choose from you can find the best toothpaste for you and your needs.