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"Minty Fresh"

posted Apr 14, 2014, 10:43 PM by Dr. Elham Khajavi





            What can be found in 99.9% of household’s around America? 



            Probably many things, but the answer I’m looking for is toothpaste!  Yes, we all have it and use it on a daily basis . . . .  hopefully!  But have you noticed just how many different types of toothpastes are on the market these days? 

            There are toothpastes for sensitive teeth, for tarter control, and for cavity protection.  They come in green, blue, red and even striped.  There are toothpaste especially for smokers and herbal toothpaste (maybe for those “hippies” who are still with us!).  So how does one choose what to use?

            Basically it boils down to preference---what you prefer in flavor or consistency (gel or paste) and what your “toothpaste” goal is.  Many of you may not give a second thought to what toothpaste you purchase.  If it’s on sale or you have a coupon or you like the color, that’s the one.  That works most of the time, however, some toothpastes are designed to address special conditions, and are very beneficial to your dental health.

  A patient who has very sensitive teeth will benefit from using toothpaste made especially for sensitivity.  These toothpastes have additional ingredients in them that over time and with continual use coat the enamel of your teeth with a thin layer of protection reducing sensitivity and avoiding the discomfort that is caused by this condition.

            Children’s toothpastes not only come in yummy, fun flavors to encourage brushing, they usually contain less fluoride, to reduce the risk posed by children ingesting too much fluoride (some children think toothpaste is a food to be swallowed!) They are also formulated to contain abrasives that are less harsh than those used in adult toothpaste. 

            Toothpaste designed for those who smoke or chew tobacco contain harsher abrasives.   The use of tobacco, whether it be smoking or chewing, stains teeth and the harsher abrasives are needed to remove these stains. This type of toothpaste can be harmful to the tooth’s enamel and should not be used on a daily basis.

            Herbal toothpastes are becoming more and more popular.  Patients buying herbal toothpaste may be sensitive to some of the ingredients in regular toothpaste and choose to opt for the gentler product.  Herbal toothpastes are also more friendly to the environment being formulated with all natural ingredients. 

            Tarter control toothpaste is a popular toothpaste for those of us that tend to “produce” a lot of tarter.  This usually occurs in patients whose saliva is more on the acidic side.  This is part of their chemical make-up and can’t be changed so this specific toothpaste does help reduce the amount of tarter that forms on the teeth.  Another benefit is that the tarter is softer and easier for the dentist/hygienist to remove at your cleaning appointments!

            And let’s not forget cavity protection toothpastes which contain small amounts of fluoride safe for use by adults. 

            So, when choosing a tube of toothpaste on your next shopping trip, you may want to consider “customizing” your purchase to benefit the specific needs of each of your family members.