With the increasing numbers of toothpastes available on supermarket shelves today, it is confusing to find the appropriate one for you. Toothpastes are available in different forms such as paste, gel or even powder form. For instance, toothpaste may include abrasive ingredients such as calcium carbonate that aid in the removal of food particles, bacteria and stains from the teeth. Most toothpastes that are meant for children have contain artificial flavors to make them taste better. Toothpastes also contain agents for moisture retention, thickeners and detergents which create suds when teeth are brushed.

The type of toothpaste you buy mostly depends on your oral hygiene needs. The different types include; fluoride toothpastes, tartar control toothpastes, whitening toothpaste or that for sensitivity.

Toothpastes contain fluoride of different kinds namely sodium fluoride, sodium monofluorophosphate and also stannous fluoride. Fluoride is very important in toothpaste as it helps to harden teeth and prevent tooth decay. It is a mineral that is naturally occurring in water sources. Proper use of fluoride reduces cavities and tooth decay in many people over the years.

Toothpaste that are advertised to contain extra plaque protection or tartar control usually contain chemical compounds like pyrophosphates and zinc citrate which prevent bacteria build up on the teeth. Toothpastes that contain an antibacterial agent known as triclosan are very effective as they kill bacteria that might try to stick on the teeth.

People who have sensitive teeth that result from gum recession or tooth abrasion should use toothpaste that does not have heavy abrasions and that which contains ingredients that desensitize teeth. These ingredients include potassium nitrate and strontium chloride. These chemicals help in the reduction of pain because they block nerve passageways. Many brands of toothpastes now contain baking soda which is less abrasive to the teeth. It is advisable to be patient as this toothpaste takes about 4-6 weeks to remedy the sensitivity of the teeth.

If you have an aim of making your teeth whiter, you should go for toothpaste that contains whitening agents. Whitening toothpastes help to maintain the shade of the tooth after bleaching procedures and remove stains on teeth by utilizing abrasive compounds, chemicals or both of them. Some examples of active whitening agents in toothpaste are carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide and even baking soda.

So, it is always wise to choose toothpaste that that suits your dental preferences/needs. If what you chose does not offer what you want, it’s advisable to choose other brands or seek advice from a dental health expert.


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