There are so many different types of toothpaste on the market that it can be difficult to choose the correct one.
Common types of toothpaste include:
- Tartar control toothpaste. Plaque bacteria create a film over teeth during the day. Most of this film should be removed by regular brushing, but deposits left behind can harden into tartar. Choosing toothpaste designed to remove tartar may not be especially effective, as they cannot remove tartar from below the gum line which is where it may cause gum disease. Although these toothpastes can help to prevent the buildup of tartar, it’s a good to make sure you have your teeth professionally cleaned at regular intervals to make sure all the tartar below become the gum line is thoroughly removed.
- Baking soda toothpastes. This type of toothpaste has become far more popular over recent years, and many people enjoy the taste of baking soda which may encourage them to brush for longer. However baking soda is an abrasive and overusing it could cause damage to teeth.
- Smoker’s toothpastes. These types of toothpaste are often slightly abrasive, and could erode tooth enamel over time. It’s far better to have teeth professionally cleaned to remove surface staining caused by smoking, and to try to quit.
- Toothpastes for sensitive teeth. Sensitivity to hot and cold foods can be caused by porosity in the teeth, as the dentin in teeth is made up of lots of tiny tubules which lead directly to the sensitive pulp area containing the nerves. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth works by helping to block up these tubules. They are good for anyone who has suffered from gum recession, but it’s important to make sure sensitivity isn’t a sign of any other underlying problems such as decay. (check our article on the top five causes of sensitive teeth.)
- Whitening toothpastes. These can be quite abrasive, and are generally best used occasionally rather than every day.
Anyone who is in reasonable dental health may be best off using good quality fluoride toothpaste, as the fluoride helps to protect and strengthen tooth enamel. Brushing effectively is just as important as choosing the correct toothpaste.