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Selecting the Correct Toothpaste For You and Your Family

Just like with anything else out there, when there is an abundance of different toothpastes to choose from, it can be tough to decide which is going to be the best for you and your needs. Not all toothpastes are created equal; some of them have harmful qualities, some contain chemicals that help to pinpoint specific issues that any one person may have. In this blog post we are going to explore the sorts of things to keep in mind when selecting correct toothpaste for you and/or your family. Hopefully we can help to inform your decision and you can get a little more out of your home dental care without having to guess which will be most effective for your needs.

The first thing to keep in mind is what it is you’re looking to focus on when it comes to your oral hygiene. To help you diagnose a specific concern for your teeth, here is a list of different oral hygienic issues that may get your brain jogging:

  1. Is it important that your toothpaste be organic?
  2. Are you purchasing for children in your household?
  3. Are you looking to whiten your teeth?
  4. Are you concerned about gum disease? (Tartar control)
  5. Are your teeth sensitive to temperature or touch?
  6. Has your dentist advised you to use fluoride toothpaste?

After you have selected from the list above, the next bit would be to inform yourself on the various chemicals that are found in any given toothpaste. Are you allergic to them? Do they irritate your gums? What chemicals help to accomplish which things? It’s advisable to search out a toothpaste that is ADA (American Dental Association) approved. This simply means that the product has been reviewed by a board of dental and scientific experts qualifying the paste as safe and effective to use.The FDA recommends that you try to avoid toothpastes that are manufactured in China; many of them contain toxic substances such as Diethylene Glycol that could permanently damage your teeth and gums.

Let’s start with the chemicals that are found in most all toothpastes:

  1. Abrasive agents – These agents help to create a mineral texture, giving the paste a gritty quality that helps to scratch the tartar, plaque and acids off of your teeth. They are also used to add flavoring to the paste.
  2. Humectants (such as glycerol) – helps to keep the toothpaste from spoiling.
  3. Sodium lauryl sulfate – a detergent/thickener. This chemical is what cause the bubbling or the suds to accumulate.

Other chemicals are more specific to different needs, like the examples listed below:

  1. Toothpaste for tooth sensitivity often contains potassium nitrate and strontium chloride
  2. Whitening toothpaste contains various kinds of bleaches
  3. Tartar control contains pyrophosphates, zinc citrate and the antibiotic Triclosan
  4. Fluoride toothpaste contains, you guessed it, fluoride. It’s a natural occurring mineral that protects the teeth from cavity causing acids and strengthens your enamel.

We hope that you find this information useful in your hunt to find the right dental products in your home. If you are still uncertain, the dental health team at Crestwood Dental Group would be happy to help you out. Call today to schedule an appointment!

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Dr. James Maxwell

Dr. James Maxwell graduated from Allegheny College with a B.S. Degree in Biology in 1995, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine with a Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree in 2000. He stays abreast of developments in dentistry by following over 100 hours of continuing education courses each year, ex. Advanced Laser Dentistry courses and training at The Dawson Academy. He became the sole practitioner of Crestwood Dental Group in 2003.

Dr. Maxwell focuses on cosmetic, restorative, and preventative dentistry though he is skilled in all areas of general dentistry. A member of many professional organizations such as the American Dental Association, Missouri Dental Association, and the Greater St. Louis Dental Society, he has been nominated as a top dentist in St. Louis for five consecutive years by his peers. The list appears in St. Louis Magazine.

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