How to choose the right toothpaste
Most families don’t care about buying toothpaste. Few people read the composition of an oral care product, and even fewer people turn to their dentist for help in choosing a paste. Meanwhile, the concept of “good toothpaste” is not determined by the price, not by advertising, and not even by the brand, but primarily by whether it is suitable for your teeth.
With the question of how to choose a toothpaste, we turned to the experts – dentists of the Amel Dental clinic in Dnipro, and in this article we will share with you the basic principles of making the right choice.
Why is it important to choose the right toothpaste?
People were concerned about the problem of plaque and bad breath as early as 5 millennia BC. The first documented recipe for toothpaste comes from the ancient Egyptians, who used dried mint, pepper, toffee flowers, and salt to clean their teeth. For millennia, people have experimented with the composition to create a product that would clean teeth well, taste and smell good.
A modern person does not need to look for a magic formula. The manufacturers did everything for us – they conducted research, created unique formulas that can solve a variety of problems (from eliminating odor to whitening and strengthening tooth enamel). All that remains for us is to use the achievements of hygienic dentistry correctly.
And there are several reasons for this:
- Pastes have a different composition and purpose. If the paste is used according to the individual indications, it will have a positive effect on the health of the teeth and gums.
- Poor choice of toothpaste can lead to deterioration of the condition of the teeth.
Types of toothpastes
One of the main criteria for classifying toothpastes is their type of action. By the type of action, there are:
- 1Hygienic pastes – suitable for daily use by people with healthy teeth, designed exclusively for cleaning and fresh breath.
- 2Treatment-and-prophylactic toothpastes – for the most part, these are complex action products designed for effective care and treatment / prevention of certain dental problems (gum disease, caries, etc.)
- 3Healing pastes are active ingredients that are used only as directed by a doctor. The active substances help in the treatment of dental diseases (stomatitis, candidiasis, etc.). They are used in courses (the duration of use is prescribed by the dentist).
In addition, pastes are distinguished by their composition, indications or purpose (specific dental tasks), by age.
We read the composition and learn to choose the paste by strips on a tube
First of all, let’s figure out what the strip on the base of the toothpaste tube is talking about. In no case can you determine the quality by color and judge the usefulness and harm of the product.
The color of the label indicates the ratio of natural and chemical ingredients present in the paste. So:
- 1Green is the most natural composition. Belongs to the category of hygienic, preventive. People with allergies should be careful when choosing “green” pastes.
- 2Red is a balanced composition of chemical and natural components. It is used as a hygienic, prophylactic agent.
- 3Blue – up to 80% of chemicals, a highly intense agent. Can be used on a regular basis, but in alternation with other less active pastes.
- 4The black color of the strip is 100% chemical composition, which means a high content of active substances. Such pastes, as a rule, are medicinal, that is, they are not intended for permanent use.
Relying only on the strip when choosing a toothpaste is not correct. You need to carefully study the composition on the package, make sure that there are no unwanted substances hazardous to health in the paste. You should be especially careful when choosing an oral care product for children, people with allergies, various diseases of the teeth and gums.
Classification of toothpastes by indications and composition
Healthy teeth are rare. Almost every person has some kind of dental problem.
Treatment-and-prophylactic pastes help fight various problems:
- hypersensitivity of the teeth;
- odor from the mouth (the result of inflammatory processes on the mucous membrane, gums);
- plaque on the teeth;
- unaesthetic pigmentation.
In some patients, even in the absence of diseases from cold and hot, teeth begin to ache, which is a sign of hyperesthesia. Paste for hypersensitive teeth solves two tasks: removes susceptibility to temperature and taste irritants and helps to strengthen the enamel, which in turn prevents the development of caries and helps to reduce sensitivity. An example of such a paste is GUM SENSIVITAL (Spain).
For the prevention of caries
In the fight against caries, pastes with calcium, zinc oxide, fluorine are especially good. Toothpaste with fluoride (there is a very large list of such pastes) stimulates the restoration of hard tooth tissues and restores their strength, thus protecting the enamel from the destructive action of bacteria. One of the best prophylactic pastes is “Protection against caries” from Dr. Wild Emoform-F Protect (Switzerland).
Toothpaste for periodontitis
Periodontal paste is usually looked for by people who have various problems with the gums: bleeding, inflammation, sensitivity of the mucous membrane. How to choose a paste to restore the soft tissues of the oral cavity? The product should contain antiseptic, relieve inflammation, hemostatic components and substances (enzymes) that promote tissue regeneration (healing). A large number of useful vitamins, plant extracts and minerals are contained in BlanX Med for weak gums (made in Italy).
Toothpaste with pyrophosphate, papain (an enzyme that breaks down proteins), and abrasive particles is best resistant to the formation of plaque and hard mineral deposits on the teeth. These products are indicated for people with a high predisposition to tartar formation, are suitable only for adults and are used no more than 3 times a week to avoid damage to the enamel.
The action of whitening pastes is based on mechanical and chemical action on the enamel of the teeth. A good whitening paste contains abrasive components that effectively remove plaque, active substances that help protect and restore the hard tissues of the teeth, such as Edel + White toothpaste “Antinlet and whitening” (Switzerland). The RDA of the toothpaste is very low, so it delicately removes plaque, auxiliary components fill microcracks on the enamel, fluoride ions stimulate the process of reconstruction of hard dental tissues.
Anti-bad breath paste
Even people who take great care of their teeth can have bad breath. For patients with such a problem, Amel Dental dentists recommend choosing products with a high and long-lasting deodorant effect. For example, GUM HALICONTROL, which fights against the causes of unpleasant odor (bacteria), strengthens and protects teeth from caries, and provides fresh breath.
The great advantage of prophylactic pastes is that almost all of them provide complex or at least combined care for the oral cavity. When buying, you need to pay attention to what the toothpaste is made of and its purpose.
Unwanted ingredients in toothpaste
Some active and auxiliary substances, which are part of many advertised pastes, are unsafe for the human body. Among them:
- sodium, disodium EDTA, used to soften water – in fact, they are carcinogens, the health hazard is especially high if the paste gets into the stomach with saliva;
- lauryl sulfate and sodium lauryl – the use of these carcinogens in dental care products is due to the fact that they perfectly cope with plaque, but it is unsafe to regularly use a paste with these components;
- parabens are preservatives that, with prolonged use, can accumulate in the body, cause allergies, and contribute to the development of breast cancer in women.
Summing up: what criteria should be used to choose a toothpaste
In addition to the above classification parameters, toothpastes also differ according to the category of users for whom they are intended. Moreover, the division takes place not just “for adults and for children”, but also taking into account the different periods of growing up (puberty), changes in health (pregnancy), etc. Specialists of the dental clinic Amel Dental recommend that you make an appointment to an appointment with a dentist-hygienist or your attending dentist-therapist and receive professional recommendations based on the real state of teeth and mucous tissues, individual characteristics. Only a specialist can choose the right toothpaste, especially for patients with certain dental problems.
Knowing which type of paste suits you best, you can choose the right product. When choosing, you must also take into account the general parameters of toothpastes:
- composition (absence of harmful substances, allergens, components that can cause irritation of the mucous membrane);
- the abrasiveness of the toothpaste;
- deodorizing properties and the duration of the effect of fresh breath;
- individual preferences (for example, people who do not tolerate menthol aroma, an odorless and tasteless paste is ideal).