Choosing a Good Toothpaste

When purchasing toothpaste for you or your child, select one that contains fluoride. Fluoride-containing toothpastes have been shown to prevent cavities. However, one word of caution: check the manufacturer’s label, as some toothpaste is not recommended for children under age 6. This is because young children swallow toothpaste and swallowing too much fluoride can lead to tooth discoloration in permanent teeth. It is also wise to select a product that has met ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness, and that packaging and advertising claims are scientifically supported. Some manufacturers choose not to seek the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance. Although these products may be safe and effective, their performance has not been evaluated or endorsed by the ADA.

Next, when considering other properties of toothpaste — such as whitening toothpastes, tartar-control, gum care, desensitizing, etc. — the best advice for selecting among these products may be to simply ask your dental hygienist or dentist what the greatest concerns are for your mouth at this time. After consulting with your dentist or hygienist about your oral health’s greatest needs, look for products within that category (for example, within the tartar control brands or within the desensitizing toothpaste brands) that have received the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Additionally, some degree of personal preference comes into play. Choose the toothpaste that tastes and feels best. Gel or paste, wintergreen or spearmint all work alike. If you find that certain ingredients are irritating to your teeth, cheeks or lips, or if your teeth have become more sensitive, or if your mouth is irritated after brushing, try changing toothpastes. If the problem continues, see your dentist.

When compared with traditional fluoride toothpaste, which often comes with warnings about excessive exposure to or ingestion of fluoride, fluoride-free toothpaste contains safer, gentler ingredients. These ingredients are not only safe enough for the whole family, but also safe if accidentally swallowed with no adverse reactions. By choosing products free of these harsh chemicals, you can have peace of mind that everyone in the family can safely use these natural dental care essentials.

The connection between heart health and oral health has advanced and shown to be relevant. Natural toothpaste can make an impact on your overall health, including heart health. However, not all natural toothpastes are the same. A healthy oral environment can help lessen the risk of stroke, heart disease, respiratory disorders and even problem pregnancy. You might think just because toothpaste is labelled, “natural” it must be effective. In order for toothpaste to help bring about healthy teeth and gums, it should help neutralize the overall pH of your mouth, therefore, preventing acid from destroying tooth structure and bringing about accumulation of plaque. Plaque is the film that builds on your teeth which contains harmful bacteria. The bacteria love to thrive in an acidic environment. Saliva tends to help balance the pH and bring about a neutral pH of your mouth. It’s therefore, important that your toothpaste also help bring about a neutral, acid-free, oral environment. The right oral care products used daily can help bring about a healthy, beautiful smile, and help decrease the risk of heart disease.

The natural products market has become a popular choice for consumers everywhere. From organic foods to chemical-free cleaning products, you can go green in all areas of your life. Choosing natural, safe personal care products will give you peace of mind that your family will be exposed to only the safest ingredients. All natural toothpaste with safe ingredients is an ideal way of maximizing dental health without the dangers that come with harsh, abrasive chemicals found in conventional dental care products.

Shamblott Family Dentistry specializes in adult braces and family dentistry, and is located in Minneapolis, MN. Visit them online at www.shamblottfamilydentistry.com.

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