We all use toothpaste (or at least, we should) but we don’t always pay attention to the brands we buy: for sensitive teeth, tartar control, fluoride- what’s it all mean? There are different kinds of toothpastes for different dental needs.
Toothpastes vary based on their active ingredients. There are some ingredients, however, that remain throughout most brands:
- Abrasive Agents: These are the rough materials that are used to scrape food particles and other stains from your teeth.
- Flavor: Whether minty or bubble gum, most toothpastes contain some kind of flavoring.
- Humectants: This simply refers to products in the toothpaste that help with moisture retention- keeping the paste from drying out.
- Thickeners: Gums and other gooey molecules help toothpastes maintain their thick texture.
- Detergents: Sodium lauryl sulfate is a common detergent in toothpastes used to create the suds you see when brushing.
Different types of toothpastes include:
- Fluoride-rich toothpastes (anti-decay): These toothpastes contain above average amounts of fluoride compounds and are incredibly effective at preventing tooth decay.
- Sensitive teeth toothpaste: Sensitive toothpastes are made to accommodate those with unusually sensitive teeth. These pastes interrupt pain responses and help make brushing less painful.
- Whitening toothpaste: These toothpastes usually contain more coarse abrasives to better scrub the teeth to remove stains.
- Anti-plaque toothpaste: Anti-plaque toothpastes prevent plaque from building up on teeth and reduce your risk of gum disease.