The right toothpaste is vital for maintaining proper oral hygiene. With so many brands and types of toothpaste available on the market, it often becomes difficult to choose the toothpaste that best suits your needs. There is nothing as a right or wrong toothpaste, it totally depends upon your oral health and your need. In this article, let’s talk about which type of toothpaste is best for a specific type of tooth and what ingredients are essential for good toothpaste.  

Important ingredients in a toothpaste

Toothpaste can be in the form of a paste or gel. However, the key ingredients in all types of toothpaste are the same. The key ingredients in toothpaste are listed below.

Abrasive agents

Abrasive agents are a group of scratchy materials like silicates and calcium carbonate. These scratchy materials help in removing bacteria, food, and other stains from your teeth.

Humectants

Humectants are substances like glycerol that help in the retention of moisture and prevent toothpaste from drying out.

Flavouring agents

Mostly all toothpaste contains flavouring agents and artificial sweeteners like saccharin to make them a better-tasting toothpaste. There are a variety of flavours available in toothpaste. The most commonly available flavours in toothpaste are mint, lemon-lime, cinnamon, and bubblegum.

Detergents

The foaming effect in toothpaste is obtained due to the presence of detergents in them like sodium lauryl sulphate.

Thickeners

Thickeners give toothpaste a proper texture by including gums and gooey molecules in the toothpaste that adds thickness to the consistency of the paste.

Fluoride

Fluoride is the most important ingredient in toothpaste. Fluorides are essential as they protect your teeth from the acid that is released by the bacteria feeding on the sugar and starch left on your teeth. Fluorides also make your tooth enamel stronger and prevent and reverse the early stages of acid damage. This is done by remineralizing the decayed areas of teeth.

How to Choose the Right Toothpaste for Your Oral Health

Each individual has different oral needs depending upon their teeth and gums. The right toothpaste also varies according to your oral health. The table below describes the kind of toothpaste and ingredients that are best suited for a specific type of oral health.

S.No. Oral concern Description Key Ingredients Mode of action
1. Tartar control The layer of bacteria known as plaque that deposits under your gums as a hard layer is known as tartar
  • Chemical compounds like zinc citrate and pyrophosphates
  • Antibiotics like triclosan 
Remove and prevent the growth of bacteria on teeth and gums. Antibiotics can kill the oral bacteria that form tartar.
2. Sensitive teeth These refer to teeth that get easily irritated by temperature variations or any other factor.
  • Potassium nitrate
  • Strontium chloride
These block the pathways that attach the teeth to the nerves present inside the teeth.
3. Whitening teeth Many kinds of toothpaste are available on the market that can give you pearly white teeth.
  • Abrasive particles
These toothpaste polish your teeth by binding to the stains on your teeth and putting them off.
4. Anti-plaque toothpaste The build-up of bacteria on your tooth and gums refer to plaques
  • Chemical compounds like zinc citrate and pyrophosphates
  • Antibiotics like triclosan
Reduce the effect of toxins on your teeth by surrounding your teeth. They also reduce the risk of the development of gum diseases in the future.

The right toothpaste for children

Since children have teeth different from adults, their oral requirements are also different. The toothpaste recommendation for children is as follows:

  • For children less than 3 years of age, a non-fluoride toothpaste must be used.
  • For children between 3 to 6 years of age, fluoride toothpaste can be used but in a small quantity.

Tips for choosing the right toothpaste

Next time when you go to a supermarket to buy toothpaste and find yourself stuck and confused between various toothpaste options showcased on the platform, follow some simple tips that can help you choose the right toothpaste for yourself. These tips include:

Choose an IDA-approved toothpaste

Make sure that you choose a toothpaste that is approved by the Indian Dental Association (IDA). The toothpaste that has been approved by IDA indicates that those toothpastes are safe as well as effective for use.

Beware of imposters

Currently, there are a lot of fake brands in the market as well. So make sure that you buy the product that is original and from an authenticated source.

Keep your needs in mind

Make sure that you purchase the toothpaste according to your oral concern and not on the basis of flavour or any fancy discounts and offers.

Takeaway 

Toothpaste is an important part of your oral hygiene, therefore, you need to be really vigilant while choosing the right toothpaste for yourself. Now that you know the ingredients that you must see while choosing a toothpaste for yourself, make sure you check the label before buying.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

      1. Is rinsing after brushing your teeth recommended?

        No, for any toothpaste to give all its benefits, it is recommended that you do not rinse your mouth after brushing as this will allow the active ingredients of the toothpaste to get fully absorbed into your teeth and gums.

      2. Can toothpaste help in restoring enamel?

        Whether or not toothpaste can restore enamel in your teeth depends upon the condition of your teeth. In cases where the teeth have completely decayed, restoring enamel is impossible. But if the tooth has not decayed yet, fluoridated toothpaste can help restore enamel.

      3. Which toothpaste is not recommended for use?

        The doctors often do not recommend choosing a toothpaste that contains clay or natural abrasives that can be harsh on your teeth and strip teeth of enamel.

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Dr. Divya Rohra has completed her MBBS from Grant Medical College and Sir JJ Group of Hospitals, Mumbai in 2019 with an excellent academic and clinical record. She has been the Joint Academic & Research Secretary of her batch in the year 2016-17 and successfully conducted various conferences and CMEs at her college. She has been the Director of Editorial and Web Communications of Rotaract Club of the Caduceus for two years. She has worked as a Paediatrics House Officer and Covid-19 Medical Officer at Mumbai. She has participated in various Quiz competitions, Poster Presentations, Symposia, Medical Documentary making competitions during her UG days and won awards for the same. She is working with PregaJunction as a Medical Content Auditor.

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