Fluoride is very important for our oral health. It is a natural mineral that guards tooth enamel and battles cavities.
Experts say that fluoride in toothpaste and drinking water have significantly reduced the number of cavities in the past decades.
Fluoride is a safe and effective treatment and is an essential ingredient in toothpaste.
If people are trying to avoid fluoride, natural toothpaste may be a better option since many natural kinds are free of fluoride.
Some toothpaste products carry the ADA seal of approval. The ADA requirements for toothpaste are:
Not all toothpaste brands carry the seal because participating in the ADA program is voluntary. You can view the list of ADA-approved toothpaste products here.
It is important to read the labels carefully because not all toothpastes are okay for everyone to use.
Sugar contributes to tooth decay, so using toothpaste that contains sugar is not advisable. Children’s toothpaste, in particular, may contain high levels of sugar to make it more palatable. ADA-approved toothpaste will not contain sugar or any other substances that contribute to tooth decay.
Common ingredients are:
If you have frequent ulcers or canker sores, you should avoid SLS.
Many people want a whiter smile, and whitening toothpaste can provide a safe and effective remedy for off-white teeth.
These products contain abrasive ingredients that polish the teeth or remove stains from the tooth’s surface.
People with sensitive teeth may wish to avoid whitening toothpaste that contains chemicals as these can make sensitivity worse.
A dentist can provide advice on whitening options that are safe for sensitive teeth.
Having sensitive teeth can make brushing very uncomfortable. Foods and beverages such as ice cream and hot coffee can be painful to consume.
Special types of toothpaste can alleviate the symptoms of sensitive teeth, and over-the-counter (OTC) options are usually effective.
If you do not get enough relief from OTC products your dentist may be able to prescribe a stronger product.
Toothpaste contains abrasive agents to clean and whiten the teeth. The level of abrasiveness of a paste, known as its relative dentin abrasivity (RDA), varies from product-to-product.
Products under 250 RDA should be safe and effective. All ADA-approved toothpaste must have an RDA of 250 or less. Toothpaste that has a higher RDA may damage the teeth. If in doubt, it is best to stick to the ADA’s list or contact the manufacturer.
A layer of bacteria, called plaque, forms on the teeth before and after brushing. When plaque hardens, it turns into tartar. Tartar is difficult to remove and can contribute to gum disease. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings can prevent this.
If you have tartar on their teeth should see their dentist. You should also consider using a tartar-control toothpaste. This will contain chemicals, such as pyrophosphates and zinc citrate, that prevent further tartar build-up.
Natural toothpaste products usually do not contain fluoride.
Some holistic dentists may recommend natural toothpaste over conventional types, especially for people who have concerns about fluoride and other chemical ingredients in their toothpaste.
Several brands also contain natural abrasive agents, such as baking soda, rather than chemical ones.
Baking soda is a gentle alternative to other abrasive agents, but it can be just as effective at removing stains.
People who are considering using natural toothpaste should check the ingredients carefully and weigh up the pros and cons. However, the FDA does not regulate natural toothpaste products.
You should consider your own needs and the needs of their family when deciding on a toothpaste brand.
If necessary, people can shop around and try different options.
Important factors to consider include: