First and foremost, a toothpaste and a correct brushing action work to remove plaque, a sticky, harmful film of bacteria that grows on your teeth that causes caries, gum disease, and eventual tooth loss if not controlled.

Second, the toothpaste contains fluoride, which makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage can even be seen.

Third, special ingredients in the dentifrice help to clean and polish the teeth and remove stains over time.

Fourth, toothpastes help freshen breath and leave your mouth with a clean feeling.

What type of toothpaste should I use?

As long as your toothpaste contains fluoride, the brand you buy really does not matter, whether or not it is in paste, gel, or even powder form, or containing a certain uflavor. All fluoride dentifrices work effectively to fight plaque and cavities and clean and polish tooth enamel.

If your teeth are hypersensitive to hot or cold, consider trying a dentifrice designed for sensitive teeth

Dentifrices containing baking soda and/or hydrogen peroxide (which are both good cleansing agents) give the teeth and mouth a clean, fresh, pleasant feeling that can offer an incentive to brush more, but fluoride is the true active ingredient at work protecting your teeth.

Some prefer a tartar control toothpaste containing pyrophosphates to prevent the buildup of soft calculus deposits on their teeth. New pastes offer advanced whitening formulas aimed at safely removing stains to make teeth brighter and shinier, although they can’t nearly match the effectiveness of a professional bleaching formula administered or prescribed by a dentist.

How much should I use?

Contrary to what toothpaste commercials show, the amount of paste or gel needed on your brush for effective cleaning does not have to be a heaping amount. Simply squeeze on a pea-sized dab of paste on the top half of your brush. If you brush correctly holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush inside, outside and between your teeth, the paste should foam enough to cover all of your teeth. Children under 6, however, should only be given a very small, baby pea-sized dab of dentifrice on their brush.

Different kinds of Toothpastes

Advertising can be very seductive! This statement is especially true with respect to dentifrices (toothpastes).The recent proliferation of specialty toothpastes has clogged store shelves and confused many patients. Advertisements seem to suggest that we need a tartar control toothpaste for removing tartar, a whitening toothpaste to brighten teeth, and even a gum care toothpaste to prevent gum disease. What is the most effective toothpaste?

Toothpastes vs. Gels

Only their physical appearance and a taste is the difference between pastes and gels. While gels may seem less abrasive than pastes,this is not the case. Actually, gels can be more abrasive because of the silica used to make them. However, both are safe, effective cleaners; use whichever you like!

Tartar Control Toothpastes

Most studies suggest that tartar control toothpastes do not remove tartar. They help prevent tartar (hardened plaque that may cause gum disease) from forming. The active ingredient in tartar-control toothpastes is usually pyrophosphate. Some clinical trials on these toothpastes have shown that they reduce tartar as much as 36 percent. They do not reduce the tartar that forms below the gum line, which is the area where tartar can cause gum disease. This is why it is important for your dentist to perform regular professional cleanings.

Gum Care Toothpastes

Gum Care toothpastes also have questionable efficacy. This type of paste contains stannous fluoride as opposed to sodium fluoride found in other types of paste. While some studies show stannous fluoride may be helpful in reducing the incidence of gingivitis (a reversible form of gum disease), it has also been suggested stannous fluoride is not as affective in protecting against cavities as sodium fluoride. Any toothpaste containing fluoride is fine, however.

Baking Soda Toothpastes

Although these have’nt become very popular in India,they are available.There are no conclusive studies that prove baking soda toothpastes significantly reduce cavities compared to other toothpastes. Some people enjoy the taste and feel of baking soda or mint toothpastes. The attractive taste of baking soda and mint toothpastes may encourage people to brush longer. Many baking soda toothpastes may also contain peroxides which can irritate and damage gum tissue.

Abrasive Smoker’s Toothpastes and Toothpowders

These toothpastes are not recommended as they can cause recession of the gums and abrasion (slow removal) of tooth structure. The best way to rid your teeth of smoking stains is to stop smoking and, then, have a professional cleaning by a dentist.

Desensitizing Toothpastes

These pastes do actually work for a majority of the people using them. Generally, they are needed when a patient has had gum recession, thereby exposing the root of the tooth. Once this exposure occurs, a tooth can be sensitive to cold, hot, touch, sweet, or sour. Senquel,Thermoseal,Thermodent K are some of the brands on the market.New ones come on the market regularly. Some brands have different ingredients; therefore, if one brand does not work, try a different brand. Note: you should have any sensitivity checked by your dentist first to be sure it is not a more serious problem.

Whitening Toothpastes

One must be careful when using these due to their abrasiveness. These should not be used exclusively but should be incorporated into a routine using a fluoride paste. Do not use a whitening paste every time you brush; use only once every day or two. Certain brands can be more abrasive than others. Their efficacy is questionable.Some people claim to notice a brightening of tooth color, while others notice no change. This difference is partly due to variety in diet and tooth structure among people. If you are serious about whitening your teeth, you should discuss various options, including bleaching, with your dentist.

Denture Pastes

While it’s true that more people are keeping their teeth, those who use full or partial dentures need to keep them clean. What to use? Not surprisingly, there are denture cleansers that safely and effectively clean dentures. These products contain a mild abrasive and detergent plus a flavoring agent. If you run out of denture paste, use soft hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid to clean dentures. There are other, more exotic ingredients such as aloe vera and sanguinaria that can be found in commercially available toothpastes. However, let your dentist be your guide in deciding whether to purchase products with these ingredients.

In Conclusion:

Brush with a FLUORIDE toothpaste for 2 minutes at least twice a day using a soft bristled toothbrush. Most people only brush their teeth for about 15-20 seconds on average! The mechanical action employed using the proper brushing technique is more important than the brand of toothpaste you purchase. Flossing at least once a day is also very important because it removes food from between teeth where even the best toothbrush and toothpaste are ineffective.