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Frequently Asked Dental Questions


Did you know? One toothpaste doesn’t always fit the entire family. Your young children may require a different type.

Just about all of our patients have a question about an aspect of oral health. But they don’t ask. They think we’re too busy. Or they’re afraid of appearing dumb.

So their question goes unasked and unanswered.

We collected one of the most frequently thought-about questions and posted the answer here. We’ll tackle other unasked questions in future articles.

Q: What’s the best type of toothpaste?

These days, toothpaste is generally considered a basic necessity. Naturally, marketers see each of us a potential customer. So it makes it difficult to evaluate the claims and promises. With so many choices, your search is bound to uncover the toothpaste that’s right for you.

However, if you’re not disciplined about brushing and flossing, no toothpaste will magically save your smile. While toothpaste may get a lot of advertising money, what you put on your toothbrush is less important than using your toothbrush!

If it’s time to rethink your toothpaste choice, here are some things to consider.

1. Fluoride or fluoride-free. Some toothpastes contain fluoride and others do not. While numerous studies show fluoride is safe and effective, some have doubts. If that’s you, a natural toothpaste may be a better choice.

2. Flav[o]rings or sweeteners. Some people are allergic to the substances in today’s toothpaste. Read the label listing the ingredients. The promise of minty fresh breath is a benefit for some, and something to avoid for others.

3. Sensitive teeth. If you have especially sensitive teeth, look for a product that can accommodate your concern. Desensiti[z]ing toothpastes often include compounds that block pain signals originating in the teeth.

4. Abrasiveness. Toothpaste manufacturers include substances that can cause tooth wear. These remove dental plaque and surface stains during tooth brushing. If abrasion is a concern, consider a toothpaste with baking soda. These are often less abrasive and just as effective at removing stains.

Choosing a toothpaste may seem simple. For most of us it’s a casual purchase at the grocery store. Often, it’s what our parents used.

Finding the toothpaste that is right for you is an important factor in optimum oral health. Is it time to rethink your toothpaste choice?

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