Good oral hygiene is a critical part of overall well-being – maintaining healthy teeth and gums allows us to chew food properly, helping to assimilate the nutrients we need. A bright, healthy-looking smile makes us and everyone around us feel good. And a healthy bacterial balance in the mouth means better health overall.
That’s why it’s so important to brush your teeth regularly, using high quality toothpaste. Toothpaste – used in conjunction with a good toothbrush and correct brushing technique, helps to remove plaque, the sticky, bacterial film which builds up on unclean teeth, causing cavities, periodontal (gum) disease, pain and even severe decay and tooth loss if left unchecked. Toothpaste greatly increases the effectiveness of brushing – cleaning and polishing teeth, reducing the appearance of unsightly stains and making your breath fresh.
Today’s dental care market is filled with choices – you’ll have no shortage of toothpastes to choose from. Let’s explore some of the different types available.
Best Toothpaste for All Round Protection
For all-round protection, you need toothpaste that does it all: protects against bacteria, plaque, tartar and decay; leaves your mouth feeling clean; prevents gum disease; fights sensitivity; protects enamel; whitens teeth; and freshens breath. That’s a tall order for one type of toothpaste to fill – but if you don’t have highly specific needs, an all-round product is your best choice.
Oral-B Pro-Expert All-Around Protection Clean Mint Toothpaste fits the bill – its antibacterial fluoride is combined with unique, “active clean crystals” which allow you to feel the cleaning action as it takes place. The fluoride helps strengthen enamel – important if you want to prevent cavities and tooth decay. By fighting bacteria, the mouth is less acidic and no longer an ideal environment for enamel and dentine-eating bacteria to thrive. Because Oral-B Pro-Expert All-Around Toothpaste strengthens enamel and prevents enamel erosion (by 2.5 times more than normal sodium fluoride) it helps reduce tooth sensitivity. It also breaks apart old tooth stains and helps prevent new ones, for a whiter, brighter smile.
Best Toothpaste for Whitening
Whitening toothpaste is formulated specifically to brighten the appearance of stained teeth. Depending on the formulation, it achieves this with abrasives, hydrogen peroxide or enzymes. The risk of using whitening toothpaste which brightens teeth exclusively through abrasive ingredients and brushing action is that, over time, the enamel on the teeth may become damaged. The thin layer of enamel protects a bony substance called dentine, which comprises the bulk of the teeth. Dentine is yellow in colour – so the irony of using abrasive whitening toothpaste is that you face the risk of damaging your enamel and making your teeth look yellower, which is exactly the opposite of what such toothpaste should achieve.
JANINA Ultra Whitening Toothpaste is one of the best and most reputable whitening toothpastes around – and it stands apart from other brands because its unique formula is low-abrasion, protecting your tooth enamel while its special enzyme-based formulation naturally and safely whitens teeth. JANINA toothpaste contains the enzymes bromelaine and papain, derived from pineapple and papaya. These substances effectively remove stubborn stains, even of the more persistent variety, from coffee, tea, nicotine, wine and lipstick.
What’s the Top Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth?
For sensitive teeth, special toothpaste formulations are necessary – at the least, to avoid further agony when eating or brushing – and in the case of better toothpastes, to repair the damage which is causing sensitivity in the first place. When teeth are sensitive, the cause is usually a change in microscopic amounts of biological fluid which flow through tubules – tiny, tube-like structures which are present in dentine. When the flow of this fluid is altered, receptors on nerves can be triggered, causing the sensation of pain which is worsened by cold or hot, air pressure changes and physical pressure (such as brushing).
Ultradex Recalcifying and Whitening Toothpaste is one of the top pastes for soothing – and healing – sensitive teeth. It’s clinically proven to whiten teeth in as little as 2 weeks – but unlike toothpastes which whiten abrasively, it’s free from harsh ingredients; instead, it gently oxidizes stains caused by organic substances. It helps prevent tooth decay, plaque and gum disease by killing bacteria and preventing their re-growth – and halts halitosis (bad breath), by blocking Volatile Sulphur Compounds on contact. It quickly relieves sensitivity by blocking tubules and rebuilding tooth enamel.
The Right Choice for Kid’s
Toothpaste for children helps young people get accustomed to brushing their teeth, for a lifetime of good oral care habits. The toothpaste that kids use needs to contain effective, clinically proven ingredients, but should also be appealing – that means a great taste and fun colours that help make brushing teeth enjoyable, rather than a chore.
Tom’s of Maine Children’s Toothpaste is a great choice – the packaging is colourful enough to appeal to kids (but grownup-looking enough to make them feel special), has clinically proven ingredients to keep adults impressed, and is flavoured with real strawberries and other fruit juices. It cleans young teeth gently with natural calcium and silica.
Cleaning With All-Natural Ingredients
Toothpaste made with all-natural ingredients is a growing segment of the dental care market. As with all things – textiles, food, cosmetics, even the materials our gadgets are made from – more and more people want to know that what they put use, put on and into their bodies, and into the environment is safe, naturally-sourced and less or non-toxic. Toothpaste is a perfect category to “naturalize” – it does, after all, get put into our mouths and then goes down the drain. All-natural toothpastes are just that – they contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and are usually devoid of fluoride. Though the addition (or omission) of this ingredient is a contentious subject which won’t be discussed here, the “natural” category of toothpaste is catered to those who would prefer to brush their teeth without fluoride.
Redmond Trading Company Earthpaste is an amazingly Natural Toothpaste with a cult-like following. Just how natural is it? Well, for starters, it’s made of clay – food grade “Redmond” clay to be exact, and very few other ingredients: Essential oils, xylitol, sea salt and purified water. Talk about “from the earth!” Despite the clay base, it doesn’t taste like dirt – the clay, blended with purified water, creates a familiarly “pasty” texture, which, when combined with the sea salt, safely and effectively cleans teeth, removing plaque and soothing sore gums. The colour can take some getting used to – it’s a bland shade of brown – but it is, after all, made of clay. Customers praise the flavours – the essential oils taste exactly like what they are, and the sweetness of the xylitol is pleasant.
Xylitol – a sugar alcohol derived from birch bark – may actually help prevent tooth decay.
With so many categories of toothpaste to choose from, achieving good oral health shouldn’t be a daunting task. On the contrary – the wide range of products makes it easy take care of your teeth and meet every need – whether they’re sensitive, still growing, need whitening, are plagued by plaque – or if you lead an all-natural life.