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When you go to any high street chemist or supermarket these days, the choice of toothpaste is bamboozling!  How do we know which one is the best choice for our family?  Is the most expensive definitely the best?  Are some brands better than others?  Do you need a whitening toothpaste or a plaque removing one – or how about a toothpaste for sensitive teeth?

Every toothpaste sounds like it might be worth a try – who wouldn’t want fresher breath, less fillings or whiter teeth?

When it comes to knowing which toothpaste is best for you, the best place to start is by reading the ingredients list on the packaging.  The truth is that many different toothpaste brands actually contain the same basic ingredients, with a little extra added for fresher tasting paste or for whiter teeth.  Most toothpaste brands contain the same basic formula – 1. Flouride, which actively protects your teeth from decay and 2.Powdered calcium, which helps to strengthen teeth and to remove stains. On top of these two ingredients are others, such as flavouring and foaming agents.

Dental health experts agree that a toothpaste which follows this basic formula should be enough to keep your teeth healthy and free from decay. Along with selecting a good toothpaste, Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth a minimum of twice every day for at least two minutes.

It’s always a good idea to check with your Dentist when deciding which toothpaste to use.  Whitening pastes for example can be fairly abrasive and tough on the teeth and therefore can do more damage than good.   It is also worth asking your Dentist professional tooth whitening which will of course be more expensive, but they will produce far more effective results than a toothpaste.

Children in particular need to ensure that they are using an age appropriate toothpaste, to ensure they avoid complications such as fluorosis which can affect children when their teeth are growing.  Flurosis is caused by too much flouride in the diet and can lead to permanent discolouration of the teeth, although cases can range from barely noticeable to more much more severe discolouration.  Dentists will recommend the right type of toothpaste for your child and demonstrate how much they should use. For children, just a pea-sized amount of flouride toothpaste is the standard recommendation.

There are a vast range of other toothpastes available, to cater for different individual requirements. The toothpaste you choose should always be within the broader context of your overall dental health and oral hygiene. For example, there are toothpastes for people with very sensitive teeth, which contain ingredients such as strontium or potassium chloride. While this type of toothpaste can help many people, you should still ensure that you visit your Dentist to discover the cause of your sensitivity. While toothpaste might make it more bearable, your dentist may be able to identify the ultimate cause and fix the problem.

What is your favourite brand of toothpaste and why?  Do you regularly change your toothpaste brand?  We would love to hear your views by commenting below.

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Happy brushing!

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