You may have seen in the news lately that popular toothpaste maker Crest just introduced a new line of toothpastes that will soon be seen on grocery store shelves. The company recently revealed its Crest Be flavors, which include options like Mint Chocolate Trek, Vanilla Mint Spark and Lime Spearmint Zest. Departing from their traditional mint or cinnamon varieties, the new flavors should still have the basic benefits that toothpaste offers including protection against cavities, fresher breath, and cleaner teeth. Tigard dentist, Dr. Greg Williams, would like to take a moment to remind you of what to look for when choosing toothpaste.
Make Sure it Has Fluoride
One of the most critical ingredients to keep an eye out for in toothpastes is fluoride. This natural mineral has been used commonly in the last half century and resulted in a large decrease in nationwide tooth decay and cavities. The starch and sugars that linger on teeth after you eat become food for bacteria that lives your mouth. These bacteria release acids that can erode your enamel and cause damage to your teeth. Fluoride can help defend against this by making your enamel tougher. Fluoride also can assist in re-mineralizing areas of damages caused by acids, which can reverse that harm. Even if your city water might be fluoridated, it is a good idea to brush with fluoride toothpaste to up the levels in your teeth.
Tartar is another thing that toothpaste can help control. The bacteria that grow on our teeth, known as plaque, can harden and turn into tartar. Tartar is very hard to remove and if not treated, can lead to gum disease and decay. To minimize and counteract the effects of tartar buildup, compounds like zinc citrate, pyrophosphates, and even antibiotic like triclosan are added to toothpastes. These substances can help eradicate the bacteria in the mouth before it becomes plaque or tartar.
Sensitive Teeth and Whitening
There are also those who have sensitive teeth, either by temperatures or other factors, and you will find many options available for those needs. Toothpastes such as these can have strontium chloride or potassium nitrate, which are chemical compounds that relieve sensitivity. Other people are drawn to teeth whitening toothpastes, which usually contain some additives that help polish up the teeth, or in some cases attach to the discoloration and peel it off the teeth.
Other Toothpaste Advice
Some other things to keep an eye out when shopping for toothpaste are the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. Independent experts will have tested all pastes for their safety and success. Also be wary of toothpastes that say made in China, as a few years ago a toxin called diethylene glycol was found in some toothpastes imported from that country.
No matter if you choose fruity flavors for your kids, that new chocolate one just to see how it tastes, or more traditional mint toothpastes, make sure that you are getting one that will help your teeth stay happy for years to come. If you need further recommendations for toothpaste or brushes, contact the friendly staff at Tigard dentist Dr. Gregory A. Williams to help you out today.