Meyer Orthodontics in Brookings Blog

What Kind of Toothpaste Should You Use?

store aisle

When you walk down the oral care aisle of your Brookings grocery store or pharmacy, you’ll find an overwhelming number of toothpaste options.

What flavor do you like? Is fluoride better than sensitivity toothpaste? Do I want a screw-on cap or a flip-off cap? Can I still use bubblegum toothpaste as an adult?

It seems like there are hundreds of different toothpastes, but they all fall under one of five main categories. 

1. Children’s Toothpaste

Because children’s teeth don’t require the same intensity of cleaning as adult teeth, these toothpastes contain less fluoride and fewer abrasive agents.  In fact, an adult toothpaste may be harmful to a child’s teeth.

If you’re an adult who’s fond of those fun toothpaste flavors such as bubblegum or blue raspberry, you can use children’s toothpaste. However, we recommend that you consistently use adult toothpaste as well for superior cleaning and care.

2. Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in water sources and helps prevent tooth decay and reduces cavities in children and adults.

When the fluoride from toothpaste reaches your teeth, it’s absorbed into the enamel and begins a process called remineralization. This means that it replenishes lost calcium and phosphorus, keeping your teeth hard. If you frequently have cavities or are worried about tooth decay, you might consider using this kind of toothpaste.

We highly recommend using fluoride toothpaste, especially if you have braces!

3. Tartar Control Toothpaste

Tartar is a hard, calcified deposit that forms on the teeth and contributes to their decay.

If you consistently miss certain spots while brushing, plaque builds up in those areas and eventually hardens, turning into tartar. This is one of the leading factors of gum disease, which affects people of all ages.

Tartar control toothpaste is designed to remove as much plaque as possible and stop the formation of new plaque deposits.

4. Sensitivity Toothpaste

Some people experience teeth sensitivity and have pain when eating or drinking.

A sensitivity toothpaste contains compounds (such as strontium chloride and potassium nitrate) that block the nerves in the teeth from sensing hot and cold. It may take several weeks for this to work, and it’s a good idea to continue using it to feel relief in the future.

5. Whitening Toothpaste

Coffee drinkers – where ya at? ☕️

Whitening toothpastes are perfect for those who drink a lot of coffee or dark tea or who have yellowing teeth. While they can’t change the color of your teeth or remove a deep stain, whitening toothpaste removes surface stains with its abrasive agents that polish the teeth.

The Most Important Thing

While some toothpastes are better for certain situations, it’s most important that you are using toothpaste at all and brushing and flossing regularly. If you’re not sure which type of toothpaste is best for you, we’d be happy to chat with you about it.

Remember, consultation appointments are always free at Meyer Orthodontics. We hope to see you soon!