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What Toothpaste is Best to Use: A Comprehensive Guide from Your Trusted Tunbridge Wells Dental Practice

Wednesday 27th, September, 2023

When it comes to oral health, one of the most common questions we hear at our dental practice in Tunbridge Wells is: “What toothpaste should I use?” With many available options, choosing the right one for you and your family can be overwhelming. This blog post aims to demystify the subject and provide the information you need to make an informed decision.

The Importance of Fluoride

First and foremost, any toothpaste you choose should contain fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that plays a crucial role in oral health. It helps to strengthen the enamel, the outer layer of your teeth, making it more resistant to decay. The British Dental Association and the NHS recommend fluoride toothpaste, which is widely considered the gold standard for preventing tooth decay.

Many people are worried about fluoride, and if you search online, you will find many people talking about how fluoride harms your health. This is true. However, you must note that fluoride harms your health only if you ingest it in large quantities.

That is why toothpaste in the shops is limited to the amount of fluoride it contains, and when brushing your teeth, you only need a tiny pea-sized about on your brush, that’s all! Ensure you spit out any excess toothpaste after brushing, and it will be okay.

The Primary Functions of Toothpaste

Toothpaste serves three main functions:

  1. Clearing Away Bacteria: The mechanical action of brushing helps to remove food particles and bacterial plaque from the surface of your teeth and gums. Toothpaste aids in this process by providing a medium that helps to lift and carry away debris.
  2. Remineralising Your Teeth: As mentioned earlier, fluoride helps strengthen your teeth by promoting enamel remineralisation. This process helps to repair minor damage before it turns into a cavity.
  3. Freshening Your Breath: Toothpaste often contains flavouring agents like mint, which helps to freshen your breath and combat bad smells.

It’s important to note that despite the claims you may see on packaging or in advertisements, regular toothpaste is not designed to whiten teeth. While some may contain mild abrasives that can remove surface stains, they won’t change the natural colour of your enamel.

The Truth About Whitening Toothpastes

Speaking of whitening, you might be tempted to reach for a tube of whitening toothpaste in hopes of achieving a brighter smile. However, we generally advise against this. Whitening toothpastes often contain abrasive ingredients designed to scrub away stains, but these can also wear away your enamel over time. This can make your teeth more sensitive and even more susceptible to staining in the future.

If you’re looking for a whiter smile, it’s best to consult with a dental professional. At our Tunbridge Wells practice, we offer a range of professional tooth whitening options that are both safe and effective. These treatments are tailored to your needs and are far more reliable than over-the-counter solutions.

The Role of the Hygienist

We recommend visiting the hygienist regularly for optimal oral health and a brighter smile. A professional cleaning can remove plaque and tartar that you can’t eliminate with brushing alone. This helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay and leaves your teeth looking and feeling cleaner. In some cases, a thorough cleaning can even remove surface stains, giving your teeth a brighter appearance.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Once you have had your teeth cleaned and polished, if you still want a lift in the colour of your teeth, you can consider professional teeth whitening. At Tunbridge Wells Dental Centre, our team is highly trained in whitening procedures, and if you want more information, you can read this page here.

Specialised Toothpaste

While fluoride is the key ingredient to look for, there are specialised toothpastes designed to address specific concerns:

  • Sensitivity Toothpaste: If you have sensitive teeth, a toothpaste designed for sensitivity can help. These usually contain ingredients like potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, which help to block the tiny tubules in the dentin, reducing sensitivity.
  • Children’s Toothpaste: For younger family members, choosing a toothpaste with an appropriate level of fluoride is essential. Too much fluoride can lead to fluorosis, a cosmetic issue affecting teeth’ appearance. Always supervise young children while brushing to ensure they don’t swallow toothpaste and make sure the toothpaste they are using is age-appropriate.

Conclusion

In summary, when choosing a toothpaste, make sure it contains fluoride. Don’t be swayed by claims of whitening power; instead, focus on the core functions of toothpaste: clearing away bacteria, remineralising your teeth, and freshening your breath. If you’re looking for a whiter smile, skip the whitening toothpaste and consult with a dental professional for safe and effective options.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, feel free to contact our dental practice in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. We’re here to help you achieve the best possible oral health.

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  • 46 st. Johns ROAD
  • TUNBRIDGE WELLS
  • TN4 9nT
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