​Everything you need to know about toothpastes

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With so many different toothpaste products on the supermarket shelves, the simple task of buying a tube of toothpaste becomes that little more confusing. “Extreme-clean”, “multi-action” and “natural” are some of the labels used to describe toothpastes. So what exactly is the difference and which toothpaste is best for you?

Whitening toothpaste

The increasing demand for a whiter and brighter smile has led to a range of whitening toothpastes to hit the supermarket shelves. The increased abrasiveness of these pastes are effective in removing surface staining but don’t actually alter the colour your teeth as they do not contain bleaching agents. Should you want to physically whiten your teeth then your dentist is the best person to talk to about professional whitening treatments.

Children’s toothpaste

Toothpaste for kids are recommended for children between the ages of 18 months and 6 years. Avoid using toothpaste for children under 18 months old as they are prone to swallowing toothpaste – this can cause upset stomachs and enamel defects in their future adult teeth. Children’s toothpaste are sugar free and contain less fluoride compared to adult toothpaste. The packaging is often colourful and are marketed with popular characters like Spider-Man or Dora the Explorer to encourage kids to brush!

Toothpaste for sensitive teeth

Many people experience sensitivity – this is commonly caused by receding gums or thinning enamel which exposes the nerve endings within dentine. It is important to see your dentist if you have any sensitivity with your teeth to rule out any underlying problems. Toothpastes for sensitivity are effective in relieving symptoms by physically covering the tubules that run through dentine thereby blocking nerve pathways that cause sensitivity.

Natural toothpastes

Natural toothpastes may also be labelled ‘organic’ or ‘herbal’. These are not recommended for some as they do not contain fluoride – an ingredient critical for strengthening enamel and increasing resistance to dental decay. Be sure to attend regular check-ups if you choose to go with this type of toothpastes.