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Your Oral Health

Choosing a Toothpaste

While toothpaste is a valuable adjunct to a toothbrush in oral hygiene, it is the correct brushing action that removes the plaque (a sticky mixture of bacteria, food, and debris) from your teeth.


Any brand of toothpaste that contains fluoride is acceptable. It makes no difference if the toothpaste is a gel, paste, or powder, or which flavoring agent is used. However, from an individual motivational standpoint, and assuring its use, these characteristics may be important.

Other than fluoride, which strengthens the enamel and fights decay, toothpastes contain abrasives to remove stains and polish the teeth and ingredients to leave the mouth with a clean, fresh feeling.

Sensitive Teeth

If your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold, choose a desensitizing paste with either strontium chloride or potassium nitrate as an added ingredient. Expect it to take about four to six weeks to see improvement.

Tartar Control

Brands of toothpaste that advertise tartar control usually have the active ingredient pyrophosphate. While it will not remove tartar, studies have shown it will reduce tartar formation up to 36 percent. Tartar (calculus) really can only be removed with a professional prophylaxis (cleaning).


Many toothpastes now contain baking soda, which is less abrasive. This is advantageous for reducing tooth sensitivity in people with gum recession or for those who have eroded their teeth by rigorous brushing with an abrasive toothpaste.


Bleaching teeth to make them lighter has become popular. If you desire a whitening toothpaste, look for the active whitening agents of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. These toothpastes serve best to maintain the tooth shade after bleaching procedures. Contact your dentist to discuss bleaching.


If you wear partial or full dentures, they will stain and absorb odors. Ask your pharmacist or dentist to recommend an accepted denture cleaning paste or solution.

When brushing, it is not necessary to overload your brush with toothpaste. Squeeze a pea-size amount on the top of the bristles. Correct brushing techniques will cause the paste to foam and cover all of your teeth.

Related Oral Health and Wellness Information

Oral Health and Wellness content provided by Dentalxchange