Home Care Part 2 – Toothpaste

So as an extension to the previous post, I’ll continue my discussion on home care products.

What about toothpaste? I get a lot of questions from patients regarding which toothpaste is best. Whitening, sensitive, plaque reducing, etc. There are countless kinds available. I always tell patients that it’s personal preference. That being said, there are a few ingredients I do try to avoid or make sure are present in my toothpaste. The first ingredient I always make sure I avoid is Tricolsan. It’s an ingredient responsible for creating superbugs and I believe has no business being in anyone’s mouth. Companies that used to have it in their hand sanitizer have recognized it as unhealthy and have removed it from their formulations yet you can still get it in toothpaste?? Doesn’t make sense to me. As for whitening formulas, if you want whiter teeth, whiten your teeth, don’t use a toothpaste. It’s really a marketing ploy that companies use to sell toothpaste.

There’s a new toothpaste that I have come across called PlaqueHD by Oral Science. This formula includes a water soluble dye that colours plaque green so you know if you’ve brushed off all of the plaque. This is especially great for kids. What about sensitivity formulas?  Sensodyne is of course a great one and everyone has heard of it. They have some really amazing formulas for many different types of sensitivity. It can take up to 4-6 weeks for a sensitivity toothpaste to fully kick in so give it some time. Remember, if a sensitive toothpaste is working, keep using it. If you switch back to a regular one, chances are, your teeth will become sensitive again because you’ll brush off the protection you built up.  For a handful of patients, Sensodyne can actually make their teeth more sensitive so I recommend Colage Sensitive Pro-Relief. They have a completely different active ingredient that can work better for some people.

Natural toothpastes are worth mentioning as well. There are a number of brands now that make all natural formulations. I think they are fine, for the most part. Read the ingredients before you buy any. Most contain xylitol as their sweetener. This is great for cavity control and dry mouth. If you have pets, please make sure to keep it away from them as xylitol is is extremely toxic to animals. Even a small amount can kill a dog.

There’s a new trend going around social media with charcoal toothpastes or baking soda toothpaste. These are easy to make on your own, but can taste awful, so beware! I’ve considered these too abrasive in the past but current research shows that they are actually quite a lot less abrasive than other toothpastes. I personally have used charcoal toothpaste and did notice an immediate difference in the whiteness of my teeth afterwards. A part of me is still weary of the abrasiveness and I may change my opinion on these but for now, I’m saying they are safe to use daily.

Coming up next – Home Care Part 3 – Rinses

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