I get asked by my patients about my choice of tooth paste every day. Many of us are wondering which toothpaste our teeth would benefit from, and what are the differences between them, as there are so many makes, brands, colours, benefits ... Let me take you for a quick tour through my favourite toothpastes which I recommend to my patients on a regular basis.
Tooth sensitivity becomes more common and most of us have suffered form an occasional twinge. It can however become a severe problem if not addressed appropriately.
Most common causes for sensitivity are exposed root surfaces, acid erosion and tooth wear. Exposed root surface is a result of gum recession which is in turn caused by either brushing too hard or periodontal (gum) disease. Acid erosion occurs when you consume acidic foods and drinks in excess and tooth wear is usually caused by grinding;
Exposed root surface has no enamel to protect it; Acid erosion and tooth wear expose dentine; once dentine has lost it's protective enamel layer it transmits stimuli which we experience as sensitivity.
Sensodyne Repair & Protect
This is my personal favourite because it has a mild taste, nice grainy but not overwhelming texture, and really helps with sensitivity if used twice a day in a correct way. It contains Sodium Fluoride (this helps to protect the teeth form cavities and also sensitivity). Sensodyne Repair & Protect contains a tooth-like complex which deposits a layer of calcium and phosphate on the surface of the exposed dentine (gum recession and toothwear) making it more resistant to acid foods and drinks as well as toothbrushing. Just remember not to rinse, just spit out the toothpaste to leave a concentrated layer of the mineral complex on your teeth.
Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief
This is the to-go toothpaste when you have sensitivity caused by gum recession. It has a mild taste and gives you and instant relief when rubbed on an exposed root surface in the area of gum recession, but it also builds up a long lasting resistance when used twice daily for regular toothbrushing. It contains Sodium Monofluorophosphate and an Arginine complex. Their unique Pro-Argin formula builds a seal over the dentine surface so that the changes inside dentin cannot transmit stimuli triggering sensitivity.
Sensodyne Pronamel Daily Protection
This toothpaste acts on the enamel (think acid erosion) and contains Sodium Fluoride and and Potassium Nitrate to help the softened enamel regain it's strength. It has a mild taste and again is really effective in combating tooth sensitivity especially in patients with acid erosion. It has an added bonus of being SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulphate, foaming agent) free, which is especially beneficial for patients suffering from dry mouth, mouth ulcers and other mouth irritation.
Regenerate Enamel Science Advanced Toothpaste is water free so that the ingredients cannot react making the formula very stable; it has a rich dense texture and a refreshing minty taste. With regular use this toothpaste will deposit mineral (calcium silicate and sodium phosphate) into the tooth enamel that has been eroded by repeated acid attacks, making it stronger and therefore more resistant to sensitive stimuli. It also contains Fluoride (sodium monofluorophosphate) to provide the benefits of the regular toothpaste.
You just need a fluoride toothpaste for overall protection from cavities, tooth decay, gum disease and acid erosion; they key is to brush effectively removing all the plaque to allow the toothpaste to penetrate into the tooth surface.
Oral-B Pro-Expert All Around Protection
This is a great overall toothpaste; It has a well defined minty taste, great colour and a pleasant texture. Oral-B Pro-Expert contains Stannous Fluoride and Sodium Fluoride. What makes it a great toothpaste is the stabilised stannous fluoride, which a very strong, water free, stable fluoride complex promoting a quick remineralisation of enamel which leads to stronger , harder enamel layer to protect our teeth from cavities.
Gum problems are caused by bacterial plaque accumulation on our teeth, thorough toothbrushing and flossing removes the plaque and therefore prevents gum disease; however you can use toothpastes with special formulas designed to aid plaque removal.
Colgate Total Original Care
Colgate Total Original Care contains Sodium Fluoride to prevent cavities and Triclosan complex. Triclosan provides antibacterial protection as it helps to reduce dental plaque and gum inflammation. Colgate Total Original Care has a gentle minty taste and is plain white in colour.
Corsodyl toothpaste also contains Fluoride making it a great overall toothpaste but what makes it stand out is sodium bicarbonate content !! it contains 67% Sodium Bicarbonate in very small refined particles which penetrate plaque and aid cleaning the teeth without being abrasive. It doesn't contain chlorhexidine making it suitable for daily use (concentrated chlorhexidin formulas, such as that in Corsodyl mouthwash, may produce staining on your teeth if used daily). AND it doesn't contain SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulphate) so again great for patients with dry mouth and mouth irritations. The only downside is ... the taste, it tastes a bit salty because of sodium bicarbonate; but Corsodyl started adding mint and eucalyptus to the formula making the taste really pleasant.
There are a lot of different toothpastes available on the market, and you don't really need to use a fancy toothpaste to provide overall protection from cavities or gum disease; it all comes down to personal preference, taste, price, texture - as long as you use fluoride toothpaste twice a day for at least two minutes and brush effectively, not just a quick scrub.
You should use a fluoride toothpaste to help prevent cavities; the optimum amount of Fluoride is 1450 ppm .
ANY fluoride toothpaste will help to reduce sensitivity to a certain degree; fluoride is a very potent anti-sensitivity agent. The key is not to rinse after you spit out the toothpaste, just leave a concentrated layer on your teeth.
No toothpaste will give a relief from a toothache related to tooth decay or infection.
It is still advisable to see your dentist to determine the cause for sensitivity to eliminate a possible crack in your tooth or a broken filling.