The Ultimate Guide to Toothpaste
What is the best toothpaste to use? Why are some toothpastes more expensive than others? Does that mean that they will work better? Can you buy plaque-busting toothpastes?
Every toothpaste sounds like it might be worth trying but how do we know that we are not simply being seduced by clever marketing? There are even special toothpastes for people with sensitive teeth. If you want to know which toothpaste is the best to use, you need to start by discovering what is actually in them.
The fact is that many toothpastes have the same basic ingredients – the extra element that gives them a marketing spin is often simply an added twist to the same standard recipe.
Most recognized toothpaste brands are made using a similar basic formula:
- A ‘binder’ which holds the ingredients together such as sodium alginate.
- Chalk or baking soda, a foam based compound which helps to remove food debris from the teeth (e.g. sodium lauryl sulphate). An ingredient called a ‘humectant’ which ensures that the toothpaste is moist.
- And a flavouring such as mint, fluoride, water and anti-bacterial agent to prevent caries and gum disease
Dental health experts agree that a toothpaste which follows this basic formula should be enough to keep your teeth healthy and free from decay. Of course, the toothpaste by itself is not enough – you have to put the effort in too!
Dentists recommend brushing twice every day, using a fluoride toothpaste, for at least two minutes. Above and beyond this, the toothpaste you use will often simply be down to personal preference.