2nd February 2016
As a dentist I get this asked every day. We usually answer stick with a trusted brand that is CE approved but there is more to it. There are thousands of toothpastes on the shelves so how do you choose?
First ask yourself why are you using toothpaste? Toothpaste has two main functions that you cannot get from brushing alone:
Using flavours such as spearmint. It acts as a deodoriser – hiding the smells of curries, garlic and coffee.
Flouride is clinically proven to harden your teeth and prevent cavities. The regular topical affect helps reduce your need for dental care.
Manufacturers add loads of other specialist ingredients that can be useful in specific cases. The most common added ingredient is a desensitising agent such as calcium carbonate used in Colgate pro-relief. Learn more about tooth sensitivity treatments.
An important factor to consider in a toothpaste is the RDA value. Relative Dentine abrasivity (RDA value) of a toothpaste is how abrasive it is. Anything under 70 is ideal for a daily toothpaste. Brushing with just water has a value of zero.
A more recent phenomenon is adding whitening agents. No whitening toothpaste has been clinically proven to whiten teeth but what they can do is help to control coffee and tea stains and help prolong the effects of professional teeth whitening.
The other component of ordinary tooth pastes is SLS, short for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. This detergent does not actually clean teeth- its sole purpose is to produce foam and thicken the toothpaste. It gives the impression of cleaning you teeth but actually doesn’t. SLS has been shown to increase your risk of developing mouth ulcers and that is why we advise to find a toothpaste that is SLS free especially if you are prone to mouth ulcers.
GSK has just launched Sensodyne True White Extra Fresh Toothpaste which combines Fluoride, whitening, a low abrasive formula and is SLS free. You can pick up a tube at Bow Lane Dental.
Want to know ten reasons to brush your teeth?