A common question that we get almost everyday is “Which is the best toothpaste?” There are three big concepts to review.
Here are a few factors that go in to determining the cost of porcelain veneers:
Staying away from whitening toothpaste is important. The way they whiten is actually by abrading the tooth, taking off a micro-layer of that tooth structure.
Since we don’t regenerate enamel, we recommend staying away from anything that has the potential to thin or weaken the enamel over time. If you have veneers, don’t use whitening toothpaste. Because whitening toothpastes are abrasive, the glazes can actually be removed, and this makes the porcelain more porous and dull looking over time.
Enamel demineralization takes place when the teeth are exposed to acidic conditions, i.e., when the pH falls below 5.5. This occurs when we drink things like sports drinks or have highly processed diets. Calcium and phosphate get dissolved out of the tooth which eventually can cause decay with the help of certain bacteria. Calcium, phosphate, and fluoride help to remineralize the tooth under the right conditions. Saliva contains calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonate, and healthy saliva has a pH of around 6.8 to 7.4, the point at which teeth can actually heal themselves.
When looking at the chemicals in toothpaste, stay away from sodium lauryl sulfate. This chemical is a surfactant and is what causes bubbles in the toothpaste. Sodium lauryl sulfate actually originates from coconuts, but this chemical is far from being natural. Sodium lauryl sulfate can increase the incidence of abscess ulcers, and has actually been linked to a few cancers in certain studies.
It is also important to make sure that the toothpaste is free from triclosan. This chemical is added for its antibacterial properties, but it’s also an endocrine disrupting compound and should be of serious concern. It has been associated with an increase of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, even preterm weight babies.
Something else to stay away from is glycerin. It’s very, very common in toothpaste and is just not needed. Glycerin coats the teeth and actually can prevent them from being remineralized.
You should also look at the content of fluoride. Not because it’s toxic in toothpaste, but because we are exposed to it in our drinking water. We don’t need even more fluoride in our toothpaste.
Number one, look for sodium bicarbonate, or good old baking soda. It’s a very, very mild abrasive, and it keeps the oral environment very alkaline, i.e., not acidic. Essential oils like organic coconut oil or peppermint oil are also great additives to a toothpaste. Also look for xylitol as a sweetener, as it has antibacterial properties naturally.
We like a lot of Arm and Hammer brands because they have a large component of sodium bicarbonate. Another brand that we like is Earth Paste. It contains a lot of organic, natural compounds that are healthy for the teeth.
The downside is the toothpaste is a brown color, which many people find unsettling. Another good toothpaste is called Xyli White, it has a large component of that compound that we recommended earlier called xylitol.
There are so many toothpastes on the market today, it’s hard to decide which is the best toothpaste for you. Before you reach for that whitening toothpaste you need to know that the abrasivity of these products can be damaging to your teeth. In fact, recent studies show that it’s NOT the strength of the toothbrush bristles (hard vs. soft) that causes damage and recession at the gum line. Rather, the cause may be the abrasive particles in everyday whitening toothpastes. You want to choose a toothpaste that isn’t too abrasive. The abrasiveness in toothpaste can scratch porcelain restorations and even natural enamel. This natural enamel is almost impossible to get back once it is gone so it is imperative that you keep it healthy. The lower the number the less abrasive the toothpaste is. The lowest level of abrasiveness runs from 0-70. 71-100 is medium abrasiveness and 101-150 is highly abrasive. You want to avoid using toothpastes altogether that run in the 151-250 mark as those are considered harmful! To be safe, choose the baking-soda toothpastes like Arm & Hammer. Plain baking soda is the least abrasive stain remover.
But it’s not just stains you should be worried about. It is also important to choose products that prevent, or perhaps even reverse decay. The best toothpastes for preventing cavities are those that help strengthen and remineralize enamel. CariFree products have a high pH, so they neutralize the acids that dissolve your enamel. CariFree Neutralizing Gel also contains tiny enamel-building crystals which your teeth essentially soak up and regrow enamel. These products actually strengthen soft teeth. Your Atlanta Dental Spa team of doctors recommend the combination of a gentle stain-removing toothpaste along with enamel-strengthening products like CariFree. Using these products every day will help to ensure stronger, healthier teeth and a brighter smile.
As always, check with your dentist to see what the best toothpaste is for you! Everyone’s mouth is different and therefore every patient is going to need something different to give them optimal oral health.