Which toothpaste shall I use?

toothpaste

 

toothpaste

Which toothpaste shall I use?

This is one of the most frequent questions by our patients. We recommend any fluoride toothpaste that is CE approved, but there are different toothpastes for specific dental problems.

Fluoride is the most important component of your toothpaste. The tooth caries begins with dental plaque that build on the teeth. Plaque is mostly made up of bacteria which produce acids using the sugar from your food or drinks. The acids dissolve the minerals of the tooth surface causing tooth decay and cavities.

The fluoride protects your teeth from decay in three ways. It helps your teeth to repair themselves when the surface minerals are dissolved. It also makes the enamel stronger and more resistant to caries and finally it reduces the bacteria’s ability to produce acids.

For children, consuming too much fluoride can cause discolouration of the permanent teeth. Children under three should use a smear of toothpaste no less than 1000ppm of fluoride. For children three to six years a small pea-sized blob of toothpaste should be used between 1350ppm and 1500ppm fluoride. It is important to supervise the children under seven and make sure they do not eat the toothpaste.

Adults should use toothpaste containing 1350-1500 ppm fluoride. For patients with gum recession, sensitivity and lots of cavities up to 5000ppm toothpaste can be prescribed. High fluoride concentration toothpastes can only be purchased by the dental practice or the pharmacy. It is important for both children and adults not to rinse the mouth after brushing and only spit out any excess toothpaste.

Manufacturers can also add special ingredients that can be useful in specific cases. Whitening agents can help prolong the results of tooth whitening, but there is no proof they actually change the shade of your teeth. They are more abrasive compared to the rest of the toothpastes in order to remove the surface stains, but in this way they could also remove part of your enamel.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is used to produce foam and thicken your toothpaste. Although it does not actually remove plaque it gives the impression of cleaning your teeth. It has been shown that SLS can increase the incidence of mouth ulcers and we recommend to use an SLS free toothpaste, especially if you suffer from recurrent mouth ulcers.

At KF Dental we recommend a fluoride toothpaste containing 1500ppm for adults and 1000ppm for children under three. A tooth whitening toothpaste can be used in combination with regular toothpastes in order to reduce any possible tooth abrasion and prolong the results of professional tooth whitening or Airflow stain removal. A high concentration fluoride such as 2800ppm or 5000ppm is recommended for patients with many cavities, gum recession with exposed roots and increased sensitivity.

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