Choosing the right type of toothpaste may not seem like rocket science. However, it is important to know what options exist and which ones are best for individual needs. For example, a person who has sensitive teeth would not want to use the same type of toothpaste that someone who wants to whiten their smile uses.
This toothpaste guide will cover which types are the best for different oral needs based on key ingredients.

Best Toothpaste For Sensitive Teeth

Research suggests that as much as 46 percent of Americans have or have had tooth sensitivity at least once during their lives. Sensitivity may last a few minutes or several days. Both hot and cold foods and beverages may trigger sensitivity. The sensitivity may be due to enamel erosion, new fillings or several other reasons.

There are many toothpaste products designed to help relieve the sensitivity feeling and any pain associated with it. These toothpastes typically include strontium chloride or potassium nitrate. Both substances build up blocks in the pathways that span from the tooth’s surface to the tooth’s inner nerves.

Although the effects are lasting when people use the toothpaste as directed, relief may take up to several weeks for some people. Some products may also include a mild analgesic for instant pain relief.

Best Toothpaste For Teeth Whitening

People who want to maintain a bright white smile should choose a good whitening toothpaste in addition to any teeth whitening product that may already be used. Whitening toothpastes are popular for people who drink coffee, tea, wine and other staining liquids frequently.

There are a few misconceptions when it comes to this type of paste. First, many people believe that whitening toothpastes contain bleach. Nearly all whitening products that come in the form of toothpaste do not contain bleach. They normally contain substances such as baking soda that are gently abrasive and bind to stains.

The combination of these qualities helps the substance stick to stains on the teeth and lift them away without causing harm to the enamel. Several of the best whitening toothpaste products contain a small amount of peroxide to remove stains and lighten the color of the teeth.

Best Toothpaste For Tartar Control And Bad Breath

A layer of bacteria-filled plaque forms on the teeth after eating. When plaque is not removed, it turns into hard tartar deposits and is hard to remove. Dentists can remove it with a professional cleaning. However, tartar buildup on the teeth can further damage the enamel and cause bad breath.

When it builds up under the gums, it can lead to gum disease and gum-line cavities. Products with zinc citrate or tetrasodium pyrophosphate are designed to combat tartar. People who have chronic bad breath may also have a large amount of oral bacteria.

Toothpastes that also contain triclosan are beneficial for this. Triclosan is an antibiotic designed to kill some types of oral bacteria. When choosing a paste for tartar control, experts recommend choosing one with multiple plaque-fighting agents.

Best Toothpaste For Enamel Protection

Sugar, acidic foods, poor dental hygiene and genetics are all common causes of poor enamel on teeth. When enamel is gone, it cannot be fully restored. Although some products claim to do this, they actually have agents to help strengthen the teeth to prevent further damage.

The best way to enjoy strong enamel is to prevent erosion instead of trying to treat broken-down enamel. Dental experts recommend that all adults and children use a toothpaste with fluoride to protect tooth enamel every day.

When bacteria feed on sugars and other substances on the teeth, an acid is formed that normally damages enamel. Fluoride helps prevent the damage by strengthening and re-mineralizing tooth enamel. It is best to brush with a fluoride toothpaste twice daily.

Always read the toothpaste ingredients on a package before buying it. Keep in mind that the ingredients are listed in order from the highest concentration to the lowest. Never buy a paste that contains the toxic substance diethylene glycol. It is found in some products that were made in China.

The FDA actually recommends avoiding all toothpaste products that were made in China. Although there are many brands claiming to be the best, choosing quality over price should always be a priority. Quality toothpastes are approved by the ADA. If a paste has the ADA seal, this also means it contains fluoride. Remember that it is important for any toothpaste to contain fluoride.

By practicing good oral hygiene and using the right toothpaste, it is easier to avoid the high costs of oral diseases and extensive dental work. Since extensive work is expensive even with insurance, it is best to receive the free or low-cost preventative cleanings and exams covered by an insurer to maintain oral health.

Girl with a painful tooth in a medical office

Girl with a painful tooth in a medical office

Deep in the back of the mouth lie the third molars, more commonly called the wisdom teeth, and despite their friendly-sounding moniker, these teeth are notorious for causing pain and potentially dangerous dental complications. For this reason, most dental experts actually recommend removing the wisdom teeth, even if they have not caused any discomfort.

Not everyone decides to take the immediate removal route, so knowing the potential of dangerously impacted wisdom teeth is important; they could damage adjacent teeth, lead to gum disease or tooth decay and even cause cysts to develop. While there are not always noticeable signs of impacted wisdom teeth, these are a few of the warning symptoms that could indicate the need for dental intervention:

1. Jaw Pain – While there are many different dental issues that can cause jaw pain, the discomfort from impacted wisdom teeth can lead to pain through the jaw and into the skull, often resulting in terrible headaches. The pain could be more intense while chewing, especially if the pain shoots to the back of the mouth or into nearby teeth.

The jaw pain could also lead to swelling of the entire jaw area. This can indicate an especially dangerous impaction, as the tooth may be causing infection or damage to the nerves around it. A visibly swollen jaw line is a definitive way to tell that something is wrong with the tooth.

2. Sore or Bleeding Gums – Impacted wisdom teeth can be a very serious affliction, and a person’s overall dental health may begin to deteriorate. Because jaw and tooth pain often extends throughout the entire area, the gums can also be affected. Sore or bleeding gums, especially when the bleeding occurs with very little provocation, is a definite sign that something is going wrong with the teeth. Tenderness and swollen gums in the back of the mouth generally indicate that the problem is in the wisdom teeth area.

3. Bad Tastes and Smells – When wisdom teeth are impacted, bacteria often becomes trapped in the soft folds of the teeth and gums. This bacteria grows rapidly in dark, damp areas, such as the back of the mouth, and infections may begin. These infections can fester, potentially leading to cysts and decay. A person experiencing tooth decay or excessive bacteria will notice a bad taste in his or her mouth, even while chewing other food. In addition, it can lead to exceptionally bad breath that may be noticed by other people.

Other possible but less common signs of impacted wisdom teeth may include:
• Shooting pain in the back of the mouth
• Swollen glands
• Difficulty opening the mouth
• Ongoing earaches

Because impacted wisdom teeth can cause many complications, including irreversibly damaged nerves and necessary orthodontia, it is important that these warning signs be taken very seriously. Allowing the damage to continue without dental intervention can be very dangerous to overall health, so an appointment must be scheduled as soon as any of these potential symptoms are observed.

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Okay, you probably knew that headline was click bait. Still, now that we have your attention, try this little experiment: smile.

Don’t just make a smiley face, though. Do what method actors do. Think about something that can’t help but make you smile. Got it? Good! Now, smile again.

How’d that make you feel? If you’re like most people, you probably feel better – maybe even a lot better – than you did before you started reading this.

Group Of Friends Taking A SelfieHere’s another experiment you might want to try. Smile at a stranger and see what they do. There’s a very good chance they’ll smile back at you. Why?

Why, because people are wired that way, that’s why. Of course, we’re also wired to yawn when other people yawn, but that’s a blog for another day.


National Smile Week: What’s the point?

Happy, healthy smiles are the currency of our social lives. (How’s your selfie stick holding up, BTW?) So it’s hardly surprising that days and even weeks would be dedicated to these fleeting, fascinating facial gestures.

That’s the case with the second week in August each year, National Smile Week. As if anyone needed a reason to spread some smiles around.

But maybe that’s the point. Share a smile – even for the slightest of reasons. Even for no reason at all! And why not?

After all, studies have shown that putting on a smile can actually lift your spirits. You just proved that with our first little experiment.

A little mad science you can try at home

Now, it’s time to try a mad science experiment of your own. Here’s your challenge: See if you can infect your social network with a smile!

Any kind of smile will do. Maybe share one about puppies and babies, for example? Or maybe one that comes from remembering a shared experience, teacher, or loved one. Heck, if this blog made you smile, you could even share it (wink, nudge).

There are millions of types of smiles you could share. Which one will you choose?

Whatever kind of smile you share today, here’s hoping yours sends ripples of warm, happy feelings through the sea of people you count among your friends.

Have a great National Smile Week! Oh, and maybe send a thank you note to your dentist. Just saying…

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