by Dr. Lydia Sosenko of Sherman Oaks Dental of Naperville
This question ranks as one of the top 3 questions in the national questionnaire discussed on my last blog. Are all those commercials discussing “most recommended by dentists….” truly a reality? Well, I often chuckle when I come across commercials advertising toothpastes and rinses, because I often wonder who do they really ask? I personally have not put in my vote. At the end of our blog we’ll share with you my personal favorite as well as some of our team members’ votes.
Looking from a standpoint as a consumer and a dentist I would agree that the following factors need to be thought of when picking the best toothpaste: good taste, pleasant texture, good thickness-not too runny or too thick, pleasant clean sensation after use and a good protecting factor from cavities and plaque.
Many individuals don’t realize that some toothpastes have all of these factors but can cause increased sensitivity of the teeth, increased chance of canker sores or other gum irritations, and an increase in wear of teeth!
So let’s get to the answer of the question, which toothpaste really is the best? Well, you might not like the answer but there really isn’t any one particular fluoridated toothpaste that is best for everyone. As a dentist I don’t find much value to any of the ‘added whitening and tartar control factors’. If you are brushing correctly-(–which is far more crucial in preventing dental problems), tartar control additives are not needed, and no dentists that I know throw a lot of value on the whitening additives. There simply is no replacement for professional or localized whitening treatments.
An important factor that most consumers are not aware of is that different toothpastes have different levels of abrasiveness or what we call relative dentin abrasivity. Although increased abrasiveness can be tougher on surface stains caused by tea or smoking, it has minimal or no affect on staining ‘within’ teeth or naturally discolored teeth. This increase in abrasiveness can cause an increase in sensitivity especially if even the smallest amount of gum recession is evident by stripping the outer layer of these exposed areas.
So here are the questions I or our hygienists would ask before giving you your best toothpaste pick:
- Are you brushing and flossing correctly?
- Are you using a manual or electric toothbrush? (More on this on an upcoming blog…)
- Do you have any gum recession areas?
- Do you have any sensitive teeth?
- Do you smoke or have external stains or your teeth?
To decide which toothpaste is best for you, discuss the answers of these questions with your dental care provider. As for us, here are some of our toothpaste favorites at Sherman Oaks Dental:
Dr.Sosenko-“ Colgate Cavity Protection (the original type of pastes or gels without all the extras) – . I have 1 small area of gum recession that gets sensitive with some of the more abrasive toothpastes and it has a lower level of abrasivity. Love the taste…”
Dr. Weyneth – “Crest products without the tartar control and whitening additives….like the taste and don’t believe in the value of the additives…”
Mary Ellen (Clinical Director)– Colgate Cavity Protection –“ love the taste and don’t need all the extras.”
Barb (Hygienist) – “Colgate Cavity Protection….others make my teeth sensitive or cause my gums to get irritated….”
Cathy- (Office Manager) –“Colgate Total –loves the taste and feels long lasting fresh feeling…”
Lisa (Clinical Assistant) –“Crest Pro-Health Night – like the feeling of the extra scrubbing power of this ‘gritty’ toothpaste..”
Rosa- (Patient Coordinator )”Crest Pro-Health–like the grittiness scrubbing power and clean feel…”
More of our team members’ votes will be posted on our next newsletter as well as a list of common toothpastes and their relative dentin abrasivity indexes which are rarely listed on toothpaste packaging.
Call our Naperville office today, 630 369-5225, and schedule your next gentle cleaning appointment and our general dental team will help you find out which tooth paste is best for you. Our family of patients come from Naperville, Wheaton, Aurora, Lisle, Warrenville, Plainfield and many more suburbs. Come visit us today or visit www.NapervilleDentistry.com for our special internet welcome offer.