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Brushing your teeth is a critical part of your oral hygiene routine so when it comes to choosing a toothpaste, you should always keep your oral needs in mind. But with so many different products on shelves, how can you determine which kind is right for you? Let’s take a look and see what factors you should take into consideration when choosing a toothpaste that will help you achieve a healthier, brighter, and whiter smile.

Toothpaste: What It Is and What’s In It
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), toothpastes are gels, powders, or pastes that help remove plaque, a film of bacteria and sugars that forms on the teeth and gums each day. When used in conjunction with a toothbrush, toothpaste helps to reduce tartar formation, prevent cavities and gum diseases, and improve overall dental health.

All ADA-approved toothpastes contain fluoride, an active ingredient that help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent decay. When brushing, the fluoride is applied to the surface of teeth helping to rebuild weakened enamel and protect it from future harm.

So, How Do You Choose?
There are few key items to keep in mind when searching for the perfect toothpaste match:

  1. Spot the Seal – First and foremost, regardless of brand, always look for a toothpaste that contains the American Dental Association Seal of Approval. This seal ensures that the product was scientifically evaluated and successfully met the ADA’s stringent requirements to be safe and effective.
  2. Administer the Taste Test – Selecting an ADA-approved toothpaste really can be as easy as finding what passes your personal taste test. Flavoring agents are used simply for improved taste and do not contain any sugars or other ingredients that can promote tooth decay or other harmful oral conditions.
  3. Keep Your Needs in Mind – If you have specific dental problems, seek a toothpaste with ingredients that will help combat your issues. For instance, if you avoid drinking hot or cold beverages or eating sticky and acidic foods due to tooth sensitivity, look for a toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate to help reduce any pain or discomfort consuming these may cause. Surface stains on teeth can also hinder you from achieving a bright and white smile, so look for one that contains chemical or abrasive ingredients such as calcium carbonate to help remove and prevent stains from forming on teeth.

If you’re still having trouble finding the right toothpaste or you’re not getting the results you want, take time to talk to your dentist. Dental professionals have access to proprietary types of whitening gels, sensitivity pastes—and most importantly—a tremendous amount of insight to help you achieve optimal oral health.

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