Comparing toothpaste… what’s real, what’s bogus

| May 28, 2009

There are really 2 criteria to consider when choosing a toothpaste, is it effective clinically and what is the aesthetic appeal.

Clincal effectiveness basically means…. does it have fluoride.  Most dental types agree that if it has fluoride then it a toothpaste you should be using.  How often you brush and your attention to detail while brushing matters much more than what you squeeze on your brush…. Sorry big toothpaste manufacturing types.

So of the different types of toothpaste claims, what’s real and what is bogus?

Tartar Control: this is for real.  Has an ingredient that keeps tartar from forming on your teeth.  This toothpaste can’t remove the tartar(only a trip to your dentist can do that) but it can help keep tartar from forming on your teeth.

Toothpaste for Sensitive teeth: sort of real, depending on why your teeth are sensitive.  If it’s because you have some gum issues it can work.  If your teeth are sensitive because you have been avoiding the dentist and have some issues like cavities, tooth grinding, or need a root canal, it won’t help you.  Suck it up and go see a dentist, get the situation taken care of and choose a toothpaste for taste.

Whitening toothpaste:  Totally bogus and a waste of money for the $8 whitening toothpastes…. accept most toothpastes on the drugstore say they are whitening toothpastes so it’s kind of hard to avoid getting one.  Whitening toothpastes remove surface stains…. but then so do all toothpastes.  Whitening toothpastes don’t whitening the teeth because in order to whiten teeth the whitening agent (in this case the toothpaste) has to stay in contact with the teeth for more than 2 minutes to do the whitening job.

Triclosan: For Real.  Triclosan clings to your teeth after you brush and continues to kill the bacteria.  Colgate Total has triclosan in it.

So there are some of the clinical reasons and the other reasons to buy a toothpaste come down to

  • Taste, do you like the taste.  This is typically how I purchase toothpaste.
  • Consistency, gel or paste
  • Texture, some whitening formulas are gritty
  • Packaging, ease of squeeze and general messiness.  Toothpaste overflow seems to attract hair in my bathroom…. eeew!

So what toothpaste does the staff at Grandview Dental Care use?

Dr. T: Ultrabrite, old school

Becky: Crest Whitening Plus Scope Extreme Mint Explosion(because of the taste…. not the whitening)

Kay: Colgate Total

Beth: Crest Pro-Health

Misty: Sensodyne