The Tooth Corner Dental Offices in Ontario Canada

Toothpaste: Find out which one is right for you.

Choosing the right toothpaste can be a daunting task.  With so many flavours and brands to choose from, it’s hard to know which ones are the most effective and which ones you actually need. There are toothpastes for whitening, sensitive teeth, strengthening the enamel and tartar control. Before you decide what toothpaste to purchase with your hard earned money, read the following important ingredients that your purchase should contain.

  • Abrasive agents like calcium carbonate and silica gels to scrub bacteria, food, and stains from the surface of your teeth and gums.
  • Detergents or foaming agents like sodium lauryl sulfate to produce suds assisting the abrasive agents (mentioned above) in the cleaning process.
  • Humectants like glycerol to retain moisture.
  • Thickeners like various gums and seaweed molecules to thicken the paste and give it a distinctive texture.
  • Flavouring to make toothpaste better to taste.


Now that you have an understanding of the ingredients that are important, the following are the 5 main types of toothpaste that you will need.  Understanding the purpose of each will help you get the results you need:


The single most important ingredient in a toothpaste is fluoride which helps prevents decay by strengthening your tooth enamel. Though most types of toothpaste contain some amount of fluoride, some people having a history of cavities usually require an additional amount to protect their teeth in a proper way. Fluoride helps prevent early cavities from growing and strengthens teeth to help reduce acid erosion. Fluoridated toothpastes are not recommended for children under the age of 6 as they cannot reliably spit out the toothpaste and swallowing a lot of fluoride is not recommended.  Ingesting extra fluoride while at a young age may cause discolouration of the teeth.


These can help to remove stains from your teeth. Your teeth will achieve a whiter shade with the help from agents like hydrogen peroxide, which is present in whitening toothpaste. Abrasive particles present in the toothpaste lift stains by polishing the surface of your teeth.  These toothpastes are milder than professionally applied whitening gels and can be rougher on the teeth than regular toothpaste.  So make sure you keep that in mind if you have a lot of teeth restorations or any exposed roots.  Baking soda can also be used to help remove stains, but be gentle.


The accumulation of plaque is a common case for many people. If plaque is not removed within a short timeframe after buildup, it may eventually harden to form tartar which will harbour bacteria and can contribute to periodontal disease.  Many tartar control toothpastes contain an antibiotic called triclosan which helps prevent rapid production of bacteria. These types of toothpaste also have zinc citrate and different forms of pyrophosphates that work together to control plaque accumulation. If you have a clinical history of plaque and tartar issues, tartar control toothpaste can be helpful to keep tartar from forming in the first place.


If you experience tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking, a toothpaste for that exact issue may be ideal to help relieve and/or reduce the sensitivity of your teeth. This type of toothpaste contains less abrasive ingredients to that allow it to help cut down on sensitivity.  The key ingredient in sensitivity toothpastes acts as a physical block that remains on your teeth to fill the tubules that contain the nerve endings that contribute to sensitivity.  These sensitivity toothpastes work best when used regularly as the relief from this type of paste is felt most right after the application of the paste.


These are the easiest to shop for as they come in a variety of flavours that children actually love. These types of toothpaste are made with milder ingredients; they contain less abrasive agents and low/no fluoride for safety if the paste is swallowed or eaten.



Dr Hassan El Awour


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