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Brushing your Teeth: The Toothpaste Guide

Toothpaste is a very competitive industry. Think about how many brands you see on a typical toothpaste shelf in a typical store, and how many different formulations each brand offers. So how do you know which is for you? Here’s a breakdown:

Brand
We have preferences, but they shouldn’t impact yours. All you need to know is that any brand you choose has been certified by Health Canada as being able to do what it says it can do.

The only time we’d recommend a brand is if your dentist specifically recommends one to you. This is sometimes the case for patients with sensitive teeth or gum disease.

Toothpaste vs Toothpaste Gel
Both do the job equally well. As with brand, it comes down to personal preference. Like the feel of the graininess between your teeth? Go with paste. Prefer a fresher, smoother taste? You’re a gel person. If you haven’t tried both at least once, you should.

Fluoride: the most important ingredient
Fluoride is what gives toothpaste its long-term benefit. The chemical strengthens tooth enamel, while at the same time repairs early decay by promoting remineralization on the tooth. Some toothpaste does not contain fluoride, and our recommendation would be to stay away from them.

HOWEVER: You should use fluoride-free toothpaste for kids under two, as they may swallow the toothpaste which is not a good thing. Talk to your dentist about when to introduce fluoride to your child

Toothpaste options for sensitive teeth
If brushing causes discomfort, the answer isn’t to stop brushing — it’s to improve the symptoms so that you can continue brushing. These options do it primarily with potassium nitrate to block the pathways from the tooth to the tooth nerve. You won’t notice a difference at first, but you will in no time.

And don’t worry about potassium nitrate interfering with the toothpaste’s ability to clean your teeth.

Whatever you choose, use it regularly
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the best way to maintain a healthy smile is to brush twice a day (and visit us at least twice a year). Keep that up and your teeth should last a lifetime.