What You Should Look For When Buying Your Toothpaste

With so many options of toothpaste on store shelves, it can feel overwhelming to pick the best one for your family's needs. Many times, people make an impulsive decision if they feel overwhelmed. 

If you aren't sure where to begin, you'll want to make sure the toothpaste has a "Seal of Acceptance" from the American Dental Association (ADA). If you see this seal on a toothpaste, it means it's safe to use and effective. It has been evaluated by the ADA's review board, which consists of scientific experts. Toothpastes without the seal have not been tested for safety or efficacy by the ADA's review board, and shouldn't be your first option.

Once you check for the ADA seal, ensure your toothpaste contains fluoride, an essential mineral that aids in plaque removal and tooth decay prevention. Fluoride can strengthen your tooth enamel, which can be damaged by stomach acid when you eat. All ADA-accepted toothpastes are required to contain fluoride — once you check for the seal, you don't have to look for fluoride.

Look at your toothpaste's ingredients

Many of us don't look at the ingredients list on products like toothpaste because we typically don't recognize some — or any — of the names. However, some ingredients in toothpaste are worth learning, such as sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride, potassium nitrate, and strontium chloride. The ingredients sound intimidating, but what they do is quite simple. Potassium nitrate and strontium chloride are 2 different additives aimed to reduce the sensitivity of teeth.

While you know fluoride is an important ingredient in toothpaste, there are actually 2 common types of fluorides on the market. Sodium fluoride and stannous fluoride are both found in toothpastes on the market and essentially serve the same purpose, but one is more effective than the other. Stannous fluoride is better for overall protection from gingivitis, bad breath, tooth decay, and cavity prevention. Sodium fluoride can strengthen your enamel and fight off cavities, but you'll need more help when it comes to tooth decay prevention. Despite their differences, it's important to keep in mind toothpastes containing fluoride, no matter the kind, aid in restoring tooth enamel and promote overall oral health.