It is mind-boggling how many different types of toothpaste are on the market. When you visit the websites for Boots or Superdrug, you will be presented with well over one hundred different alternatives, each of which promises something different, such as whitening, enamel restoration, deep cleansing, germ protection, tartar control, or sensitivity relief. How do you choose which option is most suited to your needs? To get to the bottom of this, we posed this question to three highly regarded dental health professionals who have a wealth of experience in the field of toothpaste and asked them to evaluate the ingredients that are typically found in toothpastes that target sensitivity, whitening, and enamel repair to determine whether or not they are worth the money. They looked at information that was supplied by the makers as well as research that was conducted on a larger scale in clinical settings to help you decide whether or not to pay a premium for certain types of toothpaste, such as those designed for those with sensitive teeth. While it’s true that certain assertions can be supported by evidence, it’s possible that others are more open to personal interpretation. Also, keep in mind that the inclusion of fluoride, an essential component that is included in even the most affordable brands of toothpaste, may be the basis for many of the claims that are made. Do you want to spend your money on a good electric toothbrush? Start by reading some of our reviews of electric toothbrushes.

The significance of fluoride in human health

According to those knowledgeable in the field, brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste is still the single most effective measure you can do to preserve your dental health. If you brush your teeth for approximately two minutes, fluoride will penetrate the enamel’s surface and reach areas that brushing cannot, remineralizing the tooth surface and making it more resistant to attack by sugar-loving bacteria. If you want to get the most out of it, when you’re done brushing your teeth, spit, but don’t rinse your mouth with water. The research evaluation that is considered to be the gold standard, known as Cochrane, discovered that the usage of fluoride in toothpaste led to a reduction in the amount of dental decay. The higher the concentration, the greater the amount of degradation that is stopped.

What characteristics to search for while purchasing toothpaste

Determine how much fluoride is in the water. Check the fluoride concentration in parts per million (ppmF). A concentration of less than 1,000 ppmF is considered to be poor and provides either limited or no protection against degradation. The common concentration of 1,450ppmF found in toothpaste sold over-the-counter in the UK is highly recommended by our in-house specialists. On the other hand, infant and toddler foods could have lower levels. Consider what it is that you require. Fluoride alone is sufficient for the majority of individuals, particularly those who take good care of their oral hygiene routines. See our guide to ingredients (below) if you have specific concerns about things like whitening, sensitivity, or enamel wear. This can help you understand the claims made about a particular toothpaste and whether or not the data supports them. Check the size of the pack. When compared with other brands’ toothpastes, a toothpaste that appears to be inexpensive may actually be quite expensive when the price per 100 ml is included in.

Whitening toothpastes are available.

When it comes to the question of whether or not they actually live up to their claims, whitening toothpaste is in more precarious terrain. There are two different kinds of discoloration that contribute to the overall “yellowness” of your teeth: Internal discoloration of the teeth is called intrinsic staining, and it can be brought on by physical trauma, specific medical treatments, or excessive fluoride consumption throughout childhood (but this is rare in the UK). The enamel on our teeth wears away with age, causing a yellowing of the teeth. Bleaching with professional materials that are delivered by a dentist is the only method that can eliminate intrinsic stains from teeth (using hydrogen peroxide). Tobacco usage, coffee, tea, and red wine consumption are the most common activities that result in extrinsic staining. Brushing using whitening toothpaste, which has chemicals to help remove stains but won’t change the underlying colour of your teeth, is quite effective in removing the discoloration from your teeth. Therefore, as long as you don’t have expectations that a whitening toothpaste will change the underlying colour of your tooth enamel, there may be value in purchasing a toothpaste which makes whitening claims because it could contain stain-removing ingredients that a regular paste won’t have. However, this is only true if you don’t have expectations that a whitening toothpaste will change the colour of your tooth enamel. The following is an overview of the research that supports the use of common chemicals found in whitening toothpastes:

Hydrogen peroxide Because the maximum allowed concentration in a toothpaste in the United Kingdom is 0.1%, and the maximum allowed concentration in a professional whitening treatment is 6%, it is highly doubtful that any toothpaste that contains this will have much of an effect on the underlying enamel colour. Brightening agents for optics The use of a film that coats the teeth in order to give an optical whitening effect is yet another way for whitening the teeth. Blue covarine is a common component used in optical brightening agents. There is a possibility that these will have an immediate effect; but, because saliva quickly washes away most paste, this effect will not remain. Sodium bicarbonate Sodium bicarbonate is an efficient cleaner that also has a light scrubbing effect on stains. Additionally, it is capable of inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. It is a popular ingredient in “natural” toothpastes; for instance, Arm & Hammer utilises it in all of their products across the board. Charcoal Despite the Oral Health Foundation and our own specialists agreed that there is not enough data to substantiate claims around the whitening impact of charcoal toothpaste, its popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. Charcoal whitening toothpaste contains activated charcoal. In certain formulations with a higher concentration of charcoal, the substance can be excessively abrasive, which, over time, can erode away at tooth enamel.

In addition to this, there are some charcoal toothpastes that do not contain fluoride, which is not something that the specialists in our company would recommend.