With so many toothpastes options,how do you choose?

Patients often ask me which is the best toothpaste, the fluoride free toothpaste, if this or that ingredient is toxic or dangerous to our health. I am happy to share my opinion on the best toothpaste, and certainly fluoride free toothpaste is a must..

To start things off let’s discuss fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Fluoride is a substance present in many toothpastes. It is proven to reduce tooth decay but is also a toxic substance, which if swallowed in large quantities, fluoride can cause serious health complications including death.

Sodium lauryl sulfate is a chemical used to increase the foaming properties of toothpaste. Some studies have shown that the prolonged exposure to SLS may contribute to the formation of canker sores, allergies and other sensitivities. The link between SLS and these symptoms is not concrete but there is some indication of a cause and effect relationship.

The decision to include or eliminate fluoride or SLS from the family toothpaste can only be made on an individual basis. There are strong cases both for and against the use of fluoride. SLS is present in many other personal care items, including shampoo and soap. The ever-growing popularity of “all-natural” products has increased focus on the chemicals present in daily use items, such as toothpaste. As always, the safety and health of the family is paramount.

Now, moving on to more light hearted topics….like bubble gum vs. vanilla mint!

Toothpastes are available in almost any flavor imaginable. The key here is to choose the one that is most appealing in hopes of increasing the chances that it will actually get used.

If you are plagued by specific dental conditions, such as persistent tartar development or tooth sensitivity choose a toothpaste that is specifically geared towards mitigating your woes. If not, choose a whitening toothpaste and after a few weeks of use you will be enjoying a brighter smile without having to change your routine.

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