toothpaste and a toothbrush

Tips for Buying Toothpaste and a Toothbrush

After a cleaning at a dentist's office, patients often take whatever free toothbrush and toothpaste they're given.

It's easy to assume that if the dentist's office provided these supplies that they're automatically good for your teeth. But how do you really know? And should you then only purchase those exact brands or that type of toothbrush when buying oral supplies in retail stores? Below are tips for finding the correct toothpaste and toothbrush for your needs.

Comfort and Your Toothbrush

Everyone's mouth is different, and that includes everything from gaps to the size of teeth. Make sure that the toothbrush you buy comfortably fits into your mouth for easy brushing on top of teeth, between teeth, and the tongue.

Brand Reputation of Your Toothbrush

Sometimes a store brand product will do the job just like any other name brand, but in the case of toothbrushes, pick one that has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Toothbrush brands make this approval very obvious on the outside packaging. Don't be fooled by toothbrush brands that rely on price comparisons or look similar to a more expensive toothbrush. The ADA pays attention to everything from the number of bristles to how hard the bristles are on tooth enamel.

Comparing Electric and Manual Toothbrushes

Having a toothbrush that does the work for you doesn't necessarily mean you're incapable of keeping your teeth equally clean with a manual toothbrush. Rotation oscillation toothbrushes that move in a circular and back-and-forth motion work well, but as long as you're able to brush your own teeth in a circular motion and sideways, don't feel pressured to invest in a bulk supply of batteries and refills. However, if you're finding that your dental visits are getting more expensive due to ineffective cleaning, an electric toothbrush is a good investment.

Finding Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is included in toothpaste to make tooth enamel stronger and avoid decay. The downside of tooth enamel is once it's gone, it's gone for good. But by using toothpaste with fluoride two times per day, this cleans off plaque that develops on teeth and gums. The easiest way to find fluoride toothpaste is to look for a brand that is approved by ADA.

Dangers of Repetitive Whitening

Who doesn't want whiter teeth? While it may be more attractive, for people with really sensitive teeth or weak enamel, the ingredients used in teeth whiteners can eat away at the gums, causing decay. There's no point in getting your teeth whitened only to result in making them brown. Talk to a dental professional before using an at-home teeth whitener package.

While the whiteners can't permanently change the natural color of teeth, blue covarine (a chemical in whiteners) can be used on the surface of teeth to make them look lighter. However, follow directions exactly as stated on teeth whitening boxes or toothpaste whitener boxes. If at any point the toothpaste feels cold (imagine clenching ice between your teeth) or uncomfortable, stop using that product immediately.

Last Updated: October 17, 2016