Which sugars harm your teeth?
Another question I get asked a lot by my patients is which toothpaste should they use. Here’s the second instalment of the oral hygiene series.
- The choice of toothpaste is not as important as how you use your toothbrush. The aim of cleaning is getting rid of bacteria film and getting the toothbrush in the right spot is more critical.
- Any toothpaste is good to use as long as it has fluoride because fluoride makes your teeth more resistant to acid and decaying process. A standard concentration of fluoride in an adult toothpaste is 1000 part per million (ppm).
- Adults with a lot of decay may benefit from high fluoride concentration toothpaste (5000ppm). An example of this product is Colgate Neutrafluor 5000ppm which is only available at the chemist/pharmacy.
- Adults with sensitive teeth may be recommended by dentists to use sensitive toothpaste. There are 2 types of these products, commonly known as Sensodyne and Colgate sensitive pro-relief. These products have different modes of action which will be discussed on the topic of tooth sensitivity later on. Don’t use these toothpastes without consulting your dentist first as there are many causes of tooth sensitivity that need to be treated differently.
- Children from the age of 18 months to 6 years old are recommended to use lower fluoride content toothpaste (400-550ppm) to minimise fluoride ingestion. Your dentist may choose to make a different recommendation based on many factors such as decay risk, fluoride concentration in the local water supply, etc. Kids under 18 months shouldn’t use toothpaste with fluoride at all.
May the floss be with you