why is fluoride important when brushing your teeth

Dentists recommend using a toothpaste that at the very least has fluoride in it, as this is the main ingredient that prevents cavities. From there, dentists recommend picking toothpastes that have ingredients that fit the particular needs of your teeth. Maybe your teeth are very sensitive compared to other people, or perhaps you want to emphasize whitening your teeth. Whatever your goals and concerns are, you’ll want to pick the right toothpaste for the right job. In this article, we’ll go over the top toothpaste for each of these categories:

    • Sensitive – If you experience discomfort when brushing, look into this toothpaste.
    • Whitening – Pick this toothpaste if you have stained or yellow teeth and want a whiter color.
    • Natural – Made with natural ingredients like aloe leaf juice and echinacea extract.
    • General Purpose – This toothpaste is the standard and what most people will use.

    Before getting into the best toothpastes that dentists recommend, let’s briefly go over the rating system. Dentists selected the top toothpastes based on four main points:

Ability to Fight Cavities

Dentists first and foremost selected toothpastes based on whether or not they contained fluoride. As mentioned before, this is an absolute requirement in any toothpaste due to its ability to combat cavities and gum disease. Without this ingredient, you might as well not be brushing your teeth. Fluoride strengthens, remineralizes, and patches up the enamel on your teeth in order to effectively protect against bacteria.

Chemically Safe for Your Gums and Teeth

Although it might sound like a good idea to use toothpastes that wipe out any and all bacteria in your mouth, this could come at an unexpected price. Take Triclosan for instance. This is an ingredient used in toothpastes that is very effective at preventing gingivitis. However, in 2017 the FDA stopped allowing that same ingredient in antiseptic hand washes due to the risks of developing bacterial resistance and thyroid damage after extended use. Not only that, but destroying all bacteria in the mouth is problematic – some bacteria is good for us! In general, it’s important not to disrupt the gastrointestinal biome when dealing with germ-killing ingredients.

Meets the Requirements for ADA Acceptance

ADA Acceptance is a voluntary vetting process that toothpaste products can go through in order to get a stamp of approval from the American Dental Association. This vetting process makes sure that the product is not only safe for general use, but that it upholds its promises on the box. While ADA Acceptance isn’t as significant as it may sound – after all, every toothpaste must at least pass the FDA standards for safety and efficacy, it can be useful in a tiebreaker situation.

Consumer Experience

Finally dentists tested for plain old brushing experience. How does it feel when brushing with the toothpaste? Is the smell repugnant? Dentists tested for taste, feel, foam, and how clean their mouths felt shortly after use. In this rating category, they also noted how easily it was to dispense the toothpaste, a sometimes overlooked detail. With that in mind, here are the top toothpastes that dentists picked for each category:

Category Toothpaste Product
Best for General Use Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste
Best for Sensitive Teeth Sensodyne ProNamel Toothpaste
Best for Whitening Tom’s of Maine Simply White Natural Fluoride Toothpaste
Best for Natural Pick The Natural Dentist All In One SLS FREE Aloe Toothpaste