The toothpaste has always been essential for proper dental hygiene and provide fluoride to teeth and to remove bacteria that cause dental plaque and bad breath. The ingredients that make up toothpaste help eliminate food debris and the accumulation of dental plaque, preventing the formation of dental cavities and, in a longer term, periodontal disease.
Until recently, toothpastes were very basic and their main objective was to provide fluoride , prevent cavities and keep our teeth in good condition in general. But today there are different types of toothpastes that help combat various dental problems, from the simplest for proper dental cleaning to those indicated for people with gingivitis or periodontitis. There are also more and more different brands, flavors and textures. But depending on its composition, it can have a therapeutic or preventive function.
The question is to know what type of pasta to use and when among so many variety. Below we explain the different types that there are and the problem or situation for which they are indicated:
- Anti-tartar paste: this type helps prevent and delay the build-up of tartar, but cannot remove plaque once it has hardened. Only a professional oral cleaning can remove it. Its most common active ingredients are Pyrophosphate or Zinc Citrate.
- Whitening paste: this type of paste helps remove stains from your teeth and keep them white. But they do not whiten teeth, properly, instead they use abrasive or chemical materials to remove fresh surface stains. The problem is that these materials can contribute to wearing down tooth enamel, so a good solution is to undergo professional teeth whitening.
- Anti-caries paste: in this type of toothpaste the main thing is that they contain fluoride to a certain extent to strengthen the teeth, remineralize them and guarantee effective protection against cavities. In toothpastes for children the fluoride content should be lower.
- Desensitizing paste: This type of paste helps create a barrier that blocks the elements that cause tooth sensitivity, preventing them from reaching the nerve. Tooth sensitivity usually occurs due to tooth enamel deterioration or root exposure due to receding gums, exposing the dentin, so that teeth can react painfully to changes in temperature and the presence of sugars. For the use of this type of paste, it is advisable to consult the dentist about the type of sensitivity you have. Its most common ingredients are Potassium Nitrate or Arginine.
- Anti-plaque paste: this type of paste inhibits the accumulation of bacterial plaque and reduces the toxic effects of the bacterial toxin that surrounds dental tissue, reducing the appearance of cavities and the risk of periodontal diseases.
- Protective gum paste: This type of paste is used in the presence of gingivitis or periodontitis (inflammation and bleeding of the gums), due to its anti-inflammatory and bactericidal action. Among the components of this type of pastes are triclosan, a substance known for its antiseptic activity, chlorhexidine and hexitidine.
- Children’s pastes: for children the same pastes should not be used as for adults, since children’s must have a low fluoride content. They come in different flavors and are designed to suit the specific needs of young children. They should use this type of paste until twelve years of age.
The best way to decide what type of paste is the most advisable for you is to speak with your dentist, since not all pastes are equally suitable for all people.