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Choosing the Right Toothpaste

Toothbrush and ToothpasteOverwhelmed by your choices? Here’s how to choose the right toothpaste for you.

While your toothbrush does most of the plaque removal, abrasive agents in toothpaste will scour food particles and plaque from your teeth.

Fluoride is the best-known ingredient, added to make the outer tooth structure more decay-resistant. Fluorides work best when teamed with surfactants (detergents), which help in remineralization.

Lauryl sulfates, the most common surfactants, can dissolve plaque and fight bacteria. They also provide a foam that helps to carry away debris.

Tetrasodium pyrophosphate (TSPP) removes calcium and magnesium from the saliva so they can’t form tartar on your teeth. Choose toothpaste with TSPP if you’re prone to tartar buildup despite diligent brushing and flossing.

Some toothpastes contain potassium nitrate to build protection against the pain of sensitive teeth. But don’t fight the hurt with toothpaste alone—if your teeth are causing you pain, let us know.

Baking soda adds foam and scouring ability and can fight acid-loving bacteria. Peroxide toothpastes not only lighten the teeth but also kill germs.

Finally, sweeteners and flavorings are added to mask the taste so that you’ll use it. Still not sure? Ask us for a recommendation.

Benefits of Brushing with Toothpaste

  • Breaks up and removes harmful plaque
  • Strengthens teeth and promotes remineralization
  • Polishes teeth to remove stains over time
  • Freshens breath

About Brent T. Ingram, DDS

San Jose dentist Dr. Brent Ingram received his doctorate of general dentistry from The University of the Pacific School of Dentistry and his B.S. in Accounting at Pepperdine University. However, the study never stops when you’re a dentist. Since taking over the practice at Complete Dental Care over 10 years ago, Dr. Ingram has gained certification in Invisalign®, 6 Month Smiles® as well as the latest methods of Endodontics, Laser surgery and Cosmetic Dentistry. Born and raised in Los Altos, California. Dr. Ingram currently lives in Santa Clara, with his wife Amy, son Rafe and new daughter Rhys Lillian, (who has no teeth but she’s trying!). Besides family time, he also enjoys golfing, skiing, traveling, theatre and watching his favorite basketball team, The Golden State Warriors.

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