A: There are many toothpastes for people with different dental needs. Sometimes it can difficult choosing the right one for you. The most important criteria is choosing an American Dental Association approved toothpaste. Three of the most popular are:
• Sensitivity toothpaste. These are recommended for those who experience hot/cold sensitivity or have diagnosed areas of recession from their dentist. These often have a desensitizing agent (potassium nitrate) that helps calm the tooth structure. You can find these toothpastes over the counter or from your dental provider.
• Whitening toothpaste. The whitening toothpastes have become popular and do have their benefits. But often these can mislead patients to believe their teeth will completely whiten. The whitening toothpastes work because of the abrasive agent in the polish that removes extrinsic stains caused by coffee, tea, red wines or dark soft drinks. By no means are they dangerous or bad products, but are limited to only removing surface stains.
• Your normal, everyday toothpaste. This is the most popular toothpaste on the market. These are for people who are not experiencing sensitivity and not looking for a whitening agent.
Information provided by Grove & Platt Dental Associates, PLC, 1541 S. Third St., Suite 300, 986-4001 and CAESY Education Systems.