The Tooth On: Toothpaste

December 19, 2023

The Tooth On: Toothpaste

Your common toothpaste and fluoride questions answered!

Our team often gets asked great questions about flossing, so we wanted to share them with you.

Does my child need sealants if our toothpaste has fluoride?

Yes. Sealants are placed to cover the deep fissures or pits in the teeth to stop food from affecting them. Fluoride is used to replace an ion in the tooth and make it less likely to dissolve from acid. Using a combination of sealants and fluoride toothpaste is more effective than just one or the other alone.

Should I use toothpaste when I brush?

Toothpaste is recommended, but a significant majority of bacterial removal happens from the toothbrush alone. However, toothpaste is a great way to make your breath smell great for your loved ones.

What’s the difference between tooth powder and toothpaste?

Tooth powder is like a dehydrated form of toothpaste. Tooth powder needs to be mixed with saliva to form a paste. My worry is that the amount of saliva is hard to regulate causing tooth powder to be too “gritty” and scratch your enamel, which is not good for your teeth

What toothpastes are best for sensitive teeth?

The active ingredients you should look for are potassium nitrate and/or fluoride. Technically speaking, these coagulate in the tubules on the tooth to reduce some forms of sensitivity. 

Is it a myth that some toothpaste can make teeth yellow?

No that is not a myth, but it is rare. For example, older formulations of stannous fluoride would stain teeth because of an enzyme that only a few people produce. The formulation of stannous fluoride was altered after companies realized that. 

My children take fluoride orally. Should I take it too?

No, when you take fluoride orally (systemically) you are affecting the development of the child’s permanent teeth. Fluoride helps your child’s adult teeth more resistant to acidic breakdown. Once you’re an adult your teeth are fully developed, so systemic fluoride will not affect the tooth. This is why it’s important to apply it topically with toothpaste or fluoride gel. 

We'd love to answer your questions in person! 

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