What do I need to know about toothpaste?
The first thing to know is to buy toothpaste that displays the ADA seal of acceptance. This means the American Dental Association has cleared the product both for safety and effectiveness. You want to make sure the toothpaste has fluoride, which remains the number one anti-cavity ingredient for both children and adults. Approved toothpaste will also contain a mild abrasive to help remove plaque.
Some toothpaste is labeled for tartar control, which can help prevent tartar from forming above the gum line. Look on the label for triclosan, which can help combat gingivitis, which is the early stage of gum disease. If your gums have already receded a bit, you might look for toothpaste that contains a desensitizing ingredient, namely potassium nitrate, that will reduce any pain you might feel when your teeth are exposed to hot or cold food or liquid.
Approved toothpaste might also include a whitening agent.
Talk to your dentist about choosing the toothpaste that's right for your needs.