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Truth About Toothpaste
There are literally hundreds of dental products on the market promising to brighten your smile, freshen your breath, and kill cavities. It’s confusing to say the least. That’s why we scoured the web and gathered data from Yahoo to WebMD to help you choose wisely. Here is the inside track on everything from the best ingredients to look for, whether gel or paste work best, and more.
No matter what your individual needs are (i.e., tartar control, whitening, breath-freshening and so on), dental hygienists agree that fluoride is a must. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice daily can reduce tooth decay by as much as 40 percent.
Does it Have the Seal of Approval?
We all want to save $$$ but a generic brand of toothpaste may actually be ineffective and potentially harmful. “You should always look for the ADA Seal when choosing a toothpaste,” says Clifford Whall, PhD, director of the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance Program. “Only those products have the scientific data to back up their claims and have been proven to meet our criteria for safety and effectiveness.” With 50-plus approved toothpastes on shelves, it’s easy to find a tube that’s right for you and your budget.
Whitening Toothpastes Really Work!
Whitening toothpastes—like all toothpastes—contain mild abrasives to help remove surface stains on your teeth. However these products don’t contain bleach, making it impossible for them to brighten your smile as dramatically as professional whitening treatments.
Don’t rely on tv commercials to steer you straight on portion size. A brush full of toothpaste won’t clean your pearly whites any better than half that amount. All you need is a pea-size amount of toothpaste to get the job done effectively. Plus you will extend the life of your tube.
Lastly, you need to brush correctly. For example, position the brush at a 45 degree angle so that you get some of the bristles in between the tooth and the gums. Move the brush in small circles in those areas, and then continue on to the rest of the teeth. This process should take about one to two minutes to complete. Some say it should take as long as it does to sing happy birthday.