Do ‘Targeted’ Toothpastes Really Work?

Our Cheshunt team look at this growing industry.

Even the most casual observer can’t help but have noticed that specific toothpaste advertising on TV is on the increase.

Even major supermarkets now stock some of the more ‘niche’ ones such as those based on activated charcoal. This is all well and good for the manufacturers, but what effect, if any, do these toothpastes actually have, and can they do what they claim?

As dentists, we always tell our patients that they should clean their teeth twice daily (plus floss too of course). The question is, does it matter what type of toothpaste you use? Our Cheshunt and Waltham Cross dental practice team attempt to answer this question.

Teeth whitening toothpastes

For probably obvious reasons, this is one of the more popular ‘specialised’ toothpastes. Almost everyone wants to have a nice looking smile, and if that can be achieved through simply changing toothpastes, then why not? The truth is a little different though, and although some of these pastes may contain additional abrasives to remove some surface staining, they will make very little difference to any internal discolouration, something very common in adults. You should also be cautious about using toothpastes with additional abrasives in them as they may cause erosion of the enamel layer on the teeth, particularly if you brush too vigorously.

Gum disease toothpastes

Anything that reduces the risk of gum disease has to be a good thing, and this type of toothpaste can actually help. They often contain ingredients that help to kill the bacteria that can lead to gum disease. In addition, they also sometimes contain sodium bicarbonate which helps to break down hardened tartar. If you use these toothpastes and also see the hygienist at The Lodge Dental Suite on a regular basis, you should be able to keep your gums in good health.

Activated charcoal toothpastes

Perhaps THE trendy toothpaste. It is claimed that the activated charcoal in these toothpastes both helps to remove ‘toxins’ and also whitens the teeth. The jury is still out about toxin removal but the charcoal used is potentially very abrasive and could cause serious harm to the enamel of your teeth if used too often. Our advice would be to avoid this type of toothpaste, rather than take the risk.

Natural Toothpastes

With veganism and other food trends becoming more common, it probably isn’t a surprise that many people are looking for natural alternatives to their household products. Whilst there is no reason that a natural toothpaste shouldn’t work, we do recommend that you make sure that it contains fluoride, as many may not. Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel of our teeth and eliminating this is likely to lead to more instances of tooth decay.

However well you brush and floss your teeth, and whatever type of toothpaste you choose to use, a visit to our Cheshunt practice every six months or so is essential to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you need to make an appointment to see the dentist or hygienist at The Lodge Dental Suite, you can call us on 01992 643388. Our friendly team awaits your call!