Picking your Paste

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You go to the store, walk down the aisle and there before you are a seemingly endless array of choices, sending your mind reeling when all you want to do is buy some toothpaste and get back to your day. In the modern era, there are sometimes inconveniences where we expect convenience. The sheer quantity of options can be overwhelming, but there are some ways to simplify the process of choosing your toothpaste. When it comes down to it, the best method for deciding has less to do with the brand name and more to do with what’s inside the toothpaste. Next time you’re in for a Tulsa teeth cleaning, ask the dentist what they look for in their toothpaste.

Not all toothpaste is created equal, and it has far more to do with what’s put into it than who made it. As a rule, you should focus on products that have the ADA seal on them, which lets you know the merchandise meets the standards of the American Dental Association. And remember, just because you’re good about brushing your teeth twice a day doesn’t mean you don’t need to come in twice a year for your Tulsa teeth cleaning.

Active Ingredients

Fluoride: Decreases the breakdown of enamel caused by acids and facilitates the re-mineralization of your teeth.

Stannous Fluoride: Helps in the same way as other fluorides but also works to decrease tooth sensitivity.

Sodium Fluoride: Decreases the breakdown of enamel caused by acids and facilitates the re-mineralization of the teeth.

Sodium Monofluorophosphate: Just like Stannous Fluoride it helps in the same way as other fluorides but also works to decrease tooth sensitivity.

Potassium Nitrate: Is used to treat and reduce tooth sensitivity by decreasing the receptivity of nerves.

Pyrophosphates: Used to prevent tartar buildup on the teeth by removing calcium and magnesium from your saliva before they can reach your teeth. Often used in dental rinses to assist with plaque control.

Zinc Citrate: Reduces the amount of viable, live bacteria in your mouth and helps to prevent plaque build-up.


Calcium Carbonate: Used as a mild abrasive ingredient in toothpaste, which means that it’s there so that when you brush, the paste does a better job of dislodging bacteria and particulates from your teeth. Other ingredients that are used for the same purpose in place of Calcium Carbonate include magnesium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxides, and silicates.

Glycerol: Used primarily for its ability to maintain high levels of moisture, keeping your toothpaste from drying out and aiding your saliva. Other commonly used moisturizing substances in toothpaste include propylene glycol and sorbitol.

The Takeaway

If you’ve read through that list, you might be wondering if you absolutely have to get a brand of toothpaste that has all of these ingredients. The answer is a definitive no, you do not. Many of these ingredients are analogs of each other and are used interchangeably. Some of this has to do with the nature of patents and commercial competition, while some of it has to do with the nuanced specialization of each toothpaste. If you’re left with questions, then don’t hesitate to ask the dentist during your next Tulsa teeth cleaning.

What’s useful here is that you now have a list pointing out the basics of why each ingredient is in that tube of toothpaste that you’re holding. If you don’t have any particular needs or preferences, then any toothpaste that has the ADA seal should do fine for you. If, however, you do have something specific in mind for your toothpaste, then you can compare these ingredients and their purposes to the list of active ingredients on the back of that toothpaste and find the one that fits your requirements.

Whatever product you decide on, don’t forget to schedule a Tulsa teeth cleaning appointment!