What To Know About The Different Types Of Toothpastes

Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed when shopping for toothpaste at the store? If so, it may be worth asking your family dentist during your next checkup about what they think is best. While many of them have the same ingredients, you may be wondering what the differences are between them all. Here is what you need to know about your different options and ingredients for toothpaste.


When you look at the back of a package of toothpaste in the store, you are likely going to see a big panel with all of the drug facts on the box. One of the things that you want to look at is the active ingredient, which is going to be some sort of fluoride. The purpose of fluoride is to prevent cavities, but there are actually different types of fluoride.

Sodium fluoride and sodium monofluorophosphate are the standard fluorides that you'll see mentioned. They're pretty similar to each other, and they are going to get the job done by protecting your teeth from cavities. However, stannous fluoride is a little bit different since it provides some additional benefits to your oral health. Stannous fluoride is known to help your teeth with sensitivity issues, prevent issues with acid erosion, and even help with treating gingivitis. 

Potassium Nitrate

If you see potassium nitrate as an active ingredient, know that it is going to help with teeth sensitivity. Thankfully, you won't have to check the back of every box, because most of these toothpastes advertise on the front that they help with sensitive teeth. The ingredient works by actually blocking the signals that go to your brain when you experience that tooth sensitivity. You may want to brush with a potassium nitrate toothpaste if you experience temperature sensitivity issues, which makes brushing your teeth a task that you do not look forward to doing. 


Abrasiveness is not something that is indicated by an active ingredient on the toothpaste package. However, there are still ways to tell if a toothpaste will be abrasive. Whitening toothpastes tend to be more abrasive because they scrub the stains off the tooth surface. It doesn't actually treat stains inside the tooth like whitening treatments can. You may want to stay away from a whitening toothpaste if the discoloration is not due to buildup on the surface of the tooth. 

Reach out to your family dentist if you have more questions about the toothpaste you use at home.