A Quick Guide To Toothpaste

Choosing the right toothpaste for you and your family can be an overwhelming adventure.

At Liberty Family Dentistry, we want to help you simplify the process with a quick guide:


1. ADA Seal of Acceptance. 

The ADA conducts both clinical and laboratory studies before any toothpaste receives the seal of acceptance for safety and effectiveness. After receiving the seal, every product must renew their seal every three years. Don’t even consider toothpaste without the seal.

2. Fluoride

Fluoride is the most important ingredient in toothpaste because it prevents tooth decay by strengthening your tooth enamel and protecting your teeth from the acid caused by sugars and starches.  All ADA approved toothpastes have fluoride.

2014 Update for Children:

On February 10, 2014 the ADA released new guidance regarding fluoride toothpaste for young children. To fight cavities and tooth decay in children, the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs (CSA) recommends caregivers brush their children’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first tooth comes in. The CSA advises caregivers to use a smear of fluoride toothpaste (or an amount about the size of a grain of rice) for children younger than 3 years old and a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste for children 3 to 6 years old. 


Beyond using toothpaste with the ADA seal, make sure you choose toothpaste you will use every day based on your priorities and preferences.

Whiter Teeth

Whiter teeth can help boost your confidence while giving you a beautiful smile. There are many whitening toothpastes on the market today. Although many people assume bleach is the main ingredient, whitening toothpastes actually contain abrasives or chemicals that polish teeth and pull stains off the surface. 

TIP: Look for carbamide peroxide or hydrogenperoxide as effective whitening agents.

Tartar Control

Controlling tarter is foundational to proper oral hygiene. We all have a layer of bacteria on our teeth called plaque, which can become tartar without consistent dental care. Tartar build-up may ultimately lead to gum disease. Chemicals like pyrophosphates, zinc citrate and a bacteria-killing antibiotic called triclosan are proven tartar fighters. 

TIP: Toothpastes with more than one plaquefighting ingredient have been shown to be most helpful.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Tartar can only be removed witha professional dental cleaning. (Schedule your cleaning today.)

Sensitive Teeth

Do not allow sensitive teeth to cause you to brush less often. If your teeth are sensitive to heat or cold, or you have sensitive gums, look for toothpaste with potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. Using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth will reduce your tooth sensitivity over time.

TIP: Baking soda toothpaste can also reduce sensitivity.

Great Taste

You can have it all – healthy toothpaste that also tastes great. Artificial flavoring has been added to toothpastes today to make brushing enjoyable while removing every excuse we might invent to skip this essential habit. Mint, lemon-lime, cinnamon and other flavors are on the market for adults.  Plus, many kid-friendly flavors and colors have been created to help kids enjoy developing great oral hygiene habits for life.

All Natural Ingredients

If you prefer a more organic lifestyle, there are all-natural toothpastes available without chemicals. Please make sure your choice has the ADA seal of approval. 


At Liberty Family Dentistry, we highly recommend choosing Tartar Control toothpaste with the ADA seal (it will include fluoride), the rest is up to you.  We encourage you to try different brands until you find the toothpaste that best fits your personal priorities and preferences.

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