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Alin Alkass: What Toothpaste Is Best for Me?

If you've ever visited a dental care aisle in a pharmacy or grocery store, the options can be a little overwhelming. From natural, no-nonsense baking soda toothpastes to options with all the whitening bells and freshening whistles, it can be tough to make a choice. Here are some tips for choosing a toothpaste that will meet your needs and suit your preferences.

1. Make sure your toothpaste meets basic recommendations.

The good news is that most toothpastes work reasonably well to clean and polish teeth and prevent decay. For most people, there are very few requirements toothpaste should have to be beneficial. Dr. Alkass recommends looking for fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel, tartar control to keep damaging plaque at bay and an ADA stamp to ensure that the product meets the American Dental Association's standards for safety.

2. Consider any special needs.

If you have sensitive teeth, pain due to recent dental procedures, receding gums, dentures, worn enamel or sensitivity to some component found in toothpaste, talk to your dentist for a recommendation. You may need a special gentle, natural or non-abrasive formula toothpaste. Children can use adult toothpaste, but you may want to consider using a flavored toothpaste designed for kids to encourage them to brush more often.

3. Consider your preferences and priorities.

Since most toothpastes work for most people, you're free to make a selection based on price, flavor or added benefits, such as whitening or added mouthwash.