What I Need to Know When I am Buying Toothpastes

Every single morning, we all brush our teeth before leaving for work or school. Brushing teeth is almost part of life and shopping for toothpaste becomes more of a norm- this is something that we have to do every single. Have you ever taken time to think about the ingredients contained in the toothpaste? Do you know the different types of toothpastes available or do you just pick randomly when shopping? Have you ever taken time to understand the importance of correctly choosing the perfect toothpaste for you and your family? Well, if you have not been thinking about these things, then it might be time to reconsider because you might have been putting your family at risk without you knowledge.

Toothpastes are more than essential for hygienic living. They however can cause more harm than good when misused. When used well for the right purposes and in the right proportions, toothpastes will help kill any bacteria on the surface of teeth and keep your teeth clean and shiny. When used wrongly though, toothpastes can put your teeth at risk. There are very many complications associated with misappropriate use of toothpastes especially among children. From dental fluorosis to acute abdominal pains, the list of complications is very long. You therefore need to be more than careful when shopping for toothpaste for your family; don’t just buy a brand that you saw being advertised on TV! We talked to a professional dentist from Vita Dental Houston on the things to look out for when shopping for toothpaste and with his help, we have provided the following guide;

Guide to buying the right toothpaste for your family

First of all when shopping for toothpaste for the family, you have to acknowledge that there is toothpaste meant for children and paste meant for adult use. The difference between the adult toothpaste and children’s toothpaste is the ingredients contained in the paste. Children’s toothpaste normally contains very little amounts of substances such as fluoride, saccharin and Sodium lauryl sulphate. When shopping for the family therefore, think about the young ones in the family as well.

Besides that here are the other things to look out for when shopping for the right toothpaste for your family;

ADA seal

Make sure that the toothpaste has the American Dental Association seal which signifies that the toothpaste has been approved as safe and effective for dental use. The ADA objectively tests all the products in the market before declaring them safe for dental use. If a toothpaste does not have the ADA seal, then it means that it has not satisfied all the requirements as stated by the ADA and should not be trusted at all.


All toothpastes have abrasives added as an ingredient to help scour the surface of teeth and render them clean. The amount of abrasives added in the toothpastes vary depending on the age the toothpaste is meant for. Toothpastes for adults have more abrasive levels than those meant for kids. When purchasing toothpaste for your child, make sure that the abrasive levels are not too high. Abrasives can erode and wear away the enamel of your child’s teeth and this can be detrimental.

Fluoride levels

Fluoride helps prevent cavities by killing bacteria but it can be a threat to your teeth when used in very high amounts. Too much fluoride in toothpastes can cause dental fluorosis where the teeth are discolored and become more vulnerable to staining. When shopping for toothpaste therefore, look at the fluoride levels. Essentially all the ADA approved toothpastes have had their fluoride levels tested and can therefore be trusted for use.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

This is a surfactant contained in most personal products including toothpastes and it is the reason why there is foam when we brush our teeth. SLS is however not the best of additives in toothpastes because it has been linked to allergies and teeth sensitivities. When shopping for toothpaste for your young ones especially, you might want to consider SLS free toothpastes as they are safer than those with the additive.


The flavor of the toothpaste is very important especially if you want your children to fall in love with brushing teeth. The sweeter the flavor the more excited a child gets about brushing teeth. There are very many variants when it comes to flavor in toothpastes. Minty toothpastes are a no go zone for children because they interpret the flavour as bitter while flavors such as strawberry get them excited. You only need to be careful when the child is brushing because some children end up swallowing the toothpastes because of the sweet flavors. The flavors don’t matter as much for adults but generally most adults prefer minty flavors that are not as fancy.

You also need to factor in things like sensitivities in the family and any special requirement. It is advisable to talk to your dentist to know the best brands that best suit your family. Your Family dentist care understands your teeth more than anyone and will offer the best advice on the right toothpaste for your family.