Toothpaste Throwdown

Standing in the middle of the toothpaste aisle is always a bewildering experience. There are so many options that often people just grab what they’ve used for years. However, what worked well for you earlier in life may not be the best choice for your teeth now. To help you make the best possible choice, we’re having a toothpaste throwdown!

Tartar control 

The plaque bacteria on your teeth (and everyone else’s!) can harden into tartar if it isn’t removed promptly. A variety of ingredients are added to tartar-control toothpastes to prevent tartar buildup. These include zinc citrate, pyrophosphates, and even the antibiotic triclosan. 

A multi-pronged approach that uses several anti-plaque ingredients in one toothpaste appears to work best at protecting teeth.


There are an ever-increasing variety of whitening toothpastes on the market. They vary in ingredients, strength, and effectiveness. It’s best to consult with your dentist for help choosing one to keep your pearly whites looking their whitest between your regular cleanings.

Breath freshening

These toothpastes often include baking soda for its odor-neutralizing properties; it’s sometimes combined with hydrogen peroxide. When combined, these two ingredients produce a fine foam of oxygen bubbles that may increase the toothpaste’s effectiveness.

Some people like the feel of these oxygen bubbles, others hate them. You might want to try a trial or travel size first to see how you feel about them.


These toothpastes are specially formulated to remove the nicotine and tar stains that result from smoking. Some of these toothpastes use powerful abrasives that can actually damage tooth enamel when used during vigorous brushing. It’s always best to consult your dentist about the best smoker’s toothpaste and how to use it.

Sensitive teeth

Sensitive teeth respond painfully to hot or cold food or drinks. This might be because of gum disease that exposes the tooth roots. If you’re experiencing similar painful reactions, speak with your dentist to find out why. Your dentist might recommend a less abrasive toothpaste or one with a chemical compound that blocks the nerve pathways through your teeth.

Don’t expect instant relief; it can take up to a month before you start feeling substantially less pain. In the meantime, try to avoid foods that trigger the pain.


These toothpastes contain several ingredients which work together to improve gum health, prevent cavities, and reduce tartar.


Other than a smaller, more child-appropriate amount of fluoride, children’s toothpaste are pretty similar to the adult version. Except for being more enticing to use, that is. Think fun flavors like fruit or bubble gum, joyful colors, and even sparkles!

All Natural 

Natural toothpastes come in a range of flavors and ingredients. Be aware that many of them do not contain fluoride.        

Whichever toothpaste you choose, make sure it has an American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. This seal is proof that an independent review board has determined that it’s not only effective, but also safe!

We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have in your quest to find the perfect toothpaste for your unique teeth. After all, we are committed to helping all of our patients keep their beautiful ‘Carolina Smiles’!

Call your dentist in West Columbia for an appointment.

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