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The beginners guide to toothpaste

A toothbrush with a tube of toothpaste.

If there’s one thing we should be able keep simple in life it’s brushing our teeth – all we’re essentially trying to achieve is a clean smile and fresh breath, right?

Next time you’re doing your grocery shop take note of all of the different kinds of toothpaste in the dental hygiene section – there’s toothpaste to remove plaque, whiten teeth, for healthy gums, minty fresh, triple fresh, fluoride-free and extra fluoride! Before you get overwhelmed, let’s have a look at some of the most common ingredients out there and what you should be using, it won’t take long for you to ‘brush-up’ on your toothpaste trivia.


There are numerous denture cleaners on the market that are used to remove stains, and food particles once the dentures have been taken out of the mouth. These can be bought in the form of a cream, paste, gel or even a tablet dropped in water. Just like home-grown teeth, dentures need to be cleaned with a brush to keep them healthy and germ-free however the material that dentures are made from means they need different ingredients to clean them effectively so they should never be cleaned while still in the mouth.


The average consumer who is unhappy with the brightness of their smile would choose this toothpaste in the hope of getting pearly white teeth. The tricky part of this is that a bleaching agent is required to make teeth whiter, and the average brand of teeth-whitening toothpaste doesn’t contain this. If you read the small print on the packaging you’ll generally find that your teeth become whiter as a result of brushing them and removing stains, not because the toothpaste you’ve chosen contains a chemical with the ability to do so. If you're look to whiten your teeth, your dentist can apply a whitening treatment in the dental chair or you can purchase an at home whitening kit from your dental professional.

Tartar control

Xantham Gum is a key ingredient for tartar control and works by creating a barrier between tartar particles and your teeth however his ingredient is found in most brands of toothpaste which means they all provide tartar control with a good brushing routine – only your dentist that can completely remove tartar successfully so bare this in mind when shopping for your toothpaste.

Children’s toothpaste

The ingredients in children’s toothpaste do differ from adult toothpaste but this isn’t because baby teeth have different needs to adult teeth, it’s because children aren’t as coordinated as adults and are prone to swallowing toothpaste while brushing. Children’s toothpaste contains little to no fluoride. Children over six are more than equipped to use adult toothpaste so any marketing targeting kids over six is just that, marketing.

Sensitive toothpaste

And no, we don’t mean toothpaste that cries at the drop of a hat! Toothpaste for sensitive teeth is possibly the only ‘special feature’ toothpaste that serves a specific purpose and serves it well. It works by blocking exposed nerve endings and use over time makes your molars ice-cream friendly. If you don’t notice a marked improvement after using toothpaste for sensitive teeth, a trip to the dentist is in order to check for an underlying issue.

For more information on the toothpaste you should be using for your specific dental needs be sure to have a chat with the friendly dental team at MGA Dental Gold Coast or Brisbane team phone Gold Coast (07) 5539 9748 or Brisbane (07) 3273 3343 or visit our website to book your appointment online www.mgadental.com.au or email [email protected].