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Dentists Agree All Toothpastes Are Not Equal, Disagree Which Are Best: The Wealthy Dentist Survey Results
Most dentists say that which type of toothpaste you use makes a difference to your oral health, according to a survey conducted by The Wealthy Dentist. Only one out of three dentists feels that all toothpastes are essentially equal. The other 65% agree that some toothpastes are more effective than others; however, they don’t seem to agree on which toothpastes are the best.
(Tiburon, California) May 18, 2007 – The average
dentist thinks that toothpaste choice is an important part of one’s overall dental health. In a recent dental marketing survey conducted by TheWealthyDentist.com, dentists were asked if they feel it matters which type of toothpaste one uses. Two-thirds of the dentists in our poll agreed that, thanks to modern technology, some toothpastes are more effective than others. The remaining 35% felt that any toothpaste you buy today will clean your teeth perfectly well.
Many dentists felt that fluoride toothpastes are best, suggesting consumers check to be sure they select fluoridated toothpastes. As one New Hampshire dentist put it, “Generally it is true [that any toothpaste you buy today will clean your teeth perfectly well], since
they almost all contain fluoride.”
Fluoride has been proven to strengthen tooth enamel, but a number of dental practitioners and health advocates have expressed serious concerns about over-fluoridation. “I say it matters [what toothpaste you use] for a different reason,” cautioned an Arkansas dentist. “Toothpastes without toxic fluoride compounds are better. Note the warnings on the tube.” (This is the cautionary message appearing on fluoridated toothpastes: “Warning: Keep out of the reach of children under six years of age. If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.”)
Some question the importance of modern toothpaste, recalling how the ancient Egyptians used salt to clean their teeth. “Evidence indicates no paste is necessary to clean teeth,” opined a Maine prosthodontist. A Pennsylvania dentist shared this surprising anecdote: “I have patients that have had great results brushing their teeth using Ivory soap!” (This is not recommended.)
According to many dental experts, the toothbrush is what really matters. Said a Virginia dentist, “The brush does 95% of the work.” A Louisiana pediatric dentist agreed: “In all honesty, you do not need toothpaste. The friction of the toothbrush is the most important thing! You can even use a wet washcloth or a Q-tip.”
Special conditions demand special toothpastes. This reason was was the most commonly cited reason for dentists who feel that not all toothpastes are equally effective, especially when it comes to stain removal, dentin sensitivity, and fresh breath.
Some dentists are welcoming a new age in toothpaste technology. “New formulations clean better and have better anti-inflammatory effects,” said a Maryland orthodontist. A South Carolina periodontist mentioned that some modern pastes are better for gums and gingival inflammation. Other dentists recommended looking for ingredients such as triclosan, xylitol, beta glucan, and nisin. A Hawaii dentist warned, “Most toothpastes contain titanium dioxide which is abrasive to the teeth. Read the ingredients on the box.”
So what is the take-away message for consumers? A Florida dentist summarized it thusly: “Some toothpastes are good for sensitivity, some for canker sores, etc. But for the average patient, just choose the one that tastes the best.”
“I’ll admit, at first I expected the headline to this article would read ‘Four out of Five Dentists Think It Doesn’t Matter What Toothpaste You Use,’” said The Wealthy Dentist founder and dental management consultant Jim Du Molin. “Even I thought the differences between different tubes of toothpaste were based more on marketing than on substance. But dentists don’t see it that way at all! They’re impressed by the technology of today’s toothpastes. I guess now I am too!”
For additional information on this and other Wealthy Dentist surveys, as well as more dentist comments, visit www.thewealthydentist.com/survey.
The Wealthy Dentist is a dental marketing and dental practice management resource featuring dental consultant Jim Du Molin. The site’s weekly surveys and dental newsletters are viewed by thousands of dentists across the United States and Canada. Wealthy Dentist is a sister company of the Internet Dental Alliance, Inc. (www.internetdentalalliance.com). IDA is the largest provider of websites for dentists, email patient newsletters and dental directories in North America.
Jim Du Molin