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Cavities are one of the most common dental problems. And one of the most annoying. No one wants a multi-hour visit to the dentists accompanied by loud drilling.
Since birth, we are told to brush and floss our teeth daily to avoid cavities. It’s something we should take seriously. Untreated cavities can lead to the need for a root canal, a much more painful experience than getting a filling.
Therefore, it’s important we choose the best toothpaste for preventing cavities. Before I get into that, however, I think it’s important to know how cavities form in the first place and what toothpaste does to prevent them.
“Dental Carries” aka Cavities
You probably know that if you eat a lot of sugar, you will get a lot of cavities. But how does this work exactly?
Well, sugar isn’t actually the direct cause of cavities. Bacteria cause the cavities themselves, but sugar acts as food for the germs. The byproducts of the bacteria are acids which wear down the enamel on the tooth.
Once the damage gets past the enamel, it begins to eat a hole in the mineral part of the tooth, a process called demineralization. This is what leads to the unpleasant visit to the dentist for drillings and fillings.
Fluoride prevents all of this breakdown from taking place by killing off the bacteria which cause demineralization. The germs that create acids and eat away at the enamel are killed off. Also, fluoride kills the germs responsible for releasing bad-breath causing compounds.
How do toothpastes prevent cavities? All it takes is one simple ingredient: fluoride.
Fluoride or Bust
Fluoride compounds have been shown to be the best single ingredient for preventing cavities and tooth decay. This is backed up by decades of research and use. Fluoride compounds come in three main varieties:
- Stannous Fluoride
- Sodium Fluoride
- Sodium Monofluorophosphate
It’s important to note that there isn’t an inherent advantage of one type of fluoride over another. All you need to know is that it is critical to have fluoride in your toothpaste in order to receive full anti-cavity benefits.
Now that you’re equipped with a little bit of cavity fighting know-how, let’s take a look at the top anti cavity toothpastes on the market today.
Top 3 Toothpastes for Cavities
Here I’ve reviewed the best toothpastes for fighting off cavities. Not only did I take into account effectiveness, I evaluated the toothpastes on taste and other factors as well.
I found Crest’s Pro-Health system to be the best option for an anticavity toothpaste on the market. It gives you powerful cavity fighting ingredients and some effective teeth whitening as an additional bonus.
Both pastes come in sturdy, ergonomic tubes which don’t get clogged up easily. They packaged very well and easy to use.
The taste is very minty and refreshing, albeit, a little on the strong side. After using both pastes, my teeth felt very sleek and smooth.
One big advantage of the Pro-Health system is the use of stannous fluoride. As I said before, all fluoride compounds are made equal when it comes to fighting cavities. Stannous fluoride, however, has the additional benefit of anti-bacterial properties. This can be game-changer for those with gum disease problems or even bad breath.
Plus, killing more bacteria means less sources of potential tooth decay.
The second step in the two step process is a hydrogen peroxide whitener. It will lift minor surface stains on the enamel. This common disinfectant adds a boost to the antibacterial properties of the stannous fluoride toothpaste as well.
Crest’s ingenious two-step product is my top choice for cavity fighting toothpastes. You get the proven strength of stannous fluoride with the added bonus of a whitening solution as well.
It may surprise you that 3M makes a quality anti-cavity toothpaste. They are more well known for their office and business products. This toothpaste, however, is the over-the-counter version of their prescription anti-cavity paste.
I really enjoyed this product’s flavor. It has a nice, smooth vanilla mint taste that’s a nice break from the usual lineup of harsh mints. It comes in a easy to use, flip-top packaging as well.
One interesting feature of this toothpaste is their inclusion of tricalcium-phosphate. Phosphate compounds aid in the remineralization of teeth. While this doesn’t directly prevent cavities, it can aid in rebuilding your teeth and thus, make them able to withstand decay more effectively. I think this is a big bonus to preventing cavities.
Re-mineralizing enamel has another bonus; it can reduce tooth sensitivity. If you suffer from sensitive teeth, this is a good alternative to Crest Pro-Health as crest’s paste can be a little on the harsh side.
3M’s ESPE toothpaste is a great option for those looking for an alternative to mainstream brands and toothpastes like Crest’s Pro Health.
For those who are concerned about animal cruelty or natural ingredients, this is the best anti-cavity toothpaste for you. Tom’s toothpaste is cruelty free and ADA certified which means it is proven to be effective at warding off cavities.
The toothpaste also contains no artificial dyes and is gluten free. It’s a good alternative for those sensitive to added ingredients or just want a simpler toothpaste.
It contains the standard sodium fluoride compound for cavity fighting properties. You don’t have to sacrifice anti-cavity power to be more all natural.
One plus of this toothpaste is the use of baking soda. Baking soda is a common natural whitening alternative to harsher chemical whiteners. It uses gentle abrasion to get rid of surface stains on the enamel.
Most all natural toothpastes usually have a poor texture or off taste. Tom’s of Maine tastes and feels great in the mouth. It’s a little grainy due to the baking soda but other than that, it’s a refreshing toothpaste to use.
Opt for Tom’s of Maine over the 3M or Crest pastes if you’re concerned about ingredients or prefer more natural products but still want some cavity fighting power.
Best Toothpaste for Cavities Wrap Up
No one likes cavities. They are painful, costly and even unsightly. Plus, who really wants to take a trip to the dentist?
Luckily, fighting off cavities is deceptively simple. Brush at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride. Fluoride is the best compound for fighting cavities and keeping your teeth fresh and healthy.
After some research and comparison, Crest Pro-Health, 3M ESPE and Tom’s of Maine are the best three anti-cavity toothpastes on the market.
All three of them pack powerful fluoride compounds. Also, each toothpaste is designed with some innovative feature such as the inclusion of a phosphate in 3M’s paste or the two-step whitening system of Crest’s Pro-Health.
No matter what, you can’t go wrong with any of these three choices. You will prevent cavities, keep your teeth health and make them whiter in the process.