Trends For Your Teeth

Ever wanted to know what Dr. Leon thinks about all the trending stuff for your teeth like charcoal and other whitening forms?  

We receive quite a few questions about which toothpaste is best to use.  In a nutshell….the best is the most basic!  The problem is that most manufacturers have gone along with each whim and desire of the public; as such, the basic pastes or gels are hard to find.  So here are some basic tips to remember as you decide what product is best for you:

  1. Baking soda is great to neutralize acid and it is what our bodies use.  I like baking soda as a toothpaste. Yes it feels gritty, but it is actually less abrasive than regular toothpaste.

  2. If you have sensitive teeth, then using Sensodyne products would be wise.

  3. Do not use a charcoal toothpaste!  This is a recent fad and the initial studies indicate that it is far too abrasive and ends up turning teeth grey.

  4. Don’t expect much from “whitening” toothpastes.  If it uses peroxide, there will not be a sufficient amount of time for it to react and make any changes.  If it uses titanium dioxide, remember that this is the same chemical in Home Depot’s or Lowe’s best latex paint….it’s a paint pigment.

  5. Do not use toothpastes that say they are made for smokers to whiten their teeth.  I do not know if they are still available, but years ago Pearl Drops and Topol could be purchased.  These are highly abrasive and I have seen patients strip enamel from their teeth in the name of vanity.

  6. If your mouth is very sensitive and you find that the tissue seems to peel off or slough, it is likely from the foaming agent, sodium lauryl sulfate, in the product you are using.  Find a product that has eliminated this or has it low on the ingredient list.

  7. Pyrophosphate is what is used by many companies to try and help you reduce the tartar or calculus on your teeth; this can be irritating for some people.

  8. Some toothpastes use cinnamon as a flavoring agent but this is in a high concentration and can be irritating.


The key is to use a basic product with a decent toothbrush and be thorough and consistent in your efforts.  You may not see much of a difference from day to day but remember this, if you only saw a dentist twice a year, your teeth would fall out.  While we need to see you to remove the stuff you can’t and make sure the rest of your oral health is good, it is your efforts day after day that make the greatest impact of all!


Cassiani Leon