Posted by Dr. William Yoo
Regular brushing should be part of your daily routine for maintaining good oral hygiene and a dazzling smile. But sometimes, regular toothpaste is not enough to adequately keep your mouth healthy and free from cavities and other painful conditions.
If you are susceptible to dental caries, dry mouth, root exposure, or other dental problems, your registered dental hygienist may recommend prescription toothpaste.
How is prescription toothpaste different?
Regular toothpastes contain minute amounts of fluoride, which is the key ingredient for reducing plaque, fighting calculus, and preventing cavities. According to PubMed Health, fluoride is necessary to protect and strengthen your teeth, build their resistance to acid erosion, and block the activity of cavity-forming bacteria.
A registered dental hygienist may recommend toothpastes with higher fluoride content for patients with a history of cavities, or those deemed to be at higher risk for tooth decay.
Prescription toothpastes typically contain about five times more fluoride than standard toothpastes. This translates to about 5,000 parts per million of fluoride compared to the standard 1,000 parts per million.
Scientific studies suggest that prescription toothpastes are created to intelligently deliver fluoride, phosphate, and calcium, effectively reducing the risk of tooth decay by up to 70 per cent. According to the studies, prescription toothpastes contain vital elements to remineralize tooth enamel and repair lesions in their early stages.
Who can benefit from prescription toothpaste?
Using toothpaste with higher fluoride content strengthens enamel and reduces the risk for exposing dentin – the tooth fibre beneath enamel. Tooth decay, aggressive brushing, and gum recession can lead to dentin exposure, making your teeth sensitive to hot and cold drinks. If your teeth are already sensitive, using prescription toothpaste can reduce the pain and discomfort, and possibly eliminate the need for more expensive procedures, such as crowns or endodontic treatment.
There are different kinds of prescription toothpastes that are tailored to address different oral health concerns. So, it is important to see your registered dental hygienist to identify the most ideal toothpaste for your situation. In some cases, you may need in-office procedures to reduce the severity of the damage, after which you can use the prescription toothpaste to prevent further damage.
Although prescription toothpaste costs a little more than regular toothpaste, it is important that you follow the recommendations of your registered dental hygienist. Keep in mind that a professional would know when you need extra help fighting sensitivity and caries, like when regular proper oral hygiene with the standard tools doesn’t seem to be working.
Prescription toothpaste provides the extra care that you need to improve your at-home oral care regimen. When used as prescribed, it should deliver noticeable benefits in your day-to-day life with regard to eating and cleanings.