Shopping for the right dental care products isn’t always as simple as it seems. These days most stores have an entire aisle devoted to oral care products including toothbrushes, mouthwash and floss. So how you do you find a quality product you can trust without buying something you shouldn’t? The easiest way is to look for the ADA (American Dental Association) seal on the packaging. But wouldn’t any old toothpaste suffice? Let’s take a closer look at why you should shop with the ADA seal in mind.
We all want to know that safe ingredients are in the products we use. The FDA regulates much of this, and dental products are just one of the myriad of items that are held to FDA standards. But as far as dental efficacy goes, the FDA does not dive as deep as a dentist would into how a product works on your teeth. Enter the ADA. This organization was founded to assist their members in advancing the overall health of their patients. Part of this task is assisting consumers in finding the most effective products for oral care. Today careful scientific studies are critical to ensuring the safety of products, and each oral health product is audited by the ADA using meticulous, scientific methods. If the product is found to meet ADA standards, it is given a seal of approval as “ADA Accepted.”
But not all products make the cut. For example, you can buy many herbal toothpastes and mouthwashes at the store, but they might not contain ingredients like fluoride proven to prevent cavities and tooth decay. The ADA does not approve these to help consumers find products that will make an impact on their oral health. This is not to say some natural products don’t have benefits, but they pale in comparison to the efficacy of ingredients like fluoride, which all patients should be using.
Name Brand Or Generic?
What about those two different labels for a similar type of product? One is name brand while the other is a store or generic brand. Often the name brand will be more expensive than the generic brand. But if they’re the same, why not just get the generic brand? Well not so fast. You still want to check for that ADA seal like we talked about. In addition, inspect ingredients and compare the name brand to the generic for accuracy. If the seal is present and the ingredients match up, you should be good to go.
However, we recommend testing the product at home before stocking up on it. Even if the ingredients are the same,. there is no guarantee the item will perform exactly the same. For example, a budget toothpaste might be more watery and less effective for the full 2-3 minutes than its brand name counterpart. You might also experience lesser issues like not enjoying the taste of the product. You shouldn’t worry about switching things up if its ADA approved, but there is always the chance that you’d rather switch back to the first product.
When In Doubt, Ask Your Dentist
You should never go it alone when selecting oral care products. You’ll want to consult your hygienist and dentist to get their opinions on the best products on the market. When in doubt, ask them what they use. You can count on them using a product they know is proven to work well in your situation too.
If you’ve found your oral health aisle selections to be a bit lackluster, we encourage you to schedule a cleaning and consultation. Your mouth will feel great after a fresh cleaning, and we’ll provide some insightful tips for future oral health shopping trips. Contact Grace & Leedy Family Dentistry today to schedule an appointment, and don’t forget to look for that ADA seal!