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What is a good toothpaste? Do I need fluoride, baking soda, and whiteners?

A good toothpaste is one that has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance on the package. This seal signifies that the manufacturer has provided scientific evidence that the product does what it claims to do. The most important ingredient in a toothpaste is fluoride to help prevent dental cavities. Over 95% of the toothpastes sold in the U.S. contain an ADA-accepted fluoride formulation.

Baking soda over the years has been known for removing staining that can become present on the surfaces of the teeth. Baking soda in moderate use can help with breaking down the stain and as long as it is not over used will not damage the enamel.

Toothpastes that whiten teeth work by chemically and mechanically removing surface stains. The “whitening” agents are special abrasives, detergents, or enzymes. These products are safe and appear to be fairly good at removing surface stains. However, they will not change the overall color of teeth.

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