Despite the huge variety available, toothpaste may not be as important as most people believe it to be, according to the president of the Florida Dental Association.
Speaking to the St Petersburg Times, Dr Nolan W Allen emphasized that it is the brushing that is the key, rather than the toothpaste.
"It's the motions of the brushing that gives us gingival health and overall oral health
honestly, toothpaste is window dressing," he said.
However, Dr Allen did acknowledge that using toothpaste, particularly one with fluoride in, is preferable to using just a bare brush.
Matt Doyle, the director of Proctor & Gamble's global research and product development division, whose brands include Crest and Oral B, was more in favor of toothpaste, although he also stated that brushing is the key to a healthy mouth.
He told the newspaper that toothpaste "fundamentally provides a cleaning mechanism that removes the bacteria and the biofilm, which we refer to as plaque, from the teeth and the adjacent tissues, which we call gums".
The American Academy of Paediatrics suggests that parents should ensure their children get enough fluoride, which is present in toothpaste and is often added to drinking water, as it strengthens tooth enamel and can help repair early damage to teeth.
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