Woman looking at the mirror brushing her teeth with a toothpaste.

When was the last time you really thought about what toothpaste to buy? If you’re just settling for the same product over and over again just because it’s the kind you grew up with, now’s the time to change that. You might not realize it, but oral care is important, not just for your hygiene but also for your health, and the toothpaste you use plays a major role in that.

The next time you have to replenish your stock, make sure you choose a toothpaste that has these qualities:

It Should Have Fluoride

Known as “nature’s cavity fighter,” fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild the tooth enamel or the outer layer of the tooth that is constantly exposed to the acids in the mouth. Without fluoride, your teeth will be more prone to cavities and tooth decay. Surprisingly, not all toothpaste brands contain fluoride, so make sure to double-check the label.

It Should Be Able to Handle Plaque and Bacteria

While treating yourself to your favorite sweet treats doesn’t directly cause tooth decay, it does contribute to the creation of plaque, a sticky film that contains acid-producing bacteria that weaken the tooth enamel. To prevent that from happening, you need to brush your teeth regularly with a toothpaste that can remove plaque and also contains antibacterial properties. The last thing you want is for plaque to harden into tartar, which can lead to more serious gum problems.

It Should Help Clean the Mouth and Make Breath Fresh

As weird as it sounds, toothpaste is made up of two essential cleaning ingredients: mild abrasive and detergent. The mild abrasive, when used with your toothbrush, helps remove tiny bits of food that usually get stuck between your teeth and removes superficial teeth stains. Meanwhile, the detergent creates the foam when you brush your teeth with toothpaste, which helps cover the rest of your pearly whites. Both of these ingredients help clean the mouth, which then aids in making your breath fresh.

To make shopping for a new toothpaste easier for you, look for a brand that offers you all-around oral care like closeup All Around Fresh. It cleans deeply, lifts plaque, fights cavities, protects against bacteria, and refreshes the mouth. You’ll never go back to your old toothpaste again.