Bupa is encouraging Australians to exercise caution when considering a switch to alternative kinds of toothpaste.
The company said its advice is a response to data revealing the demand for herbal and fluoride-free toothpaste is experiencing significant growth with an increasing number of people making their own via online recipes or celebrity social media accounts.
"While some options are clinically proven to deliver strong results, matching the wrong toothpaste to the wrong mouth can result in a degradation of your oral health, pose dangers to children or just cost you a lot of extra money for little to no extra benefit," said the company.
Bupa Dental head dentist Dr Cathryn Madden said choosing the best toothpaste can be challenging with supermarket aisles bulging with options and social media feeds filled with information on ‘the next big thing’ for your teeth.
“Every mouth is different so don’t automatically think that a new product that suits your favourite celebrity will work for you," she said.
"For example, tooth powders have been shown to be effective in removing stains and plaque but can be overly abrasive, and while fluoride-free toothpaste may have fewer additives, using it may increase your chances of developing cavities.
“Invariably the ideal toothpaste for you should be matched with your age, diet, sensitivity levels and the current state of your teeth and gums. One important thing to note is that if a toothpaste doesn’t contain fluoride, then it provides minimal protection from developing decay,” said Dr Madden said.
In light of the growing number of options, information and misinformation people are exposed to, Bupa said it encourages people to discuss toothpaste choices with their dentist, particularly ahead of a change in brand or active ingredients.