This has to be one of the most frequently asked questions at our office.  The truth:  unless you are a child or have a high propensity for cavities, you hardly even need toothpaste.  Many toothpastes tout “whitening” , “cavity prevention”, or “gum disease prevention”, but there really is minimal benefit other than freshening your breath.  That said, I always use toothpaste.  I recommend using a tartar control toothpaste with little additional additives, i.e. peroxide, whitening agents, special flavoring, etc.  Get what’s on sale and preferably one that is endorsed by the ADA (almost all are).

People without a history of gum disease should see a dentist for teeth cleanings every 6 months on average.  However, if you have a history of gum disease or have dental implants, then it is advisable to have them cleaned every 3 or 4 months.  Studies show that bacteria repopulate in the mouth after 90 days, so anyone that has a predisposition to developing gum disease needs more frequent cleanings.