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What is the best toothpaste?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Craig | September 11, 2014

 

I get asked this question daily….maybe even hourly. The truth is, there is no one answer that is right for everyone!  Different toothpastes are good at different things, but no matter what they claim there is no perfect toothpaste that does it all.  The toothpaste aisle at Target is enough to blow my mind and I am a dentist!  I am going to try to give a few pointers to help you pick out the best kind for you.  My suggestion would be find a category or priority for you and then play around a little bit between brands (Colgate vs. crest for example) until you find your favorite.

Stain removal/ Whitening:  If you want some help out in this department the best toothpaste for you is Tarter Control toothpaste.  This toothpaste is slightly abrasive.  That is how it makes the teeth whiter and removes the stain.  It allows you to scrub it off.  It is effective (not dramatically so, but certainly helps.)  It isn’t harmful to the enamel.  The downside of this is that it can make the teeth sensitive.  The sensitivity is reversible with time, but I would not recommend this type of toothpaste to anyone who has sensitive teeth to begin with.

Sensitivity: As I mentioned before, you can’t have a toothpaste that does a good job at whitening AND decreasing sensitivity in teeth.  So, if you have sensitive teeth your toothpaste needs to be exclusive to sensitivity.  Don’t buy anything that boasts aiding in both.  This is kind of hard to find these days!

Organic: They make several brands of organic toothpaste if this is something that is important to you.  When shopping the organic aisle, just make sure the toothpaste is ADA (American Dental Association) approved and that it has fluoride in it.  If it doesn’t have fluoride in it you might as well just brush with straight water and skip the paste altogether.

Cavity Prevention: All toothpastes with fluoride aid in cavity prevention, but if you get a lot of cavities there are toothpastes that come in prescription strength varieties.  Ask your dentist about it at your next cleaning and they can hook you up if they think that would be a good option.  I have to put the plug in here for flossing though; if you floss routinely OTC toothpaste should do the trick.

Squeaky Clean: If you like your teeth to feel slippery/ squeaky clean after brushing try baking soda toothpaste.  It doesn’t actually make them cleaner than any other toothpaste, but makes them feel that way because it is slightly basic.  This gives the teeth a slightly different feel when done (it doesn’t last long) but some people really like that.  It isn’t hurting anything and as long as it has fluoride in it it is doing its’ job.

Hopefully this helps guide you in the right direction. As a default, my recommendation would be to use sensitive toothpaste.  So many people suffer from temperature sensitivity and toothpaste genuinely makes a difference!