Dentist Questions Dental hygiene

How should I select my toothpaste?

There are so many toothpastes in the market today, and I'm not really sure what makes a toothpaste better than the other. What things should I know to pick the right kind of toothpaste?

31 Answers

Fluoride is the proven active ingredient. Low abrasiveness is also ideal. Most other claims are questionable.
Anything with fluoride!
30 years ago, there were only a handful of toothpastes. Today, like most products, they are specialized to suit everyone. So, some questions: are your teeth sensitive? Discolored? Are you cavity prone? Gum disease? If you answer yes to any of those, now you know where to start. Your choice will come down to personal preference and need. I grew up using Crest. I enjoy coffee and the occasional cigar, so I use one of Crest's whitening toothpastes. When my teeth get sensitive, I use Sensodyne. If you have gum disease, Paradontax is good for that. If you have cavities at every visit, ask your dentist for a prescription fluoride toothpaste like Prevident 5000+ or ClinPro 5000.
A good place to start with a reputable toothpaste is to look for one that contains fluoride but also look for the ADA seal of approval.
Colgate total. It has an FDA approved plaque killing agent that works for several hours. Other toothpastes like Crest have only unproven claims. Whitening toothpastes are more abrasive and an ineffective method for whitening. Act Fluoride rinse (use at night) is better than any desensitizing toothpaste and remineralizing toothpastes are BS; Chewing on cheese and leaving it in your mouth for a few minutes works better. The "sodium caseinate" ingredient in these toothpastes is casein- the protein in milk that curdles. No magic here.
I agree, too many choices and in all honesty, i cant really say one is superior to another. My favorite go-to toothpaste is Tom’s. Its all natural, no colors or additives. I recommend Fluoride toothpastes-helps remineralize weak areas in the enamel
Speak to your general dentist but check amount of fluoride in tooth paste. Also check if certified by ADA.
As long as there is fluoride in the toothpaste, the brand is your preference for taste and feel.
Most toothpaste on the market are vary similar. some have extra ingredients which may offer some subtle improvements, like baking soda or peroxide. All contain a mild abrasive. Pick your toothpaste by the flavor you like and how your teeth feel when you have brushed adequately.
Pick one that you like the taste. Also, if you are over 2 years old, pick one that has fluoride in it, as it is proven to help prevent cavities. There are many other aspects of toothpastes that are personal preference, and that's why there are a million out there. If you get build-up/tartar/calculus on your teeth quickly, then use a tartar control one. If you have sensitve teeth, then use a sensitive teeth one. If you have a dry mouth or sensitive tissues, use a dry-mouth formulation one. It's best to ask your dentist which one is right for you, since they know what issues you have and the best way to address them.
Really any sugar free fluoride toothpaste will do the trick. Choose one that is not too abrasive and that you like the taste of.
You want to know the abrasivity of the toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes are very abrasive and wear away enamel on many people leading to brownish discolored teeth when there is little enamel left. We cannot whiten teeth with little enamel. Also, abrasive toothpastes wear the gumline of teeth away. Neither option is good, so do not use whitening toothpastes daily.
Don't pick the cheapest and most marketed toothpaste. You want a toothpaste that has low abrasivity! So...no whitening toothpastes, they are a marketing ploy by the manufacturers, and are VERY abrasive. They do damage long term by abrading/wearing the enamel away, thus create sensitive teeth! Create ledges and grooves at the base of teeth, which could need fillings or crowns/caps to restore back to health.
There are abrasive lists on the internet, google it. I suggest Pro-enamel, Sensodyne Repair and Protect or X-Pur(no SLS either!) and with a Fluoride or Xylitol to prevent cavities.
The main differentiating factors are based on whether the teeth are sensitive or not. A desensitizing toothpaste can be very effective.
As long as they are fluoridated they are in most part do the same thing.

Each one may have specific ingredient toward what its claimed to do.
You should pick a toothpaste that has fluoride in it that has the ADA seal of acceptance on it. Fluoride helps to reduce the sensitivity of your teeth and make the enamels harder and less susceptible to tooth decay and cavites.
The toothpaste that one should use is different from person to person. If you are a person who accumulated a lot of calculus then you would prefer a more abrasive toothpaste. If you have a lot of cavities or have in the past you would like a toothpaste with a higher fluoride content. If you have severe dry mouth a salivary stimulator may help. This would be an excellent question to discuss with your hygienist who has a clearer understandng if what you personally need.
Abrasiveness, ability to kill bacteria in the mouth and of course individual taste. I recommend Colgate Total.
All toothpaste that has ADA seal are acceptable. I recommend a lot of brands containing stannous fluoride, which is good for the gums and lessens sensitivity.
From an oral health standpoint avoid toothpastes with any form of whitening agent, which are traditionally listed as hydrogen or carbamide peroxide within the ingredients, these can increase tooth sensitivity with long term use. Toothpastes with higher concentration of fluoride are the best for achieving optimal oral health by reducing sensitivity and preventing infection.
I agree there are a lot of products out there to choose from. If you have seen your dentist for regular check ups and have no issues, then select whatever brand, flavor, price you like. If you are more prone to sensitivity like cold, then a toothpaste geared toward reducing sensitivity is better. One such product is Sensodyne. If one is more prone to decay, dry mouth, been treated for cancer with chemo or radiation, then a prescription strength fluoridated toothpaste may be in order. Ask your treating dentist which would be right for you.
Fluoride is the biggest benefit to toothpaste. There are prescription and over the counter varieties.
Yes ,you are right. There are a lot of toothpastes with different indications.
To pick up the right one you need to be evaluated by your Dentist . Depends on your teeth and gum conditions you might need toothpastes not only for caries prevention but also reduce teeth sensitivity or treat your gums
Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance as a great guide to terrific toothpastes. Since each patient has different needs (Sensitivity, high decay rate, gum issues, oral ulcers due to allergies) it’s nice to know the ADA has done all the research for you to provide you buying directions for a toothpaste!
Other than the presence of Fluoride or teeth whitening components toothpaste is really not the primary cleansing agent in oral health. It is the brush, floss techniques and use of rinses like warm saline rinses or Hydrogen Peroxide. The other consideration is the presence of any allergies to particular toothpaste compositions.
Good question, which is quite hard to ask from distance. Your own dentist shall indicate what problems you have, if you are more inclined to have cavities or have frequent gingival problems, then he can maybe suggest a firm. You can change it only for another toothpaste which is purposefully created for your problem. In case you are young and no problems, you can use a normal anticavities one. One mentioning is important, you are not allowed to use whitening toothpastes more than 2-3 months. The enamel can be seriously damaged on long therm usage.
First and most it has to have Fluoride! Fluoride (fluorine) is a base and can prevent acid to damage tooth enamel. If you have sensitivity to cold, you should ask your dentist prescribe a special toothpaste that has a higher amount of fluoride! If you don’t have sensitivity you can go for any type of toothpaste as long as it has fluoride!
Please don’t forget that brushing your teeth before going to bed and after waking up even with no toothpaste is better than not brushing at all!
When people ask me what kind of toothpaste I use, I tell them 'whatever I can get for free'. I like any tooth paste that has fluoride in it, which is almost all of them. Some toothpastes, like tartar control or whitening toothpastes, tend to increase sensitivity so if you have sensitive teeth you should avoid them. Other than that, it's mainly what tastes the best to you. Now a tooth brush? That's a different story. Go with electric or sonic brushes.
The first step is to look for a toothpaste that has the ADA stamp of approval on it. Most of these pastes will have fluoride in them to help protect your teeth from decay. Note toothpaste is just a medium and by itself will not do much. It is the mechanical action of toothbrushing that is important.
Good luck.
The best way to select a toothpaste is to make sure it has the fluoride for the adults.
Buy the one that has ADA stamp it

Dr Jensen