By dentist Dr. Richard Mitchell
I am often asked "Which toothpaste brands do you recommend?", or "Which brands of toothpaste are the best?" It's not an easy question to answer, because sometimes the patient is looking for a toothpaste to help with a specific problem, such as tooth whitening or bad breath.
In addition, everybody has their own preference when it comes to toothpaste flavor and texture!
Here is my short and simple guide to the toothpaste brands that I like and that I can recommend.
What is the best fluoride-free toothpaste?
This is a question I get A LOT.
Arm and Hammer Advance White. I like the Arm and Hammer products. They are all good quality, and do a good job.
My favorite from the Arm and Hammer range is the Advance White with Baking Soda & Peroxide. It does not have a strong minty taste, and works well to remove surface staining. You can read my more detailed report at Arm and Hammer Toothpaste.
BlanX White Shock. This is my all-time favorite as a daily toothpaste for general use.
I like the pump-action dispenser, which seems to stay cleaner without getting dried-up toothpaste around the nozzle, compared to some tubes.
BlanX also contains fluoride, and so can strengthen tooth enamel. It has a relatively low abrasive index, which means that it does not scratch your tooth enamel over time; in fact, it actually polishes enamel, leading to a very glossy surface after several month's use.
BlanX White Shock can also produce a slow and gradual whitening effect on your teeth. It contains an extract of arctic lichen which, it is claimed, gradually breaks down staining within the tooth enamel, (not just staining on the surface of the tooth). You can read more about BlanX White Shock at Best whitening toothpaste.
Oral B Pro Expert. This is a relatively recent product from Oral B which quite simply aims to be the ultimate toothpaste. It comes in a generous-sized tube, shorter but wider than most toothpaste tubes. It has very good fluoride chemistry to help strengthen tooth enamel. It actually contains not one but TWO types of fluoride! Pro Expert also helps to reduce plaque formation after brushing.
Oral B claim to have spent 15 years developing Pro Expert toothpaste, and have over 70 scientific studies to back up their claims for its effectiveness.
BUT it has a slightly weird texture, and is a bright blue color! The texture is slightly grainy, as if there were some sand mixed in. However this grainy sensation disappears within 20 to 30 seconds of brushing, and the longer you brush for, the more normal the paste feels!
One other thing to be aware of is the fact that Pro Expert does NOT tend to froth up much. It DOES contain the frothing ingredient Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, but obviously not much! I have to confess that it took me a week to get used to the feel of this toothpaste.
Colgate Total Advanced Whitening. This is still among my favourite toothpaste brands. It feels like a conventional paste, with a familiar minty flavour and traditional texture.
It is a paler blue than the Oral B Pro Expert, but for some reason I didn't really notice this until after a while! Colgate Total does froth up more than Pro Expert, and I think a little more than BlanX also. A good, basic toothpaste brand at a low price.
Pepsodent Toothpaste is probably one of the cheapest quality toothpastes with a nice gentle flavor and the addition of fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel against cavities.
You can read more about this sometimes hard-to-find product at my Pepsodent Toothpaste Page.
TheraBreath Oxygenating Toothpaste. This is an excellent toothpaste if youtherabreath toothpaste suffer from canker sores or a dry mouth. It was developed by a dentist, Dr. Katz, after a lot of original research into the causes of dry mouth, canker sores and bad breath. Dr. Katz was a biochemist before he became a dentist, and his experience and training in research methods allowed him to make several significant discoveries.
TheraBreath Oxygenating toothpaste is one of the few toothpaste brands that does NOT contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). This ingredient is added to most toothpastes to make them froth up a bit when you brush. For most folk, this isn't a problem, and makes toothpaste more pleasant to use.
BUT some folk can have a sensitivity to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate that can trigger canker sores, ulcers, or a dry mouth. Avoiding this ingredient can substantially reduce the number of sores and ulcers that you get, and reduce the severity of a dry mouth.
Read more about this toothpaste at Oxygenating toothpaste.
Another condition that may benefit from avoiding SLS is Burning Tongue Syndrome. You can read more about these problems at:
My favourite brands of toothpaste as listed above each have a different look, a different feel or texture, and are best suited to different situations. If you have no particular problems and just want a great basic toothpaste for daily use, I think Colgate Total or Pepsodent are the ones to go for, at the lowest price in this group of 4 brands of toothpaste.
If you would like to get a little extra brightness for your teeth over a period of time, then BlanX Non-Abrasive is great.
If you have some problems with ulcers, dry mouth or burning tongue, then TheraBreath Oxygenating is a safe and effective choice.
If you want a highly-researched, scientifically based toothpaste that claims to help with tooth decay, gum problems, sensitivity and whitening, then Oral B Pro Expert is the one for you!
Between all my 4 favorite toothpaste brands, it comes down more to personal preference with regard to the flavor, the appearance and color, and most of all the "feel" or texture of the paste.