What is the best toothpaste? Tips on selecting the right one for you.

Of a big long list of products on your weekly grocery list, your dental care products takes you to the often brightly lit personal care aisle. It’s a window into a very strategic and heavily marketed 32 billion dollar worldwide oral care products industry, with new products popping up regularly, plenty of promotions, as well as lots of catchy words and claims.

Picking up a tube of toothpaste is easy, but choosing the ‘best’ toothpaste? Is there a ‘best’ toothpaste? As an oral health therapist and dentist working at The Smile Team, oral health is our passion. We’ll share with you our knowledge and a few relevant dental tips to help you.

What is the one thing you should always look for on the label?

Fluoride! I am sure most of you have heard of this chemical. What you may not know is that Fluoride is an absolute wonder chemical in dental care. It is your teeth’s best friend. The introduction of fluoride in tap water three decades ago transformed dentistry. It started the revolution of preventive dental care. Millions of cavities are now thankfully prevented each year with the help of this single chemical alone. Quite simply, we only recommend toothpastes with fluoride.

‘Basic’ toothpastes

(Examples; Aim Original, Colgate Regular, Colgate Total, Macleans Protect, Oral B Teeth and Gum)

If you have regular checkups and a good stable dental health, the most basic range of toothpastes could be for you. We have referred to them as ‘Basic’ toothpastes, but another way to look at it is that these are all you really need. There is very little difference amongst ‘Basic’ toothpastes too, some companies claim a whole list of benefits in the marketing of their toothpastes with 24 hours protect, placing protective shields around teeth, but in reality the biggest difference between them is how it tastes.

If you already have good dental health with low risk factors for decay, the ‘Premium’ and ‘Advanced’ products have only a limited additional benefit over ‘Basic’ toothpastes. This could save you up to 500% or more per tube on your next trip to the supermarket. ‘Basic’ toothpastes are great value for money.

‘Premium’ toothpastes

(Examples; Colgate Sensitive Whitening, Colgate Sensitive, Colgate Pro-relief, Colgate Max White, Macleans Sensitive, , Sensodyne Gentle Whitening, Sensodyne Pronamel, Sensodyne Rapid Relief, Sensodyne Protect and Repair, White Glo)

Do you have sensitive teeth to hot and cold temperatures? Want to whiten your teeth? You’re in luck, because the ‘Premium’ range of toothpastes can work well to address these issues. We have listed these type of toothpastes under the ‘Premium’ tag because you generally pay a premium for the additional ingredients that toothpaste companies put into these toothpastes to target the issue.

Sensitivity toothpastes in particular are great for managing tooth sensitivity for the right teeth. Many of the companies use slightly different chemicals acting slightly differently to decrease your sensitivity. Colgate alone have about 3 types of sensitivity toothpastes with differing ingredients. Some chemicals work better for some patients than others, so if you’re not getting some help from one type try another before giving up. For the wrong teeth, sensitivity toothpastes won’t do anything or worse yet mask bigger problems. Ask your dentist about whether sensitivity toothpastes are suitable for you.

Whitening toothpastes do work too, but just don’t expect a dramatic effect. Whitening toothpastes need to be foolproof safe to be allowed to live on supermarket shelves. Due to this, they have a much limited effect in comparison to professional whitening products from your dentist. The whitening effect generally comes from mild bleaching of the teeth and/or abrasives removing a tiny layer of buildup from the surface of your tooth.

‘Professional’ toothpastes

(Examples; Clinpro Tooth Crème, Colgate Neutrafluor 5000ppm, GC Tooth Mousse)

These toothpastes are primarily recommended by health care providers to counter a higher than average decay risk. They are also likely to be only available from your dental practice or pharmacy.

In many years past, dentists placed a filling for every cavity they saw whether tiny or big. What wasn’t known then was that some tiny cavities can be healed. Over the past couple of decades, advanced dental research have shown that by the correct usage of ‘Professional’ toothpastes, your dentist may be able to help heal certain types of tiny cavities (it’s critical that your dentist firstly assesses your cavity to see whether they can be healed) rather than filling them, and prevent new ones forming. This is exciting stuff in the dental world!

Yes they are priced even higher than the ‘Premium’ toothpastes, but would you prefer fillings or to be able to avoid them by a combination of improving self oral care, having improved dietary awareness, and using one of these toothpastes?  The above pictured Neutrafluor 5000 Toothpaste is the best toothpaste we consider for patients with a frequent decay history or early signs of decay.

The best toothpaste for you depends heavily upon your treatment history and decay risk. Our team of assistants, oral health therapists, and dentists at The Smile Team would be pleased to have the opportunity to personally assess and discuss the best toothpaste for you. We hope you’ve found this article useful. A final tip we’ll leave you with is to always spit out your toothpaste rather than rinsing out with water. After all, regardless of which toothpaste you choose it makes a big difference to leave as much of it on your teeth as possible after brushing.

Please email info@thesmileteam.com.au if you have any questions

Please note; The advice provided above is general. Personalised professional advice is always recommended to address each individual’s health status.

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