Pick the Right Toothpaste

Which Toothpaste is Right for you? A comprehensive guide brought to you by Spokane Dental.

If you have no dental concerns:

Active Ingredients to look for: Fluoride.

All toothpaste brands have their own winning “concoctions” that have the same desired outcome: protect and strengthen teeth. Fluoride protects and strengthens teeth, and other ingredients can kill bacteria and remove plaque and stain. Crest pro-health uses Stannous Fluoride, Colgate Total uses Triclosan and Sodium Fluoride, Arm and Hammer uses Fluoride and liquid calcium, Sensodyne Pro-Namel uses Potassium Nitrate and Sodium Fluoride. Try them out until you find the one you like, the best toothpaste is one you will use!

If you’d like whiter teeth:

Active Ingredients to look for: Fluoride.

Packaging wording to look for: “Whitening

Whitening toothpastes do not contain peroxide, the active ingredient in most whitening agents. They are, however, a lot of times more abrasive than “regular” toothpaste. This means that the toothpaste works to remove surface stains (from coffee, tea, etc.), but will not actually change the color of your tooth (you’ll need whitening agents, which we can provide in office, for that). Here are a couple of the leading whitening toothpastes: Whitening toothpaste

If you have sensitivity:

Active Ingredient to look for: Potassium Nitrate and Calcium Phosphate with Fluoride

Packaging wording to look for: “Sensitive”

Calcium Phosphate (used in Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief) tends to work faster, but the effects can be minimized with abrasion or acidic drinks or foods. Potassium Nitrate (Sendodyne) can take a couple of weeks to start working, but protects against sensitivity even with abrasion or acid throughout the day. Here are some of the leading toothpastes that combat sensitivity:

Toothpaste for Sensitive teeth

If you want all-natural:

Active Ingredient to look for: Fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring ion proven to protect and strengthen teeth, not a synthesized chemical. However, if you feel strongly averse to fluoridated products, most will state clearly on the packaging “fluoride free”, so you can look for those!

Packaging wording to look for: “All natural”

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to regulate what “all natural” means in the food and drug industry. Start by looking for “all natural” on the package, and then read the ingredient list and make sure you are comfortable with everything in it. Here are some top “all natural” toothpastes:

All-Natural Toothpaste

For kids:

Active Ingredient to look for: Fluoride

Packaging Wording to look for: “kids” or “toddler” toothpaste.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Dental Association recommend using a tiny smear of fluoridated toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) to brush your child’s teeth until they are old enough to spit all of the toothpaste out. When your children can fully spit the toothpaste out, you can move to a pea sized amount.

Find you favorite toothpaste and get to brushing!