Choosing the best toothpaste for you can be a challenge since there are so many brands and variations to select from. The good news is that there's a product out there for pretty much every need and preference, whether you want to whiten your teeth, improve your oral hygiene, or avoid certain ingredients.
We're here to guide you through the many toothpaste options in the UK so you can work out which is the best toothpaste for your needs. Keep reading to find out about:
- The best sensitive toothpastes in the UK
- Recommendations for smokers' toothpastes
- The best toothpaste for gum disease and other oral health problems
- Toothpastes with fluoride and without
- Different flavours including non-mint toothpastes
- Alternative and natural options
Even if you need to try a few toothpaste brands to find a taste and texture you really like, we hope this guide helps narrow down the options for you. The table below is a quick-reference guide to our top picks, but you can continue reading to find lots more information.
Best Toothpaste Options
Hismile PAP+ Whitening Toothpaste
Corsodyl Ultra Clean
Georganics Natural Toothpaste
Oranurse Unflavoured Toothpaste
Clinomyn Anti-Stain Flouride Toothpaste for Smokers
Table of contents
- 1 What is the best toothpaste?
- 2 How to choose the best toothpaste brands
- 3 Best toothpaste for oral health problems
- 4 Alternative toothpastes
- 5 Making your own at home
- 6 Conclusion
- 7 FAQs
What is the best toothpaste?
Choosing toothpaste is a personal matter. Each person has different preferences when it comes to flavour, texture and ingredients. You might also have different needs to other people in your family. In short, there is no single ‘best toothpaste' for everyone.
Toothpaste and a toothbrush, along with proper brushing techniques are essential for maintaining good oral health. Just placing your toothbrush and some toothpaste in your mouth for a minute or less is not going to remove the plaque and tartar deposits.
It is recommended to brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes using the proper brushing technique recommended.
The most commonly advised brushing technique involves placing the brush head at an angle of 45 degrees slightly below the gum line and brushing upwards for lower front teeth or downwards for the upper teeth.
For back teeth, a circular motion is usually recommended and slightly involving the gums to give a massaging effect. The reason for placing the brush head by the gum line is because that is where plaque accumulation begins as opposed to the surface of the teeth.
Choose the right toothpaste for you and follow the correct technique to reap the rewards of optimal dental health.
Dr Asha Ramesh
What is important is to make sure the toothpaste you use is effective, and this usually means using fluoride toothpaste.
Fluoride is a mineral that protects the enamel on your teeth – that's the outermost layer that covers everything else inside. Without your enamel, your teeth would be really sensitive (and yellow!). The vast majority of dentists, along with the NHS, recommend that you use toothpaste that contains fluoride.
A fluoride concentration of 1,350 – 1,500 ppm will give the best protection. There are times when fluoride might not be recommended for you, so we have included some fluoride-free kinds of toothpaste further down.
Children should have a lower concentration of fluoride when brushing their teeth. There are different options depending on the age of your child and we've got separate guides which cover the best children's toothpastes as well as the best toothbrushes for kids too.
There are other ingredients that are helpful for particular needs, for example, remineralising sensitive teeth or repairing damage to gums. We'll cover these in more detail further down.
Do keep in mind that no matter how good your toothpaste is, there is no substitute for brushing your teeth twice a day with a suitable toothbrush, and cleaning between your teeth daily with dental floss, interdental brushes or a water flosser. A good mouthwash can help keep your breath fresh at other times of the day.
How to choose the best toothpaste brands
Different kinds of toothpaste are made for different purposes so the best toothpaste for you will depend on what you're looking for in your dental routine. Take a look through the list below to see if there's something that would suit you.
The best whitening toothpaste in the UK
Whitening toothpastes are designed to remove stains from teeth, often caused by smoking or drinking lots of coffee or red wine. Even if you don't indulge in any of these too often, the right toothpaste may still help improve the overall colour of your teeth, although it won't get them any whiter than their natural shade. There are other whitening methods you can consider if you want more drastic results.
In the past, whitening toothpastes were really abrasive against your teeth with a gritty texture, but now manufacturers are developing gentler formulas. The jury is still out over how harmful they can be, so if you're concerned make sure that you consult your dentist before changing brands.
With all that said, one of the best everyday whitening toothpastes you can try is Hismile PAP+ Whitening Toothpaste. This toothpaste whitens without peroxides and actually helps to improve the health of your teeth as you use it.
Hismile's Phthalimidoperoxycaproicacid (PAP) formula helps to whiten teeth and remove stains without the use of free radicals, meaning it is safer for your enamel and gum tissue. It also has the added ingredients of Hydroxyapatite (HAp) and Potassium Citrate. HaP works to remineralise your enamel and Potassium Citrate helps with any pre-existing tooth sensitivity.
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There are many more brands you can try, including the much-hyped AP-24, and we have a separate article about the best whitening toothpaste where we look at some more top picks. This includes some natural options and some with stronger ingredients like peroxides.
You can also check out our article on Snow's whitening toothpaste — another very popular brand.
The best toothpaste for sensitive teeth
Teeth can become sensitive when the enamel wears away, making it difficult to consume hot or cold foods and drinks. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth often contains fluoride, along with other ingredients that help repair, strengthen and protect enamel.
When choosing a sensitive toothpaste, or any sensitive teeth remedy, be aware that it might not have a big effect straight away, although some brands are faster-acting than others. The key to reducing your tooth sensitivity is to keep up your twice-daily brushing routine with the right toothpaste. Note that if your teeth become painful rather than just sensitive, it's best to have a dental checkup.
The best toothpaste for sensitive teeth in the UK is a big call to make, but Sensodyne is a good brand to start with since they focus specifically on this problem. Sensodyne Daily Care contains 1450 ppm fluoride and provides all-around care for teeth and gums.
A more specialist sensitive toothpaste is BioMin. They make BioMin F (with fluoride) and BioMin C (fluoride-free), both using a special formula that mimics the way your body naturally fights plaque acids and strengthens enamel. It bonds to your teeth for 10-12 hours so you get long-lasting protection against sensitivity.
Many people who have tried Sensodyne without any real results have found that BioMin makes a real difference to their painful or sensitive teeth. So, even though the price is a little higher than you might be used to paying, it could be worth a try.
“I suffer (or did) from sensitive teeth. This product really works and I have no issues now. Even my husband has started to use it!” comments one user, with another saying “Great for sensitivity, much better than the premium brands”.
Smokers' toothpaste recommendations
Smoking can leave yellow stains on the teeth, along with lots of other negative effects. Quitting smoking can lead to your teeth recovering some of their colour, but if you're not ready to take that step yet you do have options.
Smokers' toothpaste is generally quite abrasive to scrub away staining, and quite strongly flavoured to help mask the smell of smoke. Clinomyn Anti-Stain Fluoride Toothpaste for Smokers is specially made for smokers and uses a unique cleaning system called Polynam.
Best toothpaste for oral health problems
Most people want whiter teeth, and sensitivity is a normal problem that's straightforward to address. However, you might have more specific problems that you want your toothpaste to help with.
Best toothpaste for gums
Did you know that toothpaste isn't just for teeth? The gums are just as important, since problems like bleeding gums and gingivitis can affect your teeth, and even your whole body if they go untreated.
Treating bleeding gums means thoroughly cleaning along the gumline and between teeth using floss or interdental brushes. An electric toothbrush might help you achieve a more thorough clean if there are parts of your mouth that are difficult to clean with a manual brush.
One of the best kinds of toothpaste for bleeding gums is Corsodyl Ultra Clean, which directly targets the plaque buildup that causes gums to get irritated and bleed. Use it in conjunction with Corsodyl mouthwash for even better protection – you can buy this kit to get you started.
Bleeding gums is usually the first sign of gum disease, which is linked to receding gums, so Corsodyl is also a good toothpaste for receding gums.
Best toothpaste for plaque
Plaque is a buildup of bacteria and debris around your teeth which can be kept under control with a good oral hygiene routine. If you have a buildup of plaque and tartar you should go to the dentist first for a scale and polish to remove it, and then resolve to improve your brushing routine to stop it recurring.
Baking soda toothpaste can be really effective at helping to control plaque, and Arm and Hammer Total Pro Care is a classic formula. One reviewer puts it really clearly, “Really effective toothpaste. Very effective at cleaning and leaves teeth smooth and clean.”
Best toothpaste for bad breath
No one likes “morning breath” and it's easy to put bad breath down to having just woken up. There can be underlying causes to it though, so if you find yourself regularly worried about your breath smelling, pay a visit to your dentist and get checked out.
You might just be an avid coffee drinker or very attached to garlic. If that's the case, pick a bad breath toothpaste that has an extra fresh minty hit like Colgate Max Fresh with Cooling Crystals or Sensodyne Repair & Protect Extra Fresh. Most brands have an ‘extra fresh' option in their range, so these are just a couple of examples.
Read our full article on halitosis and bad breath for more product recommendations (including some stronger ones) and home remedies.
There are a variety of reasons you could be losing minerals from your teeth. It's a natural process and your saliva helps constantly replenish minerals including:
But sometimes, due to dietary issues or other health issues such as osteoporosis, you might lose more than your body can naturally replace.
Your dentist may give you a prescription to rebuild your teeth minerals and it will usually be in the form of a high mineral content, remineralising toothpaste. A common one to be prescribed is Colgate Duraphat which is a high-fluoride toothpaste, containing 5000 ppm. Because of its high fluoride content, it's one of the best enamel repair kinds of toothpaste too.
For an over-the-counter option, there's BioMin, which we mentioned above. Both their fluoride and fluoride-free versions are formulated to remineralise teeth the same way your body naturally does, while also preventing sensitivity. We recommend using BioMin F with fluoride for maximum protection throughout the day and while you sleep. It's the only toothpaste in the UK to have been approved by the Oral Health Foundation, so you can have confidence it will do what it says.
Another popular option is Regenerate Toothpaste, which contains calcium silicate and sodium phosphate, as well as fluoride. A recent Amazon reviewer said, “Immediate coating effect. Teeth harder to stain – assuming you are keeping to a good routine, you still need to floss and brush. I feel that my mouth and teeth are healthier.”
Read about some other ways to remineralise teeth and repair enamel here.
Walking down the aisle of a supermarket, you'd assume that all there was on offer was toothpaste from the big brands. However, there are plenty of alternatives to the standard fluoridated, minty, plastic-packaged kinds of toothpaste you normally see in the shops.
Whether you –
- Choose not to use fluoride
- Are looking for vegan options
- Want to avoid certain chemicals
- Prefer a non-mint toothpaste
There are options available. Here's our pick of the best toothpastes that you might not find on the high street.
Best fluoride-free toothpaste in the UK
If you've chosen to not use fluoridated toothpaste, there are plenty of fluoride-free toothpaste options on the market. Non-fluoride toothpaste often uses natural ingredients to clean your teeth so you can expect it to taste a little different to the big-name brands.
Sarakan toothpaste is one of the best fluoride-free toothpastes available. Instead of fluoride, it uses Salvadora persica extract, also known as Misak, a type of stick that is used as a toothbrush alternative in many Arab countries. Studies have shown that it has the potential to fight plaque and bacteria, which sounds pretty helpful!
If you'd prefer a fluoride-free toothpaste that is backed up by solid science then there's BioMin C. It's designed to remineralise enamel and relieve sensitivity, so you can give your teeth some protection even without fluoride.
What's the best natural toothpaste?
A natural toothpaste is one where the ingredients all come from plants or naturally occurring sources, rather than being manufactured in man-made processes. Georganics toothpaste ticks this box as a great natural toothpaste, and they also offer a natural alternative to dental floss if you're committed to reducing the amount of single-use plastic in your home.
If you're looking for a natural toothpaste that can also whiten your teeth, check out your options for activated charcoal toothpaste, which many people believe is the best toothpaste for whitening naturally. We have a separate article that explains more about activated charcoal for teeth whitening and gives some recommendations for the best charcoal toothpastes available.
Toothpaste tablets have started to become more popular as people are focusing on reducing the amount of plastic they use. Brands like Georganics package their products in glass, which is a great help, but there are other ways to reduce waste.
DentTabs are a German brand of toothpaste tablets that polish your teeth using plant cellulose. One of the best things about this brand is that they offer fluoridated and fluoride-free options, keeping everyone happy.
Not everyone likes the taste of mint. Luckily, there are now options for those who prefer other flavours – even chocolate toothpaste – or no flavour at all.
Kingfisher toothpaste offers a fennel flavoured variety and you can choose whether you want fluoride or fluoride-free toothpaste, meaning you don't have to compromise on your preferences. Georganics (see above) also offer some interesting non-mint toothpaste flavours.
Some people just can't stand any type of strong flavouring, in which case an unflavoured toothpaste should do the job. You can try Oranurse toothpaste which has no flavour to it at all, plus it's an SLS-free toothpaste which means it won't foam up.
SLS, or Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, is an ingredient used in lots of cosmetics and personal care products to help create the foam we're all so used to. Although not a dangerous chemical, it can cause skin and eye irritation for some people when used for long periods. The environmental impact of its production is also a big concern, along with the fact it's been tested on animals.
Although present in lots of toothpastes, there are options without SLS if you're concerned about the implications to your health or the world around you. Green People toothpaste is SLS-free, as well as not containing parabens, artificial sweeteners, or petrochemical products. It has great eco-credentials and is also an organic toothpaste.
If you've chosen to live a plant-based life, you need to reconsider everything that goes into or onto your body. Your oral health routine is no different, and there are lots of vegan toothpaste options available.
As well as being vegan, Aloe Dent's aloe vera toothpaste is also whitening and has a gentle soothing effect on your gums. It's a great vegan toothpaste because you don't have to compromise on other benefits.
One recent reviewer explained, “I have been using natural fluoride-free toothpaste for many years, this is one of my favourite brands as it is slightly more powerful than other natural toothpastes. At the same time, the Aloe content makes it soft on your gums.”
Making your own at home
A lot of the toothpaste brands we've covered above are designed to offer you more control over the products you use. Not everyone likes the idea of certain ingredients going into their bodies, and others want to help look after the environment in any way possible.
To have full control over your oral health routine, you can opt for homemade toothpaste. In our article about natural toothpastes, we cover all of the ingredients that you might have concerns about and give you some recipes to try making your own, homemade toothpaste too.
Exploring eco options for toothpastes can be challenging. In this video Gittemary shares her experience with making her own toothpaste as well as using vegan and organic toothpaste options.
There are so many toothpaste brands available, choosing the right one to meet your needs can be tough. The best toothpaste for you and your family is going to depend on lots of factors, and hopefully we've covered all the bases so you know what to consider.
Remember that no matter how great your toothpaste is, and how much thought you put into what ingredients you want and don't want, the most important thing is to brush twice a day with a suitable toothbrush and clean between your teeth daily.
What is the best toothpaste in the UK?
There is really no definitive ‘best toothpaste' since there are so many types suited to different needs. It's recommended that you use a fluoride toothpaste which will help protect your enamel. Aside from that, you may want to choose a product that targets a particular problem you have, like sensitive teeth or bleeding gums.
As long as you're brushing correctly, there are many types of good toothpastes you can use.
What is the best toothpaste to use for gum disease?
Corsodyl is the best-known brand of toothpaste for gum disease in the UK, and is often recommended by dentists. Other gum care brands have similar ingredients. If you have gum problems then it's important you visit your dentists regularly and take care to clean between your teeth, as well as choosing a specialist toothpaste.
What is the best Colgate toothpaste?
Colgate is a very well-known toothpaste brand which makes a wide range of products to suit different needs and preferences. None is necessarily better than the rest, but you may want to choose Max White Ultimate Catalyst for powerful whitening, or Colgate Herbal for a more natural approach, for example.
Which toothpaste is best for braces?
It's important to pay special attention to cleaning your teeth when wearing braces. One common problem is that people get white spots on their teeth after their braces are removed. This occurs because of decalcification, but using remineralising toothpaste like BioMin F can help keep teeth strong and healthy during orthodontic treatment.
Our guide to flossing with braces has some great advice about how to keep your teeth and braces clean.
Which toothpaste cleans teeth the best?
If you're after a toothpaste that will make your teeth look cleaner and remove stains, then go for a specialist whitening toothpaste, and clean between your teeth every day as well. Otherwise, the best way to keep your teeth clean and healthy is simply to use a fluoride toothpaste. There are hundreds of options to choose from, and the best one for you will depend on your personal preferences in terms of texture and flavour.
Remember, the toothpaste you choose is only part of the solution to having clean teeth; using the correct technique is just as important, if not more so. Also, make sure you replace your toothbrush (or electric toothbrush head) every three months.