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12 Best Toothpastes for Fluoride, Sensitivity, Whitening, and More

Contributors:  Amanda Napitu
Medically reviewed by:  Dr. Karen Kemp-Prosterman

What is the best toothpaste? We looked into the toothpastes on the market today, and found the top products based on needs, like cavity control, stain removal, and gum health.

Our reviews are based on the ingredients in the toothpastes, customer reviews, and what dentists recommend.

In this article, we'll cover the following:

  • The best toothpaste overall: Colgate
  • The best teeth-whitening toothpaste: Snow
  • The best sensitive toothpaste: Hismile
  • …and more!

Keep reading to find the best toothpaste for your oral hygiene needs.

And if you're short on time, here's our roundup of the top toothpastes in the US:

Image

Toothpaste

Best for...

Price

Colgate

Overall

Snow

Whitening

Hismile

Sensitivity

Parodontax

Gums

Eucryl

Smokers

Arm & Hammer

Plaque

Fresh 'n Brite

Dentures

What is the best toothpaste in the US?

Best overall: Colgate Total

what is the best toothpaste
Total mouth protection

Colgate Total provides care and ongoing protection for your entire mouth. Here's what you can expect when you use this toothpaste:

  • The removal of old stains and prevention of new stains
  • Fighting bacteria for 12 full hours after 4 weeks of use
  • Prevention of plaque, tartar, gingivitis, and cavities
  • Sensitive tooth relief
  • Fresher breath

The active ingredient is stannous fluoride (0.454%) which dentists still generally agree is the best way to fight cavities.

Best toothpaste for whitening: Snow

Our choice for the best whitening toothpaste is this one made by Snow.

Here are the specific ingredients in this toothpaste that make it a great whitening toothpaste:

  • Hydrated silica: Removes plaque and other staining particles from your teeth
  • Calcium carbonate: Removes plaque and gently removes surface stains
  • Hydrogen peroxide: Removes stains for whiter teeth with continued use
  • Xylitol: A natural sweetener that helps fight cavities
  • Hydroxyapatite: A mineral naturally found in teeth that helps strengthen enamel and protect teeth from cavities
  • Sodium citrate: Helps relieve sensitivity
Snow whitening toothpaste
Enamel-friendly whitening

Actually, Snow's whitening toothpaste isn't just one toothpaste. Rather, it's a 2-step routine with morning toothpaste and nighttime toothpaste.

The morning toothpaste has a refreshing mint flavor and the nighttime toothpaste has a calming lavender mint flavor.

This toothpaste routine includes the following features:

  • Sulfate-free
  • Enamel-friendly
  • No animal testing
  • Made in the USA in a plant that runs on renewable energy
  • Designed for sensitive teeth

Whether you want to use this duo to complement your current whitening treatment or as an everyday maintenance strategy is up to you. Check out some Snow toothpaste reviews.

Best toothpaste for sensitive teeth: Hismile

best toothpaste
Best toothpaste flavors for sure!

One of our favorite toothpastes for sensitive teeth is from Hismile.

Hismile makes two toothpastes that don't cause, and in fact protect against sensitivity — their fluoride toothpaste, and the PAP+ whitening toothpaste.

The fluoride toothpaste contains Hismile's fluoride+ formula that fights sensitivity and protects enamel from future sensitivity. Plus, this toothpaste tastes amazing. It comes in unheard-of flavors like grape, watermelon, strawberry, banana, vanilla ice cream, mango, peach, coconut, and red velvet.

The PAP+ toothpaste works with hydroxyapatite which bonds with your tooth's enamel and fills the tubules that go through your teeth, leading to the dentine. When these tubules are filled, you experience less sensitivity.

If you want some extra help, check out our guide to the best toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

Best toothpaste for smokers: Eucryl

Smokers' toothpaste like this one by Eucryl contains limonene, a chemical constituent of citrus oils, to whiten teeth, and silica, and an abrasive agent to scrub away stains.

Best toothpaste for smokers
Smokers can fight stains too!

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 color, but if you're not ready to take that step yet, specialized toothpaste can help.

Best toothpaste for gums: Parodontax

best toothpaste for gum disease
Best toothpaste for bleeding gums

You may be wondering what the best toothpaste for bleeding gums or gingivitis is. 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.

Parodontax has the key ingredient stannous fluoride, which directly targets the plaque buildup that causes gums to get irritated and bleed, and seals the gums along the teeth, also making this good for gingivitis or periodontal disease.

Bleeding gums is usually the first sign of gum disease, which is linked to receding gums, so Parodontax can also help with receding gums.

Treating bleeding gums means thoroughly cleaning along the gum line and using floss or interdental brushes between teeth. 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. Read more in our article on the best electric toothbrushes.

Find out more about this topic and the best products to use in our full article about toothpaste for gums here.

Best toothpaste for plaque: Arm and Hammer

Baking soda toothpaste can be really effective at helping to control plaque, and Arm and Hammer Advance White is a classic formula.

tartar control toothpaste
Baking soda makes this great for tartar

Dental plaque is a buildup of bacteria and debris around your teeth which can be kept under control with the right toothpaste and a good oral hygiene routine.

If you have a buildup of plaque and tartar you should go to the dentist first to get it removed during a teeth cleaning, and then resolve to improve your brushing routine to stop it from recurring. Read more about professional cleanings in our guide here.

Best toothpaste for bad breath: TheraBreath

TheraBreath Fresh Breath provides oxygenation to the mouth to attack bad breath and keep breath fresh both day and night. It has aloe vera to help soothe gums, and also contains no SLS, which are often a cause of canker sores.

Bad breath toothpaste
Get fresh breath with TheraBreath

No one likes “morning breath” and it's easy to chalk bad breath up 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.

Read our full article on halitosis for more product recommendations (including some stronger ones) and home remedies.

Best toothpaste for dry mouth: Hydris

dry mouth toothpaste
Hydris combats dry mouth

Since dry mouth can cause bad breath, you might end up solving two problems by using a dry mouth toothpaste. Colgate makes a toothpaste specifically for those who suffer from this condition called Hydris.

Moisture-rich, plant-based materials work to lock in moisture after you brush, and sodium fluoride protects against cavities. It also has a soothing mint flavor that freshens breath. This toothpaste can be used every day, making it an ideal part of your oral hygiene routine if you're concerned about this condition.

You can read more about dry mouth in our dry mouth article here.

Best toothpaste for braces: Colgate Cavity Protection

If you or your child have braces, you're probably wondering about cleaning between brackets and under wires.

To be honest, your brushing technique is going to be the most important thing when it comes to keeping teeth with braces healthy, but as long as you practice good oral hygiene, you should be fine with a standard fluoride toothpaste like this Colgate Cavity Protection toothpaste.

toothpaste for braces
Great overall protection

It has a fresh mint flavor, fluoride for cavity protection, and is quite affordable with a pack of six on Amazon costing less than $10.

You can also purchase a special orthodontic toothpaste like MI Paste, which contains calcium, phosphate, and fluoride which help protect and rebuild enamel. This toothpaste also helps prevent white spots from brackets. Ask your orthodontist for more information, and whether they recommend this braces toothpaste for you.

Best toothpaste for dentures: Fresh ‘n Brite

One of the most popular options on Amazon is Fresh ‘n Brite denture cleaning paste. This toothpaste is specifically intended for your false teeth and isn't for brushing natural teeth. You can feel confident in its ability as it is accepted by the American Dental Association for cleaning removable prostheses.

You should always follow your dentist's instructions when it comes to denture care, which in addition to brushing your dentures should include removing them at night for soaking, and cleaning the areas where you are missing teeth with toothpaste as well.

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a full mouth of natural teeth. If you are missing some, most, or all of your teeth, you aren't alone.

toothpaste for dentures
Dentures need a special toothpaste

In fact, the American College Of Prosthodontics says that as many as 120 million people in the US are missing at least one tooth, and more than 36 million Americans don't have any teeth.

Best remineralizing toothpaste: Apagard

what is the best toothpaste
Contains nanohydroxyapatite

There are a variety of reasons you could be losing minerals from your teeth. It's a natural process and your saliva helps counteract it by constantly replenishing minerals including:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphate
  • Fluoride

But sometimes, due to dietary issues or other health issues such as osteoporosis, you might lose more than your body can naturally replace. When this happens, you may want to consider using a remineralizing toothpaste, of which there are quite a few options on the market.

Apagard is a toothpaste that contains nanohydroxyapatite, a mineral that is naturally found in the tooth's enamel, and which, when used as part of your daily oral hygiene routine, can actually strengthen and remineralize your enamel.

If you would like to learn more about how to remineralize teeth, you can read our full tooth remineralization guide.

Best fluoride toothpaste: Crest Gum & Enamel Repair

best toothpaste for cavities
This might be the best fluoride toothpaste for you

For cavities and also for treating gingivitis and hypersensitivity, fluoride might be just the ticket. Try Crest Gum & Enamel Repair.

This toothpaste is designed to help protect the gums and remineralize tooth enamel with 10.454% stannous fluoride and hydrated silica.

It protects teeth from acid erosion while treating sensitivity, and provides antibacterial protection to the gums. It also provides further relief after brushing, and during brushing, the extra foaming action allows the fluoride to penetrate underneath gums for farther-reaching protection.

Learn more about your options for high-fluoride toothpaste.

Alternative toothpastes

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 toothpastes you normally see in stores.

Whether you —

  • Choose not to use fluoride
  • Are looking for vegan options
  • Want to avoid certain chemicals
  • Don't like minty flavors

There are options available. Here's our pick of some options that you might not find at the standard corner store, gas station or drugstore.

Best fluoride-free toothpaste in the US

fluoride-free toothpaste for adults
This could be the best all-natural toothpaste for you.

If you've chosen to not use fluoridated toothpaste, there are plenty of fluoride-free toothpaste options on the market. Fluoride-free toothpaste often uses natural ingredients to clean your teeth so you can expect it to taste a little different than the big-name brands.

Tom's of Maine antiplaque & whitening is one of the best fluoride-free toothpastes available. Instead of fluoride, it uses calcium carbonate, zinc citrate and xylitol to keep your mouth clean. Xylitol specifically has been shown to protect against cavities.

You can also try LivFresh toothpaste which uses stevia as a sweetener,

Read more about this topic in our full guide to the best fluoride-free toothpaste.

What's the best natural toothpaste?

best natural toothpaste
One of the best natural toothpaste options for you

A natural toothpaste is one where the ingredients all come from plants or naturally occurring sources, rather than being manufactured in man-made processes. Davids Natural Toothpaste ticks this box and the ingredients are EWG verified, and 98% of ingredients come from the US. Additionally, this toothpaste is actually made in California.

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 a good option for whitening naturally. In this article, we explain how it will help whiten your teeth and give you recommendations for charcoal toothpaste.

Best plastic-free

plastic-free toothpaste
How about some eco toothpaste?

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 is a German brand of toothpaste tablets that polish your teeth using plant cellulose. They also offer fluoridated and fluoride-free options, keeping everyone happy.

Best non-mint

Not everyone likes the taste of mint. Luckily, there are now options for those who prefer other flavors⁠ or no flavor at all. Tom's has a fennel flavored variety that is also fluoride-free.

Some people just can't stand any type of strong flavoring, in which case an unflavored toothpaste should do the job. You can try Oranurse toothpaste which has no flavor to it at all, plus it's also one of the best SLS-free toothpaste options.

Best vegan

Vegan toothpaste
Keep your conscience clean

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.

If you do live a vegan lifestyle, you are probably already aware of Dr. Bronner's products. This toothpaste contains 70% organic ingredients, is fluoride and SLS-free and is vegan, all while freshening breath and reducing plaque.

Organic toothpaste

organic toothpaste
Natural isn't the same as certified organic

With all the natural toothpaste options out there, it's surprisingly difficult to find certified organic toothpaste. Well, not hard, but your options are definitely limited. That being said, Radius makes an organic toothpaste that is USDA certified organic and contains coconut oil to reduce cavities and whiten naturally. It's also made in the US.

They make a kids' version that tastes like coconut and banana. Yum!

How to choose the best toothpaste

Choosing a toothpaste is a personal matter. Not only does each person have different preferences when it comes to flavor, texture, and ingredients, but you might also have different needs than other people in your family, meaning there is no single best option for everyone.

What is important is to make sure the toothpaste you use is effective, and this usually means using a 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 American Dental Association (ADA), recommend that you use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.

A fluoride concentration of at least 1,000 ppm will give the best protection. There are times when fluoride might not be recommended for you, so we have included some fluoride-free toothpastes in our recommendations.

best toothpaste reviews
Dentists recommend using a toothpaste with fluoride

There are other ingredients that are helpful for particular needs, for example, remineralizing sensitive teeth or repairing damage to gums.

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 floss, interdental brushes or a water flosser. A good mouthwash can help keep your breath fresh at other times of the day. Read our guide to the best mouthwash to find one that works for you.

Toothpaste for children

Children should be supervised while they brush up to around the ages of six to eight. For children from two to six, parents should apply a smear layer on the toothbrush, and a pea-sized amount can be used for older children.

Many children's toothpaste now has the same composition as regular adult toothpaste, the main difference being flavor and packaging. The flavoring may tempt children to ingest or eat the toothpaste, which is why adult supervision is important.

Children should make sure not to swallow fluoride when brushing their teeth so you may want to consider an option with less fluoride, or just make sure to use a small, pea-sized amount.

There are different options of toothpaste depending on the age of your child and we've got separate guides that cover the best kids' toothpaste as well as the best kids' toothbrushes for them too.

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 this 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.

And if you want to take it a step further, you can try making your own natural toothpaste tablets.

Exploring eco options for toothpaste can be challenging. In this video, Eco Goddess shares her experience with making her own toothpaste to give you an idea to try.

Hello loves! In this video you will learn how to make Vegan and Zero Waste Toothpaste: a beautiful alternative to toothpaste that comes in tubes and typically end up in landfill. ☟click to show more☟ This recipe isn't just any toothpaste recipe… includes ancient healing minerals for a deep clean. Can you guess what the star ingredient is? 😏😏 RECIPE 1/3 cup warm water 1/4 cup bentonite clay 1/2 tsp salt 2 tsp coconut oil 2 tsp xylitol 7 drops peppermint oil To learn how to make my zero waste vegan mouthwash recipe or glowing teeth, find it here: https://youtu.be/L2PMiaHqEQc Enjoy! Love, EG LINK TO THE TOOTHBRUSH I USE: http://bit.ly/ecogoddesstoothbrush LINK TO BENTONITE CLAY I GET (if I cannot find it in bulk): http://bit.ly/ecogoddessbentoniteclay LINK TO ORGANIC PEPPERMINT EO: https://amzn.to/2nYH9HS LINK TO TRACE MINERALS I USE: http://bit.ly/ecogoddesstraceminerals EG BLOG » Website: http://www.ecogoddess.com HELPFUL LINKS » How Bentonite Clay Benefits Oral Health http://bit.ly/2wDK51l » Dental Benefits of Xylitol http://bit.ly/2NKZDag » Alternative 'Toothpastes' Are A Thing—But Do They Work? http://bit.ly/2PwqNC8 MY EBOOK Zero Waste Vegan Travel eBook: http://amzn.to/2B23SLZ WHAT I USE TO MAKE ECO GODDESS VIDEOS Film & photography gear: » Camera: http://amzn.to/2nsU4ST » Lens: http://amzn.to/2DTo8xb » Mic: http://amzn.to/2DTRlb0 KEEP UP WITH ME DAILY 🌿Marina’s Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/ecogoddess 🌿Marina’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ecogoddess 🌿Marina’s Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ecogoddess 🌿Marina's Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/theecogoddess #DIYToothpaste #ZeroWasteDentalHygiene #ZeroWasteToothpaste #NaturalWaystoWhitenYourTeeth *DISCLAIMER: This recipe is DIY. It was not tested in a lab for effectiveness, and was simply created with known and researched natural substances that support healthy teeth and gums (anti-plaque, antibacterial). Please consult with your dentist if you have pre-existing dental issues or concerns regarding what products are best for you.

Conclusion

There are so many toothpaste brands available, choosing the right one to meet your needs can be tough. The best option 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. Additionally, whatever toothpaste you choose, make sure to check the ingredients carefully if you have certain food allergies.

FAQs

Is fluoride in toothpaste bad for you?

It depends who you ask. However, most dentists will say that not only is fluoride in toothpaste NOT bad for you, but it's important for fighting cavities and keeping teeth strong. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends using fluoride in toothpaste for children and even toddlers, (albeit just a smear the size of a grain of rice) as soon as their first teeth erupt.

That being said, it's understandable if you are concerned about potential adverse effects of fluoride, and there are plenty of good fluoride-free toothpastes that you can choose from as well.

Is charcoal toothpaste bad for your teeth?

Charcoal toothpaste is said to have many detoxifying benefits and is a natural way to whiten teeth. Some dentists warn that charcoal in toothpaste is too abrasive, and will erode your tooth's enamel.

If you are going to brush with charcoal, you should consider using a soft brush and not applying too much pressure. You may also want to consider using it once in a while, and not as your everyday toothpaste.

What is the best toothpaste for sensitive gums?

One of our favorite toothpastes for this is Hismile, which has hydroxyapatite to strengthen enamel and potassium citrate to combat sensitivity. It targets plaque buildup along the gum lines to improve bleeding gums and protect against gum disease.

12 Best Toothpastes for Fluoride, Sensitivity, Whitening, and More
4.5 (90%) 4 vote[s]


Contributors:
Amanda specialises in writing informative content about dentistry. She has been a regular contributor to Dentaly.org since 2017, and collaborates with dozens of dentists to keep this content accurate and up-to-date.
Medically reviewed by:
Dr. Karen Kemp-Prosterman is a practicing pedodontist with over 17 years of experience. She completed her dental education at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN in 2002. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, and among other achievements is currently the Founder and CEO of PGP Dental Consultancy in Stamford, Connecticut.
Sources

WebMD: Dental Health and Fluoride Treatment. Consulted 21st November 2019. NCBI: The effect of xylitol on dental caries and oral flora. Consulted 4th January 2020. ADA.org: Fluoridation FAQs. Consulted 4th January 2020. American College of Prosthodontists: Facts & Figures. Consulted 9th January 2020.