(Before you read through my toothpaste picks, you may want to read my article on the different ingredients in toothpaste. It will explain about all the different common ingredients as well as provide a chart on how abrasive many different brands of toothpaste are.)
My Top Pick:
Colgate Total Care is the best toothpaste I’ve found. Throughout many scientific studies, it has been found to reduce plaque, gingivitis, and bleeding far more than other toothpaste formulations. It also reduces your risk of cavities slightly (about 5%) over the others. Lastly it has a relatively low abrasiveness index so you won’t damage the enamel of your teeth.
Some people also are very sensitive to the ingredients in toothpaste. Certain ingredients can cause mouth sores and irritation. One of the most common irritants is known as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). If you’re one of these people you should definitely try an SLS free toothpaste. You won’t get that same foaming effect that you get with other toothpastes but it will clean just fine. They can be difficult to find in stores as most of the major toothpaste manufacturers don’t make this type. One of my favorite SLS free toothpastes is Tom’s of Maine Clean and Gentle.
Sensodyne Pronamel contains a special ingredient (potassium nitrate) to reduce the sensitivity of the nerves in your teeth. It does take several weeks to get maximum effect. I also like this one because it has very low abrasiveness.
Oxyfresh Fluoride Toothpaste. This is a toothpaste that is minimally abrasive and tends to be a bit more gentle for most people. It works well, includes fluoride, and zinc to help reduce bad breath.
Kid’s should not get fluoride toothpaste until they are about 2-3 years old. Once they are old enough to not swallow the toothpaste you can start them on a kid’s toothpaste. I personally like the Tom’s of Maine strawberry toothpaste. It is the only toothpaste my kids would use for a long while because you don’t get that same burning feeling you get with most other toothpastes.
Baby and Toddler Toothpaste (Fluoride Free)
Under age 2-3 kids should not use a fluoride toothpaste (see above). You can brush with just water or you can use a fluoride free toothpaste like this Xlear Spry Tooth Gel that has xylitol. Xylitol reduces the amount of cavity causing bacteria and is very safe. See the Xylitol section of the website for more information.
I generally do not recommend using a fluoride-free toothpaste. There are significant benefits to using fluoride topically via toothpaste…. Water fluoridation is another matter though. If you’d like more information about the scientific studies on fluoride, please read my page where I go over everything you need to know about fluoride. My positions might surprise you. I do however understand that some people will not use any products with fluoride. One of my favorite fluoride free toothpastes is from Tom’s of Maine. I’d also recommend a strong emphasis on a good diet, minimization of any sugary drinks, and using sugar free chewing gum or mints, ideally with xylitol as the sweetener.