Which toothpaste is right for me?

14th January 2022

It’s probably time we briefly revisited this topic as it continues to come up regularly in discussion with our patients at Coppice View Dental Care.

Toothpastes are big business as anyone who’s been confronted by the wall of options available in any supermarket nowadays will agree. There are so many products and brands, most coming from the same few manufacturers, and it might come as little surprise if I told you that whilst there are few key features that you should always look for, it doesn’t matter a great deal which product you use.

Key points to remember are:

1 Does it have FLUORIDE in it?

All toothpastes (other than some of the ‘environment friendly’ ones) will tell you this. Look for “1400ppm” or higher. Fluoride strengthens enamel and makes your teeth resistant to decay. It’s the one feature that is not negotiable. If there’s no fluoride, there’s really no benefit; look for something else instead.

2 Does it taste nice?

Well, it’s hard to know until you’ve bought it. There aren’t many non-minty flavours unfortunately but if you’ve found one you like, it’s probably worth sticking with it. Some people will find their mouths feel odd after using a particular toothpaste. Look out for Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS), a foaming agent found in most toothpastes (and soaps), which some people can find irritates the lining of their mouth. There aren’t many SLS-free Fluoride toothpastes out there unfortunately, but Sensodyne Pronamel is one of the few which fits the bill).

3 Do I need a higher level of protection?

There are toothpastes that contain a much higher level of fluoride, but these are only available as a prescribed product from your dentist. Colgate make two products, Duraphat 2800 and 5000, which have much higher levels of fluoride. If you are developing decay repeatedly then as well as looking carefully at your diet, you should speak to your dentist to see if Duraphat might be worth using. If you have low saliva flow or a dry mouth, you are also likely to be at higher risk of problems and these toothpastes might be useful.

4 What about sensitive toothpastes, or whitening toothpastes?

Well, a lot of the anti-sensitivity products can be quite helpful if you have sensitivity as a result of receding gums (which is fairly common) but if you have any more persistent problems you should speak to your dentist about this. The “whitening” toothpastes don’t really do a great deal. If it’s whiter teeth you’re after you need to speak to your dentist about how to safely whiten your teeth with results that can be predicted.

In summary, it can be overwhelming but basically if the toothpaste has a good level of fluoride and it tastes OK then go for it. If you’re at all unsure, then please do not hesitate to speak to any of our team and we’ll be happy to help point you in the right direction.


Duraphat and Pronamel
01423 503 428

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Coppice View Dental Care
104 Kings Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 5HH