The Ultimate Guide to Toothpaste

Everyone knows that the best way to keep your teeth clean and healthy is to visit your dentist every six months for regular check-ups. The question is, how many of us truly know what we should be doing between visits to ensure that our teeth are being well taken care of in between visits? We have been told since we were children to brush our teeth twice a day, floss at least once a day, and if possible, rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash, but is that enough? What if you’re doing everything your dentist recommends and your teeth aren’t as white as you might like them to be or maybe you’re having sensitivity issues. Then the question becomes, are you using the right toothpaste?

We’re going to give you the low-down on all types of toothpaste on the market today. This will help you make an informed choice the next time you are in the toothpaste aisle surrounded by thousands of tubes of this and that.

Every brand of toothpaste will promise you something. It’s part of their marketing and branding strategy. “Buy X-Brand Toothpaste and get the whitest teeth around.” “Try Z-Brand toothpaste for fresh breath and strong enamel.” Who knew choosing toothpaste could be so overwhelming? Here are the basic types of toothpaste:

Tartar Control

Tartar control toothpastes do exactly what the name implies: they help control tartar build up on your teeth. This particular toothpaste helps remove plaque from your teeth before it has had a chance to harden. What it does not do is help prevent tartar buildup below the gumline. This paste is an appropriate option for those whose who are prone to serious tartar buildup.


It seems like everyone is looking for a product that promises to make their teeth “movie star white”. It may sound like a great idea to simply use a whitening toothpaste at home, however, some of these products contain harsh chemicals that can cause sensitivity or possible damage to your teeth. Your safest bet is to discuss your whitening options with your dentist and see what they suggest; after all, they know your teeth better than anyone. If you are already prone to sensitivity due to an underlying condition, your dentist will be able to let you know that whitening pastes are probably not a good option.


Speaking of sensitivity, there are also many brands of toothpaste that offer relief from the pain caused by having sensitive teeth. These are wonderful options for those who live in fear of eating foods that are too hot or too cold. Sensitivity toothpastes contain special chemicals that actually block the passageways that travel through the teeth to the nerves, thus preventing pain. You should always mention sensitivity issues to your dentist so they can do a thorough check and make sure there are no underlying conditions that contribute to this sensitivity.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Children’s Toothpaste

Let’s face it, we’ve all been tempted to try our kid’s toothpaste. It is sparkly, comes in cute cartoon character covered tubes, and tastes like bubblegum. What’s not to love, right? What you need to keep in mind is that children’s toothpaste contains just the right amount of fluoride for a child, not an adult. The funky flavors make brushing more fun and enticing for kids to encourage frequent brushing. For those of us who have had a “toothpaste eater” in the house, you can choose to start with a training toothpaste. These are designed as “safe if swallowed” so there are no worries about your children getting sick.

Generally speaking, brands of toothpaste are simply personal preference. Once you decide on the correct type of toothpaste for your teeth, you can choose the brand without much consideration. One thing to look for is the seal of approval from the American Dental Association (ADA). This ensures that your toothpaste is approved by dentists.