Picking a Toothpaste

Updated: Jan 19

When buying new toothpaste, you may find yourself wondering: What is the best toothpaste for me? From whitening toothpaste to sensitivity toothpaste, the shelves are filled with dozens of varieties.

Toothpastes are generally lumped into several categories:

  1. Whitening

  2. Sensitivity

  3. Fluoride

  4. Smokers

  5. Children’s

  6. Adult’s

  7. Herbal/Natural Toothpastes

While there are benefits to each, your teeth determine the toothpaste you should use.

Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste is currently very common, but is it right for you? By using whitening toothpaste, you can remove surface stains at home. Whitening toothpastes often contain additional chemicals or polishing agents to aid in the whitening process. By brushing twice daily with a whitening toothpaste, you not only assist in the whitening of your teeth, but maintain your daily hygiene! Keep in mind that visiting your dentist twice a year can help remove deeper stains and keep your teeth at their whitest!

Examples: Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous White Toothpaste; Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste

Sensitivity Toothpaste

Sensitivity toothpastes are commonly used to alleviate pain associated with eating/drinking things that are hot or cold. Most sensitivity toothpastes do not include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) like a regular toothpaste. This is because SLS has been found to cause irritations inside of the mouth. Some sensitivity toothpastes also add potassium nitrate, which can alleviate tooth sensitivity.

While some people will need to use a sensitivity toothpaste indefinitely, some people will only need them for a short time. If you are using a whitening solution at home, this can cause irritation, so a sensitivity toothpaste can be used in combination with a whitener to decrease overall sensitivity.

Examples: Sensodyne, Colgate Sensitive Complete Protection, Aquafresh

Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is a mineral used in toothpastes, mouthwashes, and some bottled water that has been proven to increase the strength of tooth enamel. Using a fluoride toothpaste will help strengthen your teeth and protect them from cavities and tooth decay. All toothpastes that contain fluoride contain an ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Examples: Colgate Enamel Health, Sensodyne Repair & Protect

Smokers Toothpaste

Smokers toothpastes are formulated especially for the tobacco and tar stains left on teeth from cigarettes and other tobacco use. While they are similar to normal toothpastes, smokers toothpastes are often more abrasive to help remove tar build up and surface stains more effectively. Tobacco use can wreak havoc on your whole mouth, so making sure you use the proper toothpaste to break down tar build up is essential to keeping a clean mouth.

Example: Plus White Smokers' Whitening Toothpaste, Clinomyn Toothpaste For Smokers

Children Toothpaste vs. Adult Toothpaste

While many believe that children and adult toothpaste are the same, they are actually very different! Children’s toothpaste is formulated for deciduous teeth (baby teeth) and young bodies. Many children do not understand the concept of spitting out the toothpaste, so children’s toothpaste is created in a way that it is not harmful if swallowed. Children’s toothpaste also contains less fluoride than adult toothpaste.

Children and Adult toothpastes also vary in the way of flavor: adult toothpastes are often flavored in mint varieties, while children’s toothpastes are flavored like candy: bubble gum, vanilla, tutti frutti, etc.

Children’s Toothpastes: Colgate Children's 2-in-1 Toothpaste, Crest Pro-Health Stages

Herbal/Natural Toothpastes

Herbal toothpaste is a popular choice for people who are sensitive to ingredients in regular toothpaste, or people who are looking for a natural alternative. Herbal toothpastes contain ingredients like ginger oil, seaweed extract, and many more natural ingredients. Many natural toothpastes do not contain fluoride, so keep that in mind when choosing your toothpaste.

Example: Toms of Maine SLS-Free Toothpaste, Botanically Fresh Herbal Mint

While there are many different categories of toothpastes, there are also several combination toothpastes that may work for you. These toothpastes combine multiple benefits, depending on what you are looking for.

There is also a debate between paste and gel – is there really a difference? While there is not necessarily a difference in how clean a paste or gel gets your teeth, there is a difference in abrasion. Gel toothpastes are made with silica, which creates a clear gel that is smooth in texture. Pastes are solid in color and tend to be thicker. Because they are thicker, tooth pastes offer more abrasion to teeth which can remove surface stains easier.

When it comes to picking a toothpaste, there are so many choices. Educating yourself and knowing the benefits of each type will make your decision much easier when selecting a toothpaste.

**The solutions discussed in this article can be found at any of the

i2m Dental locations! Contact either of our offices for more information or

to schedule an appointment.**


5402 Queens Chapel Rd, Hyattsville, MD 20782 -- Ph: 240-696-7842

Toll-Free Number: 1-844-i2m-DENT [1-844-426-3368] Press 1 for Hyattsville


10020 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20901 ​-- Ph: 301-359-6555

Toll-Free Number: 1-844-i2m-DENT [1-844-426-3368] Press 2 for FourCorners

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Hyattsville, MD

Hyattsville, MD 20782 

Ph: 240-696-7842

Toll-Free Number : 1-844-i2m-DENT

[1-844-426-3368]  Press 1 for Hyattsville

Monday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tuesday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Wednesday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Thursday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Friday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Saturday: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Silver Spring, MD

             Ste B Silver Spring, MD 20901 

Ph: 301-789-7938

Toll-Free Number : 1-844-i2m-DENT

[1-844-426-3368Press 2 for FourCorners

Monday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tuesday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Wednesday: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Thursday: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Friday: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Saturday: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

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