Tips for Choosing the Right Toothpaste

With the dizzying array of toothpaste types available, trying to figure out which one is right for you and your family can be tough. However, these handy tips make the process easy.

Talk to your dentist. The best way to truly know which toothpaste is best for you is to simply ask your dentist. Dentists such as those at can discuss your individual dental health and make appropriate recommendations based on your specific needs. For instance, certain types of dental work and orthodontics require specific types of toothpaste. It’s always best to follow your dentist’s suggestions.

Look for ADA approval.

The American Dental Association (ADA) bestows its seal of approval to toothpastes evaluated for effectiveness and safety by an independent review board of scientific experts. In order to earn an ADA seal of approval, a toothpaste must contain fluoride, which is considered by the dental profession to be toothpaste’s most important ingredient.

Avoid toxic ingredients.

Speaking of ingredients, according to, some toothpastes imported to the U.S. from China contained diethylene glycol, a toxic ingredient. While this was nearly a decade ago, it’s a good idea to check labels and avoid any toothpastes with labels indicating the toothpaste was made in China.

Know your options. 

There are four main types of toothpaste, each with its own specific purpose:

  • Fluoride. A naturally occurring mineral, fluoride is what helps prevent tooth decay – which is why it’s considered the most important ingredient in toothpaste. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel and remineralizing the parts of the tooth that have begun to decay.
  • Tartar control. Bacteria on the teeth causes plaque, which if not promptly removed, hardens into tartar. If tartar is allowed to build up on teeth and under gums, it can cause gum disease. Tartar control toothpaste contains ingredients that help prevent the buildup of tartar.
  • Whitening. Whitening toothpaste polishes teeth two ways: with abrasive particles or with chemicals that bind to stains to help remove them from teeth. The good news is whitening toothpaste is no harder on teeth than any other fluoride toothpaste.
  • Sensitive. This type of toothpaste contains chemical compounds which help block the pathways through the teeth to the nerves, reducing sensitivity over a period of weeks.

Consider your needs.

Which toothpaste you choose largely depends on your particular likes and needs. As long as your toothpaste has fluoride, you really can’t go wrong.