The 7 Best Toothpastes For Plaque

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best toothpastes for plaque
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By Margeaux Baulch Klein and BDG Commerce
Originally Published: 

When on the hunt for the best toothpastes for plaque, finding a formula that can prevent plaque from hardening and turning into tartar is key. That’s because, according to dentist Dr. Bryan Laskin, founder of Lake Minnetonka Dental, “plaque is soft and gooey, and you can brush it off right away. Once that plaque hardens and becomes tartar, you can’t get rid of it on your own with brushing. It becomes calcified and requires a dental hygienist to remove it during a routine 6-month checkup,” he told Bustle. The best plaque-fighting formulas will include ingredients like pyrophosphate, which prevents plaque from hardening, and fluoride which helps strengthen tooth enamel.

Beyond looking for fluoride toothpastes and ones with pyrophosphate, you'll find formulas that have extra components designed to help you identify and remove plaque on the surface of your teeth. For example, Plaque HD's anti-cavity toothpaste is formulated with an ingredient that turns plaque in your mouth the color green in order to help you know where to brush.

If finding a whitening toothpaste is a top priority for you, look for a tartar-control formula with ingredients like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide that can whiten your teeth as well. And, if you prefer natural formulas, look for ones made with non-toxic ingredients like grapefruit seed extract or activated charcoal that are free from chemical compounds like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Finally, some toothpastes are formulated to treat specific dental concerns, so look for toothpastes for gum disease or toothpastes meant for sensitive teeth if these are issues you are dealing with.

For an in-depth look at some of the best toothpastes for plaque, keep scrolling.


An Affordable Whitening Toothpaste That Also Fights Plaque

This Colgate toothpaste combines the powerful whitening ingredient hydrogen peroxide with plaque-reducing ones like fluoride and pyrophosphate to both clean and brighten teeth simultaneously. And, because this three-pack of 3.2-ounce tubes of toothpaste is only around $10, it's an incredible deal. Best of all, it has a pleasant herbal wintergreen flavor that’s minty and feels super fresh.

Helpful Amazon review: “Hubby and I drink coffee, and we like to use a whitening toothpaste to keep our teeth looking great. This Optic White is great! It tastes fine, bubbles a lot due to the hydrogen peroxide, contains [fluoride] for cavity protection, and whitens.”


A Toothpaste That Turns Plaque Green So That You Know Where To Brush

One of the hardest parts of plaque removal is knowing exactly where to brush. That’s why Plaque HD’s toothpaste is so unique. It contains a disclosing ingredient that turns the plaque in your mouth a vivid green color in order to help you visually identify the spots you missed while brushing. So, instead of brushing harder (which could potentially recede your gum line and cause chips in tooth enamel), you can brush smarter and more efficiently with this toothpaste. And although around $30 is pricey for a single tube of toothpaste, the product has received rave reviews from Amazon users, who rate it 4.3 out of five stars.

One thing to note: Some reviewers say this toothpaste turned the bristles of their toothpaste green. While this won't interfere with brushing your teeth, anyone with electric toothbrushes that have pricey replacement heads, be warned.

Helpful Amazon review: “Although I do not use it everyday, this product does what it says will do. The heavy plaque on a specific area of my teeth is slowly going away. It also make me brush my teeth longer and rinse more than usual due to the dark color, proving how much toothpaste I was leaving on my mouth before.”


A Fluoride Toothpaste With Tea Tree Oil & Other Natural Ingredients

For those who prefer a more natural fluoride toothpaste that’s free of artificial colors and sweeteners, sodium lauryl sulfate, and other potentially controversial chemicals, this tartar-control toothpaste is the best choice around. It relies on fluoride to remove plaque, along with additional natural ingredients that are great for your dental health, such as antimicrobial tea tree oil, tartar-reducing grapefruit seed and perilla seed extracts, and even gum-soothing aloe vera gel. In addition, the formula includes cinnamon oil to give it a light and pleasant taste.

Helpful Amazon review: “Love this because it is not abrasive like most all toothpastes are now (since they want to have a whitening effect). I had been looking for a good gel toothpaste for a while that I could recommend my patients. As a periodontist, I see that people brush extremely hard with all of these abrasive toothpastes and with electric brushes and are getting more and more recession. I also love that this paste has fluoride which is a necessity for the anti- cavity affect.”


A Plaque-Fighting Whitening Toothpaste For Sensitive Teeth

If your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks, this Sensodyne toothpaste will help this sensitivity while fighting plaque. When used regularly, the toothpaste actually forms a protective layer over the vulnerable areas of your tooth, so you experience less discomfort. Its primary active ingredient is fluoride, which helps prevent cavities and plaque. It also whitens your teeth without being overly harsh.

Helpful Amazon review: “I am a jaw clencher and teeth grinder and it has left me with sensitive gums and teeth. I was pretty skeptical about this toothpaste but am so happy I found and even happier it is a multi pack because I dont think I can live without it. It truly stops the cold from piercing the top of my teeth near my gums - I would use it just for that BUT it actually helps whiten my teeth too - I would say after a week it was pretty noticeable.”


A Fluoride-Free Toothpaste For Plaque

Some people prefer to avoid using fluoride for plaque prevention, which is why this Tom’s of Maine toothpaste skips the fluoride, instead focusing on propolis and myrrh resins to effectively clean your mouth. It also uses calcium carbonate to scrub away plaque. Choose between spearmint, cinnamint, or fennel flavors.

Helpful Amazon review: “We really like this fluoride and good dental checkups. The flavor is a little different, but it leaves one's mouth feeling quite fresh and clean.”


An Anti-Plaque Whitening Toothpaste With Activated Charcoal

This toothpaste from Hello Oral Care is chock full of plaque-preventing, whitening, and cleansing ingredients while skipping components like sulfates, parabens, and peroxides. The vegan toothpaste contains so much good stuff, including fluoride to fight plaque, plus bamboo-derived activated charcoal and fresh mint to freshen your breath. The result is clean, white teeth without too much plaque. But for the record, the toothpaste itself is black, so be prepared for your teeth to look black, too, while you’re brushing. Buy the toothpaste in a four-pack, or opt for a two-pack with a toothbrush included.

Helpful Amazon review: “It has a pretty appealing flavor, pleasant and not overly minty. You don’t need to squeeze much on your toothbrush, a little goes a long way. This toothpaste leaves my mouth feeling very clean, I’ve noticed it’s a cleaner feeling than with other toothpaste brands.”


A Toothpaste For Plaque That Treats & Prevents Bleeding Gums

If you have gingivitis or bleeding gums, try this Parodontax toothpaste. It uses fluoride to prevent plaque and tartar while also treating gum disease. Thousands of Amazon reviewers have used this toothpaste, and many report that it’s effectively reversed issues they were having with inflamed or bleeding gums.

Helpful Amazon review: “This is a great toothpaste, I was having issues with gingivitis, sensitivity and receding gums. This has [helped] reverse those issues and keep my mouth clean and healthy. The flavor is good and keeps my breath fresh.”


Dr. Bryan Laskin, DDS, founder of Lake Minnetonka Dental

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