By now, you've heard plenty of dentists talk about the importance of keeping a consistent oral hygiene routine. But just as important as brushing your teeth twice a day, is brushing with the right toothpaste. And for many people (read: most people), that means using one of the best fluoride toothpastes.
Fluoride is one of the most necessary ingredients to help prevent tooth decay, according to the American Dental Association. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise, given the fact that the ingredient has been used for decades as the top cavity-fighting and enamel-strengthening agent in toothpastes. In fact, it's considered so important that the American Dental Association won't give a toothpaste brand their official ADA Seal of Approval unless it’s formulated with fluoride.
But let’s get into the nitty gritty: There are
three types of FDA-approved fluorides to prevent tooth decay: stannous fluoride, sodium fluoride, and sodium monofluorophosphate. Stannous fluoride has been in use since the 1950s and is powerful enough to protect against gingivitis, plaque, and tooth sensitivity, but it does have one down side: it has the potential to stain teeth, which is why until recent years, it had fallen out of favor. That being said, it’s generally the strongest choice if you’re dealing with sensitivity or gum concerns. The majority of modern toothpastes, however, contain sodium fluoride or sodium monofluorophosphate, but unlike multitasking stannous fluoride, these fluorides only provide cavity protection.
Of course, when shopping for toothpaste, there’s more to consider beyond fluoride. Whether you want a formula that whitens teeth, one that’s vegan-friendly, or a great
toothpaste for gums, there are options for a range of oral hygiene needs. To help you find the one that works best for you, I've done the research and rounded up the best fluoride toothpastes, so keep scrolling — you're one step closer to a healthy, cavity-free smile. 1 A Fluoride Toothpaste Made With Teeth-Whitening Hydrogen Peroxide Active Ingredients: Sodium Monofluorophosphate, 1.14%
Optic White Advanced toothpaste is formulated with sodium monofluorophosphate for cavity protection, along with 2% hydrogen peroxide that works to whiten teeth and remove stubborn stains, while going gentle on tooth enamel. This complete oral care formula is designed to prevent plaque build-up and fend off tartar and germs inside your mouth. This toothpaste has racked up more than 19,000 reviews on Amazon and boasts an impressive 4.7-star overall rating, making it a true fan favorite. According to one reviewer: “I get a million compliments a day on how white my teeth are because I use this toothpaste. I got it after seeing how white my friend's teeth are, and I can confirm this toothpaste does wonders. I see results after brushing just one time and love it!! Never going back to standard toothpaste.” 2 A Toothpaste For Strengthening Enamel & Sensitive Teeth Active Ingredients: Sodium Fluoride, 0.315%; Potassium Nitrate 5%
Pronamel gentle whitening toothpaste is made with sodium fluoride to prevent cavities and potassium nitrate to remineralize and re-harden weakened enamel. It’s also a great pick for those who normally find whitening toothpastes to be harsh, thanks to its non-abrasive formula. Reviewers have reported the highly rated toothpaste works, helping to reduce both tooth and gum sensitivity, so you get a thorough but gentle clean. And while it’s definitely a pricier toothpaste, it’s well worth it if you’re in the market for a brighter smile and less oral tenderness. According to one reviewer: “For anyone who has developed tooth sensitivities, Sensodyne and especially Pronamel, is invaluable. Using their toothpastes, full-time, solved my issues, so I no longer have to avoid hot and cold liquids, or any foods. The added benefit of whitening is a major bonus, especially when you know it won't strip your enamel, like other products.” 3 A Stannous Fluoride Toothpaste For Gum Health Active Ingredients: Stannous Fluoride, 0.454%
If you’re dealing with gum issues,
Crest's Gum Detoxify toothpaste is going to be your best bet. It’s formulated with stannous fluoride, which means it doesn’t just provide cavity protection, but it also treats gingivitis and hypersensitivity. But what sets this stannous fluoride toothpaste apart from similar formulas is its unique foaming formula, which can penetrate up to 4 millimeters below the gum line for a deeper clean in hard-to-reach places for longer-lasting protection. Be aware that stannous fluoride has the potential to cause staining. That being said, it’s a small tradeoff for gum health. One last note: Be sure to check in with your dentist regularly if you’re concerned about your gums. According to one reviewer: “I tried it because I was having gum pain which persisted even after seeing my dentist. After using this toothpaste, pain gone. Yes, it's expensive but it worked for me so I'm willing to pay more for it. I have noticed my teeth are whiter and that's a plus but my main concern was gum disease and this toothpaste seems to help eliminate that.” 4 A Natural Formula That's Vegan & Gluten-Free Active Ingredients: Sodium Monofluorophosphate, 0.76%
If you’re looking for a more natural formula, Hello’s
fluoride toothpaste boasts a 4.7-star overall rating after 5,000 reviews, and it’s vegan, gluten-free, and not tested on animals. This pick can whiten teeth, prevent cavities, and strengthen enamel, all while using a gentle, all-natural formula that's free of peroxide, dyes, artificial flavors, and preservatives. Plus, it’s a great option for anyone with SLS allergies. The multipack pack includes four 4.2-ounce tubes of the whitening paste, and the flavor is a refreshing farm-grown mint. According to one reviewer: “I have to admit that I bought this toothpaste only because it was cruelty free and natural. [...] After the first brushing, I noticed that my teeth were so clean that they were slick and shiny. I also noticed when I woke up in the morning, my teeth had no scum on them at all. After a couple of days, I have noticed that my teeth are definitely whiter. But the most surprising side effect was that my incredibly sensitive teeth are much less sensitive.” 5 A Non-Mint Flavored Toothpaste Active Ingredients: Sodium Monofluorophosphate, 0.76%
Tom’s strawberry toothpaste is technically designed for children, many of its loyal customers are adults who wanted to find a non-mint toothpaste — not easy to do with toothpastes designed for grownups. It uses ingredients like calcium, silica, and fluoride to gently clean, freshen, and protect against cavities, with no artificial flavors or preservatives added. And, because Tom's Of Maine is a brand known for their natural ingredients and refusal to test on animals, this is a brand you can feel good about supporting. This formula has more than 14,000 perfect five-star ratings and reviews on Amazon, and people love this as a natural, non-mint option. According to one reviewer: “Flavor is awesome, and it has noticeably whitened my teeth over a couple week span. Not too harsh either.”
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This article was originally published on
Oct. 7, 2018