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 just those two ingredients, 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 whitening is a top priority for you, look for a tartar-control toothpaste with ingredients like baking soda that can whiten your teeth as well. And, if you prefer natural formulas, there's a toothpaste on this list that's made with non-toxic ingredients like grapefruit seed extract rather than chemical compounds.