Choosing a toothpaste can be overwhelming.
There are hundreds of options, all with their own buzzwords.
To keep things simple, I’ve recommended 3 excellent options below for the best overall toothpaste.
These are all readily available in Australia and will do a good job.
I’ve also included advice below on how to choose a toothpaste if you want to pick one that isn’t on our lists.
3 dentist-recommended toothpastes for everyday use
If you just want a good overall toothpaste, I’ve recommended 3 options below.
If there’s a particular type of toothpaste you’re interested in, such as the best natural toothpaste or the best for sensitive teeth, see our more specific posts here.
This is the criteria I have used to select the choices below:
- Contains fluoride.
- May not necessarily be advertised to help with bleeding gums or sensitivity, but if it can do this for the same price as a regular toothpaste, it may well be included!
- If it is a whitening toothpaste, I have deliberately included only those with a low RDA value to minimise potential damage
- Where cost allows, I have opted for the more environmentally conscious toothpastes.
Whenever you’re shopping for a toothpaste, I would recommend factoring the above points into your decision.
Oral-B Gum Care and Enamel Restore Range
I have picked Oral B Gum Care and Enamel Restore as one of the best toothpastes in Australia, because it contains multi-purpose stannous fluoride, as well as being one of the few toothpastes with an active ingredient for gum disease, as well as having ingredients to help reduce staining.
The active ingredients for managing gum disease here are stannous fluoride and zinc lactate, and essentially the toothpaste helps to reduce the amount of gum-disease causing bacteria.
The stannous fluoride also helps manage sensitivity, so this toothpaste is a good toothpaste if you have gum disease and sensitivity too.
And just because you have gum disease, it doesn’t mean that you need to put up with stains on your teeth. Whitening toothpastes won’t lighten the overall colour of your teeth, as explained here, but will help remove dark coloured stains from the surface.
Beware that whitening versions may cause tooth abrasion, and sensitive toothpastes may cost more for something you don’t need. You can check out the recommendations for the best whitening and best sensitive toothpastes elsewhere!
- Sodium hexametaphosphate helps to reduce staining
- Stannous fluoride protects against cavIties
- Stannous fluoride will also help reduce sensitivity
- Zinc citrate prevents calculus build up
- Widely available in supermarkets and pharmacies
- No information on animal testing
- Use of single use plastics
Where to buy
- 100g tube
- Approx. $5 / tube
Grants of Australia Fresh Mint Toothpaste with Fluoride
Australian brand Grants of Australia have a range of toothpastes on offer, all of which are SLS free. I have included this option because it contains fluoride, important in the prevention of decay.
- SLS free.
- Widely available in supermarkets and pharmacies.
- Contains fluoride for protection against cavities.
- Vegan and cruelty free
- No GMO ingredients
- No preservatives
- No information on animal testing
- Use of single use plastics
Where to buy
- 100g tube
- $4.50 per tube
Denttabs Toothpaste Tablets with Fluoride
Toothpaste tablets are a great option if you are thinking about the environment. And these toothpaste tablets hit the spot for reducing environmental impact whilst still protecting your teeth.
Denttabs have a good balance of natural and organic ingredients, whilst still including those that are needed for an everyday toothpaste. They still contain fluoride at the recommended dose for protection against cavities.
- More natural ingredients and less chemicals.
- Contains fluoride
- Less packaging
- Environmentally friendly (plastic free)
- Travel friendly (no liquids)
- Just the right amount each time (1 tablet = one dose)
- Low abrasivity – RDA 30
- Vegan and cruelty free
- Gluten free
- SLS free
- Some organic ingredients
- More expensive than regular toothpaste
- Initial taste can take a bit of getting used to
What is toothpaste for?
Toothpaste isn’t just there to freshen your breath, it actively helps to clean your teeth.
The primary role of toothpaste is to act as an abrasive by removing plaque around teeth and the gum line.
This process is absolutely essential in avoiding gum disease and tooth decay — painful conditions that can lead to tooth loss.
The secondary function of most high street toothpastes is the protection of teeth by the addition of fluoride, which I cover in more detail below.
And whilst it’s important to choose a good toothpaste and use it properly, it’s worth noting that toothpaste alone plays a small role in your oral health care.
Equally as important are using the correct brushing technique, and flossing properly.
How to choose a toothpaste specific to your needs — 7 points to consider
With the hundreds of toothpaste options available, how can you pick the best toothpaste? You may be tempted to stick with the same toothpaste brand, but you could try to pick the best toothpaste for you.
The best toothpaste can be very personal, and there are a number of things to consider. I would take it on a step by step basis, thinking about the following questions:
1. Is there fluoride in the toothpaste?
- There are three types of fluoride approved for use in Australia. Toothpastes containing fluoride are actually considered to be over-the-counter drugs or medicines.
- Fluoride is the single most important ingredient for protecting the teeth from cavities.
- Fluoride free toothpastes are available, but do not receive the Australian Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval.
- If you have a high risk of tooth decay, your dentist may do you a prescription for a special high fluoride toothpaste.
2. Are there specific ingredients you want to avoid?
- This could be for medical reasons, such as an allergy or sensitivity.
- This could be for a number of reasons, such as wanting to avoid ingredients that are harsh on the environment. For example, opting for an SLS free toothpaste.
3. Do you have any specific problems that you need help with?
- Toothpaste can have ingredients added that can help protect your teeth against more than just cavities.
- Gum disease can be improved with specific toothpastes (in addition to following the cleaning regime recommended by your dentist or hygienist).
- If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, you may want to choose a toothpaste containing ingredients to help reduce the discomfort you feel.
- If you have a dry mouth, you may want to avoid ingredients that make this worse, or choose a toothpaste that can help you.
- Some people suffer from tartar build up, and despite good cleaning at home and regular professional cleans, they still get a build up. Some ingredients can help protect against this.
4. Do you want a whitening toothpaste?
- Whilst toothpastes are unlikely to be whitening in themselves, they have an important role in removing and preventing staining of teeth, making them appear whiter.
- Baking soda is a common ingredient used to help remove stains, and there are specific baking soda toothpastes available.
- Smokers suffer from staining and they may benefit from whitening toothpaste.
5. What flavour do you want?
- The most common flavour for toothpaste is mint.
- There are alternatives available, from unflavoured natural toothpastes to bubble gum flavoured toothpaste.
- Non-mint toothpastes differ only in their taste, and aren’t only for kids!
6. Consider the environment
- Toothpastes come with chemicals, some of which can be avoided by option for a natural toothpaste.
- As an over-the-counter drug, toothpastes will require testing before going to market. You can choose vegan toothpastes and avoid products tested on animals.
- Plastic free alternatives to toothpaste are available to reduce your impact on the environment.
- You can choose toothpastes with sustainable packaging, and recycle packaging through schemes such as Terracycle.
7. Be aware about tooth wear
- Toothpastes contain abrasives to help with their cleaning action.
- Abrasives can cause damage to the tooth surface, removing the enamel layer over time.
- Toothpaste RDA values should be below 250 to be consifered safe for a lifetime of use.
Do your own research
What I wish to emphasise is the need for you to do your own research. What is the most effective toothpaste for one person may not necessarily be the most effective toothpaste for another.
1. Look at our basic guidelines for choosing a toothpaste
2. If you are interested in a speciality toothpaste, see one of our subtopics below
3. Once you’ve chosen a product, make sure you use it regularly and properly. See our guide here on how to brush your teeth.
With some toothpaste ingredients, their level of safety or harmfulness is disputed among the public, scientists, and medical professionals. Often there is no definitive right or wrong answer.
There are often changes in regulations and ingredients too, and whilst we have taken the time to check before releasing any information, these can and do change.
It is not our position at Electric Teeth to comment on the safety of ingredients – but where necessary we can and will present the different arguments from evidence based sources, and to draw your attention to existing discussions and evidence, so that you can make your own decision on which ingredients you are happy to use.
Shopping for a specific type of toothpaste? See our other articles
If you’re shopping for a more specialised toothpaste, you may find some of our other toothpaste posts useful.
- Best toothpaste for sensitive teeth
- Best natural toothpaste
- Best toothpaste for gum disease
- Best SLS-Free toothpaste
- Best non-mint toothpaste
- Best toothpaste tablets
Also visit our toothpaste hub page to see all of our content listed in an easy-to-find format.
What about fluoride free?
As a dentist I am familiar with the arguments for and against fluoride. But I work with evidence.
At present the overwhelming evidence supports the use of fluoride in toothpaste, and in particular I would like to draw your attention to the following pages to help inform you about fluoride:
- Dental Practice Education Research Unit at The University of Adelaide: The Fluoride Update Program
- National Health and Medical Research Council’s Fluoride Reference Group
- The Cochrane Library systematic review Fluoride toothpastes of different concentrations for preventing dental caries
- The European Commision Critical review of any new evidence on the hazard profile, health effects, and human exposure to fluoride and the fluoridating agents of drinking water
- Public Health England’s Delivering Better Oral Health Toolkit
- New Zealand’s Ministry of Health: Guidelines for the use of fluorides
Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network: Dental interventions to prevent caries in children
Because of this I am unable to recommend any product that does not contain fluoride as the best overall toothpaste. However, there are developments in the use of calcium phosphates for re-mineralisation. In some cases, fluoride free toothpastes may contain calcium phosphates which can provide some protection.
10 thoughts on “Best Toothpaste 2023”
I have been diagnosed with sialosis, I get white stringy stuff in my mouth and a sticky substance on the back of my teeth which cannot be removed by hygienist at the dentist. This is causing me great distress, sometimes the strings wraparound my tongue and I can’t talk properly, I pick at it continually, I’ve used every toothpaste under the sun. What do you recommend. Debbie. Also I have seen 12 Dentist and two professors in Adelaide, and no one can help me.
Sorry to have to read about your situation.
Who diagnosed you with the condition and have you spoken to them about this?
Hi, are you able to tell me anything about Macleans toothpaste and if it works as well as the others? I ask mainly as I like the flavour as it’s stronger than Colgate.
There are a few different Macleans toothpastes and I don’t know which one you are referring to, so I will give a general answer. There is nothing wrong with Macleans toothpastes in general. Macleans are part of the GSK group so the toothpastes well tested for safety. Just ensure the paste you are using has fluoride in it. If you prefer the flavour, then go for it!If you have a specific question about a particular paste, feel free to ask about that too.
Love this. Thanks Doc. Can you point me to an article on how to manage or eliminate bad breath? Thank you. Reading this in the Philippines.
Hi Jonmar. We haven’t really completed an article on bad breath as yet. We have created a short video on our YouTube channel here.
One of the biggest causes of bad breath is not cleaning the tongue. You can learn how to do that here.
well done Gemma, reading this in Sydney Australia, and all seems relevent here.
Thank you for the feedback Paul.
Just noticed that Oral B Gum Care & Enamel Restore Toothpaste in Australia contains Zinc Lactate not Zinc Citrate. Do they do the same thing? Does this change your recommendation?
Hi David, the text did read Zinc Citrate. This was an error on my behalf, thank you for highlighting this. I have now corrected it to Zinc Lactate. Both help to fight bacteria in the mouth. It does not change my recommendation for best toothpaste. Gemma