Choosing a toothpaste can be overwhelming.
There are hundreds of options, all with their own buzzwords.
To keep things simple, I’ve listed 5 excellent options below for the best overall toothpaste.
These are all readily available to buy and will do a good job.
I also offer advice on the best toothpastes from the most popular brands.
If you’re looking for a particular type of toothpaste see our toothpaste hub page, which lists all of our content in an easy-to-find format.
5 recommendations for the best overall toothpaste
If you just want a good overall toothpaste, I’ve included 5 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.
Crest Pro Health
This is a super affordable toothpaste which you can find in many places, which is just one of the reasons it makes it into the best overall toothpaste list.
There are a few versions of Crest Pro- Health. For an all-round toothpaste I would recommend using the:
- Crest Pro Health Clean Mint
- Crest Pro Health Smooth Peppermint
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!
- ADA Seal of Acceptance
- Contains stannous fluoride
- Minty flavour
- Easily available in supermarkets and drugstores
- Not vegan or cruelty free
- Plastic packaging
- Not specifically designed for sensitivity or whitening
Colgate Cavity Protection
This is one of the most easily available toothpastes from Colgate, and you should be able to find it almost everywhere, and at a super affordable price. That is why this is recommended toothpaste.
It contains the most basic of toothpaste ingredients: fluoride, which will help to protect against cavities. There are many other toothpastes available from Colgate, and if you wanted something slightly different (for example, you don’t like the taste of this one), then I would also recommend:
- Colgate Kids Maximum Cavity Protection
- Colgate Sensitive Prevent and Repair
Hello Naturally Whitening Toothpaste With Fluoride
Hello are bringing the concept of natural and vegan products mainstream. They are affordable and easily available online and in some supermarkets and drug stores too.
I would recommend either the Naturally Whitening Toothpaste with fluoride, or alternatively you could go for their kids toothpastes which have the same level of fluoride but come in non-mint flavours.
For the best overall toothpaste, avoid the fluoride free pastes available from Hello as these will not provide protection against cavities.
Plaque HD Anticavity Toothpaste
Plaque HD is special, because it stains the plaque on your teeth to help with removal of the damage-causing bacteria. This simplifies the process of “disclosing” as only one product is needed – no need for chewing on tablets.
This toothpaste is great for kids and adults alike. It would be particularly useful to help with brushing around braces and if you suffer from gum disease, as this is when removing plaque is especially important.
There is fluoride for protection against cavities, and two different flavours are available as well as a whitening option.
- Contains fluoride
- Contains disclosing ingredient to show where plaque is
- Easier than disclosing tablets
- Helps make cleaning teeth easier
- Suitable for the whole family
- Mint and non mint flavours available
- Costly toothpaste
- Same effect as disclosing tablets (which are more cost effective)
Denttabs Toothpaste Tablets with Fluoride
Toothpaste tablets are the best 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.
- Free from preservatives and artificial stabilizers.
- Contains fluoride
- 100% plastic free packaging – more environmentally friendly.
- Travel friendly option as no liquid.
- 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.
- Not that easy to source, only available at select retailers.
- Initial taste can take getting used to.
What to look out for when shopping by a particular brand
We are all familiar with the popular brands: Crest, Colgate and Sensodyne.
These toothpaste brands are so well known because they are produced in large quantities, around the world, and so are also generally cheaper. You also know that these brands will strive to meet expectations wherever they are sold, with almost all of their toothpastes containing fluoride and being low on the RDA scale.
During my research I have noticed that within a brand, two toothpastes with different names can have identical ingredients lists, but come at very different costs – look out for this, and don’t think that just because a toothpaste is more expensive, then it will be better.
Each brand has created its own niche, and boasts their own unique ingredients. But who do you go with? Which brand toothpaste is the best?
Well, mostly it comes down to personal choice. Read on to find out a bit about the brands in general and to find out which toothpastes I think are the best for each.
Best Colgate toothpaste
Colgate toothpaste is widely available, and there aren’t many that I would not recommend. In fact, I would say that Colgate actually has the widest selection of toothpastes for any brand, and usually is the cheapest too. But how do you know which one is the best Colgate toothpaste?
As long as you stick to the basic principles covered in my advice on what to think about when choosing a toothpaste, you can’t go wrong.
The Colgate website helpfully breaks down their different toothpastes, and you can even search by condition – for example sensitivity, or if you want a whitening toothpaste.
If I had to choose, the best colgate toothpastes (by category) are:
|Colgate cavity protection||Best overall|
|Colgate Kids Maximum Cavity Protection||Best for kids AND non-mint toothpaste|
|Colgate Sensitive Prevent and Repair||Best for sensitivity|
|Colgate Max White||Best for whitening|
|Colgate Total SF||Best for gum disease|
|Colgate Zero toothpaste||Natural toothpaste|
|Colgate total whitening toothpaste||SLS free toothpaste|
Best Sensodyne toothpaste
Sensodyne are well known for their toothpastes which help reduce sensitivity, in fact all of them have some element to help protect against sensitivity. But this does come at a cost, and generally Sensodyne are a fraction more expensive than Colgate or Crest.
So how do you know which is the best Sensodyne toothpaste?
Most of their toothpastes are SLS free (but do check the label), and it is one of the rare big brands to offer this. Within the Sensodyne range – which you can search through on their website – there aren’t many I would advise you to avoid, but I would just highlight that they have a couple of toothpastes with similar ingredients lists but at different costs (such as Sensodyne extra Whitening and Sensodyne True White).
But just follow my guidance here to pick the best option for you, and you can’t go wrong.
That said, if I had to round up my favourite Sensodyne toothpastes:
|Sensodyne pronamel daily protection||Best overall AND best SLS free|
|Sensodyne Essential Toothpaste||Best for sensitivity|
|Sensodyne Extra Whitening||Best for whitening|
|Sensodyne Sensitivity & Gum Whitening||Best for gum disease|
Best Crest toothpaste
When it comes to oral care, Crest are famous around the world for the toothpastes and toothbrushes. (In some countries around the world, Crest is marketed as Oral-B instead.) But what is the best Crest toothpaste?
I actually think Crest boasts a great range of toothpastes, with something for almost everyone. You can find out about the full range of Crest toothpastes on their website, but I’ve highlighted my recommendations below (but don’t forget to follow my guidance here about how to select the best toothpaste for you).
|Crest pro-health||Best overall|
|Kid’s Crest Cavity protection||Best for kids|
|Crest Gum and Sensitivity||Best for sensitivity|
|Crest 3D Whitening||Best for whitening|
|Crest Gum Detoxify + Whitening||Best for gum disease|
|Crest Complete Whitening Plus Cinnamon Expressions Toothpaste||Non- mint toothpaste|
Shopping for a specific type of toothpaste
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 whitening toothpaste
- Best charcoal toothpaste
- Best toothpaste tablets
- Non-fluoride toothpaste
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:
- The American Dental Association (ADA) Fluoridation Facts resource.
- The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States.
- The Cochrane Library systematic review Fluoride toothpastes of different concentrations for preventing dental caries
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, and you can find out more about this in our article about toothpaste ingredients. In some cases, fluoride free toothpastes may contain calcium phosphates which can provide some protection.
I respect that some people will choose a toothpaste without fluoride, and for those people, you can find out which toothpastes are fluoride free in our directory of toothpastes, and our summary of the best fluoride free toothpastes.