Choosing a toothpaste can be overwhelming.
There are hundreds of options, all with their own buzzwords.
To keep things simple, I’ve listed 3 excellent options below for the best overall toothpaste.
These are all readily available within Canada and will do a good job.
I also offer advice on the best toothpastes from Canada’s 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.
3 recommendations for the best overall toothpaste
If you just want a good overall toothpaste, I’ve included 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.
Crest Gum & Enamel Repair Toothpaste
I have picked Crest Gum Care and Enamel Repair as one of the best toothpastes in Canada because:
- It contains multi-purpose stannous fluoride
- It is one of the few toothpastes with an active ingredient for gum disease
- It also contains ingredients to help reduce staining.
But in brief, 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.
- 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
- SLS can be a problem for some people
Tom’s of Maine Whole Care Natural Fluoride Toothpaste
Tom’s of Maine toothpastes are easily available, affordable, and generally have a smaller list of ingredients.
Whole Care toothpaste is no exception to this, and it provides benefits to your gums as well because it has key ingredients to help prevent tartar or calculus build up, which can be linked to gum disease, and also contains fluoride.
What also makes Tom’s of Maine special is that they use a Stewardship Model for their ingredients, balancing their ingredients with naturally sourced and natural derived so that they are as sustainable and responsible as possible. They work to be as accountable as possible, giving good explanations of their ingredients in an easy to find place.
On top of that, a proportion of profits are donated to charity, and employees have working hours dedicated for volunteering. What you end up with is an affordable, widely available natural toothpaste that is an alternative to the traditional brands.
Other toothpastes which you could also try, but which might not necessarily prevent tartar build up, include:
- Cavity Protection Natural Fluoride Toothpaste
- Wicked Fresh! Natural Toothpaste
- Clean & Fresh Natural Toothpaste
- Contains fluoride
- Naturally derived ingredients
- No artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives
- No animal derived ingredients
- No animal testing
- Widely available in supermarkets and pharmacies
- SLS can be a problem for some people
Colgate Zero Toothpaste
I have included the Colgate Zero range as one of the top toothpastes in Canada because it is a more natural offering from a popular brand.
This toothpaste is the newest offering from Colgate, and aims to please the health conscious market, being minimalist on ingredients, whilst still containing important fluoride.
I have included this toothpaste due to its availability on the market, and it being a popular and well known brand across Canada. Actually, it seems to be one of the only toothpastes marketed as “natural” from the most common toothpaste manufacturers (Crest, Sensodyne, Colgate). You may be more tempted to go for this toothpaste because you are familiar with the branding, and there is no problem with that.
Colgate are making a move towards environmentally friendly packaging by making the tube recyclable, but unfortunately there is still some single use plastic in the tube
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.
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 the my guidance here to pick the best option for you, and you can’t go wrong.
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 Oral B 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.
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:
- Canadian Dental Association’s Fluoride FAQs and Position on Use of Fluorides in Caries Prevention.
- Government of Canada information on Fluoride and Oral Health
- 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, 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.