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Best Toothpaste 2021

Toothpaste on brush

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 in the UK and will do a good job.

I also offer advice on the best toothpastes from the UK’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.

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.

Oral B Pro-expert range

Oral-B Pro Expert Toothpaste

This is an 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. 

The stannous fluoride it contains actually is proven to have multiple benefits, including bad breath control, plaque/gingivitis control, sensitivity control, and stain removal It’s hard not to like that!

Oral-B claims this toothpaste “Starts working on sensitivity immediately for relief within days and starts working immediately by blocking tubules”, which can only be a benefit for this toothpaste. But don’t be surprised if it takes several days or even weeks to gain a full benefit.

Oral-B Pro Expert comes in a few different varieties, which all have a similar ingredients list:

  • Clean Mint
  • Deep Clean
  • Healthy White
  • Professional Protection
  • Sensitive & Gentle whitening

Beware that whitening versions may cause tooth abrasion, and sensitive toothpastes may cost more for something you don’t need.

Pros

  • Contains fluoride (stannuos fluoride)
  • Widely available in supermarkets and pharmacies

Cons

  • No information on animal testing or animal derived ingredients
  • Not vegan 
  • Plastic packaging

Price comparison

  • 75ml per tube
  • Approx. £4 / tube
  • £

Colgate Smile for Good Toothpaste

Colgate Smile For Good Toothpaste

This is the newest offering from Colgate. It 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 the UK. Actually, it seems to be one of the only toothpastes marketed as “natural” from the most common toothpaste manufacturers (Oral-B, 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.

Pros

  • Contains fluoride
  • Organic ingredients
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Vegan
  • Widely available in supermarkets and pharmacies

Cons

  • Still some single use plastic

Where to buy

Price Comparison

  • 75ml tube
  • Approx. £4 / tube
  • £

Hello Naturally Whitening Toothpaste with fluoride

Hello naturally whitening toothpaste

Hello are bringing the concept of natural and vegan products mainstream.

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.

Pros

  • Contains fluoride
  • Natural toothpaste, and is also SLS free
  • Vegan

Cons

  • Could have a stronger fluoride concentration
  • Plastic packaging

Where to buy

Price comparison

  • 4.7 ounce/133g tube
  • Approx. £5 – £6 / tube
  • ££

The Humble Co Toothpaste in a Jar

The Humble Co Toothpaste In A Jar

I have included this toothpaste as one of my top recommendations due to the focus on sustainability and natural products. 

Their toothpaste in a jar is one of a few products they provide that are aiming to reduce plastic waste, but I have chosen this one as it is totally plastic free whilst also being a good product and a fair price.

It also contains fluoride for protection against cavities.

They are also an ethical company, and each purchase helps the Humble Smile Foundation, which helps prevent suffering caused by oral disease.

Pros

  • Contains fluoride
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty free
  • Plastic free packaging
  • Non mint flavour available
  • SLS free
  • No Parabens

Cons

  • Niche product, only available online

Price Comparison

  • 50ml jar
  • Approx. £5 / jar
  • ££

Denttabs Toothpaste Tablets with Fluoride

Denttabs toothpaste tablets

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.

Pros

  • Contains fluoride
  • Minimal packaging.
  • Travel friendly (no liquids).
  • Just the right amount each time (1 tablet = one dose).
  • Vegan and cruelty free.
  • Gluten free.
  • SLS free.

Cons

  • More expensive than regular toothpaste.
  • Initial taste and texture can take a bit of getting used to.

Price Comparison

  • Packet of 125 (approx 2 month supply) 
  • Approx. £4 / packet 
  • £

What to look out for when shopping by a particular brand

Best Toothpaste 2021 1

We are all familiar with the popular brands: Oral-B, 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 Smile For Good toothpasteBest overall
Colgate Kids Natural Fruit ToothpasteBest for kids AND Best non-mint toothpaste
Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Toothpaste Best for sensitivity
Colgate Max WhiteBest for whitening
Colgate Gum Invigorate Revitalise ToothpasteBest for gum disease
Colgate Smile For Good toothpasteNatural toothpaste AND Best 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 Daily Care Toothpaste OriginalBest overall 
Sensodyne Daily Care Toothpaste OriginalBest for sensitivity AND best SLS free
Sensodyne Daily Care Toothpaste WhiteningBest for whitening
Sensodyne Sensitivity & Gum Best for gum disease

Best Oral B toothpaste

When it comes to oral care, Oral B are famous around the world for the toothpastes and toothbrushes. (In some countries around the world, Oral B is marketed as Crest instead.) But what is the best Oral B toothpaste?

I actually think Oral B boasts a great range of toothpastes, with something for almost everyone. You can find out about the full range of Oral B 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).

Oral-B Pro-ExpertBest overall
Oral-B Kids 3+Best for kids 
Oral-B Pro-ExpertBest for sensitivity
Oral-B 3D White Therapy Sensitive ToothpasteBest for whitening
Oral B Gum & Enamel Repair ToothpasteBest for gum disease

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.

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:

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.

About Dr. Gemma Wheeler

Gemma qualified from Cardiff University School of Dentistry in 2015. She went on to complete her Foundation Training and a further two years in the Armed Forces, primarily based around Wiltshire. She now works in a private practice in Plymouth.

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Leave a comment or question

4 thoughts on “Best Toothpaste 2021”

  1. What about market brand toothpastes like Dentalux from Lidl? They are much cheaper than well known brands (0,59 pounds for 125 ml) and in the German tests (for instance by Stiftung Warentest) they get better marks.

    Reply
    • Hi Alex,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Own brand toothpastes such a Dentalux in Lidl will be safe to use. Any own brand paste sold in the UK will need to meet UK standards. Just check that the fluoride content meets your needs.

      The cheap price does not mean that they are of lesser quality.

      When it comes to the Stiftung Warentest, this is not something I am familiar with so can’t comment on their ratings.

      Gemma

      Reply
  2. Does it matter what type of fluoride the toothpaste contains? Some brands (like Elmex) claim that their fluoride type is better. Is is true that olaflur containg toothpastes are better at preventing cavities that sodium fluoride containg ones? Are there any research results on this topic? Does it make sense to pay more for toothpaste like Elmex?

    Reply
    • Hi Alex,

      Thank you for your question.

      Firstly, no it doesn’t matter what type of fluoride your toothpaste contains when it comes to preventing decay. There is some research into comparing the different types of fluoride available in toothpastes. Overall though, there is a lack of firm evidence to support the use of one over another when it comes to preventing decay.

      There are some differences between the type of fluoride when it comes to other effects in the mouth. Stannous fluoride does have some additional benefits when it comes to reducing inflammation in the gums and in managing sensitive teeth. Another example is when arginine is added to sodium fluoride, it can help manage sensitivity. You can find out more about this on our page about sensitive toothpastes.

      But when it comes to protecting against cavities, there is no evidence base for supporting one type of fluoride over another. The guidelines we use as dentists advise that we can recommend stannous fluoride, sodium fluoride and sodium monofluorophosphate. (See The Delivering Better Oral Health Toolkit for example).

      In my opinion, unless you have a specific problem, there is no need to pay a lot of money for a fluoride containing toothpaste.

      You mention Oraflur and Elmex. These aren’t widely available in the UK – have you got a link or any further information for me to be able to comment on?

      Gemma

      Reply
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