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Best and Worst Toothpastes: What Will Clean Your Teeth and What to Stay Away From

Updated on October 3, 2014

What is the Best Toothpaste?

The toothpaste aisle at the drug store can be kind of overwhelming. In addition to all the different brands, there are so many specialized varieties. There are some that whiten your teeth, that offer extra gum protection, that have extra fluoride, or that are designed for people with sensitive teeth. Picking which one to buy can be overwhelming, which may be why people just buy the same brand they've always used. In this article, I'll make your next trip to the drug store a bit easier by reviewing the major brands of toothpaste. I'll tell you which ones will do a good job, which ones to avoid, and which ones won't bust your budget.

Crest Toothpaste: Bad for Teeth?

Crest vs. Colgate
Crest vs. Colgate

Crest is Not Best

Growing up, I was raised on Crest toothpaste. My mom always had coupons for Crest, so that was the only brand she bought. Throughout most of my life, I kept buying and using Crest without thinking about using anything else. However, a few years ago I noticed that, about an hour after brushing my teeth, my mouth would be filled with all this stringy, dead tissue that was impossible to get out. It did not get too bad until I began using Crest Pro-Health, which was then a brand new line of Crest toothpaste.

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use this toothpaste! The commercials for Crest Pro-Health may seem inviting with the shiny, white, healthy teeth of the actors and the promise that you will get a good dentist visit, but Crest Pro-Health will wreck your mouth tissue. I am far from the only person that this has happened to, as it is very easy to look up horror stories from others by doing an easy Google search on the subject. After my Pro-Health debacle, my mouth tissue still peeled, although to a lesser extent, when I switched to another Crest product. Finally, I gave up and switched to using Colgate and the mouth peeling stopped within a few days. This is when I decided to give up on Crest for good.

Those Extra-Whitening Toothpastes Aren't Too Great Either

Speaking of mouth peeling, extra whitening toothpastes (Crest 3D White, Colgate Optic White, etc.) are also very harsh on your mouth because of the extra whitening ingredients. Plus, I was very disappointed in Colgate Optic White as I saw only very little improvement in how white my teeth appeared, although it did not make my mouth peel nearly as bad as Crest brands. Crest 3D White almost made my mouth peel as bad as Crest Pro-Health!

It is much better (and cheaper) to use hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to whiten your teeth instead of these harsh and expensive toothpastes. Mix a little baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and water and brush your teeth for one minute with it no more than once a week, for no more than a month. After that only use it as needed, and be sure not to overuse this remedy as it can be very harsh on your mouth if overused.

The most effective toothpaste?
The most effective toothpaste?

Colgate is Good and Cheap, But Avoid Colgate Total!

Many people who are not Crest fans use Colgate Total as it is advertised to improve both teeth and gum health. I used Colgate Total myself briefly, until I learned of the dangers of Triclosan, the anti-bacterial used in the toothpaste. Current research has shown that Triclosan

  • alters hormone regulation in animals,
  • might contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs
  • can harm the immune system.

Yikes! While there is still no great cause for concern, I do not think it is worth the risk when there are many other types of toothpaste available that don't have Triclosan. I do hope that Colgate eventually gets Triclosan out of all their toothpastes, as I am very willing to use Colgate Total again as I enjoy knowing that I am protecting both my gum and teeth health while I brush.

Also, it is very easy to find coupons for Colgate toothpaste on sites like and other coupon sites, making Colgate the most affordable brand to buy. I buy Colgate Max Fresh now since I cannot buy Colgate Total and I've been quite happy with it.

The Best Toothpaste for Teeth and Gums

The best toothpaste
The best toothpaste

My favorite toothpaste, by far, is Aquafresh Extreme Clean. Although it is a bit pricey without a coupon and I have not seen many sales for it, it is very good toothpaste. It foams much more than regular toothpaste and cleans very thoroughly. Also, since it foams so much you can use a little less than usual, which makes it last longer than other brands.

The only con, and it is a big con for many people, is the taste. The strong citrus and mint taste does take a while to get used to. After a few days of using it, though, I got used to the taste and now I barely notice it. With a dollar-off coupon it only costs $1.50 a tube: a great buy.

I have not tried any natural toothpastes due to the price, but once I'm on a less restrictive budget I would definitely be interested in trying one. I also have no experience with Sensodyne so I cannot say anything about that either.

Which toothpaste brand do you use?

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    • Saaniya Aamir profile image

      Saniya Aamir 

      14 months ago from Karachi

      Very informative!

    • profile image


      22 months ago

      I have sensitive teeth !

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Ive made my own clay based toothpaste for about 18 months and have received glowing reports from my dentist. As well, my tooth sensitivity has disappeared and my gums are pink and very healthy.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Don't listen to the BS regarding triclosan. Triclosan in toothpaste is not dangerous. Colgate Total is the only toothpaste that prevents my gums from bleeding. If you don't want to use mouthwash after everytime you brush, then I totally recommend Colgate Total.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I have gum issues. Colgate Total was recommended by my hygenist. The triclosan in it reduces gum irritation and bacteria. Of course, Crest claims triclosan is bad for you; they cannot put triclosan into their products due to a Colgate patent. (Triclosan is in about every anti-bacterial soap/hand wash on the market.)

      As a change, I was going to try Crest ProHealth, but there seems to be too much negative reaction to it: staining, and gum irritation in susceptible users. Then too, the use of polyethylene plastic bits in Crest seems a very odd formula choice; there's adverse comments about this by dentists and hygenists. In fact, the plastic uproar has led Crest to state it will no longer use polyethylene after March, 2016.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      which toothpaste


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