Choosing toothpaste should be one of life’s simpler decisions. But with more than a hundred varieties on sale promising everything from cavity prevention to teeth whitening, how do you decide which is best?
And is it better to splash out on a more expensive brand or will a cheaper one do the job just as well?
Our new research takes a look at the science behind the claims, and whether you can really trust them.
I’ve always been sceptical about those claims you see on toothpaste packaging. Enamel protection? Relief for sensitive teeth? Really? Instead I tend to look for discounts and offers when choosing which one to buy.
Usually I stick to chemist or supermarket own brands to get the best price, and if they proffer the words ‘teeth whitening’ or ‘total’ – well that’s a bonus.
Can you trust teeth whitening and other claims?
How important are those toothpaste claims to you? Well, 54% of you told us you opt for a sensitive toothpaste, with 46% looking for ‘complete’ or ‘total’ claims, and 36% buying teeth whitening toothpastes.
Of the claims we looked at, fluoride is one key ingredient that science seems to support. There’s significant evidence to prove that it protects from decay and prevents against acid erosion.
But it also matters how much of it there is in your toothpaste. You can look on the pack for one that contains more than 1,450 parts per million of fluoride (ppmf) to make sure you’re getting a good level of protection.
There is also some evidence to suggest that ingredients for reducing sensitivity can help. But experts told us that different things will work for different people, so you might have to try a few to find what works for you.
And teeth whitening claims? Our experts compared two toothpastes that claim to give whiter teeth in a week, but saw no evidence to support the claims. There’s limited evidence to buy a whitening toothpaste instead of a standard fluoride one, and they won’t be as effective as teeth whitening (bleaching) or a clean by your dentist.
So how do you decide which toothpaste to choose? Do you look for a certain claim or favour a brand? Or like me, do you simply go for the cheapest on offer?