LAUREL DENTAL

4 tips to choose the right toothpaste

Reviewed article by Dr. Taha Chersa published on Lumino Health. You can read the original articlee here.


Over the course of a year, you’ll spend about 24 hours brushing your teeth. Make your brushing time count by choosing the best toothpaste for your needs.

Choosing the right toothpaste, Laurel Dental

There are many kinds of toothpaste that claim to help with different oral health priorities. For example: 

  • A whiter smile
  • Fresh breath
  • Gingivitis control
  • Lower sensitivity

It can be hard to choose. Talk to your dentist about what your teeth need and what you want your toothpaste to do. Then, look for products with the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) seal. The seal tells you a couple of important things. First, that it’s a toothpaste you can count on for good oral health. And second, that the CDA’s independent experts have reviewed the scientific evidence supporting any claims about the product.

Here are some tips to consider as you narrow down your options.

1.  Fluoride matters

Fluoride is a mineral that hardens tooth enamel and makes teeth more resistant to decay. About 38% of Canadians have access to tap water with fluoride in it. For others, toothpaste or mouthwash with fluoride in it can help. For small children, talk with your dentist about whether or not to use a toothpaste with fluoride in it. 

2.  Reconsider homemade toothpaste

Do it yourself (DIY) toothpaste has become a trend. Some recipes suggest using coconut oil, baking soda, and activated charcoal. The benefits of homemade toothpaste include less waste from packaging, and more ingredients you can pronounce. But there are important disadvantages:
  • No fluoride to help your teeth resist decay
  • Ingredients such as baking soda that can be abrasive
  • Sanitary concerns from dipping your toothbrush into a jar of homemade toothpaste

3.  Kids may have special toothpaste needs

If your kids are under three years old, talk to your dentist about their risk for cavities. The risk will determine if they need toothpaste with fluoride or not, the CDA says. For kids between three and six years old, use only pea-sized dollop of toothpaste with fluoride. Make sure they always have help from an adult so that they don’t swallow the toothpaste. Some kids struggle to brush because they don’t like toothpaste flavours. This can be especially true of kids with sensory issues or other special needs. An unflavoured toothpaste might solve this problem. 

4.  The truth about whitening toothpaste

Is it safe to use a whitening toothpaste every day? The CDA says whitening toothpaste usually contains abrasive ingredients but they are not much different from regular toothpaste. As a result, they probably won’t be too rough on your teeth. Keep in mind, the mild abrasives and whitening agents only work on surface stains such as coffee or wine. If you’re unhappy with the colour of your teeth, talk with your dentist about other whitening options.