There are many different types of toothpaste to choose from. The most common are fluoride toothpaste, desensitising, anti-tartar, anti-plaque and whitening. The various functions of toothpaste depend on the active ingredients they contain.




Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening and re-mineralising enamel. Recommended in all toothpaste used at different amounts according to age group as can be toxic if swallowed in large amounts. Children under 3 years old should only be using a toothpaste containing 1000ppm of fluoride, whereas children above 3 years old can use one containing 1350-1500ppm (smear of toothpaste on brush) Children from the age of 6 to adults have the same amount of fluoride and use a pea size amount on the toothbrush. There are toothpastes containing much higher amounts of fluoride for patients who have a high risk of developing tooth decay.


There are toothpastes containing much higher amounts of fluoride for patients who have a high risk of developing tooth decay.  These toothpastes must be prescribed by your dentist and kept out of reach of children.3



Desensitising toothpaste contain ingredients such as novamin and arginine. They fill the dental tubules within the dentine which block any stimulus (hot, cold, sweet) that could reach the nerve causing sensitivity. It is advised to consult with your dentist if suffering from tooth sensitivity to explore the cause and if symptoms persist with using desensitising toothpaste this should also be made known to your dentist.4 5







6Anti-plaque and anti-tartar (anti-calculus) toothpastes contain anti-microbial agent’s effective against bacteria and the toxins the bacteria’s produce which cause gum inflammation (gingivitis). They claim to reduce the accumulation of plaque and the mineralising (hardening) of it into tartar (calculus).




Some toothpastes will contain whitening agents (hydrogen peroxide/baking soda) to gently polish the teeth. Some will break down stains. Some whitening toothpaste can be abrasive especially if user suffers with tooth erosion.


Patients who suffer with tooth erosion would benefit from toothpaste that helps to prevent enamel and acid erosion by re-mineralising weakened enamel.


There are many multi functional toothpastes that provide all of the above functions.


Due to so the many toothpastes avaliable on the market it is very difficult to illustrate each one and their functions to you. Here are the websites for the main brands of toothpaste. These are easy to search for all brand products and provide further information about the benefits of each toothpaste.


Click on menu, click on oral care products, click on toothpastes (for example) all colgate toothpastes are pictured and when clicked on the benefits and functions are explained. You can also choose what you want from your toothpaste so that the best product can be suggested to you. There are reviews about the toothpaste also avaliable.


This website not only has details of their products but also explains sensitivity, enamel wear and acid erosion and the causes of these. There is also an on line check up where there are some simple questions to determine what product may help with your sensitivity or whether further examination is required from your dentist.


Click on oral b institute along the top tool bar and many topics about oral health are explained in detail. Along the second tool bar there are products including toothpaste to explore and see which one would suit your oral health needs.

Other sites .. www.aquafresh.com  www.macleans.co.uk  (these aswell as sensodyne are owned by GSK) Another is.. www.armandhammer.co.uk