Many people wonder about all the different brands of toothpaste you find in the drug store and if there’s really a difference among them. There are also several different types that claim to treat different issues you may have with your oral health. Here’s a rundown of those and our favorites among them.

Anti-decay toothpaste

toothpasteThis is your most basic type of toothpaste, and they will all contain fluoride in some form or another. Adult versions typically contain 1,000 ppm of fluoride while a children’s toothpaste will have around 500 ppm and will have a cartoon logo and be flavored to the tastes of children. Colgate Total is a favorite, with 1,100 ppm of sodium fluoride. Colgate is another pick for children’s toothpastes, and you can pick your child’s favorite cartoon character and flavor as long as it contains fluoride and they’re brushing properly and regularly.

Desensitizing toothpaste

There are a few different types of desensitizing toothpaste, the majority of which contain Potassium as an active ingredient. Sensodyne is a favorite in this category. It works by interrupting the pain response in teeth.

Gum Health

If caught early, gum disease can be reversed. One of our favorites among toothpastes that promote gum health is Crest Pro Health. It also works to ease tooth sensitivity and fight cavities. Another important factor in protecting your gums is flossing correctly and daily.

Whitening toothpaste

Toothpastes that whiten teeth do so by using coarse abrasives in their formula, which scrub the stains on the surface of your teeth. While this can be effective for a brief period of time, prolonged use of these types of toothpastes can wear away tooth enamel. If you’re interested in brightening your smile, talk to your dentist about at-home or in-office whitening options.

Regardless of which toothpaste you choose, make sure it has the ADA seal of approval on the package. This ensures that the product has been tested for safety and is effective at treating the conditions it claims to treat. For a list of ADA-approved toothpastes, go to