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The Best Fluoride Toothpastes

🕚 Updated October 2021

Fluoride sounds like an intimidating chemical, but it has aided communities in preventive tooth decay capacities for almost a century. This naturally occurring cavity fighter is a great addition to your daily teeth cleaning routine.

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  Top Choice Best for Sensitive Teeth Best Whitening Best Natural Formula Best for Kids
Total Toothpaste with Stannous Fluoride and Zinc
Rapid Relief Sensitive Fluoride Toothpaste
Arm & Hammer
Advanced White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste
Tom's of Maine
Natural Wicked Fresh! Fluoride Toothpaste
Tom's of Maine
Children's Natural Fluoride Toothpaste
Our SummaryGet 12 hours of protection with this multifunctional toothpaste that protects your whole mouth.Get back to eating ice cream or sipping on hot coffee with the help of this fast-acting formula.The home cleaning favorite of baking soda gets a makeover in this toothpaste with a refined, dental-grade formula.You can avoid unnatural flavors and colors with this minty toothpaste.Your kids can enjoy a fruity taste while fighting plaque and cavities.
ProsLong-lasting effects, gel option, neutralized odor.Works in a short time period, travel-friendly, features stannous fluoride.Prevents stains, neutralizes acids, powerful peroxide for whitening.Free of unnatural additives, has odor control, earth-friendly packaging.Anti-cavity formula, recyclable tube, natural flavoring.
ConsNo single tube option, teeth whitening isn't noticeable to some.Pricy, strange taste, small tube.Not ideal for sensitive teeth, salty taste.Mint flavor isn't strong, expensive.Caps can be difficult for kids to keep the tube clean.
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The Best Fluoride Toothpastes

A smiling young woman brushes her teeth in front of a mirror.

Your dentist will tell you that brushing your teeth is an effective way of preventing tooth decay, and with fluoride toothpaste, you can be assured that your tooth enamel has the support it needs to fight against acids. So along with your fresh breath and bright smile, your teeth will feel healthy and strong. If you want a smile that stays beautiful, fluoride toothpaste can help you achieve pearly whites for years to come. Here are some great fluoride toothpastes we recommend.

Buying Guide for Fluoride Toothpastes

A hand squeezes toothpaste onto a blue toothbrush.

Why should you buy fluoride toothpaste?

Since the 1930s, fluoride has been known as a resilient preventive for tooth damage, with some communities putting it in the water supply to strengthen overall dental health. In toothpaste, fluoride can strengthen your enamel from the outside, absorb into saliva to fight acids, and prevent tooth cavities or sensitivity. With each brushing session, fluoride toothpaste is making your teeth just a little bit more prepared for the food and drinks you throw at them during your daily life. Whether you have a sweet tooth or love coffee, fluoride toothpaste can help you strengthen your teeth for a healthy mouth.

What should you consider when purchasing fluoride toothpaste?

  • Type: There are three types of fluoride used in toothpaste: sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride, and sodium monofluorophosphate. Most products contain the first two fluorides, but there are small differences between them. Both fight cavities and strengthen enamel. However, stannous fluoride also includes antimicrobial capabilities and reduces sensitivity to temperatures. While all three provide ample protection to your teeth, stannous fluoride has the most benefits.
  • Flavors: The standard mint and peppermint are available for most toothpastes. However, if you’re introducing toothpaste to your child or don’t enjoy the strong mint flavor, other alternatives are available. To avoid an overly artificial taste, fruit flavors are a great option. Kids will likely enjoy candy flavors like bubblegum or cinnamon.
  • Packaging: The shape of the cap is important for those that struggle with wrist strength or dexterity. Caps that pop upwards and feature an indent to apply pressure are great for the elderly or children handling the tube for the first time. Small, twist-off caps can be difficult to remove for these age groups, and their size makes them easy to lose if dropped.

Is fluoride toothpaste safe to use on sensitive teeth?

Fluoride is not only categorized to be safe by dental health organizations across the globe (including the World Health Organization), but it can also help strengthen the enamel of those with sensitive teeth. While it can’t save teeth that have already begun to decay, fluoride helps to break down acids before it can cause dental damage. Stannous fluoride is especially great for those with sensitive teeth as it creates a layer over the channels in your teeth that lead to the sensitive core, ultimately protecting you from hot and cold temperatures.

Our Picks for the Most Effective Fluoride Toothpastes

Top Choice

Colgate Total Toothpaste with Stannous Fluoride and Zinc

Get 12 hours of protection with this multifunctional toothpaste that protects your whole mouth.

Pros: This Colgate toothpaste boasts total protection because it fights bacteria on your teeth, tongue, cheeks, and gums to prevent a host of dental issues. It features 12 hours of protection to keep your breath smelling clean and reduce sensitivity to food and drinks during the day with consistent use. Along with the cavity-preventing stannous fluoride, this toothpaste’s formula can also help to whiten your teeth over time. This budget-friendly option is available in both a paste and a gel, so you can enjoy a texture that fits your preference.

Cons: This toothpaste is only available in packs of two and four, so it requires some storage space to hold the extra tubes. Additionally, the teeth whitening aspect of this toothpaste isn’t strong enough for everyone.

Bottom Line: Colgate offers the complete package with this toothpaste option. Tooth health, taste, and texture have been accounted for to ensure that you get a good clean with each brush.


Best for Sensitive Teeth

Sensodyne Rapid Relief Sensitive Fluoride Toothpaste

Get back to eating ice cream or sipping on hot coffee with the help of this fast-acting formula.

Pros: Do you stay away from your favorite foods because they cause shooting pain in your mouth? This toothpaste is designed to give you effective relief fast. The stannous fluoride in the formula creates a layer over your tooth’s dentin to keep your nerves protected. With twice-daily brushing, this formula can reduce sensitivity in just three days, so you can get back to enjoying hot, cold, acidic, and sweet foods. The tube’s capacity meets TSA requirements, allowing you to travel with this toothpaste and stay protected from sensitivity wherever you go.

Cons: In comparison to other options on this list, the price of this Sensodyne toothpaste is high. The formula also features an odd flavor that forced some to switch to a different option.

Bottom Line: If sensitivity is your top priority in toothpaste, this option is worth the price. The formulation protects your dentin from being exposed, so you can eat and drink without worry.


Best Whitening

Arm & Hammer Advanced White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste

The home cleaning favorite of baking soda gets a makeover in this toothpaste with a refined, dental-grade formula.

Pros: Arm & Hammer has a history of creating extra-clean surfaces, and now that has been extended to teeth. With a dash of refined, dental-grade sodium bicarbonate, this toothpaste can help lighten stains over time. For added whitening power, the paste includes peroxide to target deep-set stains. For those that enjoy acidic drinks and foods, this formula neutralizes those damaging acids to protect your enamel. The twin pack gives you 12 ounces of toothpaste, so you can keep your pearly whites bright and clean for an extended period without breaking the bank.

Cons: The formula might be too strong for those with easily irritated mouths or skin and lips. Additionally, a salty flavor seems to be a result of the baking soda addition.

Bottom Line: With this toothpaste, you can avoid the extra step of gels and strips in your whitening routine. It also works against abrasive acids to maintain the health of your teeth and gums with the help of the baking soda and sodium fluoride combination.


Best Natural Formula

Tom's of Maine Natural Wicked Fresh! Fluoride Toothpaste

You can avoid unnatural flavors and colors with this minty toothpaste.

Pros: The naturally occurring chemical fluoride has found an equally natural home in this Tom’s of Maine toothpaste. The formula has no artificial colors, flavors, or fragrances and comes in a recyclable tube, so you can keep your mouth and the earth healthy. Licorice root extract helps to reduce mouth odor, while fluoride works to strengthen your teeth. This toothpaste comes in two flavors: peppermint or spearmint.

Cons: The natural flavor isn’t covered by the minty flavors that Tom’s of Maine offers, leaving some people to look for a different formula. For the 4.7 ounces in these tubes, this toothpaste is more expensive than other budget-friendly options.

Bottom Line: This is a great natural option for those that care about ingredients, oral health, and the environment. While the flavor and texture aren’t for everyone, this natural toothpaste still gives the clean of fluoride.


Best for Kids

Tom's of Maine Children's Natural Fluoride Toothpaste

Your kids can enjoy a fruity taste while fighting plaque and cavities.

Pros: Tom’s of Maine also has a tasty kids option that will keep children excited for their brushing routine. Just like the adult version, this toothpaste is free of preservatives, fragrances, and artificial flavors. The fluoride provides anti-cavity protection for young mouths while the calcium and silica gently remove buildup. Your child can enjoy different fruity flavors, including grape, blueberry, and silly strawberry. Once your kid has finished up the tube of natural toothpaste, Tom’s on Maine encourages you to recycle the tube!

Cons: The tube cap is difficult for children to manage once it gets messy, which is likely to happen according to some parents.

Bottom Line: This toothpaste gives you plenty of flavor options, so your child can enjoy brushing rather than seeing it as a boring chore. The formula remains free of unnatural additives, which might be a good option for more sensitive kids.

Final Thoughts

Brushing your teeth is an essential part of maintaining your overall health, so it shouldn’t be a hassle. The fluoride in these toothpaste options can help reduce sensitivity to acidic, cold, or warm foods and protect your enamel from damage. Whether you’re looking for overall mouth protection or some help removing deep-set coffee stains, there’s a toothpaste to address your concern. With the right choice, you can keep your pearly whites healthy and shining bright.

Camryn Lang Camryn Lang
Camryn Lang is a freelance writer and copyeditor that has produced a wide variety of content, from breaking news and memorial tributes to web content and fiction novels. While working on her bachelor's degree in English at Texas A&M University, Camryn led writers and editors at the nationally recognized university newspaper, The Battalion. During her free time, she enjoys reading thrillers and fantasy novels and eating desserts. Read Full Bio »
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