Dentists Agree: The Toothpaste You Use Matters

However, They Disagree On Which Toothpastes Are Best

Post your comments about toothpaste to our blog. Read the toothpaste survey press release.

Toothpaste Matters

In this poll, we asked dentists: Does it matter what type of toothpaste you use?

Consumers take note! Most dentists say that which type of toothpaste you use makes a difference to your oral health. Two-thirds of the dentists in our poll responded, “Yes; thanks to modern technology, some toothpastes are more effective than others.” The remaining 35% replied, “No; any toothpaste you buy today will clean your teeth perfectly well.”

Read the dentists’ comments

General dentists versus specialists


There was little difference between general dentists and specialists on the issue.

Urban, suburban and rural dentists


Location was somewhat correlated with dentists' opinions about toothpaste. Rural dentists were least likely to believe that it matters which type of toothpaste you use.

Male dentists compared to female dentists


Gender differences were fairly significant. As the sample of female dentists was not large, this result may not be statistically significant. On the other
hand, it could indicate a fundamental difference between male and female dentists in how they respond to marketing and/or technology.

For state-by-state results, just click on this interactive map. (Flash required)

For more insight into what our respondents are thinking, check out their comments!

Fluoride toothpastes are best

  • “As long as it has fluoride.” (Maine dentist)
  • “Generally that is true, since they almost all contain fluoride.” (New Hampshire dentist)
  • “As long as it's a fluoride toothpaste!” (Florida dentist)

Beware fluoride and titanium dioxide!

  • “I say it matters for a different reason. Toothpastes without toxic fluoride compounds are better. Note the warnings on the tube.” (Arkansas dentist)
  • “Most toothpastes contain titanium dioxide which is abrasive to the teeth. Regular Colgate doesn't.
    Read the ingredients on the box.” (Hawaii dentist)

Do you even need toothpaste?

  • “Evidence indicates no paste is necessary to clean teeth.” (Maine prosthodontist)
  • “I have patients that have had great results brushing their teeth using Ivory soap!” (Pennsylvania dentist)
  • “The toothpaste does not stay on the tooth surface long enough, no matter how powerful the chemical is, to cause any significant change.”

The toothbrush is what really matters

  • “The toothbrush is most important, but some toothpastes do have additives that help.” (Tennessee prosthodontist)
  • “The brush does 95% of the work.” (Virginia dentist)
  • “In all honesty, you do not need toothpaste. The friction of the toothbrush is the most important thing!
    You can even use a wet washcloth or a Q-tip.” (Louisiana pediatric dentist)

Special conditions demand special toothpastes

  • “Some for sensitivity, some for canker sores, etc. But for the average patient, just choose the one that tastes the best.” (Florida dentist)
  • “Except for dentin sensitivity!” (Connecticut dentist)
  • “Dentifrices need to be prescribed with care. One needs to assess the quality of drinking water, the age-specific needs and oral habits of patients.”
  • “Do you need the benefits of fluoride or fresh breath? Do you need a stain remover because you drink a lot of coffee or tea?” (New Hampshire dentist)
  • “New formulations clean better and have better anti-inflammatory effects.” (Maryland orthodontist)

Playing favorites

  • “Colgate Total is still the best for gums.” (South Carolina periodontist)
  • “Colgate has triclosan and the others do not.” (California dentist)
  • “OralHealthRx is an example of new technology using xylitol, beta glucan (an immune stimulator) and nisin (a bacteriocin) to resolve gingival inflammation.” (Pennsylvania dentist)
  • “As long as it is ADA approved.” (Indiana dental office worker)

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