Key points

  • You should choose the type of toothpaste that best suits your oral hygiene needs. For instance, tartar control toothpaste helps to prevent plaque build-up, while toothpaste for sensitivity relieves pain caused by tooth sensitivity. Regardless of what type of oral care products you’re looking for, make sure to choose toothpaste that contains fluoride. This mineral is crucial for preventing gum disease as well as tooth cavities and tooth decay. 
  • Stick with toothpaste that has a soft texture rather than one that has sand-like granules in it. If the abrasive content in the toothpaste you’re using is too high, it can be incredibly harmful to your teeth and cause your tooth surface to wear down over time. Choose your whitening toothpaste wisely and look for gentle abrasives such as diamond dust. 
  • There’s little to no evidence that charcoal or aloe vera toothpaste is actually more effective or otherwise better in any way than traditional toothpaste. In fact, many of the brands that make so-called ‘natural’ toothpaste don’t add fluoride to their products, and thus they aren’t effective in strengthening the enamel and preventing bacteria from spreading. Plus, charcoal is very abrasive and can wear down the enamel.

Choosing a proper toothpaste can be a real challenge, with such a large number of new options popping up on the shelves every day. When looking at the shelves at your local supermarket or pharmacy, you may find different products to suit various oral health needs, such as whitening, cavity protection, tartar, sensitivity, plaque, and breath freshening. 

But in reality, it all comes down to the most important point: how effective is the toothpaste you’re considering at cleaning your teeth? Anything else is a matter of preferences and needs. 

As with most things today, customers find themselves standing in front of crowded toothpaste shelves and feeling overwhelmed, not knowing what to look for. If you feel frustrated just thinking about the idea of choosing toothpaste – don’t. In this article, we’ll review different types of toothpaste as well as share some tips on how to choose the best product for you.  

How To Select Toothpaste?

Let’s start from the basics. Toothpaste is a paste or gel designed to clean your teeth and make your breath fresher. While there are tons of different toothpaste brands, despite all the differences, there are some basic ingredients that they have in common. These are the following: 

  • Abrasive agents. These ingredients help to get rid of teeth stains as well as bacteria and food debris. 
  • Artificial sweeteners add flavour to the toothpaste to make it taste better. 
  • Humectants such as glycerol help retain moisture and increase the toothpaste’s shelf life. 
  • Detergents also help to effectively clean the teeth. 
  • Ingredients that improve the toothpaste’s texture and make it thicker.

What To Look For In Toothpaste

Soft Texture

The first and most important thing is to choose a toothpaste that effectively removes plaque and cleans the teeth. Basically, you should choose a toothpaste that effectively removes food debris and plaque. Try to avoid using very abrasive toothpaste since, over time, it’ll wear down the enamel and make your teeth more sensitive. Toothpaste should feel smooth on the teeth instead of being gritty. The texture doesn’t always determine how effective the toothpaste is in removing the plaque, so don’t fall for products with sandy texture thinking they will clean your teeth better.


Fluoride is the #1 ingredient you should look for in toothpaste. It’s a naturally occurring mineral that prevents tooth decay and cavities. Sugar and starches that are left in the mouth after eating feed the bacteria in your mouth, which, in turn, release acid that then causes tooth decay. Fluoride protects the teeth from this acid and strengthens the enamel. Plus, it can even reverse acid damage that’s still in the early stages by restoring the mineral composition of the teeth. Even if you live in an area where water is fluoridated, we still recommend using toothpaste with tooth surface because studies have shown that it still helps increase the concentration of this mineral in the teeth.

Antibacterial Ingredients 

Antibacterial ingredients are another popular discussion point. They are often marketed as crucial by toothpaste manufacturers. But while antibacterial agents are a plus in toothpaste, they aren’t necessary. Maintaining healthy oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly should be enough to prevent bacteria from spreading.


Common Toothpaste Ingredients

When looking for toothpaste, you may notice some common ingredients in their formulas, so it’s important for you to understand what they do. 

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) 

This is the most controversial ingredient, but overall, dentists don’t recommend using it, and neither do we. SLS may help with eliminating bacteria, plaque, and food debris, but there’s also some evidence that it leads to tooth sensitivity and provoke mouth ulcers in people with sensitive gums. It’s also not recommended to swallow it since it can be harmful to your health. It’s better to avoid toothpaste with SLS and stick to the safer options, such as the SLS-free Icy Bear Whitening Toothpaste.

Stannous Fluoride 

There can be two types of fluoride present in toothpaste: stannous fluoride or sodium fluoride. We recommend looking for stannous fluoride because it’s been proven to be the more effective of the two.


Triclosan is supposed to help fight bacteria. However, there’s also evidence that it contributes to better bacterial resistance. 


This ingredient has been introduced to toothpaste formulas relatively recently. It’s particularly beneficial for preventing plaque build-up. 

What Types Of Toothpaste To Choose Based On Your Needs

Tartar Control Toothpaste

Tartar control toothpaste is designed to remove plaque and bacteria because if plaque isn’t properly removed, it hardens and turns into tartar. When tartar is built up on your teeth and under your gums, it can cause gum disease. Tartar control toothpaste usually contains ingredients like sodium pyrophosphate or zinc citrate, which help to prevent tartar from forming. 

These kinds of toothpaste can also often contain sodium hexametaphosphate, which helps to avoid tartar build-up above the gum line. Sometimes, manufacturers also add an antibiotic called triclosan, which eliminates bacteria in the mouth. Some tartar toothpaste contains multiple anti-plaque agents. These products have been proven to be even more effective than those with only one plaque remover ingredient. Even though tartar control toothpaste prevents tartar build-up, it can’t eliminate tartar that has already formed, just like they don’t completely prevent tartar from building up.  

Toothpaste For Sensitive Teeth

A lot of people struggle with tooth sensitivity, and their teeth are easily irritated by certain factors, such as extreme temperatures. Toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth contains chemical compounds that relieve sensitivity by covering up exposed dentin and blocking exposed nerves inside the teeth. Look for the potassium nitrate and strontium chloride in toothpaste to take advantage of these effects.

While toothpaste for sensitive teeth offers relief, you need to remember that tooth sensitivity is usually caused by an underlying factor that should be treated. If you have sensitive teeth, it’s recommended to use specially formulated toothpaste, but you also need to make sure to address the root of the problem as well. 

For sensitive teeth, there are two options: over-the-counter toothpaste or products prescribed by a dentist. Since over-the-counter toothpaste is more affordable, you can start with it, and then, if you don’t feel relief in a few weeks, you can ask your dentist for a prescription product.

If you use toothpaste for sensitivity, you can reap all of its benefits by not rinsing it out with water after you brush your teeth, even though most of the time, this toothpaste tastes bad. This will allow the ingredients to absorb fully into the enamel and provide more relief.

Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpastes are everyone’s favourite that helps us to achieve or maintain a pearly smile. Many whitening toothpaste varieties are safe for daily use, while others are recommended to use only for a certain period of time as a teeth whitening treatment. Most whitening toothpaste doesn’t contain bleaching ingredients and instead uses abrasives or chemicals that help to address stains and polish the teeth. 

What you need to know about whitening toothpaste is that it doesn’t deliver the same benefits as whitening treatments such as whitening strips. However, it’s a great way to maintain a pearly white smile after the treatment. Icy Bear offers a Power Smile Bundle that includes both whitening strips and whitening toothpaste, as well as an electric toothbrush, to take care of all your oral health needs.

Icy Bear Whitening Toothpaste

If you’re looking for the best whitening toothpaste, Icy Bear toothpaste is the one to pick. It contains no harmful chemical bleaching ingredients or abrasives but is effective at both maintaining healthy oral hygiene and whitening your teeth. Made with a unique dentist-approved formula, each tube of Icy Bear whitening toothpaste contains one carat of very fine diamond dust – a natural and enamel-friendly abrasive that will help to restore your natural tooth colour. Plus, this toothpaste contains a high concentration of fluoride, meaning you can use it every day. It’s also clinically proven to improve the condition of your enamel and prevent cavities. Made in the UK and developed by a professional dentist, Icy Bear products are palm oil, SLS, and animal cruelty-free.

Charcoal Toothpaste: Yes Or No?

When choosing whitening toothpaste, avoid products with activated charcoal. Charcoal toothpaste is one of the latest trends on the market, but unfortunately, it’s not as effective as it is claimed to be, and it can even damage your teeth. There’s little to no evidence that proves that charcoal toothpaste actually works and because charcoal is very abrasive, it can damage your tooth surface. 

If you’re thinking about switching to charcoal toothpaste, you should also keep in mind that it’s too abrasive for everyday use. This is because very strong abrasives like charcoal wear down the enamel and, with that, expose the layer of dentin located underneath, which has a yellowish colour.

Aloe Vera Toothpaste: Yes Or No?

Just like charcoal toothpaste, some brands are actively advertising their aloe vera toothpaste, claiming its efficacy. And just like with charcoal toothpaste, there’s little evidence that aloe vera is in some way beneficial for you or helps to remove plaque any better than conventional toothpaste. Plus, many of these types of toothpaste lack fluoride, which is essential for toothpaste to be 100% effective.

Patients With Braces

If you wear braces, you don’t need specialised toothpaste, and you can stick with the one you’re currently using. Just make sure that the toothpaste you’re using contains fluoride to avoid tartar build-up. With braces, you’re more likely to have plaque build-up since the brackets trap food debris and require some extra oral care. If you don’t know how exactly to clean your braces, consult with your dentist or orthodontist.

Patients With Dentures

For patients with dentures, everything is the other way around, and regular toothpaste doesn’t work for them. Any regular toothpaste contains some kind of abrasive that can damage your dentures. If you have dentures, opt for non-abrasive products and avoid bleaching products.


How often can I use whitening strips?

If you follow all the instructions and finish your treatment as advised, the results should last you between six months and a year. Thus, you will need to apply whitening strips 1-2 times a year at your own convenience.

Is it OK to use whitening strips every day?

Yes, when doing a two-week treatment, you will need to use whitening strips once or twice per day every day. However, if the whitening strips you use are not dissolvable, make sure that you take them off right after the time stated in the instructions passes. Overtreating your teeth with whitening strips may cause enamel damage.

Should I brush my teeth after whitening strips?

It’s not necessary, but you can brush your teeth after applying whitening strips. But make sure to do it very gently to avoid irritating your gums and teeth.

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