Ability to Fight Cavities
Dentists first and foremost selected toothpastes based on whether or not they contained fluoride. As mentioned before, this is an absolute requirement in any toothpaste due to its ability to combat cavities and gum disease. Without this ingredient, you might as well not be brushing your teeth. Fluoride strengthens, remineralizes, and patches up the enamel on your teeth in order to effectively protect against bacteria.
Chemically Safe for Your Gums and Teeth
Although it might sound like a good idea to use toothpastes that wipe out any and all bacteria in your mouth, this could come at an unexpected price. Take Triclosan for instance. This is an ingredient used in toothpastes that is very effective at preventing gingivitis. However, in 2017 the FDA stopped allowing that same ingredient in antiseptic hand washes due to the risks of developing bacterial resistance and thyroid damage after extended use. Not only that, but destroying all bacteria in the mouth is problematic – some bacteria is good for us! In general, it’s important not to disrupt the gastrointestinal biome when dealing with germ-killing ingredients.
Meets the Requirements for ADA Acceptance
ADA Acceptance is a voluntary vetting process that toothpaste products can go through in order to get a stamp of approval from the American Dental Association. This vetting process makes sure that the product is not only safe for general use, but that it upholds its promises on the box. While ADA Acceptance isn’t as significant as it may sound – after all, every toothpaste must at least pass the FDA standards for safety and efficacy, it can be useful in a tiebreaker situation.
Finally dentists tested for plain old brushing experience. How does it feel when brushing with the toothpaste? Is the smell repugnant? Dentists tested for taste, feel, foam, and how clean their mouths felt shortly after use. In this rating category, they also noted how easily it was to dispense the toothpaste, a sometimes overlooked detail. With that in mind, here are the top toothpastes that dentists picked for each category: