Tired of brushing your sensitive teeth with toothpaste that's too abrasive or strong? Toothpaste designed specifically for sensitive teeth is a great option for people who are looking to clean, protect, and whiten their smile without irritation and pain. Some are even made so customers can bypass certain commonly-avoided ingredients!
That's why we took it upon ourselves to research the best sensitive toothpastes out there. We love the Colgate Sensitive Whitening Toothpaste because of its enamel protecting and teeth whitening abilities. Check out what else made our top 10 list, as well as what to look for in different kinds of toothpaste and tips from dental hygienist Jaeyoung Yoo in our buying guide!
Jaeyoung is an oral health educator and dental disease preventer passionate about paving the way for patients to embark on their journey to proper oral hygiene. She graduated from UNC School of Dentistry in 2018 and served on the UNC SOD SPURGEON Student Government.
She's always trying to keep up with new dental research articles and products to help her patients choose compatible products that work with their lifestyles. She's also a coffee lover and mom to two Bengal cats and multiple plants! Catch up with her on her Instagram.
If you experience pain or a "tingling-tangling" sensation when you eat or drink hot and cold foods and drinks, you may need to use an anti-sensitivity toothpaste. Sensitivity occurs when your tooth enamel becomes weak or if the roots of your teeth are exposed.
Causes of sensitivity include root exposure from dental diseases, receding gums from brushing too hard, or from certain biting forces. Other factors such as a cracked or chipped tooth or an old filling can also cause sensitivity.
When enamel is worn down, the fluids in dentin (the layer under the enamel) tubules can transmit hot, cold, sweet sensations to stimulate the nerves inside of the tooth that causes the sensitivity.
Make sure you consult with your dental professional to discuss if your sensitivity is caused by underlying injury to the tooth or by external forces. Certain ingredients in anti-sensitivity toothpastes can help build up protection to block the movement of dentin tubules resulting in less sensitive teeth.
These are Amazon's best toothpastes for sensitive mouths, with a variety ranging from natural and unflavored to fluoride-infused.
※Please note that these products were not picked by Jaeyoung Yoo, but chosen through extensive research and by combing through customer reviews by our staff at mybest.
|Amount||6 oz. each|
|Flavor||Wintergreen and peppermint|
|Amount||4 oz. each|
|Amount||4 oz. each|
|Amount||4.1 oz. each|
Tom's of Maine
Arm & Hammer
Sensitive Whitening Toothpaste
Pronamel Strong & Bright
Tooth Builder Sensitive Toothpaste
Rapid Relief Sensitive
Pro-Health Gum and Sensitivity
Sensitive Teeth and Gums
A Tooth-Protecting Paste for Easier Eating and Drinking
Take a Breath-Freshening Mint Paste With You
A Natural and Flavorless Option
Wintergreen-Peppermint Flavored and Cruelty-Free
A Mild-Tasting Paste for Maximum Sensitivity Protection
No Artificial Preservatives, Flavors or Colors
A Cavity-Preventing and Gentle Choice
All-Day Sensitivity Protection
Baking Soda Whitening for Sensitive Mouths
Vegan, SLS-Free Whitening Toothpaste
|Amount||6 oz. each||3 oz.||4 oz.||3.4 oz.||5.6 oz.||4 oz. each||4 oz. each||4.1 oz. each||4.5 oz.||4 oz.|
|Flavor||Fresh Mint||Mint||Unflavored||Wintergreen and peppermint||Mint||Fresh Mint||Fresh Mint||Soft Mint||Refreshing Mint||Soothing Mint|
In case you're not sure which toothpaste for sensitive teeth to choose, here's a buying guide that outlines some of the major points to keep in mind!
We all know regular toothpaste can give you a whiter smile and fresher breath while protecting and strengthening your teeth. Toothpastes for sensitive teeth can do all that while helping with pain.
There are many different potential reasons as to why sensitivity occurs. It can be caused by brushing your teeth too roughly, grinding your teeth in your sleep, a diet that contains acidic food and drinks, GERD, gum recession, and more. Luckily, there are also ingredients that can help lessen teeth sensitivity.
These include potassium nitrate, which blocks the transmission of pain to your brain, and fluoride, which strengthens tooth enamel and acts as a protective layer.
Another helpful ingredient for reducing sensitivity is strontium chloride, which blocks the openings of the channels underneath your enamel so hot and cold sensations can't reach your nerves.
Potassium nitrate, stannous fluoride, and strontium chloride are some ingredients listed in anti-sensitivity toothpastes. With regular daily use, these ingredients will help the nerves in your roots and build up dentin protection to irritations like cold, heat, and sugar.
Some of these ingredients work on blocking the tubules in dentin that cause sensitivity. It's important to note that most anti-sensitivity toothpastes take weeks to months to build up protection.
Sugar and acid can interact with the bacteria in your mouth, and in conjunction with other variables such as age or inadequate brushing, can cause cavities and tooth decay. Fluoride toothpastes for sensitive teeth are good for remineralization, the process of naturally strengthening tooth enamel.
Calcium phosphate, which can be found in dairy products, is also great for remineralization. In fact, pastes containing this ingredient have even proven better for remineralization than fluoride toothpastes in some studies.
Magnesium can be a beneficial ingredient for repairing enamel. Magnesium deficiency is common in the western portion of the world, and teeth with higher magnesium content have been shown to be less prone to decay.
There are two main ingredients that help to remineralize teeth: Fluoride and Nano-HAp. Remineralizing teeth means filling nanoscopic cracks and grooves on a tooth's surface and rebuilding areas where decay is beginning. Fluoride is a very popular ingredient in toothpastes in the USA and mostly works externally creating a shield that fights the acids created by plaque.
Nano-Hydroxyapatite (Nano-HAp) is another beneficial ingredient that penetrates deeper into the teeth and works internally. Hydroxyapatite is a biologically acceptable material that naturally occurs in our bones, teeth, and saliva and makes up 97 percent of our tooth enamel.
Lab-made Nano-HAp is an ingredient that is used in Japanese enamel restoration toothpastes that help remineralize teeth. It's interesting to note that the first medical application of hydroxyapatite was in 1970 by NASA for astronauts who experienced loss in bone and teeth mass.
In 1987, Sangi Co. Ltd. in Japan acquired the patent from NASA and have been using hydroxyapatite as the main ingredient for their toothpastes.
For consumers who are allergic to fluoride and are at higher risk for fluorosis (too much fluoride exposure leading to permanent white spots on teeth), Nano-HAp may be a better alternative to use for young children and pregnant women. Apagard Premio Toothpaste is a popular Nano-HAp product that can be easily found online. Always make sure to read the ingredients!
There's a wide variety of toothpastes to choose from, and that means a lot of ingredients to think about as well. Certain ones are known to be problematic for sensitive mouths, but some need to be more thoughtfully evaluated.
Many people decide to avoid ingredients like fluoride and triclosan in their toothpaste. However, before ruling them out, it's vital to evaluate their pros and cons. Since fluoride helps rebuild and strengthen enamel, it's extremely beneficial for fighting sensitivity and tooth decay.
Triclosan has been shown to alter hormone regulation in animals and might be harmful to the human immune system. But, the ingredient has also been shown to aid efforts to prevent gingivitis.
In addition, some seemingly more natural toothpastes that boast not using certain ingredients can also be more abrasive (like charcoal toothpastes) or less powerful for fighting cavities.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) researches and assesses the health and safety of products in various fields, including toxic chemicals and water pollutants. Triclosan has an EWG rating of seven, meaning that it's on the high hazard scale of seven to 10. Colgate recently removed Triclosan from all of their toothpastes due to safety concerns.
According to EWG's website on Triclosan, dangers include: "Use restrictions (moderate), Endocrine disruption (moderate), Persistence and bioaccumulation (moderate), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate), Ecotoxicology (low), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (high), and Contamination concerns (high)."
Sodium Fluoride has an EWG rating of two to four which is a low to moderate hazard depending on the amount used.
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a common ingredient in toothpaste that makes it foamy. It's a cleaning agent that's often naturally-derived and can be found in a wide variety of products from shampoos to detergent, and it helps clear food debris from your mouth and in between your teeth.
The National Institute of Health and the FDA both say that though SLS is a safe compound for personal care products, people who suffer from mouth sores will most likely develop extra irritation from using toothpastes with SLS.
Many brands use this ingredient, but certain companies, such as Tooth Builder and Twice, make a point to advertise that their paste is SLS-free.
SLS can be used as an ingredient to help products foam. It's found in toothpaste, shampoo, facial cleansers, etc. Some consumers have reported that using toothpaste with SLS as an ingredient dries out their lips.
SLS has an EWG score of one to two (depends on usage) and is considered safe to use. Consumers who are allergic to SLS may experience cracking at the corners of the mouth and dry lips. And those who experience canker sores frequently should avoid the ingredient.
Charcoal toothpastes have made a comeback in popularity as of late. Many people seek them out because they are supposed to be natural and good for whitening teeth.
However, despite aiding in removing surface stains on teeth and improving breath, there are plenty of downsides to these types of pastes. They can wear down enamel, cause extra gum sensitivity, and they lack the fluoride that helps prevent cavities.
These abrasive toothpastes aren’t good for people with sensitive teeth, in addition to having unknown long-term effects.
A lot of social media influencers are portraying charcoal toothpastes as a solution to dull and stained teeth. Charcoal toothpastes can be abrasive and harsh on the gums resulting in more sensitivity.
Crest and Colgate have their own line of charcoal toothpastes, but I would check the Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) scale for all toothpastes that consumers use. In the United States, to obtain the American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance, a toothpaste's RDA cannot be more than 250.
Another feature that has become increasingly popular in recent years and can often be found in toothpastes for sensitive mouths is stain removal or whitening ability. This allows you to brighten your teeth right from your home, without having a dental procedure.
Many tooth-whitening pastes contain either hydrogen peroxide or silica for brightening. The higher the hydrogen peroxide content, the greater chance you have of irritating your gums. On the other hand, silica is abrasive, but mildly so, and many people with sensitive teeth can use it with no issues.
Some toothpastes claim to whiten teeth while reducing sensitivity at the same time. If carbamide or hydrogen peroxide is listed as an ingredient it may cause your teeth to become more sensitive or irritated. I would see where the toothpaste is placed on the Relative Dentin Abrasivity scale to see how abrasive the product is especially if there is a higher amount of silica involved.
Mixing baking soda with water or toothpaste once a week for two minutes may safely remove some stains and whiten teeth, but I wouldn't recommend using baking soda with lemon juice or anything acidic. Be especially careful using baking soda around permanent retainers and dental glue because it can soften the glue.
Bad breath has many common, everyday causes, such as food particles in teeth that lead to bacterial growth, tobacco use, and dry mouth. In addition to adhering to a strong oral hygiene regimen, you can try certain toothpastes to assist with freshening your breath.
Many pastes are mouth-freshening, but certain ones, like those that contain fluoride, are especially good for killing smelly bacteria and fighting plaque.
Tonsil stones embedded in your tonsils can also cause halitosis (bad breath). Ask your dental professional to check your tonsils for stones during your appointment. Bacteria embedded on the surfaces and "hairs" of your tongue can also result in bad breath.
I would recommend a tongue cleaner or scraper to gently clean the surfaces of the tongue nightly. Using toothpaste with fluoride as an ingredient will help improve your breath since it kills bacteria, too. Fluoride kills both good and bad bacteria, though, so it's important to use a moderate amount.
It's difficult to find a toothpaste for sensitive teeth that isn't mint-flavored. If you enjoy mint, you're in luck; you have a wide variety of options to choose from!
However, if you're not a fan, you'll have to hunt a little harder for other flavors like wintergreen or a flavorless option.
Anyone can use anti-sensitivity toothpaste! I would definitely consult the EWG (Environmental Working Group) rating of each ingredient and the RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasivity) chart for the toothpaste, though. Words and labels can be misleading.
For example, Colgate's Sensitive Pro-Relief, Enamel Repair has an RDA score of 125 which is considered highly abrasive. Taking a look at Sensodyne, Sensodyne has a score of 79 which is considered medium abrasive, while Sensodyne Extra Whitening has an RDA score of 104 which is on the high abrasive section.
Lastly, Sensodyne Pronamel Low Abrasive has an RDA score of 37. Since brushing is done two to three times a day every day, it's important to use a toothpaste with a low RDA to protect enamel and gums.
You're set on your toothpaste now, but if you need a new toothbrush to go with it, why not pick something eco-friendly? These bamboo toothbrushes recommended by sustainability advocate, Julia Miller, are soft on teeth and compostable after you're done with them!
Here are some links to other products that help you take care of your mouth. There are even some natural and eco-friendly options!
Oral hygiene is critical to your overall wellbeing. And with all of the options today, treating your sensitive mouth's specific needs is no trouble at all.
Be sure to keep key factors such as flavor, ingredients, and breath freshening and teeth whitening abilities in mind. There's definitely a toothpaste that's perfect for you!
Author: Lindsey DeRoche
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