“Companies are trying to cash in on the buzz about how good oral hygiene can help you fend off a host of health problems, including heart disease,” says Kenneth Young, D.D.S., a private-practice dentist in New York. “This has led to increasing specialization in toothpaste.”
So out of all the staggering selections out there, which ones do the dentists recommend the most?
For Total Mouth Health:
Only one brand, Crest Pro-Health ($4), is accepted by the American Dental Association in six categories. It whitens, reduces sensitivity, and helps prevent cavities, gingivitis, plaque, and bad breath. One caveat: Its stannous fluoride can cause tooth staining. If you notice brown spots, alert your dentist, who can easily remove them.
For Whiter Teeth:
Most whiteners are not powerful enough. For real results, pick a product with hydrogen peroxide, such as Supersmile Professional Whitening System ($36, supersmile.com). Bonus: Two tubes keep the toothpaste separate from the whitening gel, the best way to maintain bleaching power, according to Japanese research.