The 9 Best Toothpastes for Sensitive Teeth of 2024


Many people suffer from sensitive teeth: A 2019 systematic review of research put the figure at 11.5% of people in the U.S. The severity of sensitive teeth can vary from person to person. Some people experience mild pain when eating ice cream, for example, while others experience severe discomfort, according to the Oral Health Foundation. Interestingly enough, women are more likely than men to suffer from sensitive teeth, as are people aged 20 to 40, per the Oral Health Foundation. Why? According to the American Dental Association, female hormones cause greater blood flow to the gums, which causes them to be more sensitive.

The causes of sensitive teeth also vary, Eunjung Jo, DDS, a dentist at Astor Smile Dental in New York City, tells Health. “Sensitive teeth are typically the result of worn tooth enamel [and] gum recession,” Dr. Jo says. “Sometimes, however, tooth discomfort is caused by other factors such as a cavity, a cracked or chipped tooth, a worn filling, or gum disease.” This is why thorough and regular dental checkups are necessary for good oral health.

Fortunately, there are ways to lessen the symptoms of tooth sensitivity, both at the dentist’s office and at home. One such way is to pay attention to the type of toothpaste you’re using since some are better than others for those with sensitive teeth. Two specific ingredients to look for are potassium nitrate and stannous fluoride. Below, you’ll find the nine best toothpastes designed to help people with sensitive teeth. An orthodontist on our Medical Expert Board reviewed this article for medical and scientific accuracy regarding what to look for in toothpaste for sensitive teeth, their effectiveness, and other ways to reduce tooth sensitivity.

When To Use Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth, also known as hypersensitivity, can be uncomfortable and even painful. If you feel pain when your teeth are exposed to a change in temperature, you may have sensitive teeth.

In some instances, this can be a symptom of an underlying problem, so Jessica Pharar, DMD, a dentist in Las Vegas, Nevada, says to see your dentist before using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth to treat your symptoms. Once underlying issues have been ruled out, it may make sense to switch to a sensitive toothpaste.

Ingredients to Avoid

When it comes to sensitivity, abrasive and whitening ingredients are the ones to watch out for.

  • Whitening ingredients: Whitening strips and treatments tend to increase sensitivity, and the same is true of whitening agents in toothpastes. Some toothpastes for sensitive teeth have whitening properties, and those with severe sensitivity may choose an alternative as a result.
  • Abrasive ingredients: Abrasive ingredients help scrub the tooth to get it squeaky clean, but this can worsen enamel issues and accelerate sensitivity. Opt for low-abrasive toothpaste if you have sensitive teeth.

Colgate Sensitive Prevent & Repair Toothpaste

Amazon


Why We Like It

If you’re looking for maximum-strength effectiveness for reducing hypersensitivity, Asharie Campbell, DMD, a dentist at Circle City Dentists of Sebring in Sebring, Florida, says to give this one a go. It contains the highest allowed levels (5 percent) of potassium nitrate, the active ingredient that offers serious protection against sensitive teeth.

Our editor—who has very sensitive teeth and has tried many toothpastes in hopes of experiencing improvement—says this is the best toothpaste for sensitive teeth she has tried. It’s refreshing and gives the mouth a smooth, cleaning feeling, but most importantly, it really works. Other toothpastes she’s tried have had one downside or another, but this one checks all the boxes. It’s pleasant to use, feels and tastes great, and yields results. It even helped whiten teeth, which can be hard to find in a toothpaste for sensitivity.

The fluoride in this toothpaste also contributes to its effectiveness, Dr. Campbell says. Using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth that’s also formulated with fluoride, such as this one by Colgate, can prevent sensitivity from worsening by protecting tooth enamel. Fluoride can also help repair weakened parts of the enamel layer—this is known as remineralizing teeth, and there are studies to back it up.

It’s Worth Noting 

The taste of this toothpaste doesn’t last for a long time.

Product Details:

  • Flavor: Gentle mint
  • Key Ingredients: Potassium nitrate, sodium fluoride

Sensodyne Extra Whitening Toothpaste

Amazon


Why We Like It

There’s a reason why Sensodyne is the most recommended toothpaste for sensitive teeth by dentists—it works, and it’s vetted by experts. Kristen Klement Oldham, DMD, a dentist with Klement Family Dental in St. Petersburg, Florida, says that it’s her top recommendation because it’s specifically created with sensitivity in mind.

While there’s no shortage of Sensodyne toothpastes to choose from, they’re not all formulated with the same active ingredients. This one contains the maximum amount of potassium nitrate allowed, which has been shown to significantly decrease tooth sensitivity. It also contains fluoride to reduce cavities and a whitening agent to brighten teeth.

We noticed whiter teeth after just a few days of using this toothpaste, and after several weeks, there was a subtle but noticeable difference in overall sensitivity. It gave a smooth and cleaning feeling every time, and it was especially effective at combatting morning breath. We’re hopeful that the antisensitivity properties increase over time, but our editor saw enough improvements to continue using it long after the test was over.

It’s Worth Noting 

The minty flavor burned a little when we first started using this toothpaste. The burning sensation subsided the more we used this toothpaste, but those sensitive to strong flavors may prefer a more subtle formula.

Product Details:

  • Flavor: N/A
  • Key Ingredients: Potassium nitrate, sodium fluoride

Target Colgate Total Deep Clean Toothpaste

Target


Why We Like It

Toothpastes designed for sensitive teeth tend to be pricier than regular toothpastes. Opting for this one by Colgate can save you a few bucks, and it contains the form of fluoride (stannous fluoride) that not only protects against cavities but also decreases sensitivity. What’s more, the tube is slightly larger, making it an even better value.

For us, this toothpaste did everything it’s supposed to do. It gave the whole mouth a deep cleaning and had our teeth feeling smooth and sleek—all without increasing sensitivity. We liked the pleasant flavor and feel, and we even like how the formula is white, so any mess on the bathroom counter is less of an eyesore than blue gel formulas.

It’s Worth Noting 

This toothpaste can best be described as basic. It does what toothpastes are supposed to do, but it doesn’t go above and beyond. We also found ourselves wishing the mild taste was a tad bit stronger.

Product Details:

  • Flavor: N/A
  • Key Ingredients: Stannous fluoride

Crest Gum and Sensitivity Gentle Whitening Toothpaste

 Amazon


Why We Like It

A lot of dental issues, including sensitivity, can be attributed to gum health, so taking proper care of your gums now will benefit you in the long run, Dr. Campbell says. She recommends a stannous fluoride toothpaste for reducing sensitivity as well as the reduced risk of gingivitis and gum disease, which can exacerbate sensitivity.

This Crest toothpaste is powered by stannous fluoride to target gum health, sensitivity, and cavity prevention. It also whitens teeth—our editor’s teeth were at least one shade whiter after using this toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes usually exacerbate our editor’s sensitive teeth and gums, but this one whitened teeth without increasing sensitivity. Our editor was so impressed that she ditched her usual Sensodyne for this Crest toothpaste.

It’s Worth Noting 

The minty flavor contributed to a tiny amount of tingling, but it was insignificant and didn’t bother us.

Product Details:

  • Flavor: N/A
  • Key Ingredients: Stannous fluoride

Health / Hildara Araya


Amazon Twice Oral Wellness Toothpaste with Fluoride

Amazon


Why We Like It

Potassium nitrate is considered the best ingredient for tooth sensitivity, and it’s the second ingredient in this toothpaste—right behind sodium fluoride. Together, the two reduce cavities and hypersensitivity. It’s also vegan-friendly and formulated with other ingredients that support oral health, such as anti-inflammatory vitamins and aloe. So, it’s pretty much designed to combat most (if not all) oral care concerns.

Our editor with sensitive teeth found the effectiveness of this Twice toothpaste comparable to Sensodyne. Where it really shined, however, was improving bad breath. Our editor noticed a drastic improvement in breath freshness—especially when combatting coffee breath. Overall, we really enjoyed the taste and smell, and it worked effectively to keep the whole mouth feeling clean.

It’s Worth Noting 

The consistency becomes very watery once you start brushing, which can become messy. It also didn’t do much for teeth whitening.

Product Details:

  • Flavor: Wintergreen peppermint
  • Key Ingredients: Potassium nitrate, sodium fluoride

Walmart Arm & Hammer Essentials Whiten & Strengthen Fluoride Toothpaste

Walmart


Why We Like It

After the very first use, we were amazed by this toothpaste. With its affordable price, it was already off to a good start, but its effectiveness really impressed us. Our editor with sensitive teeth finds many toothpastes too aggressive, but this one was surprisingly gentle. What’s more, it didn’t increase sensitivity at all. In fact, it gave a thorough clean, whitened teeth, and made our teeth feel stronger.

It’s a fluorinated toothpaste for cavity protection, but in true Arm & Hammer fashion, it also contains baking soda, which has tooth whitening properties. According to a 2017 review in The Journal of the American Dental Association, baking soda toothpaste effectively removes stains and whitens teeth, and it’s less abrasive.

It’s Worth Noting 

The mint flavor of this toothpaste is very subtle, which was a plus for our editor, but some prefer something with more punch. As a whitening toothpaste, it may also be too abrasive for some with very sensitive teeth.

Product Details:

  • Flavor: Fresh mint
  • Key Ingredients: Baking soda, sodium fluoride

HiSmile Everyday Care

Amazon


Why We Like It

Toothpastes rarely come in flavors other than some form of mint. Kids’ toothpastes might have some fruity flavors, but they’re not exactly formulated for adults. For those of us looking for something a little more exciting, HiSmile has more than a dozen flavors to choose from, such as Coconut, Red Velvet, and Cotton Candy. We personally tried the Watermelon flavor, which was as sweet as it sounds. It wasn’t overly sweet but rather refreshing with a subtle mintiness.

While this toothpaste isn’t geared towards people with sensitive teeth specifically, it’s free from ingredients that increase tooth sensitivity. It also didn’t contribute to our editor’s sensitive teeth, which was a huge plus. We liked the unique color of the bottle, and we found ourselves looking forward to using this every day because it was pleasant to use.

It’s Worth Noting 

A little bit went a long way with this formula, but even so, the bottle is smaller than your typical tube of toothpaste. It contains just two ounces of toothpaste compared to the typical four to six ounces per tube. We also had some issues with the bottle—the pump was unreliable at times, and since it’s opaque, it’s difficult to tell when it’s running low.

Product Details:

  • Flavor: Watermelon
  • Key Ingredients: Sodium fluoride

Firefly Strawberry Toothpaste

Amazon


Why We Like It

Kids get sensitive teeth, too, so our editor tested this toothpaste on her children. Though her children don’t have sensitive teeth, this toothpaste went on smoothly. The kids enjoyed the sweet taste and found no issues with the texture. It’s fluorinated, so it doesn’t just taste great to kids—it also protects baby teeth from cavities.

Our editor’s children loved it, which likely goes a long way to making the tooth brushing routine more efficient. We also liked the packaging. The canister stands upright and dispenses toothpaste when you press the top. This was noticeably neater than trying to squeeze toothpaste from a tube—which, as we’ve all experienced, can create a mess on the counter.

It’s Worth Noting 

When our editor gave this toothpaste a try, she found the flavor alarmingly sweet. While not the target market, it didn’t taste great to an adult. 

Product Details:

  • Flavor: Strawberry
  • Key Ingredients: Sodium fluoride

Amazon POPWHITE Whitening Primer Toothpaste

Amazon


Why We Like It

This toothpaste works similar to a color-correcting purple shampoo for blonde hair—the purple color cancels out yellow shades to make teeth appear whiter and brighter. Before the test was up, our editor noticed whiter teeth—not significantly so, but noticeably. 

Our editor has sensitive teeth and gums—so much so, in fact, that she can’t use certain products because they lead to burning and flaking along her gums. With that severity of sensitivity, our editor was concerned about how this toothpaste would affect her teeth and gums, but it was very well tolerated. She had no issues with increased sensitivity.

So, how does this toothpaste work? It’s free from fluoride, but it’s full of other beneficial ingredients, such as baking soda and coconut oil. It goes on easily, foams up nicely, and leaves teeth feeling smooth and clean. The purple toothpaste also didn’t stain any clothes or towels.

It’s Worth Noting 

Some people prefer fluoride-free toothpaste, but the American Dental Association and dentists recommend the active ingredient for both adults and children.

Product Details:

  • Flavor: Mint
  • Key Ingredients: Xylitol, baking soda, coconut oil

Our Testing Process

We tested these toothpastes for weeks, but before doing so, we consulted two practicing dentists on how to select and use toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Lena Varone, DMD, a New York-based cosmetic dentist, and Edmond R. Hewlett, DDS, professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry, provided instructions on how to test toothpaste.

Following expert instructions, our editors tested 12 toothpastes for sensitive teeth for at least two weeks. We tested them in our own homes by using them to brush our teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time, in line with the brushing technique recommended by the American Dental Association.

To determine our final list, we collected insights on the following attributes:

  • Effectiveness: We took photos along the way to reflect on any visible improvements we experienced after the testing period. We noted how our teeth looked and felt after weeks of using each toothpaste for sensitive teeth, especially if it reduced sensitivity to hot and cold foods.
  • Comfort: Toothpaste consistency can vary, so we shared our firsthand experience with how each formula applied and lathered up. For whitening formulas, we paid extra attention to whether it increased sensitivity immediately after each use.
  • Taste: Minty and fruity toothpaste flavors are to be expected, but some come in a wider variety of flavors than others. While taste is subjective, we noted whether the taste was pleasant or unpleasant and any lasting power it had on breath freshness.

Our Experts

To find the best toothpastes for sensitive teeth, our search began by interviewing dentists. We first spoke to practicing dentists to learn more about what makes for an effective toothpaste for sensitive teeth. 

Dentists we spoke to included:

  • Asharie Campbell, DMD, a dentist at Circle City Dentists of Sebring in Sebring. Florida
  • Edmond R. Hewlett, DDS, professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry
  • Eunjung Jo, DDS, a dentist at Astor Smile Dental in New York City
  • Kristen Klement Oldham, DMD, a dentist with Klement Family Dental in St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Jessica Pharar, DMD, a dentist in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Lena Varone, DMD, New York-based cosmetic dentist

Your Questions, Answered

How can I stop my teeth from being sensitive? 

Brushing your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth can help reduce sensitivity. Other interventions can include special mouthwashes and electric toothbrushes. It’s also best to avoid habits that contribute to sensitive teeth, such as aggressive brushing and extreme cold, hot, or acidic foods. If you don’t notice any improvements, it may be time to see your dentist about a prescription-strength toothpaste or custom-fitted night guard.

Can toothpaste fix sensitive teeth? 

Yes, the right toothpaste can help relieve sensitive teeth. They work by sealing up the pores of the exposed dentin, which is usually the part of the tooth causing sensitivity and pain. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth are formulated with specific active ingredients, such as potassium nitrate and stannous fluoride, to alleviate hypersensitivity while also supporting overall oral health. 

Can you use sensitive toothpaste every day? 

Sensitive toothpaste can be used just like regular toothpaste, so it’s safe to use every day. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. 

Who We Are

Lacey Muinos is a health and wellness writer. She covers topics ranging from nutrition to oral hygiene, and she’s reported on dental products like electric toothbrushes, tongue scrapers, and toothpaste. As someone with sensitive teeth herself, Lacey only uses Sensodyne toothpaste and has experienced relief.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *