The important ingredient to look for in a toothpaste is fluoride. This strengthens enamel. It usually doesn’t matter whether toothpaste is in the form of a gel or a paste. Be careful that children don’t swallow toothpaste as too much fluoride can cause white or brown spots on teeth. Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when brushing childrens’ teeth.

A toothpaste which is good for gum health is Corsodyl. It uses an older recipe of herbal ingredients but has been shown to be very effective in helping to control gum disease.

Some special gels like Corsodyl and Kin contain a strong antibacterial called chlorhexidine. These gels should not be used for longer than a few weeks at a time. Prolonged use will reduce the effectiveness of the chlorhexidine and can stain the teeth. This staining can be removed by a dentist.

Sensitive toothpaste is used to relieve sensitive teeth. Sensitivity is usually caused by gum recession exposing the root surface which is porous and allows hot, cold, and sweet foods and drinks to be felt by the nerve. Sensitive toothpastes contain an ingredient, usually potassium citrate or nitrate, which causes these tiny pores to close. Good sensitive toothpastes are Colgate Pro-Relief and Sensodyne Rapid Relief.