Get a sparkling smile for less — these are the best toothpastes for your money Associated Press
Colgate toothpaste and toothbrush (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, file)

Walk down the health & beauty aisle in any grocery store and you’re immediately overwhelmed with choices when it comes to toothpaste.

Tartar control, sensitive teeth, whitening, cavity prevention, baking soda and peroxide, botanical — the marketing ploys seem endless! When you just want the cleanest mouth, which is the best toothpaste for your teeth?

RELATED: We all want gorgeous smiles, but there’s a lot to consider before bleaching your teeth took a look at the vast array of toothpastes and identified the following as the best choices:

  • Best overall: Colgate Total Enamel Strength ($3.50)
  • Best whitening: Luster White 7 Toothpaste ($7)
  • Best for sensitive teeth: Crest Pro-Health Sensitive Shield ($3.50)
  • Best botanical toothpaste: Burt’s Bees Fluoride-Free Natural Whitening Toothpaste ($3.50)

What about generics? If you’re going to buy off-brand toothpaste at the dollar store, has a few tips:

  • Look for the symbol of the American Dental Association (ADA) to ensure it’s a safe product.
  • Make sure it has fluoride.
  • If sensitivity is a concern, look for toothpastes with strontium chloride or potassium nitrate.
  • If you’re worried about gum inflammation, look for toothpastes with stannous fluoride and triclosan.
  • No matter which toothpaste you buy, don’t forget to floss daily!

RELATED: Rather than spend thousands of dollars on braces, a college student came up with this ingenious way to straighten his teeth

If you’re in need of affordable dental care, consider dental schools. Much like going to a beauty school for a cheap haircut, the idea here is you go to a dental school and let dental students get practice hours on your teeth — under the watchful eye of faculty members, of course! Search for either accredited dental schools or a dental hygiene program. Then give them a call and find out how to start the process!

Dentistry is undergoing changes that will bring both positives and challenges to the marketplace for years to come. One trend that looks set to shape the future is the rise of chain dentistry practices. Great Expression Dental Centers is just one example of this. This chain has about 240 offices nationwide and employees 2,300 people.

What does a chain dentist office mean to you as a consumer? In theory, if you go to a chain, there would be efficiencies in overhead, what are called economies of scale. But the problem is what’s the care like? Who’s accountable? Do you see the same person each time or does nobody know your dental history? So the advantage of these chains is lower prices. But sometimes you can’t focus on price alone. This is a decision you’ll have to make for yourself.

Theo Thimou,

Stories You Might Like