Consumer Alert: Toothpaste put to the test

(National/Consumer Reports) August 23, 2006 - Who doesn't want a brighter, whiter smile? Many toothpastes promise to deliver just that. A recent study just found after testing dozens of toothpastes that not all deliver. We see how they fared.

Jacob and his brother Ethan know that to get clean teeth, you have to brush regularly. That's true for adults as well as kids, and the toothpaste you use can also make a difference.

With toothpastes making claims on everything from cavity protection to whitening to tartar protection, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you.

Consumer Reports just tested 41 toothpastes to find the ones that clean the best.

Consumer Reports' Jamie Kopf explains, "We tested each product in the lab for their capacity to remove stubborn stains, like those left by coffee or tea drinking."

It turns out toothpastes with peroxide generally weren't any more effective than others at getting out stubborn stains.

The pastes were also assessed to see how abrasive they are.

Kopf says, "The pastes that are more abrasive might do a better job of scrubbing off stains, but they might not be the best choice for people who have sensitive teeth or receding gums."

When all the tests were done, Consumer Reports found several toothpastes to recommend.

If you're looking for a gentle brushing experience, try AIM whitening with baking soda. It cleaned well, without being very abrasive. It costs about $1.40 a tube.

And if you're lucky enough to have no dental issues, Ultrabrite all in one advanced whitening was excellent at removing stains and isn't too abrasive. It costs just a $1.65.

If you're worried about tartar build-up, look for a toothpaste that's accepted by the American Dental Association for tartar control.

The highest-rated one in Consumer Reports' tests is Colgate tartar control whitening gel. It costs a little over $2.00 a tube.

Posted 1:58pm by Bryce Mursch

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