Colgate and Crest toothpaste

Crest and Colgate are the two leading toothpaste brands in the United States. Both claim their effectiveness in all major oral health categories, from cavity prevention to teeth whitening to breath freshening.

The two brands have similarities and differences. For example, Crest advertises its stannous fluoride over sodium fluoride among other toothpaste brands. Meanwhile, Colgate has targeted triclosan, an antibacterial agent for gingivitis.

Understanding how they stack up against each other can help you choose the right brand for you.

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Colgate Total is the first toothpaste approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of gingivitis (gum disease).

Colgate’s active ingredient is an antibacterial agent called triclosan. It’s paired with a copolymer that helps the ingredient’s effects stay in the mouth for up to 12 hours.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, triclosan is an antibacterial agent that helps “slow or stop the growth of bacteria, fungi and mold.” In 1997, the FDA found that triclosan in Colgate Total was effective in preventing gingivitis.

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You may have read about the safety concerns of triclosan in products like soaps and body washes.

Some animal studies have found a link between triclosan and low levels of certain thyroid hormones; other studies suggest that triclosan plays a role in antibiotic resistance.

Despite concerns, there is no evidence that triclosan in toothpaste poses any risk to users. Even so, some manufacturers have removed it from products because it is a non-essential ingredient.


Crest Pro-Health uses stannous fluoride instead of the sodium fluoride used in most other toothpastes, including Colgate. Stannous fluoride relies on elemental tin to bind the fluoride. It may be better at preventing erosion, the study found.

tooth stain

Sodium lauryl sulfate is an ingredient in most toothpastes, including Crest and Colgate. A side effect of this component is that it may stain the teeth. Additionally, some people exposed to sodium lauryl sulfate experience gingival exfoliation (exfoliation).

Molting is harmless, but it can be worrying – it can cause gum sensitivity to fragrance. So if you love jalapenos, you probably don’t want to find a toothpaste that doesn’t contain this ingredient.

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Most dentists still recommend that the main ingredient consumers look for in toothpaste is fluoride, which is found in both Crest and Colgate toothpastes (albeit in different forms). Fluoride is the only ingredient proven to repair tooth enamel, provided it hasn’t decayed.

Toothpaste is an important part of your daily oral care. No matter which brand you choose, it’s important that you brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.

In the end, despite the differences, choose your favorite paste and use it.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which toothpaste contains triclosan?

    Colgate toothpaste products use triclosan as the active ingredient. It is believed to be effective in preventing gingivitis. Studies have attempted to determine whether triclosan has negative effects on human health, but there is no evidence that small amounts of triclosan in Colgate toothpaste cause any harm.

  • What is stannous fluoride?

    Stannous fluoride is an antibacterial agent thought to be effective in controlling plaque and treating gingivitis. It’s used in Crest Pro-Health products instead of the sodium fluoride found in many other types of toothpaste.

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