Brushing our teeth is a daily necessity. But with so many toothpaste brands on the market making various claims, how do you decide which one to choose?
When it comes to toothpaste, two of the most popular brands are Crest and Sensodyne. But what are the key differences, pros and cons of each?
Let’s take an in-depth look.
A Brief Comparison Table
|Fluoride, silica, SLS
|Potassium nitrate, stannous fluoride
|Broad range for different needs
|Focused on sensitivity
|Many lines approved
|No ADA seal
|$2-$8 (budget to premium)
|Mint, cool mint, fruit
|Can be harsh for sensitive teeth
|Contains triclosan, SLS
Crest Toothpaste Overview
Crest has become one of the most widely used toothpaste brands in many households.
Created in 1955 by Procter & Gamble, it has a range of toothpaste products for different needs. Some key things to know:
Key Ingredients: Most Crest toothpastes contain fluoride as the main active ingredient for fighting cavities and strengthening enamel.
Other common ingredients include silica for polishing, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) as a foaming agent, and artificial sweeteners like saccharin for taste.
Some lines may have additional ingredients like stannous fluoride or sodium hexametaphosphate for extra protection against sensitivity, gingivitis, plaque or whitening.
Product Lines: There is a wide range of Crest product lines targeting different needs:
- Cavity protection: Crest Cavity Protection, Crest Baking Soda & Peroxide Cavity Protection
- Whitening: Crest 3D White, Crest White Strips
- Gum health: Crest Gum Detoxify, Crest Gum & Sensitivity
- Fresh breath: Crest Scope, Crest 3D White Brilliance
Flavors: Common Crest flavors include regular mint, cool mint, wintergreen, cinnamon and fruit flavors. Flavors can vary across the different product lines.
Prices: Crest toothpaste prices can range from $2-$8 depending on the specific line. The brand is designed to have options at budget, mid-range and premium price points.
Sensodyne Toothpaste Overview
Originally created in the 1960s by Block Drug, Sensodyne has become popular for its specialty targeting of tooth sensitivity and protection. Key things to know:
Key Ingredient: Most Sensodyne toothpastes use potassium nitrate as the main active ingredient to calm nerve and reduce sensitivity. Some also have stannous fluoride for extra enamel protection.
Product Lines: The main lines include:
- Sensodyne Repair & Protect: Helps repair and protects against acid erosion and recurring sensitivity
- Sensodyne Rapid Relief: Provides rapid relief for sensitive teeth
- Sensodyne Extra Whitening: Also whitens teeth along with sensitivity relief
Flavors: Mainly mint flavors like Cool Mint and Fresh Mint. Some additional flavors like Cinnamon, Tartar Control, Baking Soda.
Prices: Sensodyne tends to retail for $4 to $8 per tube depending on specific line. Generally priced as more of a “premium” toothpaste.
Now that we’ve covered some of the key highlights, let’s compare some of the key pros and cons of Crest and Sensodyne.
Crest Toothpaste Pros
- Broad range of products
One major advantage of Crest is the wide selection of toothpaste products targeting different needs – from cavity protection, whitening, gum health to fresh breath. This offers consumers plenty of choice.
- Often cheaper in price
Many Crest toothpastes retail for $2 to $4, making them very budget-friendly options. The exception would be more premium lines like the whitening strips. But you can often buy Crest at value in bulk quantities.
- Seal of Approval by Dental Associations
The ADA (American Dental Association) has provided its trusted Seal of Acceptance to many Crest products including Pro-Health, 3D White and Gum Detoxify lines. This provides assurance the products meet ADA standards for safety and effectiveness.
- Established reputation as a leader
With over 50 years experience in oral care, Crest has earned its reputation as a leading toothpaste brand trusted by countless households and dental professionals. It spends significantly on scientific research and development.
Cons of Crest Toothpaste
- Some controversial ingredients
Certain ingredients in some Crest toothpastes have faced controversy around side effects risks, albeit in trace amounts. This includes:
- Triclosan (antibacterial agent) – long-term exposure toxicity concerns
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (foaming agent) – possible link to canker sores
- Artificial sweeteners – carcinogenic risk aspartame, saccharin
However, the ADA still considers Crest toothpastes safe if directions are followed.
- Harsher abrasives
As a tradeoff for their deep cleaning and whitening ability, some Crest formulas use silica particles and crystalline calcium abrasives that could be too harsh for sensitive teeth.
- Contains animal by-products
Crest uses animal-derived glycerin in their toothpastes, which means not suitable for vegans or vegetarians looking to avoid animal byproducts.
- Designed for sensitive teeth
The #1 advantage of Sensodyne is that is specially formulated to relieve tooth sensitivity. This is useful if you experience regular pain from hot/cold foods.
- Gentler on enamel
Rather than harsh abrasives, most Sensodyne toothpastes use chemicals like strontium chloride and potassium nitrate to block sensitivity at the nerves. This makes them gentler on your enamel and dentin layers.
- Vegan-friendly formulas
All Sensodyne toothpastes are vegan, making them suitable for people who prefer avoiding animal by-products for ethical reasons.
- No controversial ingredients
Sensodyne products use clean, non-toxic formulas without harsh detergents or artificial flavors/colors. They avoid controversial ingredients like triclosan commonly found in regular toothpastes.
- Less variety
With focus specifically on sensitivity relief and protection, Sensodyne offers fewer specialized products vs Crest. No options for gum health, anti-cavity or whitening toothpastes.
- Typically more expensive
On average, Sensodyne toothpastes retail for around $4 to $8 per tube, putting them at the premium end of pricing. Not always budget-friendly, especially for families.
- Not as readily available
While growing in availability, Sensodyne still has less brand recognition and retail presence than Crest in many stores. Crest enjoys prime shelf space and promotions in major chains like Walmart.
- Taste and texture not always preferred
Some of the potassium nitrate formulas have been noted to leave an unpleasant lingering metallic aftertaste. The paste itself also tends to be runnier vs richer Crest consistency preferred by some.
Now that we’ve compared the pros and cons of Crest and Sensodyne toothpastes, which one ultimately comes out on top?
Which Do Dentists Recommend?
Dentists generally consider both Crest and Sensodyne as very good effective toothpaste options.
However, their recommendations also depend on the specific dental priorities and needs of patients.
For patients with chronic sensitivity issues, most dentists would likely recommend specialized Sensodyne toothpastes first line.
Products with potassium nitrate have clinically shown relief by calming nerve reactions to stimuli.
However, for general oral health upkeep, many dentists recommend popular Crest toothpaste lines as a safe bet because of the brand’s track record and ADA acceptance.
Options like Crest Pro-Health are designed well to protect against plaque, gingivitis and cavities without being too abrasive.
That said when it comes to toothpaste, dentists emphasize that fluoride is the most critical ingredient to help strengthen enamel resistance. Therefore as long as any brand contains effective fluoride levels, they consider it a good choice against decay.
Certain factors like budget, vegan considerations, taste preferences also come into play when dentists make toothpaste suggestions. Therefore most advise patients to explore both options.
Follow this quick 5-step checklist when deciding between Crest or Sensodyne for your needs:
- Sensitivity Severity – Evaluate how sensitive your teeth are to stimuli. Mild or severe? This helps determine if you need speciality sensitive formulas.
- Desired Benefits – Beyond sensitivity, consider what other benefits you’d like from your toothpaste – gum health, whitening, fresh breath etc.
- Ingredient Preferences – Are there any ingredients like SLS or aspartame you specifically want to avoid? Always check labels.
- Budget – How much do you realistically want to spend on toothpaste supplies each month. Budget-friendly or premium?
- Taste Test – Don’t forget, you’ll be tasting this toothpaste daily. Make sure to factor in taste/texture appeal before committing.
FAQs About Crest and Sensodyne
There is no clear “winner” between Crest and Sensodyne toothpaste. Crest offers greater variety and benefits while Sensodyne specializes specifically in combating tooth sensitivity with ingredients like potassium nitrate. For most average users, Crest provides very good oral protection but Sensodyne is the way to go primarily for combating sensitivity issues.
Yes, many dentists recommend various popular Crest toothpaste products because the brand has a longstanding reputation for safety and effectiveness. Many lines like Crest Pro-Health have earned the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance. As long as a toothpaste contains fluoride, most dentists consider it a good choice against cavities and decay.
Crest is considered one of the leading toothpaste brands but not necessarily the one “best” toothpaste for everyone’s needs. It does offer among the widest range of products though – from cavity and gingivitis protection, to whitening and sensitivity relief formulas. This range gives it broad appeal. Sensodyne still beats Crest when it comes to combating tooth sensitivity specifically.
Yes, dentists often recommend Sensodyne particularly for patients complaining of chronic tooth sensitivity and pain from hot/cold stimuli. Sensodyne toothpastes contain potassium nitrate as an active ingredient to calm nerve reactions in the teeth and provide clinically-proven sensitivity relief. However, regular Crest toothpaste with fluoride also has strong dental backing for preventing cavities and decay.
When it comes to the great Crest vs Sensodyne debate, there may not be one clear winner for every user. The better brand comes down to your specific tooth and dental care priorities.
For shoppers focused purely on sensitivity relief, then specialized Sensodyne is likely the better option. Its entire formulation is designed specifically to calm sensitive teeth nerves thanks to ingredients like potassium nitrate.
However, for the average user looking for a more multi-benefit toothpaste, Crest tends to provide greater value across improving breath, whitening, fighting cavities and plaque. It also costs less than premium Sensodyne for tight budgets.
That said, Crest may not be for people with extra sensitive teeth, looking to avoid certain chemicals or animal byproducts. This makes it very much a personal choice.
It’s also worth noting that some users even alternate between Crest and Sensodyne toothpastes during different times of need. For instance using specialty Sensodyne when sensitivity flares up, but switching to Crest the rest of the year for protection and whitening.
So consider whether you have any specific dental issues needing focus. Evaluate the pros/cons and key ingredients. And don’t be afraid to try both Crest and Sensodyne to find your right fit.