Updated on May 22, 2024
11 min read

Best Toothpastes for Sensitive Teeth

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Everything We Recommend

  1. Best Overall for Sensitive TeethOllie Fresh Mint
  2. Best from a Trusted Brand — Crest Pro-Health Sensitive & Enamel Shield
  3. Best Natural Option — Kiss My Face Sensitive Citrus Mint Gel
  4. Best for Intense or Occasional Sensitivity — Sensodyne Rapid Relief Sensitive
  5. Best Gentle and Organic Option — AloeSense Fluoride Toothpaste

If you’ve ever winced while sipping an ice-cold drink or gritted your teeth during a scoop of ice cream, you’re not alone. Tooth sensitivity⁠—that sharp, temporary pain triggered by hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks⁠—is a common dental issue.

It often stems from exposed dentin, the inner layer of your teeth, due to receding gums or enamel erosion.

But what causes this sensitivity, and how can toothpaste help?

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush
  • Acidic foods and drinks eroding enamel
  • Gum recession exposing the tooth root
  • Teeth grinding
  • Dental procedures
  • Tooth damage (cracks or chips)
  • Gum disease
  • Whitening products
  • Plaque buildup
  • Medical conditions like acid reflux
  • Aging

The right toothpaste can be a game-changer for sensitive teeth. Regular toothpastes just clean, but sensitive toothpastes pack a double punch. Some, like those with potassium nitrate, help calm down the nerves that are causing the ouchies. Others, with ingredients like hydroxyapatite, create a kind of shield to block those same nerves from getting bothered by cold, heat, or sweetness.

Here are some key ingredients to look for:

  • Potassium nitrate ⁠— A calming agent that desensitizes the nerves within your teeth, reducing pain signals.
  • Stannous fluoride — Strengthens enamel and forms a barrier over exposed dentin, shielding it from triggers.
  • Fluoride — An essential mineral that fortifies enamel and prevents further erosion.
  • Hydroxyapatite — A newer ingredient gaining popularity for its ability to help rebuild tooth enamel.
  • Potassium gluconate: Helps reduce tooth sensitivity by calming the nerves in your teeth.

Choosing the best toothpaste for sensitive teeth can be overwhelming, so I’ve put together this guide to help you find the perfect match for your smile.

Best Toothpastes for Sensitive Teeth

Ollie Fresh Mint

Best Overall for Sensitive Teeth
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Ollie Fresh Mint Toothpaste isn’t just another tube of toothpaste—it’s a carefully formulated blend of ingredients designed to tackle multiple oral care needs.

This toothpaste not only cleans and freshens breath, but it also targets cavities and sensitivity and even offers gentle whitening.

Why It Works:

  • Hydroxyapatite — This mineral is a natural building block of tooth enamel. Ollie toothpaste harnesses its power to remineralize and strengthen your teeth, essentially repairing minor damage and making your teeth more resistant to cavities.
  • Fluoride — A well-known cavity fighter, fluoride helps fortify enamel and protect against decay.
  • Xylitol — This natural sweetener not only adds a touch of sweetness to the toothpaste but also helps fight bacteria that cause cavities.
  • Potassium Nitrate — This key ingredient is a lifesaver for sensitive teeth. It works by calming the nerves in your teeth, reducing those unpleasant zings and twinges.
My Personal Experience:

My bathroom cabinet overflows with an assortment of toothpastes, each targeting a specific need⁠—sparkling whites, invigorating breath, or soothing gum care. But Ollie Fresh Mint has become my undisputed champion, combining multiple benefits into one exceptional product.

These are the standout features I loved about it:

  • Fresh, clean breath — The minty flavor is refreshing without being overpowering, leaving my breath feeling clean and confident throughout the day.
  • Effective cleaning — The gentle grittiness provides a satisfying scrub that feels like it’s effectively removing surface stains and plaque, leaving my teeth feeling smooth and polished.
  • Long-lasting sensitivity relief — Unlike other toothpastes that offer temporary fixes, Ollie Fresh Mint delivers a noticeable and lasting difference. My teeth feel less reactive to cold drinks and sweets, allowing me to enjoy them without the usual discomfort.
  • Comprehensive protection — To top it all off, it boasts a unique combination of hydroxyapatite and fluoride. This gives me peace of mind knowing I’m getting the best possible protection against cavities and enamel erosion.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for a fluoride-free version, Ollie just launched their Clean Mint Toothpaste!

Crest Pro-Health Sensitive & Enamel Shield Toothpaste

Best from a Trusted Brand
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Crest Pro-Health Sensitive & Enamel Shield doesn’t just mask the symptoms of tooth sensitivity—it actively strengthens and protects teeth.

Its patented stannous fluoride technology is clinically proven to fight cavities, protect against plaque and gingivitis, and most importantly for me, relieve tooth sensitivity.

Stannous FluorideActive ingredient for cavity protection, plaque & gingivitis control, and sensitivity relief
Hydrated SilicaGently polishes teeth and removes surface stains
Sodium Lauryl SulfateCreates a rich lather to remove debris and freshen breath
My Personal Experience:

The smooth texture and refreshing mint flavor of Crest Pro-Health made brushing a pleasant experience from the start. The real difference came when I could finally enjoy a bowl of ice cream without the usual discomfort.

Over time, my tooth sensitivity has significantly diminished, allowing me to indulge in my favorite foods and drinks again. Crest Pro-Health has truly improved my quality of life.


Kiss My Face Sensitive Citrus Mint Gel Toothpaste

Best Natural Option
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Like our other top picks, Kiss My Face Sensitive Citrus Mint Gel Toothpaste contains potassium nitrate, a powerful desensitizer that actively soothes and protects sensitive teeth, helping to reduce pain and discomfort.

Potassium NitrateActive ingredient for sensitivity relief
Tea Tree Oil, Aloe Vera, EchinaceaSoothe gums and reduce plaque and tartar buildup
XylitolNatural sweetener that the bacteria in your mouth are unable to digest 
My Personal Experience:

The refreshing citrus mint flavor and gentle gel texture of Kiss My Face made it a pleasant addition to my oral care routine. While it didn’t seem to combat bad breath as effectively as other brands, the sensitivity relief was noticeable and long-lasting. After consistent use, I could enjoy cold treats without the usual discomfort. 

However, those seeking toothpaste with stronger breath-freshening capabilities might need to look elsewhere. For a natural approach to sensitive teeth, Kiss My Face is still a decent option, prioritizing gentle care and effective sensitivity relief.

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Sensodyne Rapid Relief Sensitive Toothpaste

Best for Intense or Occasional Sensitivity
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Sensodyne Rapid Relief is specifically designed for people like me who need fast and effective relief from sensitivity pain.

Its active ingredient, stannous fluoride, works quickly to create a barrier over the exposed nerves in your teeth, blocking the pathways that cause those sharp, uncomfortable sensations.

Stannous FluorideActive ingredient for rapid sensitivity relief and cavity protection
Potassium NitrateProvides additional sensitivity relief by calming the nerves in your teeth
My Personal Experience:

When my teeth are particularly sensitive after whitening treatments, Sensodyne Rapid Relief provides quick and noticeable relief. Within seconds, the soothing formula goes to work, calming the discomfort.

The minty flavor is refreshing without being overpowering, and it leaves my mouth feeling clean and protected. While I don’t use it daily, it’s an essential part of my oral care routine when my teeth need extra care.

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AloeSense Fluoride Toothpaste

Best Gentle and Organic Option
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AloeSense is a truly organic toothpaste, carefully formulated to address tooth sensitivity and promote oral health. Its star ingredients⁠—aloe vera and allantoin⁠—are renowned for their soothing and healing properties, providing natural relief for irritated gums and sensitive teeth.

Ingredient Spotlight:

  • Sodium Fluoride ⁠ Protects against cavities and strengthens enamel, ensuring your teeth stay healthy and strong.
  • Aloe Vera and Allantoin — The dynamic duo works together to soothe and heal sensitive gums, providing gentle relief and promoting a healthier oral environment.
  • Xylitol — This natural sweetener not only adds a touch of sweetness but also helps fight bacteria that cause cavities.
My Personal Experience:

From the first brush, I was struck by how effectively AloeSense cleaned my teeth without any harshness. The fresh mint flavor leaves a pleasant, clean feeling, while the aloe vera provides a soothing sensation that lingers long after brushing.

Most importantly, my tooth sensitivity has significantly decreased since switching to this toothpaste. If you’re seeking an organic toothpaste that’s both gentle and effective at tackling tooth sensitivity, AloeSense is a fantastic choice.

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Are There Any Ingredients I Should Avoid in Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth?

While most toothpastes formulated for sensitive teeth are safe and effective, it’s important to be aware of certain ingredients that could potentially worsen your sensitivity or cause other oral health issues.

For example, I used to think that charcoal was a great option for whitening, but most dentists actually advise against it due to its abrasive nature, which can be damaging with daily use.

Other ingredients to be mindful of include:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
  • Harsh Abrasives (like charcoal)
  • Triclosan
  • Microbeads
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Diethanolamine (DEA)
  • Titanium Dioxide

If your toothpaste contains any of these ingredients, consider switching to a gentler option. Always check the label and consult your dentist if you have any concerns.

ToothpasteKey IngredientsBenefitsPrice Range
Ollie Fresh MintHydroxyapatite, Fluoride, Xylitol, Potassium NitrateStrengthens enamel, reduces sensitivity, fights cavities, gentle whitening$$$
Crest Pro-Health Sensitive & Enamel ShieldStannous Fluoride, Hydrated Silica, Sodium Lauryl SulfateStrengthens enamel, reduces sensitivity, fights cavities and plaque$
Kiss My Face Sensitive Citrus Mint GelPotassium Nitrate, Tea Tree Oil, Aloe Vera, Echinacea, XylitolReduces sensitivity, soothes gums, natural ingredients$
Sensodyne Rapid ReliefStannous Fluoride, Potassium NitrateFast-acting sensitivity relief, strengthens enamel$$
AloeSense Fluoride ToothpasteSodium Fluoride, Aloe Vera, Allantoin, XylitolGentle on gums, reduces sensitivity, natural and organic$

Additional Tips for Managing Tooth Sensitivity

Beyond choosing the right toothpaste, there are several other steps you can take to manage and reduce tooth sensitivity:

  1. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush ⁠— Harsh brushing can wear down enamel and exacerbate sensitivity. Opt for a soft-bristled brush and use gentle, circular motions. If you’re heavy handed with your brushing, consider investing in an electric toothbrush with a pressure indicator.
  2. Avoid acidic foods and drinks — Acidic substances can erode enamel and trigger sensitivity. Limit your consumption of citrus fruits, soda, wine, and coffee, and rinse your mouth with water after consuming them.
  3. Use a fluoridated mouthwash — Fluoride helps strengthen enamel and reduce sensitivity. Incorporate a fluoridated mouthwash into your daily oral care routine.
  4. Consider a night guard — If you grind your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about getting a custom-fitted night guard. This can help protect your teeth from further damage and reduce sensitivity caused by grinding.
  5. Maintain good oral hygiene — Brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste, and floss daily. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are also crucial for identifying and addressing any underlying issues that may contribute to sensitivity.
  6. Try desensitizing gels or strips — In addition to toothpaste, desensitizing gels or strips can provide targeted relief for specific areas of sensitivity.
  7. Rinse with salt water — A warm saltwater rinse can help soothe irritated gums and reduce inflammation, which can contribute to sensitivity.
  8. Avoid extreme temperatures — Extremely hot or cold foods and drinks can trigger sensitivity. Try to consume them at a moderate temperature.
  9. Talk to your dentist — If your sensitivity persists or worsens despite these measures, consult your dentist. They can help identify the underlying cause and recommend additional treatments, such as fluoride varnishes or bonding.

Can Sensitive Toothpaste Help with Other Dental Issues?

Absolutely! Many toothpastes for sensitive teeth offer additional benefits beyond just sensitivity relief.

Depending on the specific product, you may find options that also help with:

  • Cavity prevention — Look for toothpastes containing fluoride, a mineral that strengthens enamel and protects against decay. A newer ingredient, hydroxyapatite, is also gaining popularity for its ability to help rebuild tooth enamel.
  • Whitening — Some sensitive toothpastes include gentle whitening agents to help brighten your smile.
  • Gum health — Certain ingredients, like stannous fluoride and antimicrobial agents, can help reduce plaque and gingivitis.
  • Tartar control — Ingredients like pyrophosphates and zinc citrate can help prevent tartar buildup.
  • Fresh breath — Most toothpastes contain flavoring agents that freshen your breath, while some also include specific ingredients to target bad breath.

How Often Should I Use Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth?

For optimal results, use your sensitive toothpaste twice daily, just like you would with regular toothpaste. It’s safe to use sensitive toothpaste every day⁠—in fact, it’s recommended for ongoing protection and relief from tooth sensitivity.

The active ingredients in these toothpastes, like potassium nitrate and stannous fluoride, are designed for daily use and work by sealing open dentinal tubules.

How Quickly Will I Notice a Difference?

The timeframe for experiencing relief varies depending on the specific toothpaste and the severity of your sensitivity. Some toothpastes, like Sensodyne Rapid Relief, offer noticeable relief within seconds or minutes, while others may take a few days to a few weeks of consistent use to achieve full effectiveness.

Here’s a general timeline:

  • Immediate relief ⁠— Some formulations, especially those containing stannous fluoride like Sensodyne Rapid Relief, can provide immediate relief from sensitivity.
  • Within a few days — You may notice a gradual reduction in sensitivity within a few days of using most sensitive toothpastes.
  • 1 to 2 weeks — For many people, significant improvement occurs within one to two weeks of regular use.
  • Continued use — Long-term and consistent use is essential to maintain the benefits and prevent sensitivity from returning.

Are There Any Side Effects of Using Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth?

While rare, some people may experience mild side effects from using toothpaste for sensitive teeth, such as gum irritation or allergic reactions. If you notice any discomfort, discontinue use and consult your dentist.

Fresher breath, healthier gums, stronger teeth – find it all in 2024's best mouthwashes. Explore the top picks here.

Last updated on May 22, 2024
8 Sources Cited
Last updated on May 22, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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  8. Salinas, T.J. “What causes sensitive teeth, and how can I treat them? Mayo Clinic, 2021.
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