Toothpaste Versus Tooth Gel

toothpasteToday, Dr. William Griffin in Newport News, VA wants to settle a very heated and controversial dental debate topic once and for all. You might be wondering “what possible topic related to dental hygiene or dental implants could be controversial or even debatable?”

Wait for it, and the topic is: What’s better, toothpaste or tooth gel? Okay, so maybe it’s not that debatable, but it could be if you have a strong opinion on the matter, like I do.

If you’ve ever gone to a CVS pharmacy and stood in the toothpaste aisle, then you know that there are sooo many different brands and styles of toothpaste. The number of choices can almost feel overwhelming.

It makes sense that you’d feel overwhelmed since I know that you take your dental health seriously and want to make the right choices when it comes to taking care of your mouth. The right choice of gel or paste could help you with all of your dental dilemmas.

So, say you’ve figured it out. You sifted through all of the brands and styles. You know exactly what you want, the teeth whitening tartar control extra fluoride Colgate. You go to grab it off the shelf, and as you’re reaching for it, you see that on the row next to it in a seemingly identical box sits a gel version. Then you have to ask yourself one more question, “Do I get the paste form…or the gel form?”

Or, say you know what you want, because you get the gel version every time. You think “ah this will be easy, I’ll just get the gel and get out of here.” Except something different happens, this time you accidentally buy the paste, because the packaging is so similar. You get home and put it on your toothbrush, and it’s not the end of the world, but you just prefer the gel version. Herein lies the debate.

What’s the difference?

While the brand of gel and paste is important for helping you combat different kinds of oral health problems, there actually isn’t a huge difference between the gel and paste formulas. The most obvious differences are their physical appearance, tastes, and textures.


Gels are made with silica to create a clear texture. When it comes to brushing, gels tend to be a bit less abrasive. You don’t get the nice foamy texture that you get from a paste. If you’re a messy brusher, then gels tend to create less of a spatter.


Pastes are thicker in texture and tend to be a solid color. You can also get tri-colored pastes, green pastes, blue pastes, and even red. Pastes tend to go on your teeth thicker. Thusly, they can sometimes create a bit of a mess. I use a white paste, and since I use an electric toothbrush, I sometimes end up having to clean the foamy spray off of my bathroom mirror.

Which is better?

Personally, I prefer pastes. Since they go on thicker, pastes make my mouth feel cleaner. It might just be in my head, but I also feel like the minty taste of a paste lasts longer. Every time I’ve “experimented” with gels I regretted it, as my fresh breath was gone in a matter of minutes. I also felt like the gel doesn’t seep into my teeth as well as a paste.

This is just my opinion. I have friends that adamantly advocate for tooth gel. They’re also not a fan of the mess that toothpaste can create. I will admit getting paste on your clothes can be a nuisance. On the same hand, that long lasting effect is the reason I like it so much.

So, which is better? Honestly, you’ll get the same result no matter which one you choose. It’s merely a matter of preference. What formula do you prefer? Gel or paste? Do you have a strong opinion on the matter?

If having a hard time finding the right toothpaste for you, then make sure you talk to your dentist about it. If you’re curious about dental implants and serious about your dental health, give us a call right away for a consultation at (757) 745-1003.