Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste Review By Dentist

Written & Reviewed by Dr David Chen

This is my review for the Colgate Total Clean Mint toothpaste. I’ll be showing you the unboxing, all of the technical specifications, and also discuss what I think about this oral care product.

Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste
Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste

Yes, I am a dentist so I will be going into depth about whether or not this toothpaste can actually do what it alleges it does. In other words, we’ll talk about how it works.


The Colgate Total Clean Mint toothpaste is a part of the “Colgate Total” line of products, which is a step up from their entry/basic level toothpastes.

Colgate products hierarchy:

  • Colgate Max Fresh – their most basic entry level toothpaste.
  • Colgate Total – more premium than the Max Fresh products.

It is considered more premium because it uses the more costly stannous fluoride instead of sodium fluoride. If you compare the featured benefits between the two, you’ll notice a lot more benefits for the Colgate Total.

Featured benefits comparison

There are significantly more featured benefits on Colgate’s Total products vs the MaxFresh products.

Colgate Total Benefits:

  • Whitens teeth
  • Protects sensitive teeth
  • Prevents cavities
  • Freshens breath
  • Helps repair early enamel damage
  • Helps reverse early gum damage
  • Helps prevent plaque bacteria
  • Fights tartar

Colgate Max Fresh Benefits:

  • Fights cavities
  • Whitens teeth
  • Freshens breath
Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste - featured benefits label
Featured benefits label

Product specifications

Net weight5.1 oz (144 g)
Dispensing mechanismSqueezable tube
Remineralizing agentStannous Fluoride
DesensitizerStannous Fluoride
Specifications for Total Clean Mint

Directions for use

The instructions are for adults and children over the age of 12.


  1. Apply at least a 1-inch strip of toothpaste onto a soft bristled toothbrush.
  2. Brush teeth thoroughly for at least 1 minute twice a day or as recommended by a dentist.
  3. Make sure to brush all sensitive areas of the teeth.
  4. Do not swallow.

Our Comments: Once again, we find it absolutely fascinating that colgate is recommending at least 1 minute of brushing in lieu 2 minutes. Yes, we know that the average brushing time for Americans is a measly 45 seconds.


This toothpaste has a total of 20 ingredients within its formulation. Each ingredient serves a specific purpose and provides a specific effect.

Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste - active ingredients
Active ingredients

Active ingredient: Stannous Fluoride 0.454%

  • Anti-cavity
  • Anti-gingivitis
  • Anti-sensitivity

Inactive ingredients

Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste - inactive ingredients
Inactive ingredients
Toothpaste BenefitIngredients
Whitening AbrasiveHydrated Silica
Anti-tartar & Anti-stainingTetrasodium Pyrophosphate
Anti-bad breathZinc Phosphate
Sodium Saccharin
Propylene Glycol (prevent liquid separation)
Body/TexturePEG-12 (spreadability/lubrication)
SLS (detergent/foaming)
Cellulose Gum
Microcrystalline Cellulose (thickener)
Cocamidopropyl Betaine (foaming/lathering)
Xanthan Gum
pH AdjusterSodium Citrate
Citric Acid
OthersWater (solvent)
Titanium Dioxide (white coloring)
List of Inactive toothpaste ingredients & their effects

Excluded Ingredients

In the past, Colgate toothpastes used to contain triclosan and parabens but they’ve since revised their Total Toothpaste line to reflect consumer concerns. As of January 2019, triclosan has been removed from all of their toothpaste formulations.

Excluded ingredients in Colgate toothpastes:

  • Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Donors
  • Triclocarban
  • Chromium pigments
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Triclosan
  • Microplastics

You can rest assured that you won’t find these dubious/questionable ingredients in any of the colgate products. Yes, the company does listen to their customers!


This toothpaste comes in a standard rectangular cardboard box. The colgate logo is in their usual white lettering over a red background. The “Total” is inserted into a circle, signifying that this product will give your teeth around the clock protection!

Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste - box front
Front of box

The packaging is sealed on both the top and bottom end with glue. There is no way to open it and reclose it without anything knowing. Therefore, the glue seal serves as tamper proof evidence.

Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste - sealed box
Box is sealed with glue

Upon opening, you can find the inner contents which is just the toothpaste and nothing else. All of the instructioncans for the product is listed on both the packaging and the tube of toothpaste.

Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste - unboxed contents
Contents unboxed

The material of the toothpaste tube feels just like any other plastic that you’d find on their other toothpastes. The plastic has a slight sheen to it.

Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste - rear view of tube
Rear view

To tube utilizes a flip cap design which is very convenient. You can easily pop it open and close it with just a flick of your finger.

Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste - flip cap
Flip cap

Upon opening the flip cap for the first time, I noticed that there was no aluminum seal or any other type of freshness seal on it. That’s not the end of the world since the box comes sealed so you know that no one has used it before.

Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste - no aluminum seal when opened
No freshness seal

Last but not least, due to the flip cap having a broad flat base, the toothpaste is able to stand upright in a vertical position. This means you can store it vertically rather than being forced to lay it horizontally on the counter.

Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste - can be stored vertically
Stores upright

Overall, my impression of this product is pretty good. The only thing different that I’d wish I’d seen was a freshness seal. Yes, it’s a tiny minor detail but I do appreciate it when I see it in dentifrices.

My Experience

I felt that using the colgate total clean mint toothpaste cleaned my teeth very well. As a matter of fact, it kept them clean even over the next hour or two easily.

Although I do have to say that its cleaning efficacy may be a little too efficacious because I did notice a little bit of dryness in my mouth after an hour or so. It cleans so well that it will remove some of your natural mouth oils.

My thoughts are that it is most likely due to the combination of SLS with the stannous fluoride. Together the duo has very potent antibacterial properties and it prevents plaque from adhering to your soft tissues.

ColorOpaque White
FoaminessHigh Foam
CleanlinessVery Clean
SensitivityNo sensitivity
Brushing summary notes


This toothpaste has an opaque white color, precisely like all of the other mint flavored pastes. There are no dyes in its formulation and it derives its color mostly from titanium dioxide.

Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste - white colored paste
White colored toothpaste


It smells and tastes like mint. There are no additional flavorings in there. Mint is basically the only scent and taste that I could detect from this product.


To me, the paste did not feel gritty nor was it abrasive. It felt soft and smooth on my enamel as I was brushing with it. It’s not the most solid paste that I’ve seen but it still holds its shape pretty well even when I invert the toothbrush.

Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste - upside down toothbrush test
Upside down toothbrush test


The colgate total clean mint is a very foamy toothpaste since it does contain SLS along with another detergent, cocamidopropyl betaine.

The image above shows how much foam was in my mouth after 2 minutes of brushing.

Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste - amount of foaming in mouth from brushing
Amount of foam in mouth

After about a minute of brushing, there was so much foam that it started drooping out of my mouth and onto the sink. Quite a bit of it was dripping down to my electric sonicare toothbrush as well.

Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste - foam in sink and toothbrush after brushing
Foam on hands, toothbrush and sink

To be quite honest, with the amount that it lathers and foams, you really don’t need the typical 1-inch strip of paste. You can definitely use less toothpaste and still get the job done.

Well, I suppose that is one way to save money by using less toothpaste.

Pros & Cons


  • Very affordable.
  • Very effective at cleaning.
  • Prevents cavities.
  • Reduces teeth sensitivity.
  • Prevents staining.
  • Helps with bad breath.


  • Cost a little more than sodium fluoride toothpastes.
  • SLS may be drying on the mouth.
  • Foams a LOT.

Additional comments

The colgate total line of toothpastes including this one is very affordable and that is the only point that I wish to expand upon.

If you look at recent trends in toothpastes, all of them have been getting smaller in size and more expensive per oz. In my opinion, it is a blessing that the colgate total is a great everyday value.

Colgate Total Clean Mint Toothpaste is much larger size wise than most of the other colgate toothpastes
Size comparison
Colgate Total5.1 oz$0.97
Optic White Charcoal4.2 oz$1.42
Optic White Advanced3.2 oz$1.96
Total Plaque Pro Release3 oz$2.83

The table above shows 4 different colgate toothpastes comparing their size and the price per oz. As you can see, the colgate total is one of the largest and least expensive price wise.

In my opinion, I consider it the “working man’s” toothpaste. Not everyone wants to spend $12 for each tube of toothpaste…

How it works

The Colgate Total Clean Mint toothpaste derives all of its benefits through a combination of its active and inactive ingredients. Yes, the so-called “inactive” ingredients work just as hard as the active ones!

We will explain how it provides its 3 core benefits: anti-cavity, anti-gingivitis, anti-sensitivity.


The bulk of its tooth decay preventative effects are due to the stannous fluoride in its formulation.

Fluoride benefits:

  • Enhanced remineralization.
  • Inhibits demineralization.
  • Inhibits bacterial activity.

Research has shown that the stannous version of fluoride is even more potent than the standard sodium fluoride in inhibiting bacterial activity.


Most of the anti-gingivitis effects are due to the stannous fluoride along with the zinc phosphate. Studies have shown that the combination is very effective in controlling plaque and reducing gingival inflammation.


You may be surprised but stannous fluoride can desensitize teeth. It is the only type of fluoride in toothpaste which can do that.

Studies have shown that that dentin hypersensitivity significantly decreased by the 4th and 8th week of use. It is able to alleviate the sensitivity because it can from a tin complex which occludes the exposed dentinal tubules.

The more commonly found sodium fluoride is unable to reduce teeth sensitivity. This is one of the major reasons as to why SnF2 costs more than NaF.


Overall, I do think the colgate total clean mint is a good toothpaste and it is worthwhile to use it on a daily basis. It fulfills most of your oral health needs such as preventing cavities, reducing teeth sensitivity, and also reducing risk of gum disease.

The best part about it is that it is inexpensive and very affordable. It is certainly less costly than most of the other toothpastes out there. I would even go as far as to call it the toothpaste for the middle working class!

However, if you do prefer a much more natural toothpaste with more natural ingredients, you may be hesitant to give the colgate total a try. That is completely understandable since everyone has their own preferences.

Perhaps, you’d want to look into their affiliated company, Tom’s of Maine which has a greater focus on natural ingredients.


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