This is my review of the Sensodyne Complete Protection toothpaste where I’ll walk you through the unboxing and all the way through to brushing with it.
Yes, I am a dentist so of be sure to read the section about how this toothpaste provides complete protection for your teeth. You’ll get all of my subjective opinions as well as the objective facts for this dentifrice.
The sensodyne complete protection was designed for those who suffer from teeth sensitivity but also want a product that will provide every oral care benefit in a single toothpaste.
It is marketed as a toothpaste that’ll build a lasting protective layer over your teeth’s sensitive areas and provide a handful of other benefits. If I had to describe it, it’s similar to the 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner. The only difference is that this is a sensitive toothpaste + multiple other benefits.
|Net weight||3.4 oz (96.4 g)|
|Dispensing mechanism||Squeezable tube|
|Cap design||Twist off cap|
|Remineralization agent||Stannous Fluoride|
With twice daily brushing, benefits include:
- Main benefit = Builds a protective layer over sensitive areas to shield you from pain.
- Secondary benefits:
- Protects against plaque
- Helps prevent gingivitis
- Protects enamel
- Tertiary benefits:
- Helps whiten enamel
- Fresh feeling
- Clean feeling
Directions are for adults and children 12 years and older.
- Apply at least a 1-inch strip of the product onto a soft bristle toothbrush.
- Brush teeth thoroughly for at least 1 minute twice a day (morning/night).
- Do not brush more than 3 times per day unless directed by a dentist.
- Make sure to brush all sensitive areas of the teeth.
- Minimize swallowing and spit out after brushing.
My comment: I’m surprised that the label recommendation says to brush for at least 1 minute when the general consensus is 2 minutes of brushing.
There are a total of 11 ingredients in this toothpaste, 1 active and 10 inactive ones.
Stannous fluoride (SnF2) 0.454% is the only active ingredient but it provides multiple beneficial effects, listed under purposes:
If you compare SnF2 to sodium fluoride, you’ll notice that the latter has a lot less “purposes” in comparison. This is because the stannous version of fluoride is a rock star ingredient and is considered the more premium version.
|Whitening Abrasive||Hydrated Silica|
Titanium Dioxide (white coloring)
|Anti-tartar & Anti-staining||Pentasodium triphosphate|
Cocamidopropyl Betaine (foaming/lathering)
So far, I like how the ingredient list is very minimal. There are also no color dyes.
The Complete Protection toothpaste by Sensodyne came in a standard rectangular cardboard box with a white, blue, and green color theme. The diagram seems to focus on a tooth with benefits surrounding it, signifying that this product can do a lot for it.
The packaging can be opened at either ends. There is no glue or tape sealing it so you can open/close it with ease.
There are no additional contents inside the box, it’s just the tube of toothpaste. There are no instruction papers and so forth. Everything that you need are either on the tube or on the box so be sure to read it carefully before throwing away.
This toothpaste comes in a squeezable plastic tube and as far as I can tell, it looks near identical to all of the other sensodyne toothpastes.
It does come with your usual round shaped twist off cap. Although it is technically a double cap, where the outer ring is enlarged for better grip while the true seal is the smaller inner ring/cap.
What I liked about the packaging is that Sensodyne was thoughtful enough to include a safety seal which you can see with the cap off. This acts as a tamper evidence to let you know that the product has not been used before. It also keeps the contents fresh!
The seal can be easily removed within a second and then you can proceed to begin using the product.
Last but not least, the broad base for the twist off cap also doubles up as a toothpaste stand. It permits the tube to be stored in a vertical upright position. I much prefer how the vertical standing oral care products look compared to the horizontal laying flat ones.
Overall, I do have a pretty good impression of this toothpaste thus far.
The thoughts that came to my mind as I was brushing with this toothpaste was that it had a thick texture and it foamed a lot. Afterwards my teeth did feel clean and there weren’t any additional sensations that I could think of.
Overall, I had no complaints brushing with this and to be quite honest it was pretty similar to all of the other sensodyne products that I reviewed.
The color of the toothpaste is your standard opaque white. Despite not having any color dyes, it naturally has a white color due to the titanium dioxide in it.
It has a mild-moderate mint smell and mint taste but its closer towards the mild end of it rather than the moderate. In other words, it wasn’t over bursting with flavor. It certainly did not taste bad and was very acceptable in my book.
This toothpaste has a somewhat thick texture and the consequence of that is it requires a couple of seconds of brushing before it disperses across my teeth.
Despite how thick the paste is, it will droop off your toothbrush if you invert it after about 3-4 seconds.
I would say that there is a moderate amount of foam from brushing with it. The photo below shows how much foam there is after 2 minutes of brushing without spitting or drooling.
There are two surfactants and foaming agents in the ingredient list so I already expected this level of foam. As a general rule of thumb the sensodyne products tend to foam more than the pronamel products.
This toothpaste felt like it did what it was supposed to do. My teeth felt clean and I didn’t feel any sensitivity while I was using it. I mean, what can I say it is a sensitive toothpaste and it is meant to provide full protection.
Pros & Cons
After using this sensodyne, below is a list of advantages and disadvantages that I came up with based on my experience and all of the ingredients in it.
- Stannous fluoride is the premium version of fluoride.
- Can be stored upright.
- More costly than sodium fluoride.
- May worsen canker sores.
- Screw cap design.
- Small 3.4 oz size.
- May cause teeth staining.
- Uses SLS.
SLS and canker sores
Nonetheless, what is true is that SLS is a powerful detergent. So potent that it was enough to de-grease war plane engines during World War II.
What that means is it can be very drying on your mouth because it can strip the natural oils away. Typically for ulcers, keeping the area moisturized will help it heal quicker but stripping it away can make it worse.
Therefore it is of my opinion that you should avoid it if you were prone to getting canker sores. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Potential teeth staining
Did you know that stannous fluoride toothpastes can potentially stain your teeth? Just look at the “other information” section on the box label.
However, it does state that adequate oral hygiene should prevent the staining from occurring. The effects are temporary and a visit to your dentist should remove it with ease.
Nonetheless, it may be a toothpaste that you want to avoid if you were in the middle of teeth whitening treatment. Otherwise it should be fine in my opinion.
Not fluoride optimized
An often overlooked disadvantage to using SLS in a fluoride toothpaste is its antagonistic interaction producing a non-optimal effect. Sodium lauryl sulfate in the presence of fluoride will reduce its bioavailability.
That means the detergent will bind and interact with the fluoride ions and remove it from being usable by the teeth. This in essence reduces some of the remineralization and cavity preventative effects that occur.
Does it work?
Most of the benefits from this toothpaste are derived from the stannous fluoride.
Three major benefits:
- Relieves sensitivity. Builds a protective layer over the sensitive areas of teeth.
- Removes plaque bacteria. Targets and removes plaque bacteria in between teeth and along the gumline.
- Strengthens enamel. Strengthens enamel surface and protects teeth from acids while being gentle on the enamel.
Yes, the SnF2 can in fact do all three of these and that is actually what sets it apart from sodium fluoride (NaF). The NaF can only prevent cavities and nothing else.
How it desensitizes teeth
The desensitizing agent in this toothpaste is the stannous fluoride. Yes, it’s also an anti-cavity agent but this type of fluoride has an additional benefit of being able to relieve sensitivity.
How stannous fluoride (SnF2) reduces sensitivity:
- Stannous fluoride occludes exposed dentinal tubules by forming a deposit consisting of tin, zinc, phosphate, and silicon that block it.
- The blocked tubules are preventing from transmitting stimuli.
The image above shows how when dentinal tubules become exposed, the teeth can become sensitive. The principle behind SnF2 is by blocking the tubules thus preventing the nerve from being exposed to stimuli.
How it removes bacteria
Fluoride is toxic to bacteria so when they take in too much of it, it can lead to their demise. The surfactants in the complete protection helps spread the fluoride around the mouth which enables it to get in between the gums and the gumline.
- Inhibits metabolism of glucose (glycolytic enzyme enolase activity).
- Inhibits proton-extruding adenosine triphosphate (H+/ATPase) for molecular transport.
Essentially what this all does is interfere with the bacteria’s ability to process sugar and take it in from the mouth. The end result is a bacteria that has starved to death.
How it strengthens enamel
Stannous fluoride repairs/strengthens the enamel the same way that sodium fluoride does. All of the strengthening effects is derived from the fluoride ion and has nothing to do with the sodium nor the stannous.
How fluoride strengthens enamel:
- Fluoride ions readily displace and replace the hydroxyl group of hydroxyapatite, which is the predominant mineral in teeth.
- Hydroxyapatite combined with fluoride becomes fluorapatite which is more stable and acid resistant by lowering the critical pH from 5.5 down to 4.5
- This means it requires an acid that is 10x more potent to dissolve it.
How fluoride repairs enamel:
This is the reason why most dentists recommend a fluoride toothpaste over a non-fluoridated one. There is no other ingredient on this planet that can strengthen teeth/bones this way.
Compared to other sensodyne
I’ve practically reviewed the entire sensodyne toothpaste collection but I am unable to tell the difference between the complete protection and 3 others.
The 3 other Sensodynes that are similar:
The brushing experience as well as the ingredient lists are near identical among these four products. In other words if you blindfolded me, I would not for the life of me be able to tell them apart. Then there is also the fact that i can’t find any differences with the ingredients…
If anyone can figure out what makes them actually different, I’m up for some enlightening.
I think the Sensodyne complete protection is a good daily toothpaste to use since it provides all of the basic benefits that you’d need.
- It is a sensitive toothpaste so it will provide symptomatic relief.
- It has anti-cavity and decay preventative effects.
- It is has anti-gingivitis properties since it kills bacteria.
- It can also remove extrinsic teeth stains.
- It’ll freshen your breath.
Who this toothpaste is good for:
- Someone who is looking for one toothpaste that will do it all.
- Those who suffer from teeth sensitivity.
However, you may want to consider a different toothpaste if your primalwaysary goal is to have white teeth. There are much more effective whitening toothpastes out there, especially the peroxide-based ones.
Below is a video recap of my review for the sensitivity gum and enamel toothpaste in case you do better with a visual learning style.
Hopefully, this helps you in deciding whether this oral care product may be the right one for you. If you’ve sensitive teeth, you’re probably in the right place.