Sensodyne Pronamel Active Shield Toothpaste Dentist Review

Written & Reviewed by Dr David Chen

This is my review for the Sensodyne Pronamel Active Shield toothpaste based on what it was like to use it. I’ll give you all of my subjective opinions as well as the objective facts about this new oral care product from sensodyne.

Sensodyne Pronamel Active Shield Toothpaste
Sensodyne Pronamel Active Shield Toothpaste

Yes, I am a dentist so don’t skip the section about how this toothpaste works, particularly about its desensitizing and enamel resistance claims.

My goal is to help you in deciding whether or not this new toothpaste may potentially be the right one for you.

Disclaimer: If you make a purchase after clicking one of our links, we may earn a commission.

Overview

The active shield toothpaste by Sensodyne Pronamel was made for acid protection and sensitivity reduction.

It’s purpose is to become a replacement for your everyday toothpaste especially if you experience teeth sensitivity from consuming acidic foods.

Featured benefits

Benefits of brushing twice daily includes:

  • Build 2x acid resistance against dietyary acids from Day 1
  • Shield enamel against cavities in teeth.
  • Actively reinforce weakened tooth enamel.
  • Start building resistance today to help keep your teeth strong and healthy for life.
  • Provides sensitivity relief and lasting sensitivity protection.
  • Reduces teeth sensitivity.
Pronamel active shield toothpaste promo brochure
Promo Brochure

Essentially the active shield toothpaste is able to provide 10x higher fluoride uptake to the enamel and also promote calcium uptake. Both of these combined are what protects and strengthens your teeth.

Directions for use

The directions are for adults and children 12 years of age and older.

How to use it:

  1. Apply at least a 1-inch strip of toothpaste onto a soft bristle toothbrush.
  2. Brush teeth for at least 1 minute twice a day (morning & evening) and not more than 3 times a day, or as recommended by a dentist.
  3. Make sure to brush all sensitive areas of the teeth.
  4. Spit out after brushing and do not swallow.

It intrigues me that the directions say to brush your teeth for at least 1 minute rather than for 2 minutes. It is a widely accepted fact that 2 minutes is the recommended brushing time.

But FYI, studies have shown that 3 minutes is even better than 2!

It’s also interesting how it says you shouldn’t brush more than thrice a day unless recommended by a dentist. We fully endorse, the best oral hygiene practice of brushing after every meal.

Product specifications

AttributesSpecifications
Price$
Net weight3.4 oz (96.4 g)
Dispensing mechanismSqueezable tube
Remineralization agentSodium Fluoride
DesensitizerPotassium Nitrate
SLSNone
Technical specifications of Pronamel active shield toothpaste

Ingredients

There are a total of 16 ingredients in the active shield toothpaste from Pronamel.

Sensodyne Pronamel Active Shield Toothpaste - box label
Label – Drug facts, directions, warnings, ingredients

Remineralization:

  • Sodium Fluoride (0.25%) – anti-cavity.
  • Sodium Lactate – enhances fluoride uptake in enamel.
  • PVP/MA Copolymer – enhances acid resistance; prevents stain molecules from adhering onto teeth.

Desensitizer:

  • Potassium Nitrate 5%

Whitening abrasives:

  • Hydrated Silica – mild natural whitening abrasive.

Flavoring:

  • Sorbitol – sweetener/humectant.
  • Flavor
  • Sodium Saccharin – sweetener

pH adjuster:

  • Sodium Hydroxide – pH adjuster.

Others:

  • Water – solvent.
  • Glycerin – humectant (prevents drying out).
  • PEG-8 – lubrication and spreadability.
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine – surfactant/detergent/foaming.
  • Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate – coconut derived foaming agent.
  • Titanium Dioxide – adds white color.
  • Xanthan Gum – gives the toothpaste body.

Unboxing

The Pronamel Active Shield toothpaste comes in a rectangular cardboard box with a white, teal, blue and green color design. Despite the abundance of lettering on it, it gives off a clean feeling product design.

Overall, the initial impression of the packaging is very similar to all of the other pronamel toothpastes. It’s not fancy by any means but the aesthetic does appeal to me since I do prefer simplicity.

The top and bottom of the box did not have any tape or glue. It was just folded in cardboard so you can open it easily. I do find it interesting that they put all of the recycling and save water logos on it.

Inside of the box is one tube of toothpaste. There are no additional contents.

The tube of toothpaste looks very similar to all of the other sensodyne pronamel ones. It’s a plastic squeezable tube with a twist off cap. They really wanted to stay consistent with their design, branding, and image.

After having tried a ton of toothpastes, the twist off cap from sensodyne falls within the middle of the pack in regards to my preference. The shape of it is definitely much better than a purely cylindrical one but I still prefer a flip cap.

Sensodyne Pronamel Active Shield Toothpaste screw cap vs flip cap and clindrical screw cap

Although I must say that the biggest benefit of a screw cap design is that it is much more secure. You can bring it with you while traveling and not have it accidentally open and spill all over your luggage.

My experience

Brushing with the Sensodyne Pronamel active shield toothpaste felt very similar to the other toothpastes from them. The biggest difference however is with the amount of foaming this toothpaste had. This was the best lathering pronamel oral care product that I’ve tried to date.

Overall, my mouth felt pretty clean afterwards and I have no complaints with using it. After all, I do use their toothpaste at least a couple times a week.

AttributeDescription
ColorOpaque White
SmellMint
TasteMint
TextureSoft & Non-abrasive
FoaminessModerate Foaming
CleanlinessClean
SensitivityNo sensitivity or discomfort
Summary notes from brushing

Color

This toothpaste had an opaque white color owing most of it to the titanium dioxide in the formulation. There is no other “color dye” in this dentifrice.

Sensodyne Pronamel Active Shield Toothpaste - opaque white color
Opaque white colored paste

You may find this color to be boring but what I like about it over the charcoal black or purple toothpastes is that it doesn’t leave a mess in the sink! Those dark colored ones require a sink clean up once you’re done brushing. Therefore, this this is hassle-free in my book.

Smell

It has a mint smell to it. It actually doesn’t have any other flavorings or smells in the ingredients aside from that. Some of the newer toothpastes have like 10+ herbal ingredients in there but this toothpaste keeps it simple.

Taste

It has a mild mint taste to it. It wasn’t sweet nor was it medicinal tasting like menthol.

Texture

The active shield toothpaste has one of the most interesting paste consistency that I’ve ever encountered. It is jelly-like or even pudding like.

Sensodyne Pronamel Active Shield Toothpaste - jelly consistency paste
Jelly-like paste consistency

In the image above you can see that I could mold and squish it but it’ll somewhat hold the new shape.

When I do the upside down toothbrush test, the toothpaste will slump off after about 2 seconds or so. It does hold up it’s shape but it won’t stay on the brush so don’t turn your brush upside down.

Sensodyne Pronamel Active Shield Toothpaste - upside down toothbrush test
Upside down toothbrush test

Foaminess

Like other pronamel toothpastes, the active shield does not have any SLS so you may not expect much foaming from it. However, since it contains sodium methyl cocoyl taurate in addition to cocamidopropyl betaine it does foam a lot more than the other pronamel toothpastes.

I would say that it has a moderate amount of foaming which you can see in the picture below after I finished brushing.

Sensodyne Pronamel Active Shield Toothpaste - moderate foaming after brushing
Moderate foaming

You can compare that to the Intensive enamel repair’s foaming, which is a lot less.

Sensodyne Pronamel intensive enamel repair toothpaste - foaming in mouth after brushing
Intensive enamel repair foaming

Nonetheless, this brand of toothpastes still foam a lot less than anything with sodium lauryl sulfate! Although I do appreciate the extra foaminess with this particular product.

Cleanliness

My teeth felt clean afterwards and my mouth stayed minty feeling for the next hour or so. Although if I don’t drink enough water my mouth sometimes does start to form white stringy stuff. That’s just something that I kind of notice with the sensodyne toothpastes in general.

Sensitivity

This is an anti-sensitivity toothpaste so of course I did not experience any teeth sensitivity afterwards. The entire Sensodyne brand was designed for people with sensitive teeth!

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Prevents cavities (sodium fluoride).
  • Reduces teeth sensitivity (potassium nitrate).
  • SLS-free.
  • Maximizes fluoride absorption.
  • Stores upright.
  • TSA travel size compliant.
  • Improved foaming and lathering.
  • Jelly-like paste texture.

Cons:

  • Cost more than regular toothpaste.
  • Twist off cap.

Does it work?

The two main selling points of the Pronamel active shield toothpaste is that it can protect enamel from acid and also desensitize your teeth. After all, it is a sensodyne product and all of their toothpastes were made for sensitive teeth.

Does it work?

Yes, this sensodyne toothpaste does work and we’ll explain how below.

Protects weakened enamel

The active shield toothpaste can protect and repair weakened enamel using a novel combination of sodium fluoride, sodium lactate, and PVM/MA copolymer.

In a study done by the Indiana University school of dentistry, they found that this type of toothpaste enhanced enamel re-hardening and protected against demineralization.

The additional effects of those two ingredients supercharged the anti-cavity effect of sodium fluoride. In other words, without those two ingredients, the enamel strengthening effect would’ve been less.

Sodium fluoride benefits:

  • Enhances remineralization.
  • Inhibits demineralization.
  • Strengthens enamel.

Side note: What also helps the efficacy of fluoride in this toothpaste is that it is SLS-free. Toothpastes with SLS typically have reduced fluoride efficacy because it binds to it and blocks enamel uptake of it.

Disclosure: The study above was the only one about sodium lactate and it was funded by GSK/Haleon which is the parent company of Sensodyne.

Reduces sensitivity

This pronamel toothpaste can help reduce teeth sensitivity because it contains potassium nitrate, a nerve depolarization agent which numbs the tooth nerve.

That means the tooth can still be stimulated but you just won’t feel anything. An analogy would be if you were numb from getting novocaine.

crest depolarization repolarization with potassium nitrate
Credit: Crest

How potassium nitrate desensitizes teeth:

  1. Brushing with it will supply an overabundance of potassium ions to the nerve.
  2. Excessive K+ will reverse the extracellular concentration gradient.
  3. Reversal of the gradient prevents action potential propagation.

How long it takes to work

For sensitivity reduction with potassium nitrate, the full desensitizing effect may not be apparent until 12 weeks later.

Studies have shown that symptoms gradually improved with each week of use with twice daily brushing. The discomfort relief continued to improve all the way up to the 12th week.

Therefore you should start to notice an improvement in symptoms after 1-2 weeks of use. Although you need to continue using it for at least 12 weeks to see its full desensitizing effect.

Also if you stop using the toothpaste, the desensitizing effect will wear off so you must continue to use it non-stop. So whatever you do, don’t stop using it!

How it compares to other pronamel toothpastes

We’ve tested the intensive enamel repair toothpaste and they are very similar to one another except three key differences.

Sensodyne Pronamel Active Shield vs Intensive Enamel Repair Toothpaste
Active Shield vs Intensive Enamel Repair Toothpaste

What makes active shield toothpaste different:

  • Active shield has one additional ingredient (Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate).
  • It has enhanced foaming due to that ingredient.
  • The paste has a jelly-like texture.

Virtually the ingredient list was near identical to one another. It’s just that extra ingredient which was a standout and made it different to other pronamels.

However, I am pleasantly surprised by that additional ingredient because it made the texture different. I would have to say that this is probably the most interesting pronamel product so far.

Verdict

Overall, I would rate the Sensodyne Pronamel active shield as a good daily protection toothpaste. What I mean by that is that it does a solid job at protecting your teeth if you compare it to other toothpastes.

If you were using a different toothpaste, this one can fully replace it.

Yes, I would recommend using this toothpaste if you were to only use one. I really have zero complaints about this product and in my opinion, it is actually the most interesting one out of all the pronamel toothpastes.

That jelly-like paste texture just amuses me. Perhaps its because I’ve yet to see another product with it.

Nonetheless, that concludes the review of the pronamel active shield toothpaste by a dentist!

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