Sensodyne Repair & Protect Toothpaste Review By Dentist

Written & Reviewed by Dr David Chen

This is my personal review of the Sensodyne Repair and Protect toothpaste after having used it. I’ll be giving you my subjective thoughts and also objective facts about this oral care product. A lot of my insights will be based off of what it’s like when I compare it to other dentifrices that I’ve used.

Sensodyne repair protect - tube next to box standing upright

Yes, I am a dentist and this is a product that I’ve been recommending for a long time to my patients who suffer from chronic teeth sensitivity. Without further ado, let’s jump right into what makes it a worthwhile toothpaste to use.

Overview

The sensodyne repair & protect toothpaste is but one of many products by Sensodyne, which is owned by Haleon (formly GSK). Their brand is infamous for making toothpastes that are geared towards reducing dentinal hypersensitivity and this toothpaste is of no exception.

Yes, it is meant for sensitive teeth but it was also made to repair and protect them as well, hence the name. We will go over what the stated featured benefits of this dentifrice is if you use it according to Sensodyne.

Featured benefits

There are 5 main benefits to using this toothpaste as per Sensodyne:

  • Helps to repair deep inside the tooth to relieve sensitivity.
  • Helps whiten teeth.
  • Promotes healthy gums.
  • Freshens breath.
  • Improved foaming action.
Sensodyne repair protect - featured benefits label on box
Featured benefits on box

For the most part, all of these stated claims are in fact true and we’ll explain in greater detail in our pros and cons section.

We do wish to clarify the “teeth whitening” benefit for this toothpaste.

  • To be clear, it will not chemically bleach your teeth whiter because it doesn’t contain peroxide. That is the only ingredient which is able to do that.
  • It “whitens” your teeth by scrubbing the enamel surface with abrasives. This is a different type of whitening… although to me it feels more like “cleaning” rather than whitening.

Normally when we think of teeth whitening, we think of chemically bleaching our teeth!

Unboxing

The sensodyne repair & protect toothpaste came in a standard rectangular cardboard box. The color design was basically in a white and blue theme, which I did like because I am fond of nautical themed designs.

Sensodyne repair protect - front of box
Box front

When I opened the box, the tube of toothpaste was nestled inside of it. There weren’t any special protective features inside of the box.

The only reason I mention this is because when I used Davids toothpaste, it’s box was cradling the toothpaste to protect it. I just thought that was a really cool design.

Anyway, to use the toothpaste all you have to do is unscrew the cap by twisting and then you squeeze to dispense it. To close it, all you have to do is rescrew the cap back on. It’s not a very deep twist to to get it on and off but it’ll take you about 2-3 seconds total to do it.

Initial impression

The feel of the tube felt pretty normal to me since it was made of the usual type of toothpaste plastic. Aside from the nautical color theme, which I did like, there was one thing that I liked and one thing that I was neutral about.

Toothpaste stands upright

Personally, I really like the toothpastes that are able to stand upright. What I mean by this is that it can be stored in a vertical position. At least in my opinion, it gives it a cleaner and more organized look because it takes up less space.

Sensodyne repair and protect standing upright
Toothpaste stands upright

It is able to be upright because it has a flat wide base for the cap.

Sensodyne repair and protect bottom of cap view
View of bottom of the cap

Most toothpastes aren’t able to be stored vertical and simply lay horizontally on the counter. While you can lay this toothpaste down horizontally, I like that the sensodyne repair and protect gives you the option for upright storage.

It has a screw cap

The fact that this sensodyne toothpaste has a screw cap is an advantage and a disadvantage.

  • Advantage – it can be stored securely inside of your bag when traveling. Toothpaste won’t accidentally squirt out and get on your belongings.
  • Disadvantage – when I compare a screw cap to a flip cap, I do have to say that I much prefer a flip cap for toothpastes. The time it takes to open and close a flip case is a lot faster and more convenient. Good aim is necessary for a screw cap.
Sensodyne repair protect screw cap vs ollie toothpaste flip cap
Screw cap vs Flip cap for toothpastes

The image above shows a comparison of this toothpaste’s screw cap vs the Ollie toothpaste’s flip cap. By no means is this a deal breaker but I’m just letting you know what I’ve seen about other toothpaste designs that I really like.

Ingredients

Full list of ingredients in the Sensodyne repair and protect toothpaste.

Active ingredients:

  • Stannous fluoride 0.454%

Inactive ingredients:

  • Glycerin, PEG-8, hydrated silica, pentasodium triphosphate, flavor, sodium lauryl sulfate, titanium dioxide, polyacrylic acid, silica, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium saccharin

Ingredient purposes

Remineralization agents:

  • Stannous fluoride – Anti-cavity agent that can prevent, stop, and reverse tooth decay.

Desensitizers:

  • Stannous fluoride – Reduces teeth sensitivity by occluding exposed dentinal tubules.

Whitening abrasives:

  • Hydrated silica – whitening abrasive.
  • Silica – another abrasive for teeth whitening.

Improving texture & consistency:

  • PEG-8 – gives “squeezability” to toothpaste.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate – helps to improve the “lathering” ability.
  • Titanium dioxide – gives it its characteristic white color.
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine – foaming agent and thickener.
  • Polyacrylic acid – improves the texture of the paste.
  • Pentasodium triphosphate – detergent that helps remove and prevent stains.

Flavoring:

  • Sodium saccharin – artificial sweetener that is one of the sweetest and most used.
  • Glycerin – to prevent toothpaste from drying out but also sweetens it.

My Experience

The sensodyne protect and repair is a good toothpaste because it does everything that it says it does. The rockstar ingredient is the stannous fluoride because it is anti-cavity and anti-sensitivity. It’s the premium version of toothpaste fluoride.

It certainly leaves your mouth feeling very clean although I do feel like it dries it out a little after you finish brushing. If I don’t drink enough water immediately afterwards, I sometimes notice white stringy stuff after brushing my teeth.

This toothpaste has a very opaque white color to it, which is standard for most mint flavored dentifrices.

Sensodyne repair protect toothpaste dispensed onto toothbrush

The white coloring comes from the titanium dioxide ingredient.

The variation that I’m using does have a minty smell to it but it isn’t overpoweringly so. That definitely gives it a very fresh smell which isn’t bad. I also personally like the mint so that’s a big plus to me.

This sensodyne toothpaste does taste quite minty. It is not mild but at the same time not at the upper limits of how strong the mint is. I would say it is moderately minty in taste.

Sensodyne repair protect on toothbrush - opaque white color
Opaque white color

The consistency for the toothpaste is fairly thixotropic, meaning it doesn’t slump or fall off your toothbrush. It is able to maintain it’s form and shape very well.

The image below shows my favorite upside down toothbrush test with sensodyne.

Sensodyne repair protect on toothbrush upside down
Upside down toothbrush test

After brushing with it, it does create a lot of foaming action. I’m not surprised since it has SLS and cocamidopropyl betaine, which helps it lather and foam.

Below is a photo showing how much it foams in the mouth afterwards. Yes, I’m aware that I did not shave for the photo but I like to keep my photos real.

Sensodyne repair protect toothpaste foam in mouth after brushing
Amount of foam after brushing

Pros & Cons

Video with pros & cons

Pros:

  • Stannous fluoride is the premium version of fluoride.
  • Prevents tooth decay.
  • Remineralizes small cavities.
  • Decreases tooth sensitivity.
  • Only 12 ingredients.
  • Can be stored upright.

Cons:

  • More costly than sodium fluoride toothpastes.
  • Can dry out mouth and cause white stringy stuff sometimes.
  • May make canker sores worse due to SLS.
  • Screw cap for tube.
  • Only comes in small 3.4 oz size.
  • May cause staining if you don’t brush adequately.

Explanation of benefits

How it desensitizes your teeth

You may be surprised but how the sensodyne repair and protect alleviates teeth sensitivity is with stannous fluoride. Yes, it is meant for fighting cavities but this variation of fluoride has an additional benefit of reducing sensitivity.

How stannous fluoride (SnF2) blocks sensitivity:

Smear Plugs with and without
Credit: KoR

SLS and canker sores

There is no definitive consensus on whether sodium lauryl sulfate makes canker sores worse or not. Some studies say that it increases the frequency and intensity of the sores while others say there is insufficient evidence.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t change the fact that SLS is a powerful soap, so potent that it use to be used as an engine degreaser during World War II.

What we’re trying to say is that it can be very drying in your mouth. Usually for any type of sore, keeping it moisturized helps it heal quicker. If you dry it out with this toothpaste, it may delay the healing. That is at least our long held belief in regards to SLS and canker sores.

Potential staining

Perhaps the only precaution for using this toothpaste is if you’re actively trying to whiten your teeth professionally. You may have missed it but if you read the label carefully, there is a staining precaution on the label under “other information”.

Sensodyne repair protect label - directions and ingredients
Directions & Inactive ingredients

The new stannous fluoride formulations do have reduced staining but historically, it was a big problem which was why it was removed from toothpastes for decades. It is only within the last 20 or so years that it resurfaced in toothpastes again even though it was invented in the 1950s.

For the record, no I do not think the staining is a concern. I’ve yet to see any patients with problems from using this. Therefore, go right ahead and use it.

What I like

I love that this sensodyne has stannous fluoride because it is a rockstar ingredient. Most of the benefits that this dentifrice has to offer is mostly derived from it (prevents cavities, remineralizes enamel, anti-sensitivity). It is definitely superior to sodium fluoride.

From a design perspective, I always prefer toothpastes that can be stored vertically. It just gives your bathroom counter a more organized and cleaner look to it.

What I dislike

This toothpaste does cost more than regular run of the mill sodium fluoride toothpastes. That mostly has to do with the fact that stannous fluoride is more costly. Then you also have to take into account that this toothpaste comes in a very small 3.4 oz tube. That all makes it more costly per oz.

The sodium lauryl sulfate may or may not be a con for you (personally, it doesn’t bother me). It is a powerful detergent which may feel too harsh in some people’s mouths and it may potentially delay canker sore healing as well. Then again, it is also a great stain remover so it does help in keeping your teeth white!

Last but not least, this isn’t necessarily a con in regards to the effects of the toothpaste but more so with the design. After having used toothpastes with a flip cap, I must say that I much prefer it to a screw cap. For the screw cap, you do need to have good aim and the twisting does take a little bit more time to put back on and off.

Verdict

The sensodyne repair & protect toothpaste is a solid toothpaste and it is one that I would use especially if I was having sensitive teeth.

It’s one of the default toothpaste recommendations for patients suffering from sensitivity. Yes, sensodyne does work.

Once again the only think you may want to watch out for is the potential staining if you’re in the middle of whitening your teeth. We want to remind you that as long as you’re brushing adequately and get your dental cleanings every 6 months, we haven’t really seen serious staining from this toothpaste.

However, the fact that the precautionary label is there is undeniable. Nonetheless, this is still a really good toothpaste but you may want to temporarily use a different one if you’re actively whitening.

But overall I do highly recommend using this toothpaste. It’s a solid product and you really can’t go wrong with it. It’s not only dentist approved by ADA approved.

Sensodyne intensive enamel repair vs repair and protect toothpaste
Sensodyne intensive enamel repair vs repair and protect toothpaste

Although if you ask me personally, I think the Intensive Enamel Repair toothpaste is even more effective at repairing weakened enamel.

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