For the youngest only the best? This does not seem to apply to children’s toothpastes. The product testers tested 21 pastes and spoke of a frustrating result. At least two are very good.

As soon as the first teeth gleam in the mouth, it is time to scrub. Because milk teeth in particular are very vulnerable. Tooth enamel is particularly soft and a perfect feast for bacteria – caries says hello. About every seventh three-year-old child already has cavities in their teeth. Which children’s toothpaste protects well? Stiftung Warentest tested 21 pastes and found: hardly any.

Minerals such as fluoride strengthen tooth enamel. But that is exactly what the testers looked for in vain in some pastes. And this despite the fact that doctors recently corrected their recommendation regarding the amount of fluoride contained in it significantly upwards. “They don’t offer sufficient protection against tooth decay,” Warentest reprimands the pastes with no or too little fluoride. On top of that, the testers found the coloring agent titanium dioxide in at least every second toothpaste for children. This will soon be banned, at least in food. For preventive consumer protection, Warentest advises against pastes with the pigment.

Many children’s toothpastes do not protect

The bottom line is that the test result is “pretty frustrating”. Of the 21 children’s toothpastes tested, nine failed with a grade of “5.0”. This also includes the most expensive product in the test: Weleda’s children’s tooth gel. For 7.90 euros per 100 milliliters (ml) you get a mild taste and insufficient protection. But even cheap retail brands rattle through the quality check because of poor caries prevention. There are also five pastes, including Karex from Dr. Wolff, who uses hydroxyapatite instead of fluoride. Does that work just as well? Warentest is skeptical, the data is thin. There is no evidence of sufficient effectiveness.

Nine other toothpastes still deliver a satisfactory result, one is good. However, two children’s toothpastes lead the ranking by far. Both test winner Elmex (grade: 1.1) and Signal (1.2) contain the right amount of fluoride, but no titanium dioxide. The pastes are a bit more expensive, they cost 4 and 3.20 euros. Is such a price worth it for milk teeth? There are still parents who don’t take the health of milk teeth so seriously. “We often hear that these are ‘just the milk teeth’, and the hair on my neck is bristling,” says dentist Ulrich Schiffner about Warentest. He says that carious teeth can lead to underweight and speech difficulties, among other things.

Six to seven-year-old children are more often affected by tooth decay. Almost every second child is plagued by cavities. Good mouthguards are already cheaper for this age group. Warentest’s price tip: the Bevola from Kaufland. There are already for 44 cents. When buying universal toothpastes for adults, which children over the age of six should also use, it is clear that they do not contain zinc.

You can find the complete test for a fee at

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