Probiotic toothpaste is b.s.

Every athlete knows that education is a crucial part of performance. Sport and exercise research, insight from top trainers, science, and technology help you to better understand your body so you can craft a healthier lifestyle, workouts, and recovery plan.

In our daily news series, experts address some of the latest fitness research, nutrition, style, and health stories.


Probiotics and prebiotics, good bacteria and the type of dietary fiber that it thrives on, are found naturally in fermented and fiber-rich foods.

It turns out, both are available in toothpaste: Prebiotic types promise to balance your oral microbiome while probiotic varieties claim to fight unhealthy strains of bacteria in the mouth.


“If your goal is to reduce the risk of cavities—and whose isn’t?—fluoride is essential,” says Matthew Messina, DDS, an assistant professor at the Ohio State University College of Dentistry in Columbus and a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. The active ingredient protects your teeth and gums by making them more resistant to oral bacteria.

Prebiotic and probiotic toothpastes don't contain fluoride. In fact, they may do nothing at all: The FDA doesn’t recognize statements about the oral microbiome as official health claims, so these products aren’t regulated and don’t need to be backed by science, he adds.


Messina suggests you brush with a fluoride toothpaste bearing an ADA seal, which proves that it fights cavities and gum disease.