I was very fortunate to spend the day at the Colgate Technology Center in New Jersey. The focus of the conference was the use of the Internet in general and social media in particular to provide accurate medical dental information. That was all good and interesting.
As a bonus we were given a tour of the lab facilities and it was very impressive. My attitude, fostered by my dental school instuctors from many years ago, was that toothpaste is a generic commodity and they are all essentially alike. My eyes were opened. We were shown how the various products are formulated to kill bacteria, reduce sensitivity or whiten intrinsic stains. The lab testing equipment included DNA samplers, artificial mouths, and scanning microscopes. Not to mention a machine (or two) that mimics the brushing action.
I am now ready to believe that the brand does matter and that toothpaste really can decrease tarter, whiten teeth or improve sensitivity.