Most toothpastes have the same amount of fluoride. The ones that do not, are those few marketed as ‘natural’, or the ones made for babies and toddlers. They are sometimes called something like “tooth and gum cleanser.”
You will find that fluoridated toothpastes are recommended for adults and children two years and older. Even then we recommend only a very small amount of toothpaste on the brush, so if a child swallows some of it (which they will do) then, the small amount will cause no real problem.
Other than fluoride though, it’s all about the other stuff, the whitener, Triclosan, the tarter control, the appearance and of course, the taste. Really none of the effects of toothpaste are more important than the fluoride. That’s the stuff that helps prevent cavities.
So, which toothpaste is the best? For the children we see in our practice, the one we recommend to them is the one they like the best; the one they are motivated to use. It’s all about the marketing, sparkles, smell and taste. Some children, usually very young ones, don’t like any kind of toothpaste. But, you can still clean the teeth with the toothbrush, but the advantage of the fluoride is not there. Most toothpastes marketed to children over 7 yrs have the same fluoride content (1000 ppm) as adult toothpastes, while the under 7s can use children’s toothpastes with half the amount of fluoride. Some children’s toothpastes have bubblegum or other flavors that appeal to children–and sparkles! Adults like the minty flavors more.