Selecting a toothpaste can be quite confusing today with the many different additives and choices. The single most universal and important additive is fluoride. If a toothpaste does not state directly that it contains fluoride then don’t buy it. The benefits of fluoride have been well established and documented by hundreds of studies in universities. Beyond the fluoride additive, the next most important additive is the flavoring; especially for children. Currently, there are specially designed toothpastes for children which are very sweet. They are sweetened with sugar-substitute, and are excellent motivators for children. They pose small danger of causing stomachache from over consumption, so children should be monitored while they brush. Children should always be monitored while they brush to ensure they are doing a good job.
Other toothpaste additives are baking soda, tartar control medicines, peroxide gels and whiteners. All are useful and not harmful. To simplify your choices, the largest toothpaste manufacturers are probably the best: Crest and Colgate. For specific recommendation about specific choices you may have, ask a dentist who knows your dental conditions.