In terms of novel formulations, there seems to have been a shift in emphasis from anti-caries/anti-gingivitis to anti-calculus/whitening toothpastes in recent years. The anti-calculus and whitening effects of toothpastes are to some extent based on the same active ingredients: compounds of high affinity for tooth mineral. Due to this affinity, crystal growth may be hindered (anti-calculus) and chromophores be displaced (whitening). Besides these common ingredients, both types of toothpaste may contain agents specifically aimed at each condition. Clinical studies have shown that these active ingredients can be successfully formulated in fluoride toothpastes to give significant reductions in supragingival calculus and stain formation and facilitate their removal. Some of the ingredients are formulated in toothpastes that additionally contain anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis ingredients, making these toothpastes (together with the fluoride) truly multi-functional. The development of these products is not straightforward because of interaction between formulation components and because the active ingredients must maintain their beneficial characteristics during the shelf life of the paste. Neither a therapeutic benefit (in terms of less gingivitis or less caries) nor a societal benefit (in terms of less treatment demand) has been demonstrated as a result of the anti-calculus and whitening effects of toothpastes.