You might already make an effort to choose organic foods and use natural skincare products, but have you thought about what's in your toothpaste? Making the switch to natural toothpaste can help you avoid unnecessary chemicals and additives. And knowing exactly what you're putting into your mouth (and body) can contribute to your peace of mind!
We dove into the world of natural toothpaste and found many things to like. Our favorite is Tom's of Maine Natural Wicked Fresh Fluoride Toothpaste. This toothpaste contains cavity-fighting fluoride, essential oils, and mild natural abrasives like calcium carbonate (limestone) and hydrated silica to buff out stains, freshen breath, and promote healthy teeth. Check out the rest of our picks below, and read our buying guide and extra tips from dental hygienist Jaeyoung Yoo for choosing a natural toothpaste!
Jaeyoung is an oral health educator and dental disease preventer passionate about paving the way for patients to embark on their journey to proper oral hygiene. She graduated from UNC School of Dentistry in 2018 and served on the UNC SOD SPURGEON Student Government. With all of that experience, we decided to ask her to review our buying guide on natural toothpastes for accuracy.
She's always trying to keep up with new dental research articles and products to help her patients choose compatible products that work with their lifestyles. She's also a coffee lover and mom to two Bengal cats and multiple plants. Read our buying guide below for her insight and tips!
Jaeyoung says, "Most of my patients who use natural toothpastes with the right ingredients have peace of mind knowing that there are no harsh chemicals that can accidentally be swallowed during brushing. Natural toothpastes are free of artificial flavorings and dyes which can be more gentle on the teeth and gums compared to traditional toothpastes.
They have anti-tartar and anti-plaque properties from natural plant extracts and antiseptic essential oils that can help clean your teeth as effectively as commercial toothpastes. Some natural toothpastes may have more controlled amounts of fluoride, which is a natural mineral proven to prevent cavities.
Some pastes are fluoride-free and contain xylitol instead, which helps to prevent plaque buildup. Most natural toothpastes also help to freshen up your breath using essential oils. If you want to clean your teeth using controlled amounts of safe and effective ingredients, a natural toothpaste may be the best choice for you."
To choose the best natural toothpastes, we took into consideration the following:
Don't forget to check out our Buying Guide after the products to make sure you have all the information you need to make a good decision about natural toothpaste.
Hello Oral Care
Tom's of Maine
Ela Mint Toothpaste
Certified Natural Toothpaste
Complete Care Toothpaste
Premium Natural Toothpaste
Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste
Sensitivity Relief Fluoride Toothpaste
Botanically Bright Whitening Toothpaste
Best for Sensitive Teeth and Mouths
Best for a Simple, Natural Ingredient List
Best for Unique, Kid-Friendly Flavors
Best for Soothing Gums and Cheeks
Best Toothpaste With the Benefits of Neem
Best Natural Whitening Toothpaste
Best for Those Trying to Cut Down on Plastics
Best for Tea Tree Oil to Fight Bacteria
Best Soothing Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
Best SLS- and Fluoride-Free Toothpaste With Propolis
|Amount||4 oz.||4 oz.||5 oz.||5 oz.||5.29 oz. each||6 oz.||5.25 oz.||6.25 oz.||4 oz.||4.7 oz. each|
|Key ingredients||Glycerin, hydroxyapatite, xylitol, aloe leaf juice, cucumber, mango, avocado, potassium chloride||Xylitol, essential oils of lemon, lemongrass, tangerine and lime||Glycerin, coconut oil, soapbark extract, aloe leaf juice, xylitol, stevia, propolis, tea tree oil||Glycerin, aloe leaf juice, coconut, mint oils, stevia||Xylitol, coconut oil, stevia, thyme leaf oil, neem leaf extract, fruit extracts including pomegranate and amla||Glycerin, sodium cocoyl glutamate, peppermint oil, aloe leaf gel, parsley extract||Glycerin, xylitol, mint, anise and wintergreen oils, stevia||Glycerin, tea tree leaf water and oil||Potassium nitrate, sodium fluoride, sorbitol, xylitol, aloe vera gel, glycerin, coconut oil||Sorbitol, glycerin, xylitol, lauryl glucoside, sodium cocoyl glutamate, stevia, propolis|
|Whitening ingredients||Silica, baking soda||Bentonite, salt||Dicalcium phosphate dihydrate, calcium carbonate||Silica, calcium carbonate, baking soda||Calcium carbonate, silica, baking soda, salt||Calcium carbonate, silica, baking soda, bamboo powder||Calcium carbonate, baking soda, silica||Calcium carbonate, baking soda, salt||Silica||Silica|
|Flavors available||Mint with cardamom and green tea||Lemon twist, wintergreen, spearmint, peppermint, cinnamon||Chocolate, mixed berry, strawberry banana, cinnamon, peppermint, wintergreen, charcoal, extra-whitening||Peppermint, cinnamon, anise||Simply mint, peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon||Peppermint, spearmint, tea tree oil and cinnamon, vanilla peppermint||Peppermint||Fennel, mint, wintergreen||Mint coconut||Peppermint, spearmint|
Our favorite natural toothpastes combine cavity prevention, teeth cleaning, and breath freshening for an overall healthier and happier smile. Our picks include a variety of toothpaste options, including those for whitening or sensitive teeth as well as choices with fluoride and without.
※Please note that these products were not picked by Jaeyoung Yoo, but chosen through extensive research and by combing through customer reviews by our staff at mybest.
|Key ingredients||Glycerin, hydroxyapatite, xylitol, aloe leaf juice, cucumber, mango, avocado, potassium chloride|
|Whitening ingredients||Silica, baking soda|
|Flavors available||Mint with cardamom and green tea|
|Key ingredients||Xylitol, essential oils of lemon, lemongrass, tangerine and lime|
|Whitening ingredients||Bentonite, salt|
|Flavors available||Lemon twist, wintergreen, spearmint, peppermint, cinnamon|
Natural Peppermint, 2 pack
|Key ingredients||Glycerin, coconut oil, soapbark extract, aloe leaf juice, xylitol, stevia, propolis, tea tree oil|
|Whitening ingredients||Dicalcium phosphate dihydrate, calcium carbonate|
|Flavors available||Chocolate, mixed berry, strawberry banana, cinnamon, peppermint, wintergreen, charcoal, extra-whitening|
Peppermint, 3 pack
|Key ingredients||Glycerin, aloe leaf juice, coconut, mint oils, stevia|
|Whitening ingredients||Silica, calcium carbonate, baking soda|
|Flavors available||Peppermint, cinnamon, anise|
Simply Mint, 4 pack
|Amount||5.29 oz. each|
|Key ingredients||Xylitol, coconut oil, stevia, thyme leaf oil, neem leaf extract, fruit extracts including pomegranate and amla|
|Whitening ingredients||Calcium carbonate, silica, baking soda, salt|
|Flavors available||Simply mint, peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon|
|Key ingredients||Glycerin, sodium cocoyl glutamate, peppermint oil, aloe leaf gel, parsley extract|
|Whitening ingredients||Calcium carbonate, silica, baking soda, bamboo powder|
|Flavors available||Peppermint, spearmint, tea tree oil and cinnamon, vanilla peppermint|
|Key ingredients||Glycerin, xylitol, mint, anise and wintergreen oils, stevia|
|Whitening ingredients||Calcium carbonate, baking soda, silica|
|Key ingredients||Glycerin, tea tree leaf water and oil|
|Whitening ingredients||Calcium carbonate, baking soda, salt|
|Flavors available||Fennel, mint, wintergreen|
|Key ingredients||Potassium nitrate, sodium fluoride, sorbitol, xylitol, aloe vera gel, glycerin, coconut oil|
|Flavors available||Mint coconut|
Peppermint, 3 pack
|Amount||4.7 oz. each|
|Key ingredients||Sorbitol, glycerin, xylitol, lauryl glucoside, sodium cocoyl glutamate, stevia, propolis|
|Flavors available||Peppermint, spearmint|
Choosing a natural toothpaste can be daunting. Even after reading the label, some of the ingredients may still be a mystery, not to mention that there's a huge variety of options! But have no fear - we've broken down the decision-making process into bite-sized pieces so you can make the best choice for yourself (and your teeth).
There are currently no set guidelines on what exactly constitutes a “natural” toothpaste, so the definition may vary depending on the brand and your own standards. Big-brand toothpastes typically contain ingredients like parabens, detergents, and sulfates, which act as preservatives and foaming agents.
However, these ingredients are often not natural and may cause irritation for some people. Natural toothpastes tend to be free of preservatives (other than glycerin), foaming agents, dyes, and other artificial ingredients. They often contain ingredients like tea tree oil, coconut oil, and more.
Tea tree oil contains compounds that have been shown to kill some bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It's used in many personal care products, and its germ-fighting abilities can extend to your mouth as well.
When used orally, tea tree oil has been shown to reduce inflammation in the gums as well as reduce dental plaque. While not many studies have been done on the effectiveness of tea tree oil in dental hygiene, it may provide some helpful benefits.
I've read about the benefits of tea tree oil for oral hygiene such as its antimicrobial properties, but more research is needed to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the product. It can kill both beneficial and harmful bacteria in our mouths. It's important to be aware that tree oil can be toxic when consumed!
Coconut oil contains a fatty acid called lauric acid that has many potential health benefits, including benefits for your teeth. When used in toothpaste, the lauric acid in coconut oil can help fight harmful bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
There are more than 700 different species of bacteria that are found in our mouths, some beneficial and some harmful. Coconut oil can dissolve the plaque that causes bad breath, gingivitis, and cavities. The lauric acid in coconut oil has antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, more research is needed on the benefits of coconut oil in toothpastes.
Using a toothpaste containing fluoride is one of the best ways to prevent cavities. Fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and can reverse early signs of tooth decay. Plus, it’s naturally-occurring and found in many water sources.
The American Dental Association requires a product to contain a certain amount of fluoride in order for them to put their seal of approval on it. Some natural toothpastes contain fluoride and some don’t. Ultimately, whether or not you opt for a toothpaste containing fluoride is up to you.
If you prefer a fluoride-free option, look for a formula that contains hydroxyapatite or xylitol to ensure that your toothpaste still has some cavity-fighting ingredients.
Hydroxyapatite works similarly to fluoride in helping to remineralize tooth enamel. It doesn't have any risk of overdosing like fluoride does. Xylitol doesn't help rebuild tooth enamel, but it does reduce the number of harmful Streptococcus mutans bacteria in plaque that leads to cavities.
If you have strong opinions about using or not using fluoridated toothpastes, there are good options for both. Hydroxyapatite is a biocompatible substance that is not likely to cause negative reactions in the body and can help remineralize your tooth structure. Boka and RiseWell Toothpaste are two well-known brands with hydroxyapatite as their main active ingredient.
If you’re looking for a brighter smile, whitening toothpaste can remove subtle stains and diminish yellowness. Peroxide is the most common ingredient; however, peroxide can be harsh on some peoples’ gums and teeth and lead to sensitivity, so it is not typically included in natural toothpaste.
For a natural whitener, look for toothpaste containing abrasives like silica, baking soda, table salt, citric acid, or charcoal. Note that charcoal can cause sensitivity for some, as it’s made of large particles that are harsher on your teeth.
Make sure that your gums and teeth are in top-notch shape before considering the whitening aspect! You need a strong foundation first before other improvements can be made to last.
For sensitive teeth, look for a toothpaste that will help build up tooth enamel as well as reduce sensitivity. The two most common ingredients to achieve this are fluoride and potassium nitrate, both of which can be naturally derived.
Fluoride helps strengthen teeth and potassium nitrate helps desensitize them by protecting the nerves that cause painful sensations. You can also find a toothpaste that uses arginine and calcium carbonate for this same effect.
Sensitive teeth may be a symptom of an underlying issue, like weakened enamel, recessed gums, or cavities. If you experience severe or recurring pain, make sure you consult your dentist. If you’re worried about sensitive gums or mouth irritation, look for toothpaste containing soothing natural ingredients like aloe vera or coconut oil.
When using desensitizing toothpastes, make sure you are also using a soft bristled toothbrush and a low acidic mouth rinse. Grinding your teeth may also cause sensitivity, so you can consult your dentist about getting a mouthguard.
Some toothpastes contain synthetic chemicals that can have negative effects on our oral health, overall health, or even the environment. Here's what to look out for.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a surfactant, which means it lowers the surface tension between the various ingredients in your toothpaste. This increases the spreading and wetting properties of the toothpaste, which helps it foam up.
While a foamy toothpaste can help us feel like our teeth are getting clean, SLS doesn’t actually play an active role in the cleaning process.
And while SLS is non-toxic to humans in small amounts, it’s known to cause irritation. If you find that regular toothpaste causes irritation or canker sores, finding an SLS-free alternative can make a big difference!
I personally try to stay away from toothpastes that contain SLS because it causes my inner cheeks to peel and tissue sloughing occurs. SLS is safe and is not known as a carcinogen, but some people may have adverse reactions to it such as experieicing irritation or canker sores.
Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical agent that is sometimes added to toothpaste to help fight plaque and gingivitis. Because toothpaste is used in your mouth, you can absorb a small amount of tricoslan when brushing your teeth.
However, studies have shown that this chemical alters hormone regulation in animals, may contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs, and may be harmful to the immune system. When tricoslan enters our water, it can also pose risks to the environment.
I would stay away from products containing triclosan. It has been used as a pesticide since the 70s. It can disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria in our mouths. Colgate and Crest recently removed Triclosan from their ingredients.
A study published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism has found an association between osteoporosis in women and triclosan. The takeaway is to stay away from it.
Diethanolamine (DEA) is a chemical that helps give toothpaste its creamy texture and foaming abilities. While it can make toothpaste more pleasant to use, it doesn’t contribute to the cleaning properties of the toothpaste. In studies, DEA has been linked to hormone disruption, organ system toxicity, and more. DEA is actually banned in the EU!
There are too many red flags to be using this chemical in toothpastes! I repeat: read the labels.
We most commonly associate toothpaste with a minty fresh flavor, but there are plenty of other options if you’re feeling adventurous or don't like mint! Most natural toothpastes are flavored with extracts and essential oils rather than synthetically-created flavors.
If you’re used to using big-brand toothpaste, switching to a naturally-flavored toothpaste may take some getting used to. They’re typically less sweet and have a more subtle flavor. In addition to the classic peppermint and spearmint, you can also find flavors like cinnamon, fennel, and vanilla.
You may be wondering if there's anything else you need to consider when choosing a natural toothpaste. Luckily, Jaeyoung is here to answer them!
Jaeyoung says, "A lot of my patients ask me if charcoal toothpastes are effective at whitening and if they should be trying it. My advice to people who are wanting to try it is that if you don't have periodontal disease, bleeding gums, weak enamel, or gum recession, you could give it a try at your own risk.
However, make sure to read the ingredients and brush gently since the particle size is larger which may cause more gum recession and sensitivity. Using it long-term won't do much good and it shouldn't replace using a regular toothpaste. There needs to be more research done on charcoal toothpastes before dental professionals can recommend it."
Jaeyoung says, "Other ingredients in toothpaste to watch out for would be titanium dioxide (potential carcinogen), parabens (potential hormone disruptors), and propylene glycol (can irritate skin and mucous membranes). Do your research before choosing a safe toothpaste for you and your family."
If you're looking for a tried and true pick, then look no further! This Risewell option comes highly recommended by clean living blogger Erica Baron. It contains no SLS and replaces fluoride with hydroxyapatite.
Feeling inspired to polish those pearly whites? Keep your teeth, tongue, and gums healthy with these other great products!
Not sure natural toothpaste is right for you? If you want to see more options, check out Amazon's bestsellers.
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