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? It may surprise you how few familiar ingredients there are in well-known name brands. Making the switch to natural toothpaste can help you avoid those unpronounceable and often unnecessary chemicals and additives. And knowing exactly what you're putting into your mouth (and body) can contribute to your peace of mind!
We took a deep dive into the world of natural toothpaste and found many things to like. Our number one pick? 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 for plenty of tips for choosing a natural toothpaste!
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.
|Flavors available||Peppermint, spearmint|
|Key ingredients||Sodium monofluorophosphate, glycerin, calcium carbonate, xylitol, hydrated silica, sodium lauryl sulfate, carrageenan|
|Flavors available||Mint medley|
|Key ingredients||Sodium fluoride, glycerin, hydrated silica, sodium cocoyl glutamate, xanthan gum, carrageenan|
|Flavors available||Mint coconut|
|Key ingredients||Potassium nitrate, sodium fluoride, sorbitol, hydrated silica, xylitol, aloe vera gel, glycerin, coconut oil|
|Key ingredients||Sodium fluoride, sorbitol, hydrated silica, glycerin, sodium lauryl sulfate, carrageenan|
|Flavors available||Grape, peppermint|
|Key ingredients||Sodium fluoride, glycerin, hydrated silica, sorbitol, xylitol, aloe leaf juice, cocamidopropyl betaine|
|Key ingredients||Vegetable glycerin, hydrated silica, sorbitol powder, silica, hydroxyapatite, sodium benzoate|
|Flavors available||Peppermint, spearmint, tea tree oil & cinnamon, vanilla peppermint|
|Key ingredients||Calcium carbonate, glycerin, sodium cocoyl glutamate, peppermint oil, carrageenan, aloe leaf gel, stevia|
|Key ingredients||Calcium carbonate, glycerin, sodium bicarbonate, xylitol, hydrated silica, sodium cocoyl glutamate, carrageenan|
|Flavors available||Fennel, mint, wintergreen|
|Key ingredients||Calcium carbonate, glycerin, carrageenan, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, sodium bicarbonate|
|Flavors available||Chocolate, mixed berry, strawberry banana, cinnamon, peppermint, wintergreen, charcoal, extra-whitening|
|Key ingredients||Dicalcium phosphate dihydrate, glycerin, calcium carbonate, coconut oil, aloe leaf juice, xylitol, carrageenan, stevia|
Tom's of Maine
Hello Oral Care
The Natural Dentist
Natural Wicked Fresh Fluoride Toothpaste
Clean & Fresh Fluoride Toothpaste
Sensitivity Relief Fluoride Toothpaste
Cavity Protection Fresh Mint Fluoride Toothpaste
All In One Fluoride Toothpaste
Ela Mint Natural Toothpaste
Healthy Mouth Tartar Control Flouride-Free Toothpaste
Premium Natural Toothpaste
Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste
Certified Natural Toothpaste
Prevent Cavities and Get Minty-Fresh Breath
SLS-Free Cavity Prevention
A Soothing Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
Fight Bad Breath at the Source
Keep Your Teeth Strong and Healthy
A New Cavity-Fighting Ingredient
A Gentle Whitening Toothpaste
All-Natural Whitening and Freshening
Tea Tree Oil to Fight Bacteria
A Toothpaste With a Legacy
|Amount||4.7 oz.||4.7 oz.||4 oz.||5 oz.||5 oz.||4 oz.||6 oz.||5.25 oz.||6.25 oz.||5 oz.|
|Flavors available||Peppermint, spearmint||Mint medley||Mint coconut||Mint||Grape, peppermint||Mint||Peppermint, spearmint, tea tree oil & cinnamon, vanilla peppermint||Peppermint||Fennel, mint, wintergreen||Chocolate, mixed berry, strawberry banana, cinnamon, peppermint, wintergreen, charcoal, extra-whitening|
|Key ingredients||Sodium monofluorophosphate, glycerin, calcium carbonate, xylitol, hydrated silica, sodium lauryl sulfate, carrageenan||Sodium fluoride, glycerin, hydrated silica, sodium cocoyl glutamate, xanthan gum, carrageenan||Potassium nitrate, sodium fluoride, sorbitol, hydrated silica, xylitol, aloe vera gel, glycerin, coconut oil||Sodium fluoride, sorbitol, hydrated silica, glycerin, sodium lauryl sulfate, carrageenan||Sodium fluoride, glycerin, hydrated silica, sorbitol, xylitol, aloe leaf juice, cocamidopropyl betaine||Vegetable glycerin, hydrated silica, sorbitol powder, silica, hydroxyapatite, sodium benzoate||Calcium carbonate, glycerin, sodium cocoyl glutamate, peppermint oil, carrageenan, aloe leaf gel, stevia||Calcium carbonate, glycerin, sodium bicarbonate, xylitol, hydrated silica, sodium cocoyl glutamate, carrageenan||Calcium carbonate, glycerin, carrageenan, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, sodium bicarbonate||Dicalcium phosphate dihydrate, glycerin, calcium carbonate, coconut oil, aloe leaf juice, xylitol, carrageenan, stevia|
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. 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, foaming agents, dyes, and other artificial ingredients. They often contain ingredients like charcoal, coconut oil, and tea tree oil.
Charcoal is an ingredient that has been gaining popularity in toothpaste. Fans claim that charcoal-infused toothpaste is better at whitening teeth and keeping breath fresh.
While charcoal is great at filtering water and absorbing toxins, there's not much scientific evidence to support that charcoal toothpaste is any better than regular toothpaste. Dentists don't recommend using it to fight cavities. However, if you enjoy using it, they recommend that you look for a formula that also includes fluoride.
Charcoal is an abrasive, so it does have the ability to remove surface stains on teeth, which can make your teeth appear whiter. However, due to the large size of its particles, it may be too harsh for sensitive teeth.
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.
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's a fairly safe ingredient that may provide some helpful benefits.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Feeling inspired to polish those pearly whites? Keep your teeth, tongue, and gums healthy with these other great products!
Going natural with your food, cleaning products, and personal products is a wonderful thing to do for both your health and our environment. Even a tiny thing like toothpaste can make an impact! When choosing a natural toothpaste, remember that not all toothpastes are created equal, and "natural" doesn't automatically mean "good."
Be sure to consider your own personal oral care needs, whether you have sensitive teeth, are prone to canker sores, or want a toothpaste that will whiten. And if you really can't decide, don't hesitate to ask your dentist to recommend a natural toothpaste that fits your needs!
Author: Melissa Jong
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