When I switched to green and organic personal care products nearly 7 years ago, natural toothpaste and dental care products were among the last items to make the transition.
My inner endocrinologist was telling me yes, but my real life dentist was telling me no.
So…to fluoride or not to fluoride…that became the question. And I eventually gave in and decided to give natural toothpaste a try, if only to get all the other junk out of my mouth.
While fluoride is the most controversial, it isn’t necessarily the worst thing on the ingredient list of a conventional toothpaste. We get into some of the other baddies below – chemicals that are also in a lot of other bathroom products that I slowly converted to natural options.
Back in the day, there were very few natural toothpastes that fell somewhere in the middle of Colgate and homemade baking soda paste besides Tom’s of Maine. This remains a good option if you’re looking to keep fluoride in your toothpaste but want to eliminate some of the other unnecessary colors and foaming agents. I’ll talk through this option below.
But now, luckily, there are tons of options to choose from when it comes to both natural toothpaste and other organic dental products like mouthwash, floss and even toothbrushes. I’ve tried a lot of them over the years, and even discuss a few of these options in my recent podcast episode on oral hygiene with oral surgeon Dr. Adam Miller. If you’ve still got questions after this post, I highly recommend giving it a listen.
Read on for the best natural toothpaste brands, in my humble opinion, and other items I love for a healthy mouth!
With health and hedonism,
COMMERCIAL TOOTHPASTE TOXIC INGREDIENTS TO AVOID
If you recognize this ingredient, it’s likely from commercial hand sanitizer. Until the age of Covid, I always argued that there were few germs out in the world that were likely to be more harmful than this chemical. So the idea of putting it in your mouth? No thank you. Luckily studies that link triclosan to thyroid hormone issues and an increase in antibiotic resistance (as well as tumors in mice) eventually caught up with Big Beauty and it has since been banned from hand soaps, body washes and most toothpastes. If you have an old tube of Colgate lying around, you may want to check it for triclosan and then chuck it.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
This foaming agent is common in a lot of personal care products, especially cleansers. It does nothing to actually clean, but gives the illusion of sudsy, hygienic bliss. In addition to lots of nasty health side effects and diseases, it can cause canker sores or peeling of mouth tissue in as little as one use. These foaming agents are also quite irritating to the skin around your mouth. Many people who suffer from Perioral Dermatitis find that switching toothpaste helps clear up their skin rashes, and many would argue it’s thanks in part to avoiding this chemical.
Bright colors are an automatic red flag (or blue, or green). These synthetic dyes are often derived from petroleum and coal tar. Like many toxic ingredients, they can accumulate over time in the body.
This is another foaming agent that’s common in household cleaning products. It’s been banned in the EU – always a red flag! — and is associated with hormone-disruption, cancer and organ toxicity.
If you’re a SIBO Amigo, you might recognize Sorbitol, which is a liquid sweetener that keeps toothpaste from drying out. This, along with other sugar alcohols that end in -ol, has laxative effects that can cause diarrhea and general digestive discomfort. So long as you don’t swallow much, it might not be a problem. But something to keep in mind if you have gut issues.
I left this one for last because it is the most controversial, and I personally don’t know exactly where I stand. Dr. Adam Miller gives a good summary in his podcast episode about the pro’s and con’s. Most dental professionals argue that the good outweighs the bad in terms of oral health: it is the most powerful ingredient for fighting cavities and is used in such small amounts, it wouldn’t effect your overall health. However, the impact on your overall health includes disruption of thyroid function, which is one of the reasons I made the switch. For those who are extremely sensitive, it might be worth exploring some of the fluoride-free options below. But for those who are starting at square one, the more profound change you can make is to buy a water filter that removes fluoride from your tap water. This is the biggest inoculation we all receive every day and pales in comparison to a little toothpaste. For some of my favorite water filters, click here.
THE BEST NATURAL TOOTHPASTE BRANDS AND ORGANIC DENTAL PRODUCTS
Jason Powersmile Whitening Toothpaste – If you’re looking for something that really replicates the feel of conventional toothpaste, Jason products do a great job. I will also say that I can really see the whitening effects of this one.
RiseWell Toothpaste – RiseWell is a new company and their products are not only natural, but help remineralize your teeth. It’s designed by dentists and uses naturally-derived hydroxyapatite, a mineral that makes up 90% of our tooth enamel and has been proven to strengthen and protect your teeth without fluoride. I also am a big fan of their floss and mouthwash (see below).
Dentalcidin Toothpaste – Biocidin is known in the SIBO community as a powerful anti-bacterial formula derived from plants. It not only address bacteria, but helps to dismantle biofilms. Tooth plaque is a type of biofilm, which is essentially a protective environment that allows yeast and bacteria to share resources and evade being killed by antimicrobials. After using Biocidin for years for SIBO and gut issues, I was excited to try this toothpaste. It comes out of a tube in a gel-like texture and so far has been great.
Schmidt’s Charcoal Toothpaste – This isn’t my favorite of the group, but a good option if you’re looking to use the stain-fighting power and absorbency of charcoal. It has a mild pleasant taste and similar texture to normal toothpaste.
David’s Natural Toothpaste – I haven’t personally tried this one, but it’s a FMP fan favorite so I wanted to include it. I also love that the tube is a rare plastic-free option, coming in metal.
Hello – This brand is imperfect in their use of artificial sugar alcohols and some foaming agents, even if they are “naturally derived” as they claim. But it’s a good option if you’re looking to keep fluoride but avoid SLS, Triclosan and other additives. Tom’s of Maine offers options that are both SLS and Fluoride-free but it’s hard to find a toothpaste in their line that has fluoride without SLS.
Dentalcidin LS Oral Care Solution – Like the toothpaste, this mouth solution fights biofilms and plaque and is an excellent way to promote and maintain healthy teeth and gums. I like it because its space efficient – you only need two pumps to get the job done, as opposed to most giant vats of mouthwash that are mostly water anyway. It’s great as a travel solution.
Risewell Mouthwash – This bottle packs a punch! It gives you that intense tingly sensation that you get with commercial mouthwash but without all the color additives and junk. I find that a very little swig goes a long way.
Orawellness Healthy Mouth Drops – Another great travel option, this herbal solution comes in a small glass bottle that just needs to be added to water to create a health mouthwash. Since you only need two or so drops at a time, it will last a while. The downside is since it is made from essential oils it can leave an earthy aftertaste in your mouth.
Me Mother Earth Biodegratable Floss — Not only is the floss itself compostable, but it comes in a cute bamboo container!
Leafico Bamboo Toothbrushes — I used electric toothbrushes for a while (including the trendy Quip) but couldn’t get over how much plastic I was wasting by switching out the heads every few months. Plus, for my gums which tend towards recession, a gentler brush is probably best anyway. Enter these fantastically soft biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes. They come in a numbered set so you can easily switch them out every few months. This set comes with some floss in a glass jar and a tongue scraper!
What are some of your favorite natural toothpaste brands? Are there any other products for your mouth that you’ve transitioned to natural, organic or sustainable options? Would love to hear your recs below!