Taking care of your teeth is an important part of your overall health. Tartar buildup, gum disease and bacteria in your mouth has been linked to heart conditions, yeast infection, and other bacterial infection and health problems. But you’d be surprised how many unhealthy things can be found in your toothpaste. Some of these can cause allergic reactions like black spots on your lips. And many of the chemical substances found in toothpaste might have dangerous long term effects.
SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is the foaming agent in most toothpastes. It’s basically detergent. It’s strong enough that it causes skin irritation. It’s also suspected to be the reason everything tastes so terrible right after you brush. Another foaming agent, Diethanolamine is a known hormone disruptor, and can react with other ingredients to form a carcinogen called NDEA.
Fluoride – Since tests in the late nineties revealed that fluoride had negative effects on the brain development in children, fluoride is used less often in children’s toothpastes, but is still available in a variety of adult brands. Check labels, and you’ll find it’s still very common.
Saccharin – Used as a sweetening agent to cut down on the harshness, saccharin has been shown to cause kidney cancer in lab rats.
Propylene Glycerol – A mineral oil that, at high concentrations in industrial grade, can be found in antifreeze, paints, and enamels. Not exactly something you want in your mouth!
Still, oral hygiene is important for your overall health. So what can you do? Fortunately, there are many natural toothpastes on the market. What you should look for in a natural toothpaste is entirely up to you. Depending on tooth sensitivity, susceptibility to stains and sensitivity to certain tastes and textures, you’ll want to shop around a bit to find the toothpaste that suits you best.
This list is the top 5 natural toothpastes I’ve found. Whether you’re looking to get rid of stains, a less harsh flavor, or something to strengthen your enamel or ease the pain of sensitive teeth, you’ll find a natural toothpaste to fit your needs. All the benefits, none of the chemicals!
- Lebon Organic Toothpaste
If the chemicals are the biggest concern, and you’re just trying to get your hands on a healthier option for your toothpaste, Lebon Organic is a great choice. Made with Aloe Vera and green tea, and other natural ingredients, it naturally prevents bacterial growth, plaque formation and cavities. It’s cruelty-free, environmentally friendly, and contains no fluoride or sulfate. It’s been sweetened with Stevia Rebaudiana, a natural sweetener that is much healthier than the saccharin usually found in toothpaste. It also comes in amazing all-natural flavors to suit anyone, including Pineapple, rooibos, and even rose. I’m not too into the floral aftertastes myself, but even I loved the orange blossom scent!
- Schmidt’s Activated Charcoal Tooth And Mouth Paste
Fun fact: In the Victorian age, charcoal was a favorite ingredient of toothpaste manufacturers. It left your teeth looking a bit grey, but it actually is fairly effective as a whitening agent, as long as you remember to rinse. Quite apart from being a huge fan of both coffee and tea, I have some noticeable stains from the ridges in my teeth. I was originally a bit put off by the grey color, I’ll admit. Who wants grey toothpaste. But this stuff really works. It also has a nice Goji berry and pomegranate flavor. A lot less harsh than mint, and it doesn’t taste a thing like charcoal!
- Redmond Earthpaste
Enamel loss is a serious problem since it takes a long time for enamel to grow back. Most of the time, enamel cannot remineralize after it has been stripped. Many toothpastes actually have corrosive micro beads that can be dangerous to enamel, or Glycerin, which as mentioned, is used in paint antifreeze, and can have a devastating effect on tooth enamel.
According to reviews, Redmond Earthpaste actually remineralizes and repairs enamel, which strengthens your teeth. It may even reverse decay! It contains active whitening agents, as well as being as good or better than Sensodyne on tooth sensitivity. It cleans gently, using tea tree oil, a known anti-fungal. It comes in natural peppermint and cinnamon flavors.
- Jack ‘N Jill Natural Toothpaste
Jack ‘N Jill makes amazing natural toothpaste for kids. They use super fun mild flavors, like banana, blueberry, blackcurrant, and strawberry, that makes kids want to brush. It’s completely fluoride free, sugar free, preservative free, and contains no SLS. It’s also got a safety seal and easy open flip to cap. It’s gentle on little teeth and gums, and contains the ingredient Xylitol, which not only acts as a natural sweetener, but actually strengthens teeth! Imagine a sweetener that is actually good for your teeth? Just try to keep little hands off this tube!
- Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil and Neem Toothpaste
Dental hygienists recommend tea tree oil as a natural cleaner for your teeth. The Neem in Desert Essence’s natural toothpaste is a strong, natural antibacterial. In India, it has been used to clear acne from skin, as well as treat other forms of bacterial inflammation. That means it’s fantastic for the bacteria in your mouth which can cause gingivitis and other periodontal diseases. It provides a great deep clean without harsh abrasives. The tea tree oil is great for treating existing bacterial problems in the mouth. It’s also got a nice, mild taste. None of that weird SLS aftertaste!
What To Remember When Buying Natural Toothpaste
Natural toothpaste doesn’t have the same harsh chemicals that most of the more traditional toothpastes do. But these days, you can slap a “natural” and “organic” label on almost anything. It isn’t exactly as regulated as those of us who care about that sort of thing would prefer. The first thing you need to look out for is the ADA approval sticker. I know, we’ve all heard the stories about “Big Pharma” muscling out the more natural medicines. But the ADA tests even natural toothpastes for safety and effectiveness. There are decent brands that haven’t been tested, but it’s safer to choose a natural toothpaste that has been ADA-approved. Always check labels before you buy. If you see anything that doesn’t sound natural, it probably isn’t. Getting the ADA approval sticker is a lot tougher than getting the clearance to call yourself a “natural” product. So for your own sake, be vigilant!
Oral hygiene is important to overall health. Good oral hygiene can help protect against clogged arteries and heart conditions. Cleaning your teeth daily has huge benefits for your health, appearance, and quality of life. But traditional manufactured toothpastes can be full of chemicals that aren’t just bad for your health, but unbelievably, bad for your teeth and mouth too. Natural toothpastes are often the perfect alternative. But you may have to hunt around to find the right toothpastes to meet your needs. Whether you have sensitive teeth, bad stains, or weak enamel, there’s a natural toothpaste out there for you, and it probably tastes a lot better than the stuff you’d get in the average drug store. If you’re not sure where to start, check with your dentist. Whatever you decide, anything’s better than the chemical concoction you’re used to. Your teeth will be whiter, brighter, and stronger, I guarantee!