Green Products: The Best Natural Toothpaste
Brushing your teeth is something you do every day. It is the one hygienic activity that involves putting something directly in your mouth, so why use toxic chemicals to get the job done when natural toothpastes are easy to find?
Conventional toothpastes can be filled with unnatural ingredients that are unsafe for your teeth, gums, and overall health—in addition to being harmful to the environment.
Common but questionable ingredients include fluoride, a controversial additive (and possible neurotoxin) used to strengthen enamel, sodium hydroxide, the chemical name for lye (a toxic drain cleaner), and titanium dioxide, a possible carcinogen that may cause damage to the cells of the body, and can be toxic when ingested (which is why it is recommended to not swallow toothpaste). Why put a product in your mouth where it will go directly into your body if it contains poisons?
In addition, many toothpastes contain known or possible carcinogens that can also cause irritation. The lathering agent sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) causes microscopic tears in the mouth that can lead to canker sores. The foaming agent DEA (diethanolamine) is a hormone disrupter. The antibacterial agent triclosan is classified as a pesticide, and PVM.MA copolymer acts as a binding agent for triclosan to stay on teeth and is highly irritating to eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.
The long list of toothpaste’s potentially toxic ingredients doesn’t end there. Artificial flavors and sweeteners (like sorbitol and petroleum-based saccharin) can cause allergic reactions, headaches, and irritation to gums and oral tissue, not to mention abdominal pain and diarrhea (another reason not to swallow toothpaste). Synthetic dyes can be dangerous too: blue no.1 has been previously been banned in other countries and comes from coal tar or petroleum, while yellow no.10 is not approved for use in food by the FDA.
Instead of brushing with chemicals, additives, synthetic agents, and sweeteners, I decided to give three natural toothpaste products a try. The following products are all free of toxic and carcinogenic ingredients, including fluoride and SLS.
Natural Toothpaste: Eco-dent Tooth Powder
This convenient product left my mouth feeling tingly and refreshed because it is naturally effervescent. Just shaking a bit of the powder onto a toothbrush and brushing as normal is all you need to do, while the abundance of minerals strengthen your teeth. I tried and enjoyed the original mint flavor, but Eco-dent’s other natural flavors include: cinnamon, anise, and mint-free lemon lime.
I appreciate how economical and environmentally concerned this product is: one 2 oz. bottle lasts up to 200 brushings—lowering costs and packaging waste. By leaving out water and glycerin, they reduce shipping and packaging. I also found the powder form convenient for a camping trip.
Cost: About $5-6 for 2 oz. bottle
Bonus: Eco-dent makes a vegan floss, which we love. It is strong, highly effective, and contains essential oils—it also comes in recycled-paper, eco-conscious packaging.
Natural Toothpaste: Xyliwhite Toothpaste Gel
This alternative toothpaste gel left my teeth feeling smooth and was most similar to the typical toothpastes I’m used to. The active ingredient, xylitol, is a natural ingredient beneficial for dental health, especially the re-mineralization of the teeth. This product contains 25% xylitol, one of the highest contents available. The tea tree, peppermint, and spearmint added a refreshing taste.
Cost: About $3-4 for 6.4 oz. tube
Natural Toothpaste: Uncle Harry’s Tooth Soap
Tooth soap is what it sounds like—soap for your mouth. Utilizing the power of castile soap, ionic minerals, and ocean water, Uncle Harry’s Tooth Soap creates a non-abrasive, naturally alkalizing lather to wash your teeth and gums. It certainly left my entire mouth feeling super clean. But beware—a tiny bit goes a long way. The first time I used a pea-sized amount and that was too much. Still, even with organic peppermint in the mix, the product tastes slightly soapy. However, the total mouth bath is definitely worth it.
I also tried Uncle Harry’s Toothpaste and Toothpaste Whitening Polish. The tooth paste is made from bentonite clay, calcium carbonate, colloidal silver water, sea salt, ionic minerals, mustard seed, and a host of essential oils and herbs. My teeth were smooth and shiny after using a small amount, and my gums were totally refreshed. The polish has the same base ingredients of clay, etc,. but contains pumice for the extra polishing effect. After using this product, my teeth felt so taken care of I didn’t want to eat. Again, a little bit goes a long way for Uncle Harry’s products, increasing product longevity while reducing costs and packaging overall.
Cost: tooth soap $6 for 2oz; toothpaste $6 for 3oz; tooth polish $8 for 1.25oz
Bonus: Uncle Harry’s has an entire line of re-mineralization and mouth care products with naturally alkalizing and organic ingredients and a variety of flavors.
From gels and soaps to powders, choosing oral care that leaves you, your teeth, and the environment cleaner has never been easier.