Better Goods Personal Care

We Reviewed 15+ Products To Find The Best Natural Toothpaste (2021)

Better Goods

Feb 21, 2022

best natural toothpaste

A natural toothpaste is a great place to start in any clean living journey. If you're trying to be more conscious of the products you use and consume, making the switch to a natural toothpaste is a great move.

Because toothpaste is one of the few personal care products you use internally, the concern over the ingredients used is growing. Fluoride is the major controversial ingredient found in toothpastes (more on that later), but you might not know that traditional, big brand toothpastes like Crest and Colgate use ingredients you probably don't want in your mouth.

So, what else should you know about natural toothpastes, and which ones are the best? We took a close look at the world of natural toothpastes, the ingredients you should avoid, and what the deal is with fluoride.

What Ingredients Should You Avoid In Toothpaste?

Traditional toothpastes use a laundry list of chemicals that we recommend avoiding. While this isn't an exhaustive list, you can find ingredients like:

SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) - Most commonly used as a surfactant or foaming agent - this common toothpaste ingredient creates the foam when you brush. It can sometimes be irritating to the gums and mouth. If you've ever had canker sores, SLS might have been the cause of it. SLS doesn't do anything to help clean the teeth—it just makes it foam. For this reason, we recommend a toothpaste that doesn't have SLS.

Artificial Sweeteners - These are used in toothpaste to make it taste better. Examples include aspartame and sodium saccharin.

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) - A petroleum-based compound used in toothpastes to keep the ingredients stable and increase the effectiveness of the other ingredients. PEGs can possibly be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a carcinogen.

Artificial Colors - The funky colors in many toothpastes are achieved with the help of artificial colorings. These dyes are derived from petroleum and coal tar, and can accumulate in the body over time.

Parabens - Artificial preservatives used in toothpastes to prevent bacteria from forming. Parabens are thought to be endocrine disruptors, possibly causing unknown health effects. While preservatives are important, there are safer alternatives to parabens.

Triclosan - This ingredient is used in toothpaste as an antibacterial agent, where it's meant to help kill bacteria. In 2016, the United States Food & Drug Administration banned the ingredient from soaps, but it still remains legal to use in toothpaste. Brands have started removing it from their toothpaste formulas, but it's still possible to find triclosan in mainstream toothpastes.

Should You Use Toothpaste Without Fluoride?

Fluoride is a controversial ingredient that everyone has heard of. Approximately 95% of conventional toothpastes sold contain fluoride, and you'll find it in community drinking water in virtually every part of North America.

Fluoride is a proven way of preventing tooth decay. However, in recent years, it's come under fire for potential negative health effects it may have. While the subject of water fluoridation and its possible health effects are outside of the scope of this guide, we must still cover it.

More than 50 years of research have been done on fluoride, and it appears to be safe when used topically. Most natural toothpastes on the market forgo the inclusion of fluoride in their formulas. However, we were able to find a few choices that have a clean list of ingredients with the inclusion of fluoride, for those that wish to use one.

Why We Don't Recommend Toothpaste With Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal toothpaste is a big trend on the internet, promoted by influencers like the Kardashians and promoted as a natural way to whiten and protect teeth.

Charcoal toothpaste is controversial. A 2017 study warned against the daily use of activated charcoal toothpastes, and long-term use of these toothpastes can actually harm teeth.

These are the facts about charcoal toothpaste:

  • Charcoal is very abrasive, and not suitable for daily use. Because it's so abrasive, it can wear down the enamel of the teeth, permanently damaging them, and possibly even making them more yellow because of exposure of the dentin in the teeth.
  • Most charcoal toothpastes don't contain fluoride - It's a personal choice whether or not to use toothpaste with fluoride, but very few charcoal toothpastes contain it.
  • It can cause staining on some teeth because small particles can accumulate in small cracks in the teeth.
  • Everyday use can cause tooth sensitivity.
  • Its long-term effects are unknown. Because the use of charcoal toothpaste is a modern trend, the long-term effects of regular use is unknown. Dentists worry that it may cause damage to dental work, like veneers and crowns.

For these reasons—especially the fact that it can damage teeth—Better Goods takes the stance that activated charcoal toothpaste is unsafe and therefore, we don't recommend it.

Our Methodology

To compile our list of the best natural deodorants, we looked at social media, online clean beauty stores, and online magazines.

All of these natural deodorants are advertised as being clean, safer alternatives. We found that while many of the products we looked at were good in terms of ingredients, some of them had ingredients that we wouldn't recommend.

We reviewed 15+ of the most popular clean toothpastes on the market and rated them as follows:

Best ???? – These products are the best of the best. They contain all-clean ingredients, are non-toxic and are often the best choice for our environment.

Good – These products are typically quite good, but don’t go above and beyond like our best choices.

Iffy – These products are typically okay, but have some issues that make us unable to give them a “Good” rating. Often times they contain ingredients that are questionable.

Bad – These products typically have toxic ingredients or issues that make them dangerous or unsuitable to use. These products should typically be avoided.

Natural Toothpastes Rated: Best

These are the best natural toothpastes we found. Of all the products we looked at, these are the best of the best.

Burt's Bees

Mountain Mint Enamel Care Toothpaste with Fluoride
Rating: Best🌟
Price: $5.47 ($1.16 per oz)

If you’re looking for a natural toothpaste with fluoride, this is our top recommendation. It has a great list of safe ingredients, and is a top choice for a toothpaste with fluoride.

This product can be recycled by returning it to Burt’s Bees (US / Canada only) with a prepaid shipping label you can get here.

Active Ingredients:

  • Sodium Fluoride

Ingredients:

Davids

Peppermint Premium Natural Toothpaste
Rating: Best🌟
Price: $9.95 ($1.9 per oz)

Davids toothpaste is our #1 recommendation for a non-fluoride natural toothpaste because of its simple, natural list of ingredients.

The tube is made from aluminum, making it fully recyclable, and the manufacturer that makes the cardboard box is run on 100% wind energy.

Ingredients:

Dr. Bronner

Peppermint All-One Toothpaste
Rating: Best🌟
Price: $6.49 ($1.3 per oz)

For the budget-minded conscious shopper looking for a fluoride-free toothpaste, this is our #1 recommendation.

Dr. Bronner’s toothpaste is fluoride-free and made with 70% organic ingredients. The coconut oil is fair trade, and the box and tube are 100% recyclable. Like all of the other Dr. Bronner’s products we’ve looked at, this one gets a top rating.

Dr Bronner’s claims that the tube is recyclable, but it seems to be a typical plastic tube, which likely will not end up recycled when put into the recycling bin.

Ingredients:

Natural Toothpastes Rated: Good

While these natural toothpastes aren't the best of the best, they're still a good option and you can feel confident using them.

Boka

Ela Mint Natural Toothpaste
Rating: Good
Price: $12 ($3 per oz)

This fluoride-free toothpaste is the only one we looked at that uses nano-hydroxyapatite, a fluoride alternative that has been used in Japan since the 1990s and is growing in popularity in the US.

Studies have shown this ingredient is a safe and effective replacement for fluoride. It remineralizes teeth, strengthening them over time.

Ingredients:

Desert Essence

Tea Tree Oil & Neem Toothpaste
Rating: Good
Price: $6.99 ($1.12 per oz)

This fluoride-free toothpaste has a simple, clean list of ingredients. Desert. The packaging is also 100% recyclable.

Ingredients:

Hello

Sensitivity Relief Toothpaste with Fluoride
Rating: Good
Price: $5.49 ($1.37 per oz)

We looked at two toothpastes from the hello brand. This one contains fluoride, and doesn’t contain activated charcoal. Unlike the charcoal-based toothpaste from this brand, this is a great natural toothpaste that we would recommend.

The tube of this toothpaste is not recyclable.

Active Ingredients:

  • Potassium Nitrate,
  • Sodium Fluoride

Ingredients:

DENT tabs

Mint Tablets for Teeth Cleaning
Rating: Good

Contains flouride.

These chewable tabs are made with non-toxic and natural ingredients. They’re used by chewing them until they become creamy, then simply brushing your teeth like you would with regular toothpaste.

This product is also 100% zero-waste, as it’s plastic free and made with cornstarch coated paper. The packaging also uses environmentally-friendly organic inks. The packaging can be composted along with your organic waste.

For those looking for a natural, zero-waste toothpaste with fluoride, this is a great option.

Active Ingredients:

  • Sodium Fluoride

Ingredients:

Hello

Antiplaque + Whitening Toothpaste Tablets
Rating: Good
Price: $8.99 ($5.29 per oz)

This fluoride-free alternative to DENT tabs has many of the same benefits, also with a clean list of ingredients. Like DENT tablets, these are meant to be chewed, used like regular toothpaste, and spit out.

The packaging is plastic-free, however unlike DENT tabs, it’s not compostable.

Ingredients:

Himalaya Botanique

Simply Mint Complete Care Whitening Toothpaste
Rating: Good
Price: $5.99 ($1.13 per oz)

About half of the ingredients in this toothpaste are organic, and all of them are natural.

The cardboard packaging of the toothpaste is recyclable, but the tube itself is a standard metal and plastic tube that isn’t recyclable.

Ingredients:

Dr. Sheffield

Certified Natural Extra-Whitening Toothpaste
Rating: Good
Price: $12.99 ($1.3 per oz)

The brand claims that Dr. Sheffield the man created the original toothpaste in a tube in the 1800s, and their current toothpaste is based on the original recipe. The list of ingredients is clean, with no artificial ingredients in the formula whatsoever.

The packaging of this toothpaste is made from recyclable 100% aluminum.

Ingredients:

JASON

Sea Fresh Strengthening Fluoride-Free Spearmint Toothpaste
Rating: Good
Price: $5.99 ($1 per oz)

Clean ingredients make up the formula of this toothpaste from JASON. The packaging of this toothpaste is not fully recyclable, however. The standard cardboard box is recyclable, but the tube itself is not.

Ingredients:

Auromere

Fresh Mint Ayurvedic Herbal Toothpaste
Rating: Good
Price: $7.99 ($1.92 per oz)

This natural toothpaste without fluoride contains a long list of extracts and naturally-derived ingredients. With a mild taste and clean list of ingredients, this toothpaste gets a good rating.

The tube for this toothpaste is not recyclable.

Ingredients:

Burt's Bees

Purely White Zen Peppermint Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
Rating: Good
Price: $5.99 ($1.27 per oz)

With a simple and clean list of ingredients, this fluoride-free toothpaste from Burt’s Bees gets a good rating.

This product can be recycled by returning it to Burt’s Bees (US / Canada only) with a prepaid shipping label you can get here.

Ingredients:

Natural Toothpastes Rated: Iffy

These toothpastes have issues that make us unable to recommend them.

Hello

Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
Rating: Iffy
Price: $5.99 ($1.5 per oz)

We don’t recommend toothpaste with activated charcoal. The main reason is that it can cause damage to the enamel of the teeth with regular use. Read our full explanation on why we don’t recommend charcoal toothpaste.

Ingredients:

Tom's of Maine

Spearmint Whole Care Natural Toothpaste with Fluoride
Rating: Iffy
Price: $5.99 ($1.5 per oz)

We looked two natural toothpastes from Tom’s of Maine. They both include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a controversial ingredient. The main issue with it in toothpaste is that it can cause mouth irritation in some users. While not an overtly risky ingredient, Tom’s of Maine is the only brand we looked at that contained this ingredient, so we give it a rating of “iffy”.

Ingredients:

Tom's of Maine

Peppermint Fluoride-Free Antiplaque & Whitening Natural Toothpaste
Rating: Iffy
Price: $4.79 ($0.87 per oz)

We looked two natural toothpastes from Tom’s of Maine. They both include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a controversial ingredient. The main issue with it in toothpaste is that it can cause mouth irritation in some users. While not an overtly risky ingredient, Tom’s of Maine is the only brand we looked at that contained this ingredient, so we give it a rating of “iffy”.

Ingredients:

Quick Recommendations: Our Best Natural Toothpaste Recommendations

For a fluoride-free toothpaste, Davids Premium Natural Toothpaste ($1.9 per oz) is a great choice. It has a clean list of ingredients and a fully-recyclable aluminum tube. Dr Bronner's All-One Toothpaste ($1.3 per oz) is also a great choice for the budget-minded conscious shopper.

For a toothpaste with fluoride, Burt's Bees Enamel Care Toothpaste ($1.16 per oz) is our #1 pick.

 
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