Why Use Natural Toothpaste?
Natural toothpaste is one of the first changes we made when we started this journey towards living a greener, more zero-waste lifestyle.
The more we read about traditional toothpastes that we’ve been using our whole lives, the more we realized how important it was to make the switch.
Your gums are like sponges. They absorb everything you put into your mouth, whether you swallow it or not. Keeping your gums and overall oral health in tip-top shape is one of the best ways to contribute to your overall health.
Do We Need Fluoride in Our Toothpaste?
Fluoride is something that we grew up believing we absolutely needed and that sentiment isn’t entirely wrong. Fluoride is found naturally in soil, water, and many foods and can help build strength in our teeth to help avoid tooth decay in the long run.
In most areas in the US, fluoride is in our tap water to help avoid tooth decay, especially in young people. If you buy bottled water, there is a good chance it has small amounts of fluoride in it. When you go to the dentist, they usually use fluoride to help strengthen your teeth.
But fluoride can also be harmful to our health if consumed in large quantities. It’s possible to overdo it with fluoride and many studies have shown that there’s really no need to have it in our toothpaste anymore, considering how many other places it already exists.
Overconsumption of fluoride has been linked to thyroid problems, skeletal fluorosis, neurological problems in newborns, and cardiovascular issues.
Other Toothpaste Ingredients to Avoid
Sodium Laurel Sulfate, sometimes simply labeled as SLS, is a detergent which is also used in shampoos and soaps. This is what makes your toothpaste foam up and isn’t actually helping to make your teeth any cleaner or healthier.
Propylene Glycol is a solvent that is added to toothpastes to make them smooth and glossy. Looks great on your toothbrush, but it’s also the active ingredient in anti-freeze. Studies have found it to cause skin irritation and possibly cancer.
Triclosan is another ingredient that is found in many mass-produced toothpastes. Triclosan is “a chlorinated organic compound with antibacterial and antifungal properties,” and can be found in things like hand sanitizer and antibacterial soaps. The FDA believe that is it safe in small doses like in toothpastes, but if overconsumed or you have a sensitivity to it, it can slow blood circulation, impair muscle function (including the heart), compromise immune systems, and build up a resistance to antibiotics.
The Benefits of Natural Toothpaste
Besides the obvious benefits of natural toothpastes such as not containing any of the above listed ingredients, there are several other reasons that you may want to consider switching over to the natural stuff.
Naturally whitens teeth
Most natural toothpastes are made with coconut oil and/or baking soda. Both of these natural ingredients are safe to consume and can naturally remove stains from coffee or red wine from your teeth.
Naturally freshens breath
While most traditional toothpastes are flavored with artificial sweeteners (and therefore offer you nothing in the way of improving your breath), natural toothpastes are made with essential oils of spearmint or tea tree which not only freshen breath, but naturally combat the bacteria that causes that bad breath to show up again later in the day.
Safe for both children and adults
Free of chemical additives, artificial sweeteners, and fluoride, you can feel great about the whole family using natural toothpaste. It’s safe for pregnant women, children, and even dentures!
Great for sensitive gums
Do you have sensitive gums that are easily irritated? Natural toothpastes can be a better solution for you because they are often made with soothing plant extracts like aloe or calming and anti-inflammatory oils like coconut oil.
Better for the Environment
How many plastic toothpaste tubes do you throw away each year? How about the chemicals that are in your toothpaste that you spit out into the water and wash down your drain?
Natural toothpastes usually come in glass containers and are made with products that are good for you and good for the environment.
The Best Natural Toothpastes
Not all natural toothpastes are created equal, and not all natural toothpastes will suit you. Just like natural deodorants, you may need to test out a few different brands before you find the one you like best. These are some of our favorites.
Elegant Rose Remineralizing Tooth Powder
This all-natural and chemical-free toothpaste powder blend combines bentonite and kaolin clay, calcium, essential oils, organic myrrh powder, and magnesium. With 4 essential oil scents to choose from, you can also choose two with activated charcoal. No fluoride, sulfates, synthetic dyes, or fragrances means it's great for you, the family, and for our planet.
Butter Me Up Organics Organic Toothpaste
This 100% organic and all-natural toothpaste combines baking soda, calcium, essential oils, sea salt, and coconut oil. This natural toothpaste has natural anti-bacterial properties that help stop tooth decay.
The Dirt Coconut Oil Toothpaste
Combining coconut oil, bentonite clay, and sustainable beeswax, this toothpaste also uses food-grade essential oils making it perfectly safe to use. It's naturally detoxifying and provides antibacterial and antiseptic benefits while being free of parabens and fluoride. As you only need a pea-sized amount, the large tube contains enough servings to last you up to six months. Choose from natural flavors of Rose Cacao Mint, Sweet Cinnamon, Cacao Mint, CinnaMint, and Super Mint as well as from three different sizes.