As I was working on the Monday Mission about safer toothpaste, I realized that telling you about the various natural toothpaste options I’ve tried needed to be a post in itself.
That post may have made you depressed about all the junk in toothpaste and in our city water, but today you can be glad because there are a few companies giving you the choice about fluoride and using safe, eco-friendly ingredients.
Before I jump into the brands of toothpaste, there are a few points worth mentioning from the conversations in comments on the safe toothpaste post:
- abrasiveness/weak teeth: Some folks find that baking soda (and wondered about the salt in Earthpaste) can be too abrasive or hurt sensitive teeth or gums. This can be a valid concern, but it’s definitely up to each individual to determine what works. I’m guessing that by the end of this post, you’ll find an option you’d like to explore.
- oil pulling: This practice has actually been my answer to sensitive teeth. It really did work to fix my sensitive-to-cold-and-sweet teeth a year ago, and I know I need to start up again but I keep forgetting in the morning.
- Dr. Price: I nearly wrote a post about teeth without mentioning Dr. Weston A. Price, the pioneer dentist who connected food and nutrition with oral health. I updated yesterday’s post a bit, but let’s suffice to say that the world existed for a very long time without fluoride, and contrary to what you might imagine, everyone didn’t lose their teeth. It was only when industrial foods like sugar, white flour, and trans fats entered the scene that dental health went to pot.
- probiotics: One commenter mentioned that her children were struggling with cavities, and she thought about cavities being caused by bacteria. The only change she made was adding a good probiotic into their diets, and the cavities disappeared. Worth sharing!
- I updated the post with some stories and resources from a reader which I had forgotten: see Kathryn’s story of fluoride sensitivity HERE.
We certainly haven’t tried all the natural brands of toothpaste out there, but we’ve had a handful.
Important note: Always read ingredients. Tons of “natural” products have the same old chemicals and additives as the regular brands, including fluoride, SLS, and glycerin. Natural brands often cut the artificial sweeteners and colors, but often that’s not a big enough improvement in my opinion to spend double and triple the money.
The top three listed here are just about tied as far as how well we like them/like the ingredients, so keep that in mind as you read.
Here are the natural toothpaste brands we have run through the Kitchen Stewardship gauntlet:
Earthpaste by Redmond Trading
- Amazing ingredients – I love that almost everything in Earthpaste is something I would consume in some way anyway.
- You can swallow Earthpaste and it’s no big deal. This is really handy when you’re in another room and need to finish up a tooth brushing session for a child. They don’t have to keep running back and forth to spit.
- Tastes great
- It’s unexpected, because we’re so used to foamy toothpaste, but our teeth really do feel clean after brushing with Earthpaste.
- The whole family can use one tube – there’s no special “kid toothpaste” needed.
- My dad tells me it works great with an electric toothbrush, and he likes it better than toothpastes with foaming agents, because it doesn’t foam up and spray all over while he brushes.
- One of the reviewers here (click the review tab) said it brightened their family’s teeth and another noticed dark spots disappearing and thinks it might be remineralizing their teeth! Clay and salt both have trace minerals, so it’s possible…and pretty darn cool.
- The tube is quite a bit of a pain, clogging up, breaking the top off, etc. But I saw Redmond reply in a review on their site that the packaging is changing, so I’m encouraged about that!
- I feel like I need to use more than normal toothpaste, probably because it doesn’t foam up. To feel like I’m covering every tooth, I always brush quickly all the way around my mouth on the first swipe to “spread out” the toothpaste, which helps, but it still seems like I shouldn’t use just a pea-sized dollop.
- If you do spit and don’t rinse out the sink well, it looks dirty since the Earthpaste is grey. Company would think you never clean your sink rather than knowing that the kids didn’t rinse the toothpaste down.
- Xylitol isn’t my favorite sweetener as there are fewer questions about stevia than xylitol, but I get why it’s used in toothpaste since there’s research about it being good for teeth. (Note: Xylitol can be fatal to dogs and cats, quickly – so choose wisely if you have animal friends.)
For the ease of use once it’s out of the tube, the able-to-swallow thing (I honestly am in love with that feature), and the super safe ingredients and great taste, Earthpaste is the choice for our family. I’m looking forward to the new tubes though! Read more about what my family thinks of Earthpaste.
Tropical Traditions Tooth Cleaner
Ingredients: purified water, organic Virgin Coconut Oil, baking soda, xanthum gum, wildcrafted myrrh powder, stevia, organic essential oils of cinnamon and clove.
Price: $7.95 for 4 oz. (I always wait for free shipping)
- Once again the ingredients rock out. No nasty stuff and really well-sourced components.
- Tastes great
- Mouth feels clean even though it doesn’t foam up
- Coconut oil and the clove oil are both antibacterial, a great choice for toothpaste
- I’m guessing I could swallow this one, too, which is cool
- The big one with this toothpaste is that when the water hits the toothbrush, all the toothpaste tends to schwoop down the drain before you can say “ohnoiwassupposedtogetmytoothbrushwetfirst!!!” I’m not good at new habits like wetting the toothbrush, then applying the toothpaste, so I lost a lot of product this way.
- In the winter when the temps are colder especially, the tooth cleaner can be hard to get out of the container.
I really wanted to love this toothpaste because I love the ingredients – and I do like the stevia better than the xylitol used in Earthpaste – but the fact that it can’t stay on the toothbrush puts it just slightly, by half a percent, behind Redmond’s product.
Tropical Traditions Tooth Cleaner would be a great choice for a natural toothpaste if you can remember to wet your toothbrush first.
Rose of Sharon Acres Tooth Chips
Ingredients: Saponified Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Saponified Coconut Oil, Saponified Organic Palm Oil, organic essential oils
Price: $14.35 for 4 oz. (but it would last longer than 4 oz. of a paste, I’m certain)
- Takes up so little space – awesome for traveling!
- No junky ingredients
- Still foams like conventional toothpaste
- Definitely feels clean, although a bit different sort of clean
- No abrasives – easy on enamel and gums
- Same toothpaste can be used for kids and adults
- Some customers say it helps tooth sensitivity
- I’m guessing this is more frugal, because you use SUCH a tiny piece, only about 2-4 mm, that the 4 oz. container would last a LONG time.
- Have to change your routine – you use your fingers to put a little piece of tooth soap on your brush or in your teeth, then with a very wet brush, you brush as usual.
- One extra step – you’re supposed to rinse three times after brushing
- There is a hint of “soapy” flavor going on
I wish this was a little easier to use – I’m so lazy, rinsing 3 times and using my fingers (which should be clean but aren’t always, you know?) is an annoyance. However – if you’re looking for something without any abrasives, tooth soap is for you!
Tooth chips are also so close to Earthpaste and Tropical Traditions, it’s hard to even rank them. More info HERE. They also sell a powder, but I didn’t get to test that one out.
Tom’s of Maine Natural Fluoride Free
Ingredients: calcium carbonate, glycerin, water, xylitol, hydrated silica, zinc citrate trihydrate, sodium lauryl sulfate, peppermint oil, carrageenan, sodium bicarbonate
Price: Check pricing on Amazon; check your local retailers for sales
- can be found in regular stores
- no fluoride
- foams and looks and acts like familiar toothpaste
- no artificial sweeteners or dyes
- Tom’s is barely different from conventional toothpaste – it still has ingredients I don’t recognize, although they’re not particularly harmful that I know of, except…
- SLS – sodium lauryl sulfate is a foaming agent, but it’s not so good for humans or the earth.
- It still has abrasives, glycerin…
For me, now that I’ve found other totally natural toothpastes I like, buying Tom’s seems like a joke – to spend so much more money than a regular national brand on sale with a coupon, and only be avoiding fluoride, basically.
However, if I had a family member who absolutely desired the foaming action and wouldn’t put up with tooth soap chips (my husband thought they were a huge pain), I might try to buy Tom’s.
Note: The kids’ Tom’s of Maine isn’t even always fluoride free! Don’t get tricked into thinking a certain brand is always better….
- Tastes really good
- Super safe ingredients; extremely conscientious company
- Feels clean
- High price
- Has a tendency to fall off the toothbrush and shoot down the drain when getting the brush wet. Just wet the brush first
- Baking soda consistency might be tough to love
This toothpaste was okay, but at the time (a few years back) I remember thinking that I didn’t love it and wouldn’t pay that much for toothpaste! All the natural toothpastes are pretty expensive, though, so maybe that’s a moot point. ???
I’m sure I should, but making my own toothpaste isn’t something I’ve done. Here are a few ideas if you’re interested in trying it – DIY is always the least expensive!
- Local Nourishment’s homemade toothpaste recipe
- Tammy’s homemade toothpaste
- Just use baking soda on the toothbrush; some follow with some hydrogen peroxide
- Or stop using toothpaste altogether!
Check out the full list of natural personal products that we use or have used in the KS house and add your own in the comments!
Disclosure: I received samples of Earthpaste for free and work for Redmond Trading, but I really do think Earthpaste is the best of the natural brands. I also received Tooth chips for free but purchased the other brands in this review myself, although I think I won the Miessence tube in a giveaway at another blog. See my full disclosure statement here.