Are you looking for a natural toothpaste for your family? You likely want to find one without fluoride or abrasive baking soda, one that's made with non-toxic, organic ingredients like Bentonite clay or charcoal to help with whitening. Look no further–in this Savvy Swaps we're showing you the best natural toothpaste and oral health products on the market (personally tried and tested!).
This post is sponsored by Earthpaste. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for Root + Revel to provide free content and healthy living inspiration.
Let’s play a game. We’ll call it “Did You Know?”.
- Did you know that you're supposed to brush your teeth twice a day, minimum. Okay, that was a freebie. But also a friendly reminder that putting toothpaste into your mouth is something that we all do multiple times every single day. In fact, the average American will use about 20 gallons of toothpaste over his or her lifetime.
- Did you know that your mouth is one of the most absorbent areas of the body with an absorption efficiency of more than 90%?
- Did you know that anything you put in your mouth, like mouthwash and toothpaste, will quickly and directly end up in your bloodstream, even if the toothpaste is not swallowed?
- Did you know that the FDA does not systematically assess the safety of personal care products, including toothpaste?
- Did you know that many popular toothpastes, like Colgate, Crest, Arm and Hammer, Aquafresh, and Plus White Whitening, contain dangerous endocrine disruptors, irritants, allergens, inflammatory agents, and carcinogens?
- Did you know that these same brands are often made with synthetic formaldehyde-releasing preservatives that are known carcinogens and skin irritants? And that many of these preservatives are parabens, or estrogen-mimicking endocrine disruptors?
- Did you know that those same brands are often made with irritating detergents like sodium laureth sulfate, which may contain a toxic, cancer-causing contaminant, and can cause skin, eye and respiratory irritation?
- Did you know that Colgate toothpaste is made with triclosan, a pesticide the can cause cancer, weakened heart muscle function, endocrine issues, and bone deformation? Also crazy: In 2016, the FDA banned triclosan from soaps, however it’s still allowed in toothpaste. So it's banned from a product that we use on our hands, but not from a product that we put into our mouths. #wtf
- Did you know that many popular kids' toothpastes are made with artificial flavors and colors that were likely made from petrochemicals contaminated with carcinogens and heavy metals, and have been tied to behavioral problems and hyperactivity in children?
- Did you know that many of these same brands contain artificial sweeteners, like Saccharin and Aspartame, which are petroleum-based sugar substitutes with links to cancer, and have been known to metabolize inside your body as both a poisonous wood alcohol and formaldehyde, respectively?
- Did you know that artificial sweeteners can cause migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, anxiety, vertigo, memory loss, and, brain tumors, birth defects, joint pain, and illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Lymphoma, Parkinson’s Disease, and Fibromyalgia?
- Did you know that many toothpastes, including those labeled as natural or organic, often contain carrageenan, a non-necessary additive that reliably produces inflammation in the body? In fact, this non-nutritive thickening and emulsifying agent, even when labeled food-grade, has the potential to cause intestinal inflammation, diabetes and even cancer.
- Did you know that many toothpastes sold in Europe, and other countries, by American corporations are created with different, safer formulations for international markets than the same products sold in the U.S., to accommodate stricter cosmetics laws abroad?
- Did you know that poor oral health is linked to cardiovascular problems, possibly leading to clogged arteries and strokes?
- Did you know there’s a better solution?
Ahh finally, the good news. I’ll admit, this game isn’t exactly going to make an appearance at my next dinner party, and the answers are pretty scary.
But there is some light in this dark area–there are a handful of brands offering safe, non-toxic and truly natural toothpaste, free of toxic chemicals, preservatives and additives. Let’s take a look:
The Best Natural Toothpaste
I've tried a lot of different natural toothpastes, but one that I keep coming back to again and again is Earthpaste.
Made with just five natural ingredients (Water, Redmond Clay, Real Salt, essential oils, and xylitol), Earthpaste is made without glycerin, fluoride, foaming agents, or coloring. Here's why I love it:
- Food Grade Redmond Clay® is a polishing cleanser that has been used for centuries to promote digestive health. Redmond Clay’s high pH helps counteract acidic levels in the mouth where cavities are formed.
- Instead of relying on artificial sweeteners or glycerin, Earthpaste is made with xylitol from non-gmo birch and corn, which gives it a great flavor AND helps maintain a neutral pH level in the mouth, preventing bacteria from sticking to teeth.
- Wild-crafted Essential Oils like Wintergreen, Tea Tree Oil, Menthol, Lemon, Peppermint, Spearmint and Cinnamon, lend a sweet, minty flavor to this natural toothpaste AND provide strong anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, helping your teeth and gums feel fresh and clean, while promoting stress relief, supporting digestion and immune function.
- My favorite Earthpaste flavor is Charcoal, which contains (you guessed it) Activated Charcoal, which is a natural way to whiten teeth, remove stains and detox your mouth. You can see in the video that it looks a little scary, but rest assured it's safe and effective!
A note about Earthpaste–unlike many popular toothpastes made with detergents, Earthpaste is not a foaming toothpaste, rather it's more of a traditional paste. Admittedly, it can take some getting used to, and it will feel thin in your mouth compared to foaming toothpastes. However, foam does not equal clean and in fact can be harmful (as mentioned above).
MORE GOOD NEWS: you can get 15% off when you use the code ‘ROOT’ to buy Earthpaste. Or you can buy Earthpaste on Amazon.
If you'd prefer a toothpaste with 100% organic ingredients, which reduces exposure to toxic agrichemicals and are always non-GMO, I recommend Dr. Bronner's.
What's The Deal with Fluoride and Toothpaste?
Every time you visit your dentist, they're likely pushing fluoride (I know mine is!). After all, the naturally occurring mineral can help prevent cavities, helps re-mineralize weakened tooth enamel and can make teeth resistant to tooth decay.
But that's not the full story. Not only has recent research found these benefits to be exaggerated, but ingesting fluoride (particularly for children) can be extremely toxic.
The truth is, fluoride is a poison when ingested. In fact, during childhood, ingesting fluoride can cause permanent tooth discoloration, stomach problems, skin rashes, and impairment in glucose metabolism.
Considering that young children frequently swallow more fluoride from toothpaste alone than the maximum recommended daily intake from all sources combined (e.g., diet, water, and oral products), this is pretty serious.
In 2012, Harvard researchers found an association between fluoride exposure and reduced IQ in children.
Plus, fluoride accumulates in bones, which can lead to a condition called skeletal fluorosis, with side effects like reduced flexibility, chronic joint pain, arthritic symptoms, and bone fracture, and even bone cancer.
What really convinced me was when I read about fluoride's effect on the thyroid. Fluoride can affect other tissues, including the brain and the thyroid gland, and may be linked to hypothyroidism (a chronic condition that I have).
Ultimately, you'll have to decide for yourself if the risks are worth it. But what sealed the deal for me was this: While fluoride may be useful in small doses as a topical cavity prevention, Americans are exposed to fluoride in excessive amounts from our drinking water, food (there are naturally occurring amounts of fluoride in vegetables, fruits, and nuts), other beverages made with fluoridated water, AND dental care products.
So, we're already getting too much fluoride in our everyday environment, and coupled with all of the other toxins we're exposed to, I want to minimize the toxic burden on my body as much as possible. So I avoid fluoride in toothpastes and other dental care.
Lead Concerns in Clay Toothpastes
I also wanted to include this disclaimer as some of you may be concerned about the lead that is naturally occuring in clay. Here's the deal:
Found in soil, clay has been used for hundreds of years as a cleanser and detoxifier to remove heavy metals in animals and humans.
Soil itself contains lead, a naturally occurring mineral, and depending on the percentage of clay in the soil, the lead may be more or less bioavailable. This means that lead can be found in trace amounts in anything that is grown or drawn from the earth — including fruits, vegetables, and clay.
But our bodies can’t absorb naturally occurring lead in Bentonite clay. And, a diet full of iron- and calcium-rich foods greatly help the body process and eliminate lead. AND the amount of lead in a brushing with Earthpaste is much less than what you’d find in organic produce (in fact, an entire tube contains just 0.00001 oz of lead).
So while I know it’s unsettling to see a prop 65 lead warning, based on the research I've found, I believe there are more benefits than serious risks of lead exposure when using clay-based toothpastes, like Earthpaste. Learn more here.
The Best Natural Oral Health Products
In addition to toothpaste, there are handful of other natural oral health products that I rely on to keep my teeth strong, healthy and white and my breath fresh. Here are some of my favorite natural oral health products:
- Oral Essentials Teeth Whitening Strips
- Oral Essentials Sensitive Teeth Mouthwash
- Essential Oxygen Organic Brushing Rinse
- The Dirt MCT Coconut Oil Pulling and Mouthwash
- Desert Essence Dental Floss-Tea Tree Oil
- Waterpik Water Flosser
- TriLink Natural Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrush
Get 15% off when you use the code ‘ROOT’ to buy Earthpaste (and anything else at Redmond!). Or you can buy Earthpaste on Amazon.
What's your favorite natural toothpaste and oral health products? Share in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I've linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.