Dental Care Basics

The Best Natural Toothpaste for You

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As many people empty medicine cabinets of beauty and wellness products, it’s important to know the best natural toothpaste to sub in for standard pastes.

Let’s look at how to find a great natural toothpaste, plus my top picks.

Ingredients to Avoid in Toothpaste

I go into detail about the worst toothpaste ingredients in my article on DIY toothpastes (read it here), but here’s a quick list of what I recommend you avoid:

  • Triclosan
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) (closely connected to canker sores)
  • Artificial colorings
  • Fluoride (it’s unnecessary with newer scientific developments; plus, it’s harmful if swallowed in large quantities)
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Highly abrasive ingredients

Some “natural” toothpastes also contain essential oils—even the ones on my list below. While some essential oils are great for the essential oils, like aniseed oil, others can be highly bactericidal. That’s not great, since they can kill some of the bacteria your mouth needs to stay healthy.

Even if your toothpaste is free of the worst ingredients, pay attention to the scent. If it’s incredibly strong, there’s a chance there’s a lot of essential oil content that could potentially do more harm than good in the long run.

Another ingredient I question is glycerin. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid glycerin in toothpaste (unless you make it yourself). Fortunately, its effect on remineralization (reversing tooth decay) is neutral and, if anything, only slightly negative. It can interfere with biofilm development, but its impact is limited.

Do you actually need toothpaste?

Toothpaste isn’t necessary for normal dental health.

Take a moment to let that sink in.

Now, let me explain. While the act of teeth brushing helps disorganize your biofilm, toothpaste does very little to actually clean teeth.

I know most of us are so used to our brushing routine that getting rid of toothpaste would be weird. That’s okay! There are some great toothpastes out there for reversing cavities or achieving other oral health goals. (As an aside, though, the amount of toothpaste actors use in commercials is way too much! When you use toothpaste, you need just a pea-sized amount on your brush.)

Just remember that toothpaste is much less important than the motion of brushing teeth.

I’ll drop one more small bomb here, too: I don’t often recommend fluoride toothpastes.

In the past, I’ve suggested patients with developing cavities use prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste to remineralize them. But I’ve been uncomfortable with fluoride for decades—I raised my daughters without ingestion of fluoride… or cavities. Why? I thought it was weird that we fill our toothpaste tubes and water supply with a dangerous chemical!

Plus, the CDC released research that suggests our kids are using way too much fluoride toothpaste. Since too much fluoride can cause fluorosis (or worse), why not try something just as effective without the risks?

All that said, here’s my list of the best natural toothpastes—and why I love them.

Best Natural Toothpastes

Best toothpaste for reversing cavities
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Boka Ela Mint Toothpaste

Made with nano-hydroxyapatite particles instead of fluoride. “Nano-hydroxyapatite” particles are tiny pieces of bone material that are drawn in by your teeth to rebuild areas that have been decalcified. These particles are the exact material your teeth are already used to, since they’re literally the same molecules! NHa is a great alternative to fluoride and is totally non-toxic for all ages.

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Best for oral microbiome management
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Hyperbiotics Charcoal Toothpaste

Hyperbiotics includes some of the most beneficial bacteria strains for the mouth in their charcoal toothpaste. Plus, it’s made with activated charcoal, which may help remove some surface stains from teeth.

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Great non-toxic toothpaste
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Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Toothpaste

Dr. Bronner’s is well-known for their all-natural, toxin-free products. This toothpaste has an excellent, minty taste and foams very little—which means you can brush longer.

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Best for short-term whitening
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Jason Natural Powersmile Whitening Toothpaste

This fluoride toothpaste is great at removing surface stains to expose the true brights of your pearly whites. I don’t recommend whitening toothpastes for more than 2-3 weeks at a time, since their abrasivity can scratch teeth over time.

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Unique lemon flavor + all natural
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Redmond Earthpaste Lemon Twist

Made with high quality, natural ingredients, I love this lemon-flavored Earthpaste when I’m in the mood for a different flavor. It’s also got very little foam and won’t upset your oral microbiome with unnecessary filler ingredients.

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DIY Toothpaste Recipes

Would you rather make toothpaste yourself? I’ve put together several recipes that you’ll love.

When making your own toothpaste (which is less overwhelming than it sounds!), stay away from acidic ingredients that can cause enamel erosion. You should also greatly limit essential oils, if you use them at all.

Finally, do not use hydrogen peroxide.

I’ve developed several DIY toothpaste recipes that you can make at home with minimal cost and effort:

Have other toothpastes you like and you want to know what I think? Just contact me.

read next: The Complete Guide to DIY Toothpaste (And The Recipe I Use)

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Dr. Mark Burhenne DDS

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