Plastic-free and sustainable toothpaste tubes laying on light pink surface.
June 25, 2024
 in 
Lifestyle

Brushing Up on Sustainable Toothpaste with Non-Toxic and Plastic-Free Options

Eco Friendly Circle is reader-supported. When you buy something through some of our links we will earn a small commission at no cost to you. Learn more. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Pinterest Icon.Instagram icon
Y

ou're probably used to squeezing a dollop of minty gel onto your trusty toothbrush twice a day without giving it much thought. But have you ever stopped to consider what's in that paste you're brushing with? Get ready to discover a cleaner, greener way to maintain your oral hygiene while supporting companies that prioritize the health of both people and the planet.

Table of  Contents

What is Non-Toxic Toothpaste?

Non-toxic toothpaste is a smile-friendly alternative formulated without the harsh chemicals, allergens, and potentially hazardous compounds in many mainstream pastes. They contain ingredients like baking soda, activated charcoal, essential oils, and botanical extracts; a stark contrast to the chemical cocktails in most mainstream pastes.

What is Sustainable Toothpaste?

The core of any sustainable toothpaste lies in the wholesome, plant-derived ingredients used in its formula. Sustainable brands ditch the artificial flavors, preservatives, and aggressive abrasives like plastic microbeads in favor of edible, biodegradable components like:

  • Vegetable glycerin 
  • Xylitol (plant-derived sweetener)
  • Coconut oil
  • Bentonite or kaolin clay
  • Gentle essential oils like peppermint or spearmint

Biodegradable Packaging

Another prime focus area for sustainable pastes is packaging. Plastic-free, biodegradable tubes and containers reign supreme, with options like:

  • Paper/cardboard composite tubes
  • Aluminum metal tins
  • Glass jars with metal lids  
  • Compostable bio-plastic pouches made from plant-based polymers

Greener, Cleaner Production

Hand-in-hand with sustainable ingredients and packaging, the production side of eco-friendly toothpaste takes a vastly different approach than the mainstream dental industry.

From using renewable energy sources to recycling water and offsetting carbon emissions, sustainable toothpaste brands prioritize low-impact, ethical manufacturing processes every step of the supply chain. Localized sourcing and production, humane working conditions, zero animal testing, and corporate social responsibility all factor into the sustainability equation.

Education and Change

It's more than just sustainable brands rethinking the personal care product landscape. Empowered consumers are increasingly aware of the ingredients in their beauty and wellness routines. 

Toothpaste is a prime example of this newfound scrutiny, with people seeking toxin-free, eco-friendly alternatives to the usual drugstore fare. Many opt for simple, DIY tooth powders and pastes using basic household staples like baking soda, salt, and peppermint oil at home.

Why You Should Make the Switch to Non-Toxic Toothpaste

An illustration of a smiling tooth holding a sustainable toothbrush lathered in non-toxic toothpaste.

If you've ever felt a stinging, tingling sensation in your mouth after brushing, chances are it wasn't just your ultra-whitening paste working overtime. That painful irritation could have been caused by the harsh detergent sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) doing a number on the delicate skin lining your mouth. This is just one example of the potential harm that conventional toothpaste can cause, highlighting the need to switch to non-toxic alternatives.

Toothpaste containing SLS increases the tender skin in your mouth to peel off, leaving you at risk of lesions, irritation, and excessive dryness compared to formulas using gentler surfactants like Cocamidopropyl-betaine (CAPB).

Cytotoxic Whitening and Potential DNA Damage

Multiple studies have uncovered shocking realities about the cytotoxic (cell-killing) and potentially genotoxic (DNA-damaging) effects of whitening toothpaste ingredients on delicate oral tissues. Research published in BMC Oral Health found that various whitening toothpaste formulas demonstrated significantly higher cell toxicity and chromosomal aberrations than standard, non-whitening varieties.

These harsh abrasives and bleaching agents could wreak havoc on still-developing mouths and bodies. Subjecting kids to daily doses of DNA-disrupting and tissue-damaging chemicals is a risk most parents would surely want to avoid.

How Much Fluoride Is Too Much?

While fluoride has proven benefits at moderate levels, overexposure to conventional toothpaste may do more harm than good. Excessive ingestion of fluoride increases the risks of dental fluorosis, a condition where tooth enamel becomes discolored and marred by white streaking.

Avoiding Microplastic and Chemical Contamination

One of the most compelling reasons to steer clear of conventional toothpaste is the disturbing potential for ingesting and exposing yourself and the environment to microplastics. 

Many mainstream whitening and abrasive toothpaste brands achieve their stain-removing scrub power by adding tiny plastic microbeads that make it impossible for water treatment facilities to filter out fully. Instead, those particles pollute waterways, poison fish and other marine life, and persist in the environment for generations.

Are Non-Toxic Toothpastes as Effective as Conventional Brands?

Sustainable toothpaste formulated with botanical extracts like neem, green tea, and even time-honored classics like baking soda possess more selective antimicrobial properties. Their active ingredients specifically target harmful, acid-producing bacteria that lead to tooth decay while allowing beneficial oral microbiomes to flourish. This reassures you that by choosing sustainable toothpaste, you're not compromising on the effectiveness of your oral care.

Another critical component in cavity prevention is fluoride, or more specifically, the remineralization process that enables teeth to strengthen and rebuild weakened enamel before decay can set in. When formulated with effective remineralizing agents like nanohydroxyapatite, non-fluoride sustainable toothpaste can achieve comparable enamel remineralization rates to conventional fluoride toothpaste, especially with regular, consistent use.  

Chemicals to Avoid When Seeking Truly Non-Toxic Toothpaste  

When searching for a genuinely non-toxic toothpaste, it's essential to avoid certain chemicals that can harm your oral health. One common ingredient to watch out for is SLS, a detergent linked to gum irritation and cell damage. Other detergents like amine fluoride can also be toxic, while cocamidopropyl betaine and Steareth-20 are considered less harmful.

Toothpaste may also contain preservatives and flavoring agents that are known allergens, such as cinnamic aldehyde, cinnamon oil, and peppermint. These ingredients can cause allergic reactions like stomatitis and gingivitis. Triclosan, an antibacterial agent, is another ingredient to avoid due to its potential adverse effects.

In addition, polymers like polyethylene glycol and carbomers have been associated with adverse events and should be avoided in toothpaste formulations. Instead, consider choosing herbal toothpastes that use natural ingredients like clove, aloe, turmeric, and neem.

What Makes Toothpaste Sustainable?

sustainable toothpaste tablets in zero waste metal container with bamboo toothbrush next to it laying on stone surface.

You'll spot wholesome properties like coconut oil, baking soda, clays, xylitol, and salt, which provide core cleansing, whitening, and breath-freshening abilities. Natural essential oils like peppermint, spearmint, fennel, and eucalyptus add bursts of tingling freshness without any artificial fragrances.

Of particular interest to many eco-friendly toothpaste manufacturers are natural enzymes and antimicrobial proteins that polish tooth surfaces and actively promote a balanced, thriving oral microbiome. Ingredients like these "mouth probiotics" may support gum health and combat periodontal disease.

Eco-Conscious Packaging

Sustainable toothpaste brands have to get smarter, addressing wasteful packaging by exploring innovative new container options like:

  • Paperboard Cartons and Composters
  • Glass Bottles and Jars  
  • Plant-Plastic Composites

Responsible Manufacturing Practices

There needs to be more than recycled packaging and plant-based formulas for a toothpaste to be considered sustainable. Most sustainability certifications analyze a product's complete lifecycle emissions, including those generated during manufacturing.

How do you shop for non-toxic and sustainable toothpaste?

When you're on the hunt for non-toxic and sustainable toothpaste, here's how you can navigate this journey:

1. Understanding Non-Toxic Toothpaste

First, get to know what makes toothpaste non-toxic. Look for products free from artificial sweeteners, fluorides, dyes, and SLS. These ingredients can be harsh on your mouth and body. Instead, search for natural alternatives like baking soda, essential oils, and herbal extracts.

2. Finding Sustainable Options

Sustainability is all about reducing your environmental footprint. For toothpaste, this means packaging matters as much as ingredients. Seek out brands that use recyclable or biodegradable materials. Also, consider toothpaste tablets or powders that come in glass jars or metal tins.

Where can you buy non-toxic and sustainable toothpaste?

You can find non-toxic and sustainable toothpaste at several places. Start by checking out your local health food stores. These shops are dedicated to offering eco-friendly and health-conscious products, so they're a great place to begin your search.

If you prefer online shopping, explore websites like Amazon or Etsy. These marketplaces have various options; you can read customer reviews to help you make an informed decision. You can also visit specific brand websites that focus on natural and sustainable products.

Another option is to visit your local farmers' market. Sometimes, local vendors sell homemade or artisanal toothpaste that's both non-toxic and sustainably made. It's a great way to support your community while caring for your oral health.

15 of Our Favorite Non-Toxic and Sustainable Toothpaste Brands with Plastic-Free Options

Here are 15 of our favorite toothpaste brands that are kind to your teeth and the planet:

1. The Humble Co.

Humble Co. is a Swedish company committed to reducing plastic pollution. Their toothpaste tablets come in a glass jar with a metal lid and are refillable with compostable pouches.

Ingredients: Their toothpaste includes ingredients like Sorbitol, Calcium Carbonate, Hydrated Silica, and Sodium Fluoride. They are free from SLS & Parabens and contain many natural and organic ingredients.

Most Popular Product: The Humble Co.'s Charcoal Toothpaste with Fluoride is one of their most popular options. It is known for its natural ingredients, including activated charcoal, which are effective at maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Benefits: Their toothpaste formulas protect against caries and plaque, prevent bad breath, and cater to different needs such as remineralizing, sensitivity, and whitening.

Taste Types: They offer flavors like Fresh Mint and Charcoal with Fluoride.

Sustainability Factors:

  • Nature-certified with 97% natural and organic ingredients
  • Fluoride-free options available
  • Palm oil-free
  • EWG verified
  • Plastic-free packaging options
  • Cruelty-free

2. Georganics

Georganics is a UK-based company that offers a variety of eco-friendly oral care products, including toothpaste in glass jars with aluminum lids.

Ingredients: Georganics toothpaste is made with a blend of natural ingredients and is free from synthetic fluoride, SLS, glycerine, parabens, and Triclosan.

Most Popular Product: The most popular Georganics toothpaste is their Mineral Toothpaste - English Peppermint. It is praised for its whitening properties, non-foaming formula, and the use of organic peppermint oil, which is known for its antibacterial properties.

Benefits: Georganics toothpaste is designed to be effective for oral health, with specific benefits such as remineralizing teeth and being suitable for sensitive teeth.

Taste Types: They offer a variety of flavors, including activated charcoal, English peppermint, orange, tea tree, spearmint

Sustainability Factors:

  • Organic ingredients
  • Fluoride-free options
  • Palm oil-free
  • EWG verification status not specified
  • Plastic-free packaging
  • Cruelty-free

3. Davids Natural Toothpaste

Davids Natural Toothpaste is a premium brand that emphasizes using high-quality natural ingredients to provide effective oral care.

Ingredients: Davids’ toothpaste is formulated with a blend of naturally sourced and derived ingredients such as calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate for gentle abrasion, xylitol for cavity prevention, and a custom blend of mint oils for flavor. It is fluoride-free and does not contain harmful ingredients like sulfates or artificial preservatives.

Most Popular Product: Based on reviews, their Peppermint Premium Natural Toothpaste is quite popular for its unique blend of mint flavors and effectiveness in whitening and freshening breath.

Benefits: The toothpaste naturally whitens teeth, removes cavity-causing plaque, remineralizes enamel, and freshens breath. It’s also suitable for sensitive teeth.

Taste Types: The primary flavor offered by Davids is Peppermint, crafted from a custom blend of mint oils.

Sustainability Factors: Davids Natural Toothpaste is committed to sustainability with features like:

  • Locally-sourced ingredients
  • Palm oil-free formulation
  • EWG verified for health and transparency
  • Plastic-free packaging with recyclable metal tubes
  • Cruelty-free practices

4. Etee

Etee is a brand that offers plastic-free, all-natural toothpaste tablets known as Chewpaste.

Ingredients: Etee’s Chewpaste includes ingredients like Canadian Glacial clay (detoxifying and anti-bacterial), natural mint, and vanilla flavors. They offer options with fluoride for cavity prevention and without fluoride for those who prefer it. Their formula is free from sulfates, parabens, and harsh chemicals.

Most Popular Product: Etee’s fluoride Chewpaste is highlighted with the natural benefits of Canadian Glacial clay and natural flavors.

Benefits: Etee’s toothpaste tablets are designed for sensitive skin and teeth, with a moisturizing formula that helps prevent cavities and maintain oral hygiene without causing discomfort.

Taste Types: The flavors mentioned include natural mint and vanilla.

Sustainability Factors: Etee stands out for its commitment to sustainability with features such as:

  • Plastic-free packaging
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Products free from sulfates and parabens
  • Cruelty-free practices

5. Boka

Boka is a brand that stands out for its commitment to natural, effective oral care. Their toothpaste is fluoride-free and non-toxic, featuring the mineral nano-hydroxyapatite (n-Ha) and antioxidant-rich green tea.

Ingredients:

  • Nano-hydroxyapatite (n-Ha)
  • Green tea extract
  • Aloe vera
  • Xylitol
  • Silica

Most Popular Product: The most popular Boka toothpaste is the Ela Mint. It is infused with nano-hydroxyapatite (n-Ha) to support enamel strength and maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Benefits:

  • Remineralizes teeth
  • Supports enamel health
  • Good for sensitive teeth
  • Whitening capabilities

Taste Types: Boka offers various flavors, including mint, crafted with essential oils for an enjoyable brushing experience.

Sustainability Factors:

  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Uses plant-based ingredients

6. Better & Better

Better & Better is known for its premium oral care products that are better for health and the planet.

Ingredients:

  • Organic and chemical-free ingredients
  • Vitamins B12 & D3 infused
  • Fluoride-free
  • SLS-free

Most Popular Product: The Purity Toothpaste and Energy Toothpaste are popular for their natural whitening and brightening capabilities, infused with essential vitamins.

Benefits:

  • Whitening
  • Brightening
  • Infused with vitamins for oral wellness

Taste Types: Better & Better offers a variety of flavors, including traditional options like Peppermint and Wintergreen, as well as unique flavors such as Strawberry Banana and Cinnamon.

Sustainability Factors:

  • Vegan
  • Organic ingredients
  • Palm oil free
  • EWG verified
  • Plastic-free packaging
  • Cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny Certified)

7. Huppy

Huppy offers a modern take on toothpaste with their tablets, designed to be a zero-waste and plastic-free alternative to traditional toothpaste.

Ingredients: Huppy toothpaste tablets are made with clean ingredients such as peppermint oil, coconut oil, aloe vera extract, and xylitol.

Most Popular: The Naturally Whitening Peppermint flavor is highlighted among Huppy’s toothpaste tablets. It is recognized for its clean ingredients and sustainable packaging.

Benefits: These tablets are good for strengthening and remineralizing enamel, naturally whitening teeth with gentle abrasives, and providing cavity protection without the use of fluoride.

Taste Types: Huppy offers Charcoal Mint, Cool Mint, and Watermelon Strawberry flavors.

Sustainability Factors: Huppy’s products are cruelty-free and come in fully compostable packaging. The tablets are 100% vegan and come in reusable and refillable containers.

8. Wellnesse

Wellnesse is known for its all-natural personal care products, including a line of toothpaste that stands out for being effective without the use of harsh chemicals. They focus on ingredients that support the oral microbiome and enamel strength.

Ingredients: Wellnesse toothpaste contains hydroxyapatite for enamel support, neem, and green tea for a healthy oral microbiome and is free from fluoride, glycerin, SLS, and other harmful chemicals.

Most Popular Product: Their Fluoride-Free Whitening Toothpaste with Micro-Hydroxyapatite is known for its ability to ease tooth sensitivity, repair enamel, and provide fresh breath without harsh chemicals.

Benefits: Wellnesse toothpaste is good for remineralizing teeth, reducing gum inflammation, whitening teeth naturally, and supporting overall oral health.

Taste Types: The toothpaste has a fresh mint flavor.

Sustainability Factors: Wellnesse uses natural ingredients and offers its products in compostable packaging. Their efforts include:

  • Eco-Friendly Packaging
  • Sustainable Practices

9. Attitude

Attitude offers a range of toothpaste products known for their natural and effective plant- and mineral-based formulas.

Ingredients: Attitude toothpaste contains fluoride for cavity protection, hydrated silica for whitening, and is vegan and cruelty-free. They also include green tea and papaya extracts in their formulas.

Most Popular Product: Their fluoride-free toothpaste for sensitive teeth is their most popular as it cleans and freshens breath while maintaining a gentle affect for sensitive types, some also mention that it provides a natural whitening effect.

Benefits: The toothpaste is good for protecting against cavities, remineralizing tooth enamel, rebuilding weak spots, preventing tooth decay, and protecting teeth against acid erosion.

Taste Types: Attitude toothpaste offers a clean and effective formula with a pleasant taste due to the inclusion of green tea and papaya extracts.

Sustainability Factors: Attitude is committed to high-performance products with clean ingredients. They focus on using less plastic and planting more trees as part of their sustainability efforts.

10. Dr. Bronner's

Dr. Bronner's offers a fluoride-free, natural toothpaste focusing on eco-friendliness and ethical sourcing.

Ingredients: Their toothpaste uses organic menthol crystals, coconut flour, fair trade organic coconut oil, and organic aloe.

Most Popular Product: The Peppermint All-One Toothpaste is popular for its natural whitening abilities and its gentle yet effective cleaning properties.

Benefits: It helps whiten teeth, reduce plaque, freshen breath, and soothe gums.

Taste Types: They offer a peppermint flavor that freshens breath naturally.

Sustainability Factors: Dr. Bronner's toothpaste is made with organic ingredients and comes in plastic packaging. It is vegan and cruelty-free.

11. Jason

Jason is known for its natural oral care products that aim to improve mouth health without harsh chemicals.

Ingredients: Their toothpaste includes ingredients like Tea Tree Oil, Grapefruit Seed, Perilla Seed Extracts, and Cinnamon. They offer both fluoride and fluoride-free options to cater to different preferences.

Most Popular Product: The Healthy Mouth® Anti-Cavity & Tartar Control Toothpaste is popular for its anti-cavity properties and ability to freshen breath with a hint of cinnamon.

Benefits: Jason toothpaste helps reduce tartar build-up, fights tooth decay, and gives a healthier sparkle to your smile.

Taste Types: They offer flavors like cinnamon and spearmint for a refreshing breath.

Sustainability Factors: Jason focuses on natural ingredients and offers products free from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and harsh sulfates.

12. Weleda

Weleda is a holistic health and wellness brand that offers 100% certified natural oral care products.

Ingredients: Their toothpastes are formulated with pure plant extracts, mineral substances, and natural essential oils. They are free from sugar, artificial sweeteners, surfactants, synthetic preservatives, flavors, colorants, or raw materials derived from mineral oils.

Most Popular Product: Salt Natural Toothpaste is known for its unique approach to oral health, allowing saliva to naturally clean the mouth with the help of natural extracts like ratanhia root and myrrh.

Benefits: Weleda toothpaste is effective for sensitive teeth and gums, protects against tooth decay and cavities, and does not damage tooth enamel.

Taste Types: Weleda offers a variety of flavors, including salt, which is unique in the toothpaste market.

Sustainability Factors: Weleda's commitment to natural ingredients and certified natural care reflects its sustainability efforts.

13. Hello

Hello is a brand that emphasizes environmentally friendly and natural oral care products.

Ingredients: Their toothpaste is made with natural ingredients such as fluoride, hydroxyapatite, xylitol, and peppermint oil.

Most Popular Product: The Hello Naturally Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste is known for its natural whitening properties using calcium minerals, hydrated silica, and sodium bicarbonate.

Benefits: Hello toothpaste cleans teeth, freshens breath, and also protects gums. Some variants, like the activated charcoal toothpaste, are designed to whiten teeth safely without damaging enamel.

Taste Types: They offer a variety of flavors, including peppermint for fresh breath.

Sustainability Factors: Hello products are vegan, cruelty-free, without SLS or gluten. They focus on using naturally friendly ingredients, but specific details about their packaging's sustainability could have been clearer to us.

14. Tom's of Maine

Tom's of Maine is a well-known provider of natural personal care products, including a variety of toothpaste options.

Ingredients: Their toothpaste products are made with naturally sourced and naturally derived ingredients, without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. They focus on ingredients that safely and effectively clean teeth.

Most Popular Product: The Whole Care toothpaste offers cavity prevention, tartar control, whitening, and a clean, fresh flavor using only natural ingredients.

Benefits: Tom's of Maine toothpaste is designed to maintain good oral health, focusing on natural ingredients for overall wellness.

Taste Types: They offer natural flavor oils instead of artificial sweeteners like saccharin, ensuring a natural and fresh taste.

Sustainability Factors: Tom's of Maine emphasizes biodegradable and mineral-derived ingredients. Their products are gluten-free, paraben-free, and vegan, and they never test on animals.

15. Unpaste

Unpaste is focused on reducing waste by eliminating toothpaste tubes commonly found in landfills. They offer toothpaste tablets as an eco-friendly solution.

Ingredients: The ingredients for Unpaste toothpaste tablets are as follows:

  • Sodium bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
  • Silica
  • Amisoft (sodium lauryl glutamate)
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Natural mint aroma or natural cinnamon flavor
  • Menthol
  • Xanthan gum
  • Stevia
  • Citric acid

Most Popular Product: Unpaste’s toothpaste tablets are a popular product.

Benefits: Unpaste's tooth tabs are said to be gently assertive with polishing ingredients, but specific benefits such as remineralizing or whitening were not detailed in the search results.

Taste Types: Unpaste offers natural mint aroma and natural cinnamon flavor options.

Sustainability Factors: Unpaste is committed to sustainability with waterless, carbon-neutral manufacturing and compostable packaging. They are also vegan, cruelty-free, and made without harming any animals.

Switching to non-toxic and sustainable toothpaste is a simple yet significant step towards a healthier mouth and a greener planet. You can effectively clean your teeth while minimizing environmental impact by choosing toothpaste made with natural ingredients, free from harsh chemicals, and packaged in eco-friendly materials.

FAQs about non-toxic toothpaste

Which toothpaste has no microplastics?

Toothpastes without microplastics include brands focusing on natural ingredients and avoiding synthetic abrasives. Brands like Unpaste, Hello, and Weleda are known to have no microplastics in their toothpaste formulas.

What is the most eco-friendly toothpaste?

The most eco-friendly toothpaste uses sustainable ingredients and biodegradable packaging and avoids harmful chemicals. Brands like Tom's of Maine and David are often mentioned for their eco-friendly practices.

How can toothpaste be more sustainable?

Toothpaste can be more sustainable by using natural ingredients, avoiding plastic packaging, offering refillable options, and ensuring the product is cruelty-free and vegan.

Does eco-friendly toothpaste work?

Yes, eco-friendly toothpaste works effectively. Many contain natural abrasives and ingredients that clean teeth without harmful chemicals.

What toothpaste is not toxic?

Non-toxic toothpastes are those free from fluoride, SLS, triclosan, and other controversial ingredients. Brands like Jason's, Dr. Bronner's, and David’s Natural Toothpaste are known for their non-toxic formulas.

Last Update:
Jun 26, 2024