A Little Back Story: Every winter, I get this annoying dry, red skin around my mouth and nose. It started in college, when I first discovered tinted moisturizers (bad move!), and has resurfaced literally every winter since. I saw a dermatologist, who told me it was perioral dermatitis, and promptly prescribed oral antibiotics (what else is new??) and an antibiotic cream. Not only did this whole plan screw up my belly (antibiotics wreak havoc on your intestinal flora), but it also only helped for a hot second before the whole unsightly mess reared it’s ugly head again. So this year, I started researching natural remedies for this issue… And what did I discover as one of the primary causes/irritants of the problem?? Fluoridated toothpastes full of sodium lauryl sulfates (check out Step 1: Read Your Ingredients if you’ve forgotten why they’re evil)!! And thus began my quest for the perfect toothpaste.
Toothpastes are a great example of where reading ingredients is so crucial. For as long as I can remember, Tom’s of Maine was always the go-to for healthy, natural toothpaste made from sustainable resources… right? Apparently, wrong. I had been using it for so long, that I hadn’t even looked at the ingredients in years. But after my getting schooled on the above connection, I took a peek.. and what did I find? Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, right there, clear as day. Imagine my surprise! I had been so busy eradicating parabens and SLSs from my moisturizers, hair products, and makeup, that I didn’t even realize I was exposing myself to the culprit twice a day, 7 days a week. Now, to Tom’s credit, they have since released an SLS free toothpaste, but it still contains fluoride (which has been shown to suppress the immune system, inhibit the production of essential enzymes, and break down collagen, among other things), so I’m afraid they are out of the runnings…
A lot of people hold the misconception that fluoride in our toothpastes is necessary, and the only thing keeping us from (gasp!) British tooth syndrome. In actuality, the way we care for our teeth (and the tools we use to do it) are what keeps our smile brilliant and healthy. The foods we eat (and drinks we drink) also play a MAJOR role. So calm your beds, everyone… Taking fluoride out of your dental routine won’t turn you into Austin Powers, but it will keep a carcinogenic insecticide and rat poison out of your mouth!
Now on to the fun part! What, in the humble opinion of this Organic Beauty, are the best natural, fluoride and SLS-free toothpastes? Behold..
Whitening (which happens to be my category of choice):
- Weleda Salt Toothpaste: An awesome whitening paste with sea salt and baking soda, which naturally scrubs teeth clean, chock full of awesome herbal power to cleanse and tone gums and teeth.
- Jason Powersmile All-Natural Whitening Toothpaste: All kinds of awesome ingredients like bamboo powder, antibiotic grapefruit seed, and aloe.
- Burt’s Bees Natural Toothpaste, Whitening without Fluoride: It’s a little thick and paste-y, but is 100% natural, and has cranberry extract which inhibits plaque-causing bacteria. But, has maltodextrin, which isn’t great.
- Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil & Neem Toothpaste: Neem is an ancient ayurvedic extract known for its awesome dental benefits, and the natural anti-septic tea tree oil feels super refreshing.
- Herbal Choice Natural Tooth Gel: Probably the most natural toothpaste out there. Totally organic and made of just five ingredients!
- Burt’s Bees Natural Toothpaste, Multicare without Fluoride: Pretty much identical to the whitening version, but somehow not whitening.
- Weleda Children’s Tooth Gel: With soothing organic calendula, fennel and mellow spearmint, this toothpaste is safe to swallow!
- Kiss My Face Berry Smart Fluoride-Free Toothpaste: With cranberry, aloe, tea tree oil, and stevia.. super natural and yummy.
- Burt’s Bees Natural Toothpaste, Kids Berry Bee Without Fluoride: All-natural, with cranberry, calcium and phosphorus for healthy teeth and gums. But does contain maltodextrin and titanium dioxide.