Eco-Friendly Toothpaste

Clean and Green: Keep your teeth clean and pristine with these eco-friendly toothpaste alternatives.

Around 3.5 billion globally suffer from tooth decay and gum disease (Source: World Health Organization). Maintaining good oral hygiene to prevent oral problems is important, but this needn’t be detrimental to the environment. 

It has been estimated that 1.5 billion tubes of toothpaste are discarded annually, which often end up in landfills as they are tricky to recycle (Source: Recycling International). Fortunately, there’s a solution. I’m here to round up a selection of eco-friendly toothpastes that are both good for you and the planet – now there’s something to smile about.

Best Eco-Friendly Toothpaste:

What Makes a Toothpaste Eco-Friendly?

An eco-friendly toothpaste can mean a lot of things. In most cases, eco-friendly toothpaste is manufactured with a special focus on ethical and environmentally friendly ingredients and packaging.

Ideally, eco-friendly toothpaste is formulated from ethically and sustainably harvested raw ingredients. Eco-friendly toothpaste is packaged in a zero or low-waste container, such as a reusable container made of glass or metal. Lastly, eco-friendly toothpaste formulations won’t cause harm to aquatic life once washed down the plughole.

What Ingredients Should be Avoided in Toothpaste?

Some ingredients used in commercial toothpaste can do more harm than good. Here are a handful of ingredients that should be avoided or used with caution. 

Triclosan

Triclosan was previously hailed for its antibacterial properties and ability to reduce gingivitis, but recent research has shown potential adverse effects. Animal testing has linked triclosan to decreased thyroid levels, but its significance on human health remains unknown (Source: FDA, 2019). 

A 2022 study found that triclosan can also be absorbed and cause harm to the gastrointestinal tract. Triclosan breaks down into dioxins, which according to the WHO are a type of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) that break down slowly and can enter food chains. A 2008 study found that triclosan negatively affects marine species’ growth, development, and reproduction and indicated its potential for bioaccumulation.

Related: Occurrence of triclosan in wild Atlantic bottlenose dolphins

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) in toothpaste is used as a foaming agent and, for some people, can irritate oral tissues and cause sores (Source: Kasi et al, 2022). According to two studies, SLS’s have also been found to be cytotoxic, which means they are toxic to living cells (Source: Tabatabaei et al, 2019 and Cvikl et al, 2015

Artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, are often added to toothpaste to improve the taste, but they can cause health issues such as headaches (Saad et al, 2014).

Peroxide

While peroxide is often used as a whitening agent in toothpaste, it can cause sensitivity and damage to tooth enamel when used in excessive amounts (Tredwin et al, 2006)

Synthetic colorants 

Synthetic colorants, such as Brilliant Blue, can spur feelings of minty freshness. However, these substances are harmful to aquatic life and remain in the water for years before they finally degrade (Tiron et al, 2020).

Sodium Pyrophosphate 

Sodium pyrophosphate is a type of inorganic phosphate compound, and when released into the environment, it can contribute to eutrophication by increasing the levels of phosphorus (Source: Ataman Chemicals)

Microbeads 

Microbeads are tiny plastic particles (less than 5mm) and are sometimes used as abrasives in toothpaste. They are a well-documented problem as they can harm the environment by polluting waterways and harming marine life. Beat the Microbead has sunk its teeth into this issue, having conducted a deep dive into toothpastes and other dental products and found that more than half either do or are suspected of containing microplastics.

Ingredients to be cautious of

Xylitol is often found in eco-friendly toothpaste as it has been found to prevent cavities from forming (Source: Nyak et al 2014). However, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is extremely poisonous to pets.

Are Fluoride-Free Toothpastes Better?

Fluoride use is a commonly debated topic among dental experts. However, according to Tenuta and Cury (2010), there is enough valid scientific research showing the benefits of fluoride. Eco-friendly toothpastes often contain alternative ingredients to fluoride and are marketed as ‘fluoride-free’. In moderation, fluoride is good for teeth as it helps to prevent cavities and strengthens teeth (Source: Insider). 

However, it has been speculated that with excessive consumption (particularly from fluoridated community water sources), fluoride can lead to fluorosis (Source: Ullah et al, 2017). It is advised to consult with a dentist before using fluoride toothpaste on children younger than two years old (Source: CDC). 

If you decide to use fluoride-free toothpaste, ensure it has a suitable alternative. Some alternative ingredients can provide equal or even greater benefits than fluoride, such as:

  • Nano-hydroxyapatite (NHa): Tooth enamel is mainly composed of hydroxyapatite. NHa is a form of this naturally-occurring mineral proven to strengthen and restore teeth (Source: Stomatol et al, 2014).
  • Xylitol: This natural sweetener has been found to be effective at reducing tooth decay and reversing early tooth decay by inhibiting the growth of bacteria in the mouth (Source: Nayak et al, 2014). Xylitol must also be used with caution, as it is poisonous to pets (Source: FDA).
  • Calcium phosphate: This mineral compound can help to remineralize and strengthen tooth enamel (Source: Weir et al, 2012).
  • Green tea extract: This antioxidant-rich ingredient has been shown to have antibacterial properties that can help to reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay (Source: Vyas et al, 2021).
  • Aloe vera: This natural ingredient has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe and heal inflamed gums caused by periodontitis and is great for people with tooth sensitivity (Source: Mangaiyarkarasi et al, 2015).

In this article, I aim to share a broad brush of eco-friendly toothpastes. Although some may be fluoride-free, I draw attention to the properties that can have the same, or increased benefit, to fluoride. It is not my intention to minimize or criticize the use of fluoride but to present a range of alternatives for the consumer seeking eco-friendly toothpastes. 

5 Eco-Friendly Toothpaste Options

Davids Natural Whitening Toothpaste

Davids Fluoride Free Whitening & Antiplaque Toothpaste, Natural Spearmint, Mouth & Gum Detox, SLS…
  • Fluoride-Free Toothpaste: Davids replaces fluoride and other common toothpaste chemicals with high-performing ingredients to effectively reduce plaque, naturally whiten, and freshen breath.
  • Gentle Whitening: Micro polishing agents remove surface stains to safely whiten without causing the sensitivity normally found with peroxide or other bleaching agents. RDA of 101 to effectively remove…
  • Improve Oral Health: Formulated to restore a healthy PH balance and support your mouth’s natural oral microbiome. Davids is designed to aggressively stop plaque from forming and reduce existing…

Davids Natural Whitening Toothpaste is packed full of natural ingredients formulated to help restore your mouth’s natural pH and helps to prevent plaque buildup. Not only are the ingredients natural, 98% of these natural ingredients are sourced from the US, which helps to support US jobs. 

This toothpaste is fluoride-free, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) free, has no artificial colors, flavorings, or preservatives, and is completely vegan. 

Reviewers loved the taste of this toothpaste, noting how it leaves their teeth feeling clean and their mouths smelling great. Davids unique toothpaste is packaged in a metal tube, making it an attractive and sustainable option for those looking to make a more sustainable and health-conscious choice in their oral care routine. 

Pros:

  • 98% USA-origin ingredients, 100% naturally sourced or derived.
  • SLS and fluoride free.
  • Made in the US, supporting US jobs.
  • Recyclable metal tube means it is low-waste and comes with a metal tube roller to squeeze out all of the toothpaste. 
  • No animal testing, Leaping Bunny Certified and Vegan.

Cons:

  • Contains Birch Xylitol as a replacement for fluoride, which, although it has oral health benefits, is poisonous to pets. 
  • Other toothpastes in the Davids range contain hydroxyapatite (an alternative to fluoride for remineralizing teeth), whereas this one does not.
  • Some reviewers found this product more runny than they would have liked. 

Specs:

  • Price (at time of publication): $9.95
  • Active ingredient: Calcium Carbonate
  • Form: Paste
  • Weight: 5.25 ounces
  • Free from: SLS, Fluoride, Triclosan, Sulfates, and Parabens
  • Eco-friendly certifications: Made in the USA, Low waste packaging (Recyclable metal tube)

Bronner’s Toothpaste

Dr. Bronners Toothpaste Peppermint 5 Ounce (Pack of 2)
  • Bundle includes: Dr. Bronner’s All-One Fluoride-Free Peppermint Flavor Toothpaste (5 Ounce, 2-Pack)
  • Whitening and Plaque Reduction: Dr. Bronner’s All-One Fluoride-Free Peppermint Flavor Toothpaste’s low-foaming formula aids in teeth whitening, helping to restore their natural brightness
  • Cruelty-Free: This cruelty-free certification aligns with the brand’s ethical values and commitment to responsible manufacturing

Dr Bronner’s is a brand I’m familiar with, for all the good reasons, having used their Castile soap which was a delight to use. This fluoride-free peppermint All-One toothpaste contains 70% organic ingredients, most of which are fairtrade. 

From “farm to shelf shower”, Dr. Bronner’s ethos is about building trust, working with farmers to implement regenerative organic practices, and increasing health and community wealth with fair prices and good wages for their suppliers, all while being made with healthy and sustainable ingredients. 

The hydrated silica and calcium carbonate act as a natural and gentle abrasive, while the baking soda and potassium cocoate (made with organic coconut oil) are fantastic natural cleansers. Reviewers rated this product very highly, and some noted that although the main flavor was mint, it wasn’t overpowering like some leading toothpaste brands. 

Pros:

  • Fluoride and SLS free.
  • Good company ethos, working with suppliers to help them implement regenerative and organic farming practices.
  • The flavor is not overpowering.
  • Low foaming.
  • Vegan and cruelty-free.
  • No artificial colors or flavors, carrageenan, preservatives, synthetic sweeteners or foaming agents. 

Cons:

  • The tube is made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic, although 33% of which is a bio-based plastic made from sugarcane (Source: Happi).

Specs:

  • Price (at time of publication): $25.95
  • Active ingredients: Hydrated Silica and Calcium Carbonate
  • Form: Paste
  • Weight: 5 ounces / 140 grams
  • Free from: artificial preservative, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, synthetic foaming agents.
  • Eco-friendly certifications: Works with farmers to implement regenerative organic practices helping to combat climate change. Fairtrade. Not animal tested. Non-GMO Project Verified. Certified Vegan. NSF – Contains organic ingredients. 

Hello Activated Charcoal Tablets

Sale
Hello Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Eco Friendly Travel Toothpaste Tablets, Fresh Mint and…
  • Contains a plastic-free, reusable and recyclable tin with 60 hello activated charcoal toothpaste tablets
  • These toothpaste tablets are a super coal and minty whitening toothpaste in tablet form, flavored with real farm grown mint. Made to polish and clean, whiten teeth by removing surface stains and…
  • Hello toothpaste tablets are an easy, sustainable, and travel friendly way to brush your teeth. Chew 1 toothpaste tablet with front teeth, forming a soft pepperminty paste. Wet your toothbrush and do…

Hello, tooth tabs! Tooth tabs aren’t exactly new to the market, but they may be new to your oral health arsenal. Most tooth tabs look like breath mints as they are small, circular, and white, whereas Hello Tooth Tabs are a blackish/gray color due to the presence of Activated Charcoal

To use these, you simply pop them in your mouth and chew on them, using your saliva to turn the tab into a paste that you then use to clean your teeth as normal. According to reviewers, these tooth tabs are easy to use, taste great, and are perfect for traveling. 

Some reviewers found that the product can leave residue in the sink, but this is easy to wash away. The tooth tabs are fluoride-free, with xylitol and sorbitol as replacements. Note that xylitol is not pet safe so it must be used with caution.

Pros:

  • The plastic-free tin is a great alternative to a traditional toothpaste tube, and it is fully reusable and recyclable.
  • One tab = one dose of toothpaste, so no extra paste waste at the sink!
  • No artificial sweeteners, flavorings, dyes, SLS or fluoride.
  • A month’s worth of tabs in one pack.
  • Teeth whitening. 

Cons:

  • Not a good option for children, as the tablets can be easily swallowed.
  • Not pet safe due to the presence of xylitol.
  • It can leave a residue in the sink.
  • Expensive for the amount you get (21 cents per tab, at time of publishing).

Specs:

  • Price (at time of publication): $12.99
  • Active ingredients: Activated charcoal, coconut oil, mint
  • Form: Tab
  • Weight: 177 grams
  • Free from: SLS, dyes, flavorings, sweeteners, fluoride, gluten, triclosan
  • Eco-friendly certifications: Plastic-free packaging, Vegan, Leaping Bunny Certified, Made in the USA 

The Dirt Tooth Powder

Sale
THE DIRT Tooth Powder – Natural Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Alternative, Vegan – Essential Oils &…
  • 🦷 THE DIRT MINERAL TOOTH POWDER : Our vital tooth brushing powder is an authentic and fun alternative to toothpaste! Simply tap a damp toothbrush into a jar of The Dirt and brush normally to reveal…
  • 🪥 CLEANS TEETH & FRESHENS BREATH: Elevate your oral hygiene routine with The Dirt’s refreshing tooth powder. It provides a burst of freshness while keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Brighten…
  • 😁 TEETH WHITENING FORMULA: Crafted with essential ingredients like bentonite clay, baking soda, and essential oils, our tooth powder provides a fresh and clean feeling that lasts all day promote…

The Dirt Tooth Powder is a dentist-approved and natural way to clean teeth. There are six different flavors, from sweet spice to lemongrass and ginger, making brushing your teeth that extra bit fun. 

To use this product, simply dampen your toothbrush and put it in the jar, and the powder will stick to the brush. Some reviewers say that this method means that the powder can sometimes clump, and it isn’t hygienic for multiple people to share. 

Prices vary based on the flavor you get, with the most expensive being nearly $50 for the largest jar. With the larger jar, you get a six-month supply, though some reviewers say that it lasted them just three months.

Pros:

  • Six flavors to choose from. 
  • Made in the USA.
  • Dentist recommended. 
  • Great for sensitive teeth, the bentonite clay is a gentle abrasive while keeping your teeth clean and bright. 
  • It comes in a cute jar if you order the 1.7-ounce version.

Cons:

  • Expensive, but it can last between three to six months.
  • The smaller sizes come in plastic tubs. 

Specs:

  • Price (at time of publication): $49.99
  • Active ingredient: Bentonite clay 
  • Form: Powder
  • Weight: 1.7 ounces / 51 grams 
  • Free from: Fluoride, SLS, plastic, gluten, parabens, triclosan, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives. 
  • Eco-friendly certifications: Made in the USA, 100% natural, no animal testing. 

Moringa Mineral Rich Toothpaste

Moringa Mineral Rich Fluoride Free Toothpaste 3.3 oz
  • ZERO WASTE PACKAGING! 100% Plastic-Free Glass Jar Packaging.
  • THE CLEANEST OF CLEAN! Leaves you with a “Dentist Clean” feeling after every use.
  • ALKALIZING! This alkaline formula helps enamel naturally absorb minerals.

Nelsons Naturals toothpaste contains the mineral-rich properties of Moringa, a Himalayan plant known for its antimicrobial effect on bacteria in dental plaque (Source: Yadav et al, 2021). 

Reviewers note that this toothpaste has a different taste to most. Some enjoyed the earthy flavor, whereas others were not so keen. However, Nelsons carries other flavors in their product range

Reviewers also noted that it helped to remineralize their teeth, likely due to Moringa’s presence (Source: Younis et al, 2020). Unfortunately, there is xylitol in this product, so it is not safe around pets. 

Pros:

  • 100% plastic-free glass jar packaging.
  • Refillable at selected stores
  • It contains Moringa, which has many benefits, including being antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. 
  • Has an unusual earthy mint flavor which some reviewers liked. 
  • 100% plastic-free packaging and comes in a glass jar.
  • Cruelty-free, no animal testing. 
  • Contains an alkalizing formula that helps the enamel to absorb minerals.

Cons:

  • Contains xylitol, so keep away from pets. 

Specs:

  • Price (at time of publication): $15.05
  • Active ingredient: Moringa, Calcium Carbonate
  • Form: Paste
  • Weight: 3.3 ounces / 93 grams
  • Free from: Fluoride, SLS, glycerin, artificial flavors, and colors. 
  • Eco-friendly certifications: Vegan, cruelty-free, no animal testing. 

Burt’s Bees Charcoal + Whitening Mountain Mint Toothpaste with Fluoride

Burt’s Bees Toothpaste, Natural Flavor, Fluoride Toothpaste Deep Clean + Whitening, Mountain Mint,…
  • Experience the cleaning power of Burt’s Bees Deep Clean+Whitening toothpaste, which will leave you clean and fresh! This toothpaste is crafted to help remove stains to help you achieve a beautiful…
  • Made Without: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Triclosan & Parabens, Artificial Flavors & Sweeteners, Preservatives & Blue, Red, Yellow Dyes, Plastic Microbeads
  • Crafted to help remove surface stains to help you achieve a beautiful smile

Burt’s Bees is another natural toothpaste brand free from artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors. Burt’s Bees Charcoal + Whitening toothpaste contains fluoride and other natural ingredients considered safe and effective for oral health. 

Reviewers found this toothpaste to be refreshing and helped to whiten their teeth. 

Pros:

  • Crafted with natural ingredients. 
  • Contains activated charcoal, which helps to alleviate bad breath and reduces toxins (Source: Lilburn Family Dentistry).
  • Fluoride and fluoride-free options are available in all flavors. 

Cons:

  • Comes in plastic packaging, although it is recyclable. 

Specs:

  • Price (at time of publication): $5.99
  • Active ingredient: Fluoride
  • Form: Paste
  • Weight: 4.7 ounces, 133 grams 
  • Free from: Parabens, SLS, Artificial flavors. 
  • Eco-friendly certifications: Natural ingredients, Responsibly Sourced, Leaping Bunny Certified, Recyclable Packaging, Landfill-free Operations, CarbonNeutral® Certified 

Product Comparison Chart

Product Name
Davids Fluoride Free Whitening & Antiplaque Toothpaste, Natural Spearmint, Mouth & Gum Detox, SLS…
Dr. Bronners Toothpaste Peppermint 5 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Hello Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Eco Friendly Travel Toothpaste Tablets, Fresh Mint and…
THE DIRT Tooth Powder – Natural Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Alternative, Vegan – Essential Oils &…
Moringa Mineral Rich Fluoride Free Toothpaste 3.3 oz
Burt’s Bees Toothpaste, Natural Flavor, Fluoride Toothpaste Deep Clean + Whitening, Mountain Mint,…
Product Image
Davids Fluoride Free Whitening & Antiplaque Toothpaste, Natural Spearmint, Mouth & Gum Detox, SLS...
Dr. Bronners Toothpaste Peppermint 5 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Hello Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Eco Friendly Travel Toothpaste Tablets, Fresh Mint and...
THE DIRT Tooth Powder - Natural Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Alternative, Vegan - Essential Oils &...
Moringa Mineral Rich Fluoride Free Toothpaste 3.3 oz
Burt's Bees Toothpaste, Natural Flavor, Fluoride Toothpaste Deep Clean + Whitening, Mountain Mint,...
Active Ingredient
Calcium Carbonate
Hydrated Silica and Calcium Carbonate
Activated charcoal, coconut oil, mint
Bentonite clay
Moringa, Calcium Carbonate
Fluoride
Form
Paste
Paste
Tab
Powder
Paste
Paste
Weight
5.25 ounces
5 ounces
177 grams
1.7 ounces
3.3 ounces
4.7 ounces
Amazon Price
$9.95
$18.94
$8.98
$36.99
$15.45
$27.00
Product Name
Davids Fluoride Free Whitening & Antiplaque Toothpaste, Natural Spearmint, Mouth & Gum Detox, SLS…
Product Image
Davids Fluoride Free Whitening & Antiplaque Toothpaste, Natural Spearmint, Mouth & Gum Detox, SLS...
Active Ingredient
Calcium Carbonate
Form
Paste
Weight
5.25 ounces
Amazon Price
$9.95
Buy Now
Product Name
Dr. Bronners Toothpaste Peppermint 5 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Product Image
Dr. Bronners Toothpaste Peppermint 5 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Active Ingredient
Hydrated Silica and Calcium Carbonate
Form
Paste
Weight
5 ounces
Amazon Price
$18.94
Buy Now
Product Name
Hello Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Eco Friendly Travel Toothpaste Tablets, Fresh Mint and…
Product Image
Hello Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Eco Friendly Travel Toothpaste Tablets, Fresh Mint and...
Active Ingredient
Activated charcoal, coconut oil, mint
Form
Tab
Weight
177 grams
Amazon Price
$8.98
Buy Now
Product Name
THE DIRT Tooth Powder – Natural Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Alternative, Vegan – Essential Oils &…
Product Image
THE DIRT Tooth Powder - Natural Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Alternative, Vegan - Essential Oils &...
Active Ingredient
Bentonite clay
Form
Powder
Weight
1.7 ounces
Amazon Price
$36.99
Buy Now
Product Name
Moringa Mineral Rich Fluoride Free Toothpaste 3.3 oz
Product Image
Moringa Mineral Rich Fluoride Free Toothpaste 3.3 oz
Active Ingredient
Moringa, Calcium Carbonate
Form
Paste
Weight
3.3 ounces
Amazon Price
$15.45
Buy Now
Product Name
Burt’s Bees Toothpaste, Natural Flavor, Fluoride Toothpaste Deep Clean + Whitening, Mountain Mint,…
Product Image
Burt's Bees Toothpaste, Natural Flavor, Fluoride Toothpaste Deep Clean + Whitening, Mountain Mint,...
Active Ingredient
Fluoride
Form
Paste
Weight
4.7 ounces
Amazon Price
$27.00
Buy Now

FAQs

Is eco-friendly toothpaste safe?

It’s important to ensure that eco-friendly toothpastes contain ingredients recommended by dental professionals. When choosing an eco-friendly toothpaste, make sure you read the label to see if it has been approved by a reputable dental association such as the American Dental Association (ADA) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

What is the safest brand of toothpaste?

All of the products listed in this article are safe for humans. However, some contain xylitol which is not pet safe and is toxic to dogs. Ultimately, when it comes to using toothpaste, it is better to use something rather than nothing to prevent diseases affecting the teeth and mouth. It’s also a good idea to check with a dentist to ensure that the toothpaste you chose is compatible with your specific oral health needs. 

What’s wrong with regular toothpaste?

Regular toothpastes can contain chemicals and compounds that can harm the environment and, for some, are incompatible with their oral health needs. The vast majority of regular toothpaste brands contain fluoride, which although proven to help prevent tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel, can lead to fluorosis in children younger than 2 when combined with community water fluoridation schemes (Source: Ullah et al, 2017 and CDC). Additionally, most regular toothpaste tubes are made of mixed materials such as aluminum and plastic, making them difficult to recycle and often end up in landfills (Source: Recycling International). 

Why Trust A Clean Bee?

Charlotte Davenport is an advocate of sustainable cleaning routines which extends to her own personal care routine. In this article, Charlotte researched common ingredients of commercial toothpastes, studied safe and effective eco-friendly ingredients, and the environmental impact of toothpaste packaging. Charlotte reviewed the list of the eco-friendly toothpastes recommended here, drawing on her own experience and research. Charlotte’s product selection was based on A Clean Bee’s philosophy and selection criteria, as well as customer reviews for each of the products listed. 

Clean and Green: Keep your teeth clean and pristine with these eco-friendly toothpaste alternatives.

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