The health of our teeth and mouth has a significant impact on overall health, but all too often we don’t think about our teeth until something hurts or we have to get to the dentist for our semi-annual visit.
Fortunately, using an organic, natural toothpaste can make a huge difference! The best organic toothpaste brands and DIY recipes ditch toxic, harmful ingredients and replace them with some of nature’s most underutilized powerhouse ingredients.
Keep reading to learn more about finding the best organic toothpaste, making your own organic toothpaste recipe, and how you may be able to heal your cavities through diet and supplementation.
Why Use an Organic Toothpaste?
Unfortunately, most of the traditional toothpaste on our local shelves is filled with ingredients that are unnecessary at best and extremely dangerous at worse.
One of the worst offenders may be one of the most controversial: fluoride.
What’s So Bad About Fluoride?
It’s a known fact that fluoride, in high doses, is lethal. That’s why there’s a warning on your American Dental Association (ADA)-approved toothpaste about not swallowing; the ADA only approves toothpaste with fluoride and in 1997, the FDA began to require a warning on all fluoridated toothpastes (1).
You’ve probably noticed this warning and know you shouldn’t swallow toothpaste, but what you might not know is that many water municipalities and local governments fluoridate their water supplies. This accumulation of fluoride in our drinking water has caused many experts to become concerned about the amount of fluoride we may be ingesting.
However, even in doses not considered toxic, fluoride may still be dangerous, especially to developing brains:
- A study published in 2017 found a link between prenatal fluoride exposure and lower cognitive functions in children (2).
- A 2015 study of first graders in China concluded, “fluoride in drinking water may produce developmental neurotoxicity” (3).
- An early ‘95 study found fluoride caused behavioral and cognitive deficits in animals (4).
Fluoride may also cause cancer:
- Several studies and reviews in the 70s found some correlation between water fluoridation and cancer (5, 6).
- More recents studies, including one conducted by the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, found a correlation between an increased risk of osteosarcoma, a rare type of cancer that occurs in the bone, in males under twenty and water fluoridation.
Fluoridated water may also be connected to hypothyroidism (7), increased risk of bone fractures in spite of the original hope that fluoride would strengthen bones (8, 9, 10), and increased risk of diabetes (11).
Whew. So, using a toothpaste with fluoride in it isn’t a good idea–especially if your main source of drinking water is or has ever been fluoridated in the past (you can check your water using the EWG’s Tap Water Database here).
Unfortunately, that’s not the only concerning ingredient found in toothpaste.
What is Triclosan and Why Should You Be Concerned About It?
Triclosan is a chemical found in many antibacterial soaps and one toothpaste currently on the United States market–Colgate Total. The FDA banned the use of triclosan in soaps in 2016, but still allows it in toothpaste, despite studies that have indicated “that triclosan and similar chemicals can disrupt the normal development of the reproductive system and metabolism” (12).
It’s also found by other names on products or simply not disclosed–the EWG says “to avoid triclosan and other questionable chemicals, don’t buy consumer products that claim to be ‘antibacterial’” (13).
That includes popular toothpastes, like Colgate Total, one of the bestselling and most popular toothpastes of all time.
Other Potential Toxins Lurking in Toothpaste
Here are a few more common ingredients in toothpastes that you won’t have to worry about when you’re using one of the best natural toothpaste brands or recipes I share later:
- Propylene glycol can cause irritation and contact dermatitis (14).
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SFS) is responsible for the way toothpaste (and shampoo and other personal care products) foams in your mouth, but it’s also an irritant and unnecessary.
- Titanium dioxide is another unnecessary chemical in your toothpaste–it’s only there to make the paste bright white, but it might also damage your gut health.
- Artificial colorings and artificial flavors are poorly regulated by the FDA, which means companies can slip in all kinds of nasty chemicals under their guise. Better to stick to the natural stuff.
How to Choose the Best Organic Toothpaste (or the Best Organic Toothpaste Recipe)
Now that you’ve learned what to avoid when you’re looking for the best natural toothpaste, here’s what to look for in an organic toothpaste recipe or brand!
While we’ve been conditioned to expect a lot from our toothpaste, it really only has a few jobs. Here’s what you want your toothpaste to do:
- Agitate the plaque from your teeth
- Freshen your breath
- Destroy the bad bacteria and fungus (without disrupting the good bacteria)
- Stabilize your mouth’s pH
Ingredients such as baking soda, sea salt, and diatomaceous earth are good “gritty” ingredients to find inside the best organic toothpaste that, when rubbed against your teeth and gums with a toothbrush, can help remove plaque.
The best organic toothpastes will also sometimes use ingredients like guar gum to thicken the formulation, making it more like what you’re used to. This can be helpful when you’re transitioning away from traditional toothpaste.
Xylitol and stevia are used for the same reasons, and tend to make the salty baking soda easier on the tongue.
When it comes to hero ingredients for organic toothpaste recipes and brands, however, here are some of my favorites:
- Coconut oil has profound antimicrobial and antibacterial properties (15-18) when applied topically and used for oil-pulling (more on that in a moment). Destroying the bad bacteria while keeping the good bacteria helps to prevent cavities and bad breath.
- Essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon, clove, and cinnamon also have antibacterial properties, as well as the ability to help calm inflammation and banish plaque.
What are Nano-Hydroxyapatite Toothpastes?
Nano-hydroxyapatite (n-HAp) is a material that’s been shown to remineralize tooth enamel (19, 20). We’re not very familiar with it here in the United States, but in Japan it’s been used widely for decades in place of fluoride. Depending on the other ingredients it’s listed with, it can be another great option to help you clean your teeth!
Oil Pulling: What it Is and Why You Need It
In addition to using an organic toothpaste recipe or shopping for the best organic toothpaste, your oral health routine will benefit hugely from oil pulling. Oil pulling is the ancient Ayurvedic practice of swishing oil around in your mouth daily.
Believe it or not, it’s been studied fairly extensively, with scientists concluding that “it may have beneficial effects on dental hygiene.” (21)
How to Reverse Cavities With Diet and Supplements (in Addition to Using the Best Organic Toothpaste)
The traditional view on cavities is to “drill and fill,” which means that if you have a cavity, your dentist will likely recommend that you get it drilled out and filled with either an amalgam filling (made of mercury) or a plastic filling (that might contain BPA).
But, what if you could reverse a cavity, or better yet, completely prevent a cavity from forming in the first place? Amazing as it sounds, it is possible to prevent and even reverse cavities, as well as remineralize your teeth, through diet and supplements (22) and the best organic toothpaste.
The truth is that remineralization can be your first line of defense when it comes to cavities.
To help your body remineralize your teeth naturally, consume lots of calcium and phosphorus-rich dairy and seafood. But these food choices need to be clean. For dairy, organic and raw is best to avoid hormones and antibiotics and support digestion. For seafood, low-mercury options like salmon are best and we always recommend choosing wild caught instead of farmed. Avoid highly acidic foods such as coffee and kombucha, as well as sugary foods and grains and legumes, which contain phytase.
You should also supplement with vitamin D, vitamin K2, a calcium/magnesium complex, phosphorous, and collagen.
DIY Recipes for Organic Toothpaste
If you’re interested in diy organic toothpaste recipes, here are a few great ones to try!
- Dr. Axe has a simple, easy natural toothpaste recipe that features baking soda and coconut oil.
- Mommypotamus has great recipes for homemade tooth powder and homemade tooth suds. I’ve used the tooth powder before and I really liked it.
- This recipe from Naturally Free Life features a unique ingredient–chocolate!
Top 5 Best Organic Toothpaste Brands
Making your own toothpaste can be time-consuming; fortunately, there are a ton of great options you can purchase off the shelf!
1. Best Organic Toothpaste for the Microbiome: Revitin
Revitin is a powerhouse toothpaste that has all of the best benefits an organic toothpaste should have. The harsh ingredients in conventional toothpaste “strip” the mouth of friendly bacteria and disrupt the microbiome – an ecosystem essential for your total health and wellbeing.
Instead of stripping the mouth of beneficial bacteria, Revitin effectively cleanses, fights inflammation and gum disease without introducing you or the ones you love to harmful chemicals. It’s also infused with nutrients to promote oral health, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Cranberry Extract and Co-Q10. This is the toothpaste that our family uses. Learn more about Revitin here.
2. Best Organic Toothpaste for Remineralization: Boka Ela Mint Nano-hydroxyapatite Toothpaste
Nano-hydroxyapatite toothpaste is the toothpaste recommended by Dr. Burhenne, a dentist and natural tooth remineralization expert. Boka’s Ela Mint paste is free from fluoride, SLS’s, parabens, and artificial flavors, yet it has a consistency and texture similar to the toothpaste you’re already familiar with. It is my favorite choice for people with sensitive teeth, as it will help reduce sensitivity.
3. Best Organic Toothpaste for Cavity Prevention: Redmond Earthpaste
Redmond Earthpaste is one of the best organic toothpaste alternatives you can buy. Its star ingredient is bentonite clay, a food grade ingredient that has a high pH to offset cavity-friendly acidity. It won’t foam like regular toothpaste, but it comes in lots of different delicious flavorings, thanks to the use of essential oils.
4. Best Organic Toothpaste That’s Not a Toothpaste: Uncle Harry’s Tooth Suds
If you look at the ingredient list for Uncle Harry’s Tooth Suds and think, “this is just soap,” you’d be right! Tooth suds rely on castile soap to help promote an alkaline pH in your mouth so that remineralization can take place. This definitely tastes, um, soapy, but it’s highly effective and one of the best organic toothpaste alternatives you can buy.
5. Best Organic Toothpaste for Whitening: Dirty Mouth Toothpowder by Primal Life Organics
This tooth powder uses activated charcoal as a key ingredient to whiten and remove stains from teeth. The clays in this formulation also help to gently remove plaque from the teeth. Essential oils and monk fruit offer a sweet taste that also freshens breath. This is definitely different from traditional toothpaste and instead of squeezing a tube you dip your brush in the tooth powder. While the change may take some getting used to I highly recommend this brand. It’s one that we’ve used and love!
Organic toothpaste is an important part of healing cavities naturally and remineralizing teeth so you can prevent cavities before they begin. Now, I want to hear from you. Which of these organic toothpaste options are you excited to try? Do you use organic toothpaste? How do you feel it’s benefited your health?
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