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When it comes to putting your best face forward, there’s one aspect of your beauty routine that should never be neglected: brushing your teeth. And while natural and green products for your lips and hair may abound, the options for making your selfie smile its whitest can be a challenge.

Not all pastes are created equally, even if they describe themselves as natural. Your toothpaste should always be effective in completely cleaning your teeth.

Looking to jazz up your teeth cleaning routine and try out a new toothpaste? Here are 10 natural toothpastes to consider.

These toothpastes were selected using consumer reviews, scientific studies of sourced ingredients, and American Dental Association (ADA) recommendations.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $5
  • $$ = $5–$10
  • $$$ = over $10

Best fluoride-free whitening toothpaste

Hello Antiplaque + Whitening Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

Price: $

Online reviewers applaud Hello for creating a product they say is appropriate for the “whole family.” Made from vegan products that are free of dyes, artificial sweeteners, and artificial flavors, Hello’s fluoride-free toothpaste relies on hydrated silica, calcium carbonate, peppermint, tea tree oil, and coconut oil to keep your pearly whites clean.

Additionally, ingredients like zinc citrate, sodium cocoyl, and erythritol are known to help with plaque and create a clean oral environment.

Benefits

  • hydrated silica and calcium carbonate clean tooth enamel
  • zinc citrate helps prevent tooth cavities and plaque
  • coconut oil provides moisture
  • is cruelty-free and vegan

Best fluoride-free toothpaste for polishing

Public Goods Toothpaste

Price: $$

Made with fresh peppermint, Public Goods Toothpaste doesn’t include fluoride, parabens, phthalates, or anything from formaldehyde. For folks wary of those ingredients, Public Goods relies on grit and coconut properties as alternatives to keeping plaque and stains at bay.

Available in large and travel-size versions, Public Goods earned top marks from online reviewers for creating a minty formula that left mouths feeling “clean.”

Benefits

  • calcium carbonate and silica clean tooth enamel
  • xylitol fights cavities
  • peppermint oil helps freshen breath
  • is cruelty-free, vegan, and gluten-free

Best fluoride-free toothpaste for sensitive teeth

Wildist Brillimint Toothpaste

Price: $$

For those with an extra sensitive smile, Wildist Brillimint Toothpaste could be a good option. Online reviewers frequently note that the all-natural toothpaste doesn’t irritate their teeth or gums.

Made with peppermint and spearmint oil, Brillimint toothpaste leaves your mouth feeling fresh and comes in a smooth, foam-like formula.

Benefits

Best zero-waste fluoride-free toothpaste

Bite Toothpaste Bits

Price: $$$

Clear up some space on your bathroom counter and say farewell to toothpaste residue with Bite Toothpaste Bits. The zero-waste product comes in capsule form, which you first put in your mouth and then brush around with a wet toothbrush.

While ingredients differ depending on the type you choose, these bits can still be used twice a day. Online reviews warn of adjusting to the taste of the bits, but many note they work as well as toothpaste.

Benefits

  • baking soda helps with plaque and stains
  • kaolin helps clean teeth
  • erythritol reduces plaque
  • nano-hydroxyapatite (n-HA) fights cavities and reduces sensitivity
  • is vegan and cruelty-free
  • packaging includes glass bottles for easy recycling

Best minimalist fluoride-free toothpaste

Davids Premium Natural Toothpaste

Price: $$

Free of fluoride and sulfate, Davids Premium Natural Toothpaste comes in a peppermint flavor and fights plaque. Made from a recyclable metal tube, the toothpaste uses premium natural ingredients, meaning this one is free of artificial coloring, flavoring, and sweetener.

Plus, thanks to its list of all-natural ingredients, this toothpaste is verified by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that specializes in researching and informing the public about the crossover between human health and pollutants in everyday products.

Benefits

  • no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or colors
  • calcium carbonate and hydrated silica clean tooth enamel
  • baking soda helps with plaque and stains
  • is cruelty-free
  • packaged in recyclable metal tube

Best fluoride-free toothpaste with aloe vera

Dr. Bronner’s Organic Peppermint Toothpaste

Price: $$

Dr. Bronner’s may already occupy a spot in your shower or bath, as the brand is known for its all-natural line of soaps. So of course, the brand would have their very own organic toothpaste. Available in three flavors and made of 70 percent organic ingredients, the toothpaste earns top marks from online reviewers for its “fabulous” taste and ability to leave some mouths feeling fresh.

Benefits

Best fluoride-free toothpaste with n-HA

Ela Mint Toothpaste

Price: $$$

This toothpaste, tasting of mint and green tea, prides itself on ditching the fluoride in favor of n-HA. Early research shows that n-HA may help remineralize weakened tooth surfaces. Also, n-HA may contribute to increase in micro hardness of your teeth.

Reviewers love the fresh taste of the toothpaste, and some report that their teeth were less sensitive after use.

Benefits

  • n-HA may help reduce teeth sensitivity and prevent cavities
  • flavored with antibacterial peppermint oil, wintergreen oil, and star anise oil
  • free of artificial flavoring

Best, cleanest rinsing fluoride-free toothpaste

RiseWell Mineral Toothpaste

Price: $$$

Like Ela Mint, RiseWell is also made with hydroxyapatite. Flavored with essential oils, including peppermint and mint, the product has earned appreciation from its users for leaving teeth feeling refreshed and extra clean. Others praised the product for being easy to brush and rinse without leaving behind any sticky residue.

Benefits

  • silica cleans tooth enamel
  • xylitol prevents growth of cavity-causing bacteria
  • hydroxyapatite helps restore tooth enamel
  • is cruelty-free and vegan

Best charcoal fluoride-free toothpaste

Schmidt’s Activated Charcoal with Wondermint

Price: $$

Charcoal toothpaste has become popular for claims of its whitening power plus antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Reviewers love the clean feeling with this toothpaste, but studies caution that some charcoal toothpastes may roughen the surface of your teeth.

Benefits

  • silica cleans tooth enamel
  • xylitol prevents growth of cavity-causing bacteria
  • activated charcoal has antiviral and antibacterial properties

Best variety fluoride-free toothpaste

Tom’s of Maine

Price: $$

Tom’s of Maine is a natural toothpaste brand that has a lot of options. Tom’s makes toothpastes with and without fluoride, and many of its fluoride formulas are recommended by the ADA.

Tom’s has 13 different varieties of fluoride-free toothpastes, including whitening pastes and options for children.

Reviewers love the fresh taste and clean of this toothpaste, and many say they were pointed to this option by their dentists.

Benefits

There isn’t a strict set of standards a toothpaste has to meet to be labeled natural. Instead, this word is often used to show that a toothpaste is free of certain chemicals linked to health problems, or that they rely on less processed ingredients than traditional toothpastes.

Most toothpastes contain several basic ingredients:

  • some type of mild abrasive to remove debris and stains
  • humectants to prevent water loss and dryness
  • flavoring agents to add freshness
  • detergent to create foam and disperse the toothpaste as you brush

Beyond these basics, some toothpastes may also add things like:

  • fluoride to fight cavities and prevent tooth decay
  • ingredients to fight plaque and gingivitis
  • whitening agents
  • desensitizers

People may choose natural toothpastes for a variety of reasons, including environmental concerns and cost. Others choose natural toothpastes to reduce the amount of chemical or man-made products they use, or to avoid an ingredient they may be allergic or sensitive to.

Make-at-home or natural toothpastes with basic ingredients like baking soda can work when it comes to cleaning the surface of your teeth, but you must also consider your other dental needs. Do you have sensitive teeth? Do you need extra gum care? Consider all your dental needs beyond just cleaning when choosing a natural toothpaste.

When you look for a toothpaste, a natural label may be important to you, but be sure to do your research and make sure you’re getting the clean you need. While many natural toothpaste boast being “fluoride-free,” fluoride is an important ingredient that is actually a natural product and helps protect teeth against cavities.

Unless you’re sensitive to fluoride or have another reason for avoiding it, you may want to talk with a dentist before ditching it completely.

“It’s vital that everyone uses a toothpaste with fluoride,” said Tyrone Rodriguez, DDS, a dentist and spokesperson for the ADA. “Fluoride is a natural cavity fighter that helps strengthen tooth enamel and fight tooth decay. In fact, it has been responsible for a significant drop in cavities since 1960. This is why all toothpastes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance contain fluoride.”

In fact, the ADA’s only recommends toothpastes that include fluoride. A 2016 study reported that side effects can happen with unsupervised overingestion in a short period of time, but toxicity only occurred in very high concentrations.

Keep in mind, too, that the most studied and effective fluoride alternatives are rarely natural products, either. Many natural toothpastes feature ingredients like baking soda that can clean teeth well may not be as effective as fluoride in preventing cavities.

Rodriguez says the key in choosing any toothpaste should always be how well the product cleans the surface of the tooth. He recommends looking for toothpaste that has grit and that foams when applied. While you may enjoy a natural toothpaste, you’ll also want to consult a doctor or dentist to see if the product will actually help your teeth.

For example, toothpastes that contain baking soda can contain added salt and might be harmful for those with certain heart conditions or high blood pressure, Rodriguez notes. He also suggests steering clear of citrus elements, as these ingredients are acidic and can wear down the teeth or aggravate symptoms of acid reflux.

Just like your favorite brand of shampoo or makeup, choosing your perfect toothpaste ultimately remains up to you. Whether you choose an all-natural formula or not, remember to maintain proper oral hygiene:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, including your tongue.
  • Floss every day for gum health.
  • Use mouthwash to prevent gingivitis.
  • Schedule regular cleaning appointments with your dentist.

“Brushing your teeth is just one part of oral hygiene,” says Rodriguez. “A lot of times, people overlook getting in between the teeth. Flossing is great to get in between those areas.” (Floss regardless of your toothpaste preferences!) He also stressed the importance of brushing your tongue.

Sensitive teeth?

Most of these products contain hydrated silica and calcium carbonate to help clean your enamel.

While the grit in your natural toothpaste may feel like you’re doing a serious job, research suggests that calcium carbonate and silicon dioxide can also wear down enamel and soften surface. Meaning: Dental abrasion could further damage your enamel and increase sensitivity.

Talk with a doctor before switching to natural toothpaste.

“We live in a day and age where information that’s out there isn’t always accurate,” Rodriguez pointed out, noting the variety of online sources. “People should understand that the goal of their dentist or doctor is to keep patients healthy, so we won’t recommend anything that we ourselves were not going to use.”

Your dental health isn’t just about a beautiful smile. A good toothpaste cleans your teeth by removing debris and polishing, but also plays an important role in regulating bacteria and balancing your overall mouth health.

Be sure to discuss your individual dental needs and any concerns you have about your toothpaste with a dentist. There are many toothpastes available, and a dentist can help you find the best — possibly natural — solution for you.

Lauren Rearick is a freelance writer and fan of coffee. You can find her tweeting at @laurenelizrrr or on her website.