Zero waste natural toothpastes are made from plant-based ingredients and sold in zero waste packaging (ideally). The best way to look after your teeth is nothing to do with toothpaste: eat less sugar, drink less soda, brush your teeth twice daily and see the dentist, for regular check-ups.
NOICE Natural Charcoal Toothpaste are sold in glass bottles with reusable plastic pumps. Made from natural ingredients, this dentist-approved toothpaste is making waves. The bottles are rewashed and reused via the Loop Store, then delivered back to you in cardboard packaging. Made with organic liquorice to prevent cavities along with organic essential oils, They are working on a children’s version without essential oils.
Never use toothpaste with the sweetener xylitol near pets. Added as an alternative to sugar, just a tiny amount (on sinks or around your mouth) could be lethal if licked (it’s also found in gum and sweet foods like chocolate). Avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing and medical conditions like epilepsy and asthma, and avoid rosemary, citrus and sage oils for high blood pressure. Young children don’t need toothpaste, check with your dentist on when to start.
Whether you use fluoride is up to you. Some holistic dentists usually don’t recommend fluoride (unless applied topically for certain conditions) as too much causes mottled teeth and occasionally bone cancer. Just a tiny amount of ingested fluoride can kill a child. Ireland has added fluoride to water for decades, with no beneficial effects. Government policy would be better to give tax breaks to healthy organic food, and put higher tax on sugary food and drinks. Read Holistic Dental Care and It’s All In Your Mouth.
Georganics Toothpaste is sold in little glass jars (with bamboo spatulas). It also offers tooth soap (use with a wet toothbrush) and tooth tablets. Choose Peppermint, Spearmint, Tea Tree & Orange, or Activated Charcoal (whitening). For children, their mandarin toothpaste is an option (or to avoid glass jars, Green People has fruit and spearmint flavours. Note this company’s fluoride toothpastes and gum contains xylitol (toxic to pets, so don’t use in households with animal friends, in case of accidental ingestion).
Prefer a Conventional Tube of Toothpaste?
Green People is not in zero waste packaging, but is the best brand for a conventional ‘tube toothpaste’. Made with organic ingredients and also containing tooth-friendly ingredientsl like myrrh, there are also children’s versions. You can recycle the tubes at your nearest Terracycle recycling point.
DentTabs (Germany) is a range of toothpaste tablets (in compostable bags) that are sold worldwide. To use, just chew the tablets in your mouth to turn it into ‘toothpaste, then brush your teeth. Rinse and repeat (do not eat and keep out of reach of small children – for ages 6 and over). The tabs also have one of the lowest rate of relative dent abrasivity (which in plain English means it’s friendly to tooth enamel). Flavoured with mint or strawberry.
This natural dental tab is a bit different on two counts. Firstly it contains fluoride (some people prefer not to use it, but omitting it is a reason why many people don’t use natural toothpastes – talk to your dentist over that one). The second reason why this is a good alternative is that unlike most, it’s not sweetened with xylitol (this is lethal to pets, so could harm them if they licked your face you brushed your teeth or if they managed to get an spilled toothpaste around a sink. Instead this brand sweetens with stevia.
The cellulose on the tab means teeth are polished up to the interdental spaces, with new particles rolling off the tooth surface, to help prevent plaque. They won’t foam, due to the lack of irritating surfactants which can irritate the mucous membranes, but most users say within a week, they’re used to it! The company is launching a version without menthol soon, to cater for allergy sufferers.
These tabs need around 80% less packaging than toothpaste tubes, and one bag lasts the same as two tubes (where the last 14% is not used in the tube, as it gets more difficult to push out). Most toothpastes are also up to 50% water, whereas these tabs contain none.
The company was founded by a co-owner (with his brothers) of a dental laboratory in Berlin, though not an actual dentist (he’s a car mechanic!)
Georganics Activated Charcoal Mineral Toothpaste is flavoured with organic peppermint oil to help prevent gum disease and removes surface stains without peroxide like most whitening toothpastes. Free from fluoride, it helps promote remineralisation and is sold in a glass jar with aluminium lid and cardboard box. One pot lasts 8 weeks if you brush for 2 minutes twice a day, avoid water in the jar. Store in a dry place for up to 12 months after opening. You can recycle .