Recently I grossed myself out by reading the ingredient list on my tube of toothpaste. Mine had sodium saccharine in it, an artificial sweetener. Yuck. When I looked for an alternative, I was astounded by the number of natural toothpastes on the market today. I tested a dozen of them for my thrice-a-day brushing habit (gum just doesn’t cut it after lunch). Here are my favorites.
Power Smile All Natural Whitening CoQ10 Tooth Gel, $5.49
Where to find it: At natural food stores
Worth trying for the name alone— I mean, really, who doesn’t want a power smile? This gel with a faint amber tint had a slightly medicinal whiff, but it foamed up well and my pearly whites felt squeaky-clean afterward.
Kiss My Face
Triple Action Certified Organic Aloe Vera Toothpaste CoQ10 Tooth Gel, $6
Where to find it: kissmyface.com
Unlike many brands I tried, this sage-green gel left my gums feeling powerfully tingly. It does smell slightly of aloe vera, so don’t mistake it for your moisturizer.
The Natural Dentist
Healthy Teeth & Gums Toothpaste, fluoride-free with Xylitol, $5.99
Where to find it: thenaturaldentist.com
A good choice if you’re switching to a natural brand for the first time, this reassuringly familiar-looking white paste got the job done.
Herbal Neem Toothpaste, $7.49
Where to find it: organixshop.com
Once I got past its unappetizing pinky-beige color, I liked this paste a lot. It produced a mouthful of very fine bubbles when I brushed. The company also sells a mouthwash and an herbal extract for dental health.
Salt Toothpaste, $4.99
Where to find it: at Whole Foods nationwide
Who knew that good old table salt cleaned your teeth? The minty-salty taste is more refreshing than it sounds, and the slightly gritty paste was the most bracing of the bunch—an hour later my mouth still felt fresh.
Story by Deborah Snoonian. This article originally appeared in Plenty in October 2007.
Copyright Environ Press 2007