Other ingredients commonly found in toothpaste that you should be cautious about consuming:
-hydrated silica-food dyes-hydrogen peroxide-isopropyl alcohol -ethanol-propylene glycol-artificial sweeteners and flavors
There are many toothpastes that strive to be as healthy as possible. You may have to go to a health food store to buy them, although Tom’s of Maine is usually found in grocery stores. I bought three brands to test out for this blog. Here is what I found by reading the box and by using them myself:
Burt’s Bees Natural Toothpaste - fluoride free, certified natural, no animal testing, no sulfates or petrochemicals. It does have hydrated silica for whitening. I did not care for the texture which is very gooey and sticky. I could not tell what the tube is made of. It looked like metal lined plastic. JASON Sea Fresh - no fluoride, certified organic, no animal testing. The box is recyclable but the tube is plastic which might be recyclable, depending on where you live. This one is my favorite because of its texture and taste. Kiss My Face - no sulfates, no artificial colors or flavors, not tested on animals. It does have hydrated silica for whitening. Some of the ingredients are organic. I liked the taste and texture. The tube is plastic and might be recyclable depending on where you live.
I had been avoiding Tom’s of Maine because it was bought by Colgate-Palmolive, but I found out through my reading that Tom’s has not changed although owned by a “standard” toothpaste company. Tom’s has a great philosphy about being sustainable and natural. Some flavors have sulfates and others do not, so read the package. Tom’s packaging was the greenest that I found. Their tubes are aluminum and can be recycled if you cut off the top.When I use up all this other toothpaste, I may return to Tom’s. This is certainly not a scientific or thorough test of toothpastes. My point is that consumers should read the ingredients and pay attention to the packaging. Be careful what you put in your mouth and think about the waste when you are done with the product.
What are you going to put your toothpaste on? An eco-friendly toothbrush, of course! The greenest toothbrush I have found is the Preserve toothbrush. The handle is made of 100% recycled plastic, which is recycled Stonyfield yogurt cups. The plastic package is wood-based plastic, the information sheet is recycled paper, and the toothbrush itself (#5) can be recycled through a special program . The company that makes them, Recycline, is dedicated to making as small a footprint as possible.
Do you use mouthwash? I do not, maybe I should. My husband uses it everyday. If you do use mouthwash, use one that does not have alcohol. Alcohol is very drying to the membranes inside your mouth. This makes them more vulnerable to damages and infection. I have noticed that almost every “natural” toothpaste has a matching mouthwash to accompany it, alcohol free, of course.