I love a good natural product. I’m a moderately green person like I’m a moderate minimalist: I enjoy it if it’s easy to implement and not much more expensive than the regular way.
So I ordered several different natural toothpastes, inspired by the lack of children’s toothpastes that weren’t artificially fruit flavored. My three-year-old has serious morning breath, and “mild fruit” is not cutting it. Natural toothpastes don’t have the ingredients that shouldn’t be in children’s toothpastes, with the added benefit that many of them may help reminerialize teeth, and they’re more eco-friendly, to boot.
I’m not an expert on toothpaste ingredients. I used the internet to help me – the basic lowdown is:
1) Glycerin coats your teeth, keeping the helpful ingredients in toothpaste from penetrating
2) Kids shouldn’t ingest flouride.
3) It might be possible to remineralize teeth using natural toothpastes with certain ingredients.
4) I like to pronounce the ingredients in what I and my kids use.
Initial use: 100% honest, this does not taste good. The texture is what I expected from natural toothpastes – non-foaming, a little gritty. (Like a true “paste.”) But the taste is pretty much like brushing your teeth with dirt and charcoal. It’s unpleasant. (Update: I did try mixing this 50/50 with Peppermint Earthpaste. Much better – will use it this way!)
That being said, after rinsing, that taste is completely gone and you’re left with a minty fresh feeling/taste. This minty feeling/taste does not interfere with food or drink like you might expect. So that’s cool!
Kid use: I highly doubt I’m going to attempt this with my kids (3 and 1). If I could hardly stand the taste while brushing, it’s not going to work for them.
Skeptical husband use: See above. This is not for the green-faint-of-heart.
Initial Use: This one tastes less of dirt! There is still, obviously, no foaming, but the earthen taste is faint. The cinnamon taste is not overpowering. Left teeth feeling very clean and smooth. Cinnamon flavor lingered after rinsing – like your mouth feels after chewing cinnamon gum. Did not interfere with tasting food and beverages!
Kid Use: My boys (3 and 1) used this one, and I had no complaints. Still working on the mechanics of spitting properly.
Skeptical Husband Use: This is the first one he agreed to use, and is probably his “favorite” because it is the most like a traditional toothpaste in dispensing and texture.
Initial Use: I really enjoyed the Wintergreen flavor, and even convinced Skeptical Husband to try it. He said nothing (translation: it was an acceptable experience.)
The Peppermint is good – because the flavor is from essential oils, it’s a little “sharper” than regular toothpaste.
The Lemon has a flavor like lemongrass, which could come off as “Mr. Clean” -esque to some people. But it’s not a situation where I won’t finish the tube.
Why on earth did you get so many flavors of the same toothpaste?! : I couldn’t get just a mint. The mint was only available in the four-pack. I have enough Earthpaste for years.
Initial Use: This is hard to get to stay on your toothbrush. It fell off on me twice before I really mushed it down on there and it stayed. The texture is pretty pleasant thanks to the oconut oil – it feels pretty smooth in your mouth. The flavor was pretty strong, and I found out that orange-mint is not my personal favorite. It did not ruin the flavor of my food. Was not quite as good at cutting the morning breath as the others. (This one has the best texture for brushing. Will continue to use, just isn’t my favorite!)
Kid Use: I had to help them get it on their brushes. This is the only one that my 3-year-old described as “spicy.” I don’t think they were fans, but then again their teeth don’t need remineralizing, so that’s fine.
Skeptical Husband Use: He didn’t care for the flavor, and thought it was silly to have to scoop and scrape the paste onto a brush. (He is one of those no-cavities-ever people, so I guess this will just be my personal toothpaste!)
Initial Use: This is very dry when you first stick it in your mouth! That sensation quickly dissipates, but it’s a bit jarring at first. Flavorwise, this is VERY pepperminty, but still doesn’t interfere with food. It’s a little messy to use, but this might be due to the small container size (this is a travel size, the “regular” jars are much bigger!)
Kid Use: Too messy for the kids to use themselves. They both are partial to minty flavors, so they had no complaints. I was sure to wet their toothbrushes very well first.
Skeptical Husband Use: He wasn’t a big fan of the dry factor, but felt that it tasted good and cleaned well.
(I wonder if I could mix coconut oil in there myself? I chose this toothpaste specifically for the remineralizing claims, so I’m going to use it no matter what!)
Why didn’t you say anything about the cleaning abilities, Juli?!
Because they all cleaned the same – quite well. My teeth felt smooth, and clean, and my breath was neutralized/freshened. Much like regular toothpaste, just no foaming. By far, my favorite characteristic of all of these natural toothpastes was that the flavor did not interfere with immediate eating and drinking. I have NEVER found a regular toothpaste that actually freshens breath but doesn’t ruin your breakfast.
My favorite and the easiest to use was the Redmond Earthpaste. I will continue using each of these and will update this post if I notice any long term pros or cons.
There you have it! Have you tried any natural toothpastes? Which one do you recommend?
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