Oral hygiene – Non-toxic Toothpastes


THE PROBLEM : Fluorinated toothpaste.  “No-one likes tooth decay. This is why, for decades, we have had recourse to fluoride to preserve the health of our teeth. Even if it contributed to healthy teeth in the developed countries, fluoride is not a universal panacea to ensure oral health. Over-exposure to fluoride involves dangers. As fluoride is integrated into the public water supply – and subsequently in almost all that we eat and drink – its presence in toothpaste does nothing but increase the risk of introducing an excessive quantity of this chemical. Since children tend to swallow toothpaste, they run a greater risk to suffer from dental fluorosis, a condition which causes white scratches on the teeth and even blotches in the more serious cases. Especially causing an aesthetic problem in the majority of the cases except the acutest, dental fluorosis is nevertheless an example of the contrary effects to anticipated results – more resistant teeth – that fluoride can have. The effects of fluoride are not always so inoffensive. Fluorosis of the skeleton can be invalidating and sometimes mortal. [1]  A study showed that, among young boys, fluoride is a risk factor for osteo-sarcoma, one of the most widespread types of bone cancer. [2] Studies make it possible to conclude that an excess of fluoride could contribute to an increased risk of anomalies of the teeth, bones, brain and thyroid gland.  [3] These anomalies would be caused partly by fluoride which seems to deteriorate the crystalline structure of the bones in a way which could increase the risk of fracture.  [4]    It is not without reason that the following warning is affixed on the tubes of toothpaste: “Keep out of range of children less than six years old. In the event of accidental ingestion of a quantity exceeding the one necessary for brushing, get medical aid urgently or communicate immediately with an anti-poison centre. ” Even if the harmfulness of fluoride is known, the majority of North Americans use it every day. It is however primarily an industrial waste product, but as it is used in the public drinking water supply, people tend to accept fluoride is safe. Mercury is the most toxic metal on the planet and yet, dentists use every day mixtures which contain some for dental fillings, in spite of the emanations released and absorbed in the mouth of the patients. If your fillings are silver-coloured, you are exposed all day long and at any time to mercury which evaporates constantly at the ambient temperature. Every time that you chew or drink a hot liquid, the friction and heat involve an increased release of this pollutant, invisible and insipid gas.   The inhaled vapors pass easily from the lungs in the blood stream from where they infuse fabrics of the entire organism”. Source: La santé chez soi /Health at home by Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz. To know more concerning the dangers from mercury used in dental fillings consult « Du poison plein la bouche/A mouth full of Poison » by Dr. Myron Wentz. [5]


In conclusion, for oral hygiene four substances are to be avoided: fluoride, triclosan (see «  Dirty List  »  by David Suzuki, prohibited by the Canadian Association of Medical Doctors, formaldehyde and alcohol (which can be present in mouthwash) and mercury in the fillings of the dental decays.  Triclosan is classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as possibly cancer-causing to humans. In April 2010 the US Food and Drug Administration announced its intention to study triclosan and the links between this substance and hormonal disturbances and resistance that it created in humans to anti-bacterial antibiotics. In 2009 the Canadian Medical Association requested from the Canadian Government to banish all the anti-bacterial products by quoting evidence proving that triclosan causes  resistance to antibiotics and that it was found in mother’s milk. Many experts blame the anti-bacterial household products for being the cause of the unceasing growth of child allergies. To know more about triclosan, look at the chapter « Non-toxic Hands Lotions  ». According to  The Guide to Less toxic products the conventional mouthwashes are often containing alcohol whose content varies from 18 to 26%. The products containing alcohol can contribute to cancers of the mouth, the tongue and the throat when they are used regularly. In 2009, a warning from the Dental Journal of Australia confirmed that the mouthwash containing alcohol contributes to the increased risk of oral cancers. Choose a flexible tooth brush and brush your teeth after each meal for at least 3 minutes, use a tongue scraper (very effective against bad breath), use dental floss at least once a day and visit a dentist from time to time.

Natural solution : Inherited from a practice of the Babylonians and used in the Moslim tradition, the Miswak stick (sewak) is the root of the Salvadora Persica tree known in Arabic as Arak and in French as “the toothbrush tree”. This small stick is chewed and rubs against the teeth. Research indicates that Miswak removes the bacteria which cause decay, gingivite, the formation of dental plaque and it makes the teeth whiter. On sale on eBay.
ARGANAT CANADA ALL NATURAL CLAY TOOTHPASTE - WHITENING PEPPERMINT50 ml, $ 28.99 (also available with cinnamon or natural). Rated 0 on Skin Deep

INCI : green illite (french green clay)· aqua· argania spinoza oil· kaolin (white clay)· juglans regia (walnut) shell extract · maris sal (dead sea salt) · thymus vulgaris (thyme) leaf extract· origanum vulgare flower extract· laurus nobilis leaf extract· salvia officinalis (sage) oil· thymus vulgaris (thyme) leaf oil · rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil · origanum vulgare leaf oil· malaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil · mentha peperita leaf(french peppermint) oil

Made in Canada · Chemical free · No added sugar · Not tested on animals · Vegan

Although the pleasure to use is not its first quality, this green clay and walnut oil paste has definitely therapeutic virtues on irritated gums and helps alleviate bad breath.

  Green Beaver, Frosty Mint Toothpaste , 75 ml, 5.95 $, graded 1 on   Skin Deep , no fluoride or Lauryl Sodium Sulphate.
Ingredients: Calcium Carbonate; Sorbitol; Aqua; Glycerin; Sodium Bicarbonate; Silica; Xylitol; Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil; Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Extract; Calcium Ascorbate; Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil; Menthol; Sclerotium Gum; Coco Glucoside; Xanthan Gum
  Also in Green Beaver, Cilantro Mint (a formula a little older but still available on sale) is also  rated 1, without fluorine, without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, 4.25 $, 75 gr.
Ingredients: Calcium Carbonate, Sorbitol, Aqua, Glycerin, Sodium Bicarbonate, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Oil, Silica, Xylitol, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Extract, Calcium Ascorbate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Menthol, Sclerotium Gum, Coco Glucoside, Xanthan Gum

Cattier Dentargile , remineralizing toothpaste with clay with essential anise oil, certified Cosmétique Bio, 5.95 $, 75 ml. Contrary to the descriptive card of the ingredients which one finds in The truth on natural cosmetics (p. 260) by Rita Stiens and which goes back nevertheless to 2006, the toothpaste currently sold does not contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate any more; on the other hand, it contains Benzyl Alcohol which is a preservative used by several charters of organic certifications and of limonene which is an odoriferous substance of vegetable origin which is on the list of the 26 allergenic substances. The texture differs from the one of popular toothpastes, because one feels a little clay in the mouth and it foams little. It is my choice considering the card of ingredients and the good quality /price ratio.

Cattier remineralizing Toothpaste with clay and propolis , certified organic Cosmebio, 5.75 $, 75 ml, contains Benzyl Alcohol and Limonene.

I think that, in the field of certified organic toothpastes or quite simply sold in the stores of natural products, the prices are excessively expensive, 5.75 $ is a good price because certain toothpastes can go all the way up to 20 dollars…

  Without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, the M int-Lemon  Toothpaste of Druide gives a true feeling of freshness and cleanliness to the user, certified ECOCERT. 120 ml, 9.95 $.
Ingredients : Sorbitol, Silica, Aqua, Citrus Limonum Extract*, Glycerin, Decyl Glucoside, Calcium Lactate, Titanium Dioxide, Xanthan Gum, Bamboo (Bambusa Vulgaris) Extract, Mentha Viridis Oil*, Eucalyptus Globulus Oil*, Stevia Rebaudiana Extract*, Mentha Piperita Oil*, Menthyl Lactate, Potassium Sorbate, Aloe Barbadensis Gel*99,8% of the total of the ingredients are of natural origin*13,6% of the total of the ingredients result from organic agriculture
  Toothpaste white teeth of Melvita (and several other kinds for adults and children) certified Cosmebio bio and ECOCERT.
Ingredients : Aqua [Water], Sorbitol, Silica, Glycerin*, Kaolin, Sodium Bicarbonate, Limestone, Sodium Chloride, Limonene**, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Bambusa Arundinacea Powder [Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder], Potassium Sorbate, Illicium Verum Oil [Illicium Verum (Anise) Oil]*, Aroma, Hordeum Vulgare Extract*, Citric Acid, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Oil [Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil]*.* Ingredients resulting from organic agriculture.** Natural component of essential oils.
  Auromere Ayurvedic Freshmint Toothpaste , with several savours is a toothpaste containing herbs (5.99 $) which one finds almost everywhere in the shops of natural products, but which is not available on Skin Deep.
Here’s the list of the ingredients for “fresh mint”:  Fine Chalk (A Gentle Cleanser), Glycerine (From Rice Bran Oil), Water, Herbal Extract Blend: [Peelu (Salvadora Persica), Neem (Azadirachta Indica), Indian Licorice Root, Pomegranate Rind, Commom Jujube, Rose Apple, Clove, Persian Walnut, Barleria Prinoitis Bark (Vajradanti), Indian Almond, Bedda Nut, Asian Holly Oak, Prickly Ash, Zanthoxylum Alatum, Sappan Wood, Catechu, Bengal Madder, Acacia Arabica Bark (Babul), Sarsaparilla, Cinnamon, Medlar Bark, Mayweed, Bishop's Weed (Flower Extract)], Silica, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (From Indian Coconut Oil), Carageenan (From Seaweed), Cellulose (Plant) Gum, Clove Oil, Peppermint Oil, Spearmint Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Cinnamon Bark Oil, Menthol, Thymol, Anethol. Free of fluoride, gluten, bleaches, artificial sweeteners, dyes, bleaches, animal ingredients and artificial preservatives.

Jason Power Smile All Whitening formula (4.99 $), graded 1 on  Skin Deep, no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, no fluoride.

Ingredients: Calcium Carbonate, Aqua (Purified Water), Vegetable Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Carrageenan, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Gel*, Bambusa Arundinacea (Bamboo) Stem Powder, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Extract, Perilla Ocymoides (Perilla) Seed Extract, Sodium Bicarbonate, Silica, Stevioside, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract*Certified Organic


The following toothpastes of Tom’s of Maine do not contain fluorine:  Peppermint bleaching (85 ml, 6.95 $),  Strawberry Toothpaste without fluorine Fennel Toothpaste without fluorine  Apricot bleaching Toothpaste without fluorine  .The majority of the Tom’s of Maine toothpastes contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, when they are free of it you find the mention “SLS FREE”. All these toothpastes of Tom’s of Maine are graded 0 on  Skin Deep  : Tom’s of Maine Natural Toothpaste Antiplaque ,Fennel Tom’s of Maine Natural Antiplaque Toothpaste Spearmint Tom’s of Maine Propolis & Myrrh Fluoride-Free Toothpaste – Peppermint

Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste with Baking Soda & Essential Oil of Mint, Desert Essence, Toothpaste, Tea Tree & Mint , (both contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, 7.45 $) are graded 1 on  Skin Deep  and the one with cinnamon, (old formula), is graded 2.
Another toothpaste without triclosan that you can buy in the shops of natural products is the one of Nature’s Gate    (Nature’s Gate Cream of Peppermint Toothpaste) with bicarbonate of soda and mint without dye, without preservative, artificial sweetening substance, without fluorine, graded 2 out of 10 in terms of toxicity on  Skin Deep  which is not bad. It contains however Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and “flavor” whose contents are not specified. In the same company another toothpaste is also available made on the base of anise (Nature’s Gate Cream of Anise Toothpaste) graded 0 but which I did not see in the shops however …

Weleeda CalendulaToothpaste , graded 3 on  Skin Deep  (because of limonene and magnesium aluminum silicates), 7.49 $, 75 ml.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Calcium Carbonate, Glycerin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Alcohol, Calendula Officinalis Extract, Commiphora Myrrha Extract, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Oil, Xanthan Gum, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Limonene*.* from natural essential oils

A. Vogel – Echinacea Toothpaste on sale in Quebec, recommended by The Guide to Less Toxic Products , beautiful chart of which are here the ingredients:

Aqua (Water), Sorbitol, Calcium Carbonate, Silica, Alcohol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice Extract), Potentilla Erecta (Tormentil Extract), Astragalus Gummifer (Tragacanth Gum), Mentha

At the pharmacy

There are many toothpastes in the popular brands evaluated on Skin Deep and their grade varies from 2 up to 5 or 6, they thus should be checked one by one. The majority of them contain fluorine and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. The Colgate toothpastes are graded 1 to 6, Aquafresh from 3 to 5, Crest between 2 and 5 and Sensodyne between 3 and 5. Do your research before buying some.



Question mark:  Colgate 2 in 1 Kids Toothpaste  and  Mouthwash   strawberry flavour   ,   Colgate 2 in 1 whitening toothpaste  and  mouthwash watermelon flavour  are on the list of the products recognized by the Canadian Dental Association, whereas on  Skin Deep  they are at the tail of the group, graded  5 , and here’s why:

Ingredients of Colgate 2 in 1 Kids toothpaste and mouthwash watermelon flavour.Active Ingredients: Sodium Fluoride 0.24% – 0.15% W/V Fluoride Ion.Other Ingrédients: Sorbitol, Water, Glycerin, Hydrated Silica, PEG-12 , Sodium Lauryl Sulfate , Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine , Sodium Saccharin, Flavor , Xanthan Gum, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Yellow #5 Personally, I would not make this choice for my children in spite of the recommendations of the Canadian Dental Association.

In Quebec, the municipalities direct and control the fluoridation of drinking water, and so in Montreal and in Longueuil and in many other municipalities water is not fluorinated. It is necessary to check near your Town hall what happens to the water of your municipality.

Did you know that the oldest receipt of toothpaste goes back to 400 before J. – C. in ancient Egypt and it was written by a scribe on a piece of parchment. That document is now in a museum in Vienna. According to the receipt, to obtain perfectly clean teeth the following ingredients were necessary: 1/100 th of an ounce of rock salt, 2/100ds of an ounce of mint, 1/100 th of an ounce of flowers of dried iris and 20 peppercorns.



Non-toxic mouthwash

Classified the best mouthwash by  Skin Deep  (graded 0) and by    Good Guide  (10/10 for health): Miessence Freshening Mouthwash – certified Organic . In Quebec, the Miessence products are sold by Daliane Benoit.

On sale at certain dentists the Oxyfresh mouthwash a very effective formula against bad breath and a clean chemical composition, without alcohol: Toilets, Xylitol, Sodium Chlorite (Oxygen), Zinc, Acetate, Sodium Citrate, Peppermint Oil, Sodium Hydroxide.

It is also sold at the Bergeron pharmacy on rue St-Charles in Longueuil. It is my choice, I have been using  it for several years, and I am very satisfied.

  Tom’s of Maine Natural Baking Soda Mouthwash, Peppermint  rated 1, 7.99 $, 473 ml.
Jason Natural Cosmetics NutriSmile Mouthwash,  Jason Natural Cosmetics PowerSmile Super Refreshing Mouthwash, Jason Natural Cosmetics Sea Fresh Biologically-Active Mouthwash   473 ml, 7.99 $ all classified 1 on  Skin Deep .

Dr. Hauschka Med Salvia Mouth Bath , certified BDIH product classified among the best mouth baths by the  L’Observatoire des cosmétiques  (Observatory of cosmetics- in French). According to this Guide, this product has “a notable effectiveness on the gums”.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Alcohol, Sorbitol, Althaea Officinalis Leaf Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Krameria Triandra Root Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Potentilla Erecta Root Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Bark Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Commiphora Myrrha Extract, Fragrance/Parfum, Limonene*, Eugenol*, Linalool*, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Glycerin, Propolis Wax.This product contains alcohol (is not appropriate for children), some substances with potential allergens (Limonene*, Eugenol*, Linalool*) and as with all the Dr. Hauschka products, the content of the Fragrance/Perfume generic is not specified.


At the pharmacy  

Listerine Antiseptic Mouthwash Original is rated  2 on  Skin Deep , but the other Listerine, Colgate, Oral-B, Johnson & Johnson mouthwashes can vary between 3 and 5, they should be checked one by one.
Listerine Agent Cool Blue Tinting Rinse 10/10 grade for health on  Good Guide but rated 3 on  Skin Deep  especially because of the “unspecified flavors”  [6] .


Natural solution : rinse your teeth with water in which you add a drop of essential cinnamon or peppermint oil and to whiten your teeth occasionally brush them with bicarbonate of soda without aluminum.


  Silky Dental Floss ” by Radius , organic and biodegradable, certified USDA ORGANIC, $ 4.99, 50 m .


Whatever the brand, even certified organic, the harmlessness of the products (l’innocuité) can be very different. A rather popular brand in shops of natural products like Jason’s can present products graded from 0 to 8 on  Skin Deep !

“The products that we put on our body end up being found in our body”, declared Céleste Côté,  director of the program of toxic substances at “Environmental Defence”. According to her, a certain number of independent studies confirmed this fact by measuring the levels of harmful chemical substances in blood and urine, while supervising the exposure of the person to products of personal care containing pre-occupying chemical substances such as phthalates and triclosan, for example. While he was doing research for the book Slow Death by Rubber Duck, the executive director of “Environmental Defence“ [7]  Rick Smith tested the blood rates of phthalates (present in perfumes) and of triclosan (an anti-bacterial substance) before and after the use of the traditional beauty products. After two days of exposure, the levels in the phthalate blood increased 22 times, and those of triclosan increased 2900 times.  [8]





Guide of non-toxic hygiene, beauty care and cosmetic products

[1] ↑ J. Fawell, K. Bailey, J. Chilton, E. Dahi, L. Fewtrell and Y. Magara, Fluoride in Drinking-Water , World Health Organization (2006).

[2] ↑ Elise B. Bassin, David Wypij, Roger B. Davis and Murray A. Mittleman, “Age-Specific Fluoride Exposure in Drinking Water and Osteosarcoma,” Cancer Causes and Control 17, no. 4 (2006).

[3] ↑ Dan Fagin, “Second Thoughts about Fluoride,” Scientific American 298, no. 1 (2008).

[4] ↑ Dan Fagin, “Second Thoughts about Fluoride,” Scientific American 298, no. 1 (2008).

Source: http://www.myhealthyhome.com/fr/dangers-afficher-par-categorie/metaux-lourdselements/le-dentifrice-au-fluorure/

[5] ↑ Source : La santé chez sois by  Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz

[6] ↑ Non-specified flavours

[7] ↑  See specifics on Environmental Defense in the chapter « Are cosmetics toxic? »

[8] ↑ Source : http://www.chatelaine.com/en/blog/post/27021–how-to-choose-healthy-and-safe-beauty-products

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