Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Monday, March 8, 2010

SLS free toothpaste?

Can anyone recommend a decent toothpaste that is free of Sodium Laurel Sulfates? I'm looking for something that is SLS free but has fluoride. I'm still undecided about the whole fluoride thing, I really don't want my already brittle teeth to pay the price of this decision.

Why Sodium Laurel Sulfate free? Well, SLS are found in almost all beauty care products including shampoo, soap, toothpaste, hair coloring, tooth-whitening products, foundation, body washes and most cleansers. SLS has been proven to cause canker sores and dry mouth. It is an irritant and drying agent that builds up in heart, liver, lung and brain tissue from skin exposure.

I'd also like it to be paraben-free while you're at it. I was looking at this Nature's Gate toothpaste since it's sulfate-free, paraben-free and organic. It also looks like it comes in a metal tube. Has anyone tried it?

Are there any favorites out there? And, no, I'm not interested in straight up baking soda because I want something more gentle and something that has fluoride.

54 comments:

Carrie at Rhubarbsky said...

Is your water fluoridated?
I go for fluoride free because our city fluoridates our water and I feel like that's enough for me.
Also, most commercial juices and sodas are made with fluoridated water too. . . though, I imagine you've cut those out for lots of other reasons. Just asking in case you already have enough fluoride in your life.
That said, have you checked out Tom's of Maine toothpastes? Here's what's *not* in their toothpastes.
They have fluoride and fluoride free choices. I like 'em.
Good luck!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Carrie - it looks like Tom's has a few toothpastes that fit the bill. Have you (or anyone) tried their toothpastes before?

My only complaint with Tom's is that they are owned by Colgate-Palmolive.

Tracy said...

i was going to suggest tom's also. overall, i feel pretty good about them -- even if they're owned by a company i don't love, tom's seems to be doing good things (or at least putting out a decent product).

Mitty said...

We have been using Tom's for years, and our teeth and gums are fine.

Erika said...

I use Tom's, among others, I know the one I use is SLS free, but it's also fluoride free... Best advice I can give on Tom's - just say no to fennel; I love fennel in food, I love the smell of it in the garden, I gag when it's in my toothpaste! Now apricot, not a fan of the real thing, but the toothpaste - pretty good!

--Erika

sheri said...

I used tom's for years but stopped when I found out they are owned by colgate-palmolive. I switched to natures gate but became concerned about the flouride issue. I don't see any claims to having flouride on the tube. I am searching too. Overall I much preferred natures gate

Anonymous said...

oil pulling

Not a toothpaste but this has been uber helpful for my sensitive teeth. Aruvedic medicine. Swish sesame oil in mouth for 15-20min in the morning before eating spit out and then brush teeth. Really cleans better thanfloss and now ya have a thin coat of oil to protect you from your starbucks equivalent. Over here in Chicago we have Kopi Cafe really damn good coffee.

Oil pulling helps whiten teeth naturally (took 3 days for me to see a noticible change) AND helps excersize jaw muscles to help prevent old lady sagging chin.

I found information at healingcancernaturally.com.
Added bonus - it helps detox gently by removing toxins in the blood through the use of salivary enzymes.

Sustainable Eats said...

Why don't you just make your own? http://www.sustainableeats.com/2010/02/10/do-it-yourself-cleaners-for-the-house-and-for-you/

Way cheaper, less transit and packaging, better for you and mother earth.

Rosa said...

I tried the SLS-free Tom's (in some minty flavor) and I did not like it one little bit, it tasted like chalk and I could feel it on my teeth later.

But maybe this time I'll try another brand's SLS free. I would like to skip the SLS but it's so hard for me to find toothpastes that don't make me gag (I used to be able to cope with mint better, then when I was pregnant I couldn't use toothpaste at ALL, and now, four years later, I can sometimes stand mint if I don't use too much, but Tom's Fennel flavor is way gentler seeming somehow.)

Cage Free Family said...

While you're at it I would try to stay away from glycerin as well. It leaves a coating on the teeth which prevents renewal of the enamel.

You could make something like this http://tinyurl.com/y9coeng fairly easily.

Nina said...

What is the purpose of SLS so that they have to include it in beauty products??

movinginspirals said...

My friend Cara swears by tooth soap, although I haven't tried it yet. http://www.healthhomehappy.com/2009/06/tooth-soap.html
You may want to check out her post on it.
Jason's makes a toothpaste without SLS.

Paige said...

I use Trader Joe's antiplaque toothpase. No saccharin, no sls, no propylene glycol, no flouride. I know you want flouride, and i think they carry another one that has it. By the way, this one does have fennel, and I LOVE it, tastes like black liquorice which i happen to adore.

Paige said...

p.s., doesn't say paraben in the ingredients either.

Anna in Atlanta said...

SLS makes the toothpaste foamy -- same reason it's in everything, to suds up and make us feel like it's really hard at work.

I've gotten SLS-free toothpaste for my son for a couple of years now. He's gone from getting canker sores every couple of weeks to every few months or so. Over the summer he "forgot" and went to regular toothpaste and had sores all summer.

Drugstore.com is a place to gather information. Of all the brands, naturally he likes the Rembrandt one (most commercial and most expensive expensive, $5+ per tube) best. Tom's is ok. I got one from the food co-op with wierd fibers in it that he thought was totally nasty.

Tree Huggin Momma said...

SLS in toothpaste? Really? Thanks for this post. I use Toms (in some minty flavor, without flouride). I know have to go home and read the label as I don't know if it is SLS free. I have brushed with just baking soda paste (some people like to add mint, but I don't) and a white vinegar or salt water rinse. This worked as well as toothpaste and moutwash just required me to mix it up.

DramaMama said...

We're using Nature's Gate Raspberry Mint w/Fluoride right now! I don't know if the tube is actually metal or just looks that way. It doesn't feel metal, just has a silver color. But then again, it is the year 2010 and they can make metal pretty thin!! As for the paste itself, it's great! No one seemed to notice when we changed. That's a good thing in our house! What else do you want to know? I tossed the box already, so I can't quote the ingredients but the tube does say that it is paraben free and sulfate free. Let me know if you have other questions...

everydayfrugaleverydaygreen said...

when my kids were young and we had a well (no fluoride), our pediatrician gave us a prescription for fluoride - first drops, then tiny tabs. My kids had perfect teeth. thanks for the info on the crap that's my tube of Crest.

Clearwater said...

I have tried both Tom's and Nature's Gate and both are good. I also use Eco-Dent tooth powder which isn't to bad although the taste takes i bit to get use to. It does have SLS listed in the ingredients but is Coconut Derived. No fluoride either but says it helps harden enamel. I do love how clean my teeth and mouth feel after using it.

Condo Blues said...

I use either Tom's or Trade Joe's. We have Fluoride in our water so I'm OK with using a fluoride free toothpaste. Put me in the liking fennel camp :)

I don't have a problem with Tom's or any small company like Burt's Bee's etc being owned by large company and here's why. Both my husband and I have worked for small IT start ups. Good places to be and they make good products ethically. However, there came a point when the business was doing well and the decision had to be made whether to grow or not. The business wanted to grow but couldn't do it on it's own for logistical and financial reasons. A larger company that already had that business infrastructure in place could grow the business and couldn't do what the small IT business did or as well. The owner sold the small business to the big company. Now more people know about and use the product of the small company.

Same thing goes with the small eco companies being purchased by large and not so eco companies. No one is forcing the small companies to sell they are doing it to grow their business and to be able to put their product in the hands of more customers because the big companies have better distribution networks, etc. I have family who live in small rural towns with only 1 or 2 grocery stores. They are very excited that they can now buy some of the items I can easily find. If you don't buy the eco item from the small subsidiaries you're basically telling the big companies that they are right, no one wants this stuff, it's a fad, and that there isn't a large demand if they were to remake their conventional products.

DK said...

I've been thinking about the same issues here as we use our last tube of regular toothpaste. I've been leaning more toward getting some tooth soap instead of tooth paste. I'll probably get mine from Beautiful Soaps on Etsy since I've bought soap from her before and absolutely loved it. Revisiting her shop, though, She's recently revamped her toothsoap recipe to include xylitol and I'm not sure how I feel about that since it's something that doesn't seem to have been through a whole lot of testing yet according to Skin Deep. (I wasn't even sure what it was so I had to go look it up)

Rachel B. said...

I switched to Tom's last year but now I'm complating about making my own tooth powder (3 parts baking soda 1 part salt plus flavoring) after this tube is done

Cara @ Health Home and Happiness said...

Re-trying... We love tooth soap, even my toddlers *like* having their teeth brushed, so it can't be that bad! I love how clean it makes my mouth feel, no aftertaste at all.

Adrienne said...

Hmm... I'm almost out of toothpaste, might have to look for the Nature's Gate. I'm with you on the fluoride, Crunchy- if I don't have it, my teeth get super super sensitive. I know it's in the water but I think applying it to the surface of my teeth is different than drinking it. (I'd rather not drink it if I had the option.)

cpcable said...

It seems that there's no one perfect option. I'm currently using Tom's SLS-free with fluoride and I'm not incredibly happy with it. It's somewhat gritty. I've also tried Jason SLS and fluoride-free, which was ok, but I prefer a paste to a gel and I seemed to go through it faster than other tubes. Awhile ago I tried Peelu, which is SLS and fluoride-free and was better than ok. It made my teeth feel squeaky clean, but it has big peelu fibers in it, which takes some getting used to.

I'm interested in the tooth soap that some here have mentioned. That might be next up for me to try.

-Courtney

eatclosetohome said...

I work at a dental school and have been told by my colleagues that the only way brushing your teeth prevents cavities is as a fluoride delivery system. Non-fluoride toothpaste still works to prevent plaque and gingivitis and tartar, but does not help prevent cavities. That's the word from the establishment on fluoride in toothpaste, anyway. I figure better there than the drinking water...stays on the teeth, then you spit it out. (For maximum effect, don't rinse after you spit.)

amandaginn said...

I use Sea Fresh (http://www.bodyofgrace.com/ingr/ingr182850.cfm) by Jason Body Care.

They also carry a products with fluoride: http://www.bodyofgrace.com/ingr/ingr182863.cfm.

Sense of Home said...

I love my homemade toothpaste http://senseofhome.blogspot.com/2009/12/homemade-toothpaste.html

However, before I made my own I used Jason's and liked it very much.

Mari said...

A few months ago I won a "teeth cleaner" --- not a toothpaste -- by Tropical Traditions. It comes in a bottle and you squeeze out a little bit; though it's consistency is a bit more "liquid" and less solid than conventional toothpaste. What I like about it is that it has no SLS, and is sweetened by stevia.
Ever since I tried it, I don't use anything else.

That's why I love giveaways...it gives me a chance to try products and sometimes it makes me a convert!

Kim from Milwaukee said...

Crunchy, here's a tooth powder that you might like. I haven't tried it myself, but it looks great and doesn't contain baking soda.

http://www.esutras.com/store/p10216/Ayurvedic+Tooth+Powder-+eSutras/product_info.html

I personally make my own with baking soda, stevia powder and peppermint oil and I love it.

phabulous_philly said...

I use Nature's Gate toothpaste - I didn't know they made one in a metal tube though so I will have to look for that one.
I like it alot so far - it's been about 4 months so we'll see if my dentist has any bad news for me in a couple of months. I use the nature's gate brand mainly because I got freaked out about the triclosan in the colgate total advanced health I was using previously ( who need a fungicide in their toothpaste anyways?! )

Crunchy Chicken said...

Thanks for all the links, but I'm really looking for something that has fluoride and I'm not going to find that with homemade or with many of the products suggested. I've written about making your own toothpaste before myself, but don't use it for that very reason.

I'm assuming that the tooth powders also don't contain fluoride, but I haven't looked at them all yet.

I did find the Tom's SLS-Free Anticavity plus whitening (with fluoride) at lunch. I'll try it tonight and report back what I think of it.

My local Whole Foods doesn't carry the Nature's Gate one I was looking for (SLS free with fluoride) so I'll have to search elsewhere for that one. I know I can find it online, but I'm really looking for a product that is easier to locate.

Robj98168 said...

Gotta go with Tom's of Maine. I understand from Fake Plastic Beth that they will take back the tubes for recycling? I hope I got that right. Obviously I don't recycle my tubes- yet. I don't car so much that they are owned by Colgate- Burts Bees is owned by some mega comglomerate but still makes decent product.

Cynthia in Denver said...

I use Tom's sls free. I like it. It isn't very minty though. My husband likes his paste sudsy ... so ... two separate pastes. A his & hers.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Okay, my teeth are all sparkly after brushing with my new Tom's SLS-Free fluoride toothpaste. It's not real foamy (because of the SLS-free part), but otherwise it tastes good and, so far, it's a keeper!

Old Wise One said...

The wife uses Biotene because of damage to saliva glands from radiation and chemo. She is pharmacist and says this should fit your requirements.

Mike
Baton Rouge

Crunchy Chicken said...

Mike - My husband uses Biotene mouthwash, mostly because of GVHD but also from chemo and radiation, too.

He doesn't like it so much, but maybe he'd be interested in the toothpaste?

This is also the reason why he specifically needs fluoride because of the bone loss and potential issues with jaw necrosis from one of the drugs he takes.

Sarah said...

I have used natural dentist brand and really liked it, the one I have appears to be phlate-free, but it is in a plastic tube. I have also use Peelu, which is good, but the fiber pieces weird me out and it is in a plastic tube as well.

I plan to switch to something homemade soon (all the plastic is getting to me). My dentist says as long as I am drinking tap water with fluoride it is enough, you could check with yours and see what they recommend. I was really surprised by her support of my making it at home.

zannestar said...

We use baking soda, water and tea tree oil, and make a paste. (mix up a small batch every few days and keep in an air tight glass jar) My teeth have never felt cleaner all day long, my mouth feels fresher, I can't believe it took me so long to try this. (We ran out of toothpaste and didn't make it to the store in time for the next brush thought we'd try it). I have sensitive teeth and since I've been using this paste, my sensitivity is pretty much gone. Bring on the hot and colds! My teeth seem whiter. After learning about fluoride, I'm doing my best to keep it out of my daily routine, and I love this option. I've almost got my 5yo hooked on it. I recently traveled (out of country) and took a tube of toothpaste, colgate I think, and my teeth and mouth felt so grody. I love my new tooth paste. (and so much cheaper and less packaging)

leslie said...

We use Toms...but I am thinking about trying one of the homemade recipes I have seen on here! Thanks for the ideas ladies.

Madz said...

Hey. I've just started using Weleda which is a natural healthcare company so there products are generally made from natural products.
There toothpastes come in aluminium tubes although have a plastic lid.
There's a variety of formulas, however they do not contain fluoride. But if your town water is already fluoridated then you could still be all good.

i found the US site for Weleda here: http://usa.weleda.com/our-products/shop/calendula-toothpaste.aspx

Anonymous said...

How about home made dom's toothsavingpaste....

Can't help with the flouride though--westonaprice.org has information on how bad flouride is.

Elisabeth said...

I used Tom's of Maine for years, but stopped when I found out they were bought by Colgate. I've since tried Nature's Gate and Jason toothpastes. I like them both; though Jason is owned by Hain Celestial, I prefer it to Colgate-Palmolive. I think they both have fluoride options.

Cheap Like Me said...

Interesting to see all the Tom's recommendations - I have not seen Tom's without SLS in my area.

I use JASON "smart mouth" or "healthy mouth" or something and have done for years. I think it's great. It does come in a plastic tube. SLS gives me canker sores, and JASON lets me have a pain-free mouth. And it tastes fine, and I've had good dental results that whole time. It seems to last fine, too - I just use a pea-size dollop like you're s'posed to.

Anonymous said...

If you can't find a perfect product my dentist suggested to use one with flouride/ one w/o every other brushing.

I use Green Beaver and like it a lot. They have "good things we don't use" page:http://www.greenbeaver.com/ingredients.html
EJ

anisaschell said...

I agree with Rosa about Toms - yuck! I could feel it on my teeth - they just never felt clean. I actually had the same experience with Nature's gate as well.

The only one I've found that I liked was made by one of those pyrimid-ish companies called Melaleuca - http://www.melaleuca.com/ . Great toothpaste! BUT I'm not a member and don't want to be of the company (we don't spend enough on the products), so I can't get it.

I too am still toothpaste shopping!

Annette said...

I use Biotene as well, for the whole cancer/chemo/radiation thing. My only wish is that the stores around here would stock the minty gel type in addition to the regular type - a little variety is nice from time to time. They also make a sensitive teeth formula, but I've only ever received that in the sample size from my dentist.

Haazegirl said...

I have used the metal tube toothpaste mentioned in this post. It's fine, but I don't like the metal tube it hurts my fingers when getting low and trying to get every last bit. I now use a fluoride free toothpaste with CoQ10 by Now Foods.

Tara said...

I'm currently using Tom's of Maine SLS (not SLS-free) toothpaste and have been for years. At some point last year, after reading about SLS, I tried to switch to one of Tom's SLS-free toothpastes, but it made my gums feel sore/raw. Maybe it was an allergic reaction to the natural foaming agent? Anyway, I'm wondering if you (or anybody else) has had a similar experience with Tom's SLS-free toothpaste and has found an SLS-free toothpaste that doesn't do that? Thanks so much!

Katie said...

I'm still on my search for a good SLS free toothpaste, because I also want one for sensitive teeth. Most of Tom's toothpastes have SLS in them (amazing!) I am trying Sensodyne ProNamel but it contains saccharine, which is just nasty.

Anya said...

Like many people, I started looking for a SLS free toothpaste due to persistent canker sores and I have not seen Sensodyne mentioned on this thread. I'm not sure about it's overall health benefits, but it has been the only SLS free toothpaste that I have found that is readily available at most "regular" drug stores(i.e. not having to make a special trip for toothpaste!)

B. Stokle said...

I've tried several pastes and gels that are SLS free. Most are prone to make you dribble the toothpast on your shirt, esp. if you're not used to SLS free. I now just lean over the sink more. Below are the ones I've tried with some comments.

Rembrandt C Canker Sore - good, with flouride, expensive, ok overall

Tom's of Maine: Clean & Gentle - good, with flouride, reasonably affordable, good overall

Nature's Gate Cool Mint Gel - good, no flouride, expensive, packaging harder as you get near the end, ok overall if you don't mind no flouride

I'll be trying one more soon:
Sensodyne's Pro Namel series. Not sure what to get, but looks expensive.

Overall I'll probably stay with Tom's unless Pro Namel is magical.

NancKY said...

I started using Squigle toothpaste 3 months ago, because I am sensitive to sls. squigle feels and tastes like regular toothpaste and has Fluoride. I am very satisfied with the product. I purchased mine from Amazon.com.

goldclark said...

Usually toothpastes make me gag, but once I started using this I am a happy tooth brusher. I love that it is all natural, too.
teeth whitening Markham

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