The big-brand toothpastes you’ll find at your local supermarket or pharmacy may not be as good for your oral health as they claim. They could ingredients that can actually harm the short and long-term health of your family.
Yes, even those toothpastes designed for babies and kids!
If you’ve ever brushed a baby’s teeth, you’ll know that toothpaste often gets swallowed at this age. Considering this and the size of their tiny bodies, it’s no exaggeration to say that the under-twos are especially at risk.
That’s why it’s important to choose a toothpaste which has been designed just for little ones. It will help you take care of those precious little teeth and gums whilst adding some healthy fun into the bedtime routine.
Here’s our selection of the best natural toothpastes for babies and kids, along with a quick explanation about the dangers of regular toothpaste.
Potentially Dangerous Ingredients in Regular Toothpaste
Regular toothpaste contains several ingredients which could harm the health of your family. Here are the worst of the bunch:
- Triclosan – Triclosan is an antibacterial agent and endocrine disruptor that can cause changes in the hormonal balance in the body and has been linked to cancers such as breast cancer, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer.
When children are exposed to antibacterial agents such as triclosan at an early age, they could have a higher risk of developing asthma, eczema and allergies.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – SLS is a foaming agent which can irritate the delicate tissues of the mouth and worsen ulcers and cold sores.
It can also be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic byproduct which is an insecticide that can cause damage to marine life.
The same goes for similar compounds sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), and sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES).
- Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners – Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame in regular toothpaste have been linked to a range of health problems including non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, leukaemia and brain tumours, obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic dysfunction.
If that wasn’t enough, it’s thought that sweeteners such as aspartame could also trigger migraines and headaches.
- Fluoride – Although fluoride is routinely used in dentistry, some studies have suggested that this mineral may not be as protective for teeth as first thought.
It could actually affect your endocrine system and cause health issues.
Babies, toddlers and older children usually swallow a huge amount of toothpaste—more than the recommended maximum intake of fluoride so, again, they’re more at risk of fluoride poisoning. However, fluoride poisoning is quite unlikely from ingesting toothpaste.
- Propylene Glycol – Propylene glycerol is a mineral also used in antifreeze and paints! It’s generally regarded as safe, but can be toxic in high doses, and infants are at greater risk.
- Diethanolamine (DEA) – DEA is a foaming agent which has been linked to asthma.
- Microbeads – Many brands of toothpaste contain microbeads which can end up in the water supply, polluting the oceans and filling the bodies of marine animals.
There’s also evidence that these tiny pieces of plastic can actually damage your teeth and gums and attract bacteria. Eek!
- Artificial Dyes and Colours. Those attractive blue and red stripes we often see in toothpaste are artificial dyes and colours which are made from petroleum products.
But don’t worry. All this doesn’t mean that you have to neglect the health of your kids’ tiny teeth and gums. Choose a natural, plant-friendlier toothpaste instead, like the ones below.
Best Natural Toothpastes for Babies and Toddlers
We think the following five toothpastes are the best natural toothpastes for babies and toddlers.
They taste great, they look and feel just like regular toothpaste and they come in some really delicious flavours!
1. Green People Organic Children Mandarin & Aloe Vera Toothpaste
This fruity-tasting, SLS and paraben-free toothpaste from the Green People doesn’t just look cute, it also helps to protect our little one’s teeth from decay.
Featuring a clever combination of olive leaf extract and myrrh, it also helps protect teeth and gums without costing the earth.
Like all products from this UK-based company, this 100% natural toothpaste is also vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, fairly-traded and certified organic.
According to Green People, this toothpaste is suitable for babies who have started teething upwards. It’s suitable for babies aged 3 months or older, and can also be used by toddlers, kids and adults.
This toothpaste should be completely safe to ingest should your little one swallow it, as it doesn’t contain fluoride or any other potentially toxic chemicals.
An extra plus with this toothpaste is that it’s palm oil free!
2. AloeDent Children’s Strawberry Toothpaste
How about a fluoride-free natural children’s toothpaste that tastes of strawberries?
Yes, your kids will adore this one, it gets those tiny milk teeth squeaky clean and you don’t need to worry about them swallowing any either!
Created using horse chestnut extract, tea tree oil extract, aloe vera and pepper extract for maximum cleaning power, it offers protection from cavities, plaque, tartar and gum disease.
This toothpaste usually comes in a very small 50 ml tube, so you may need to replace the tube quickly.
The brand AloeDent is owned by Italian company Optima Naturals, who produce a large range of natural supplements and personal care products.
3. Weleda Children’s Tooth Gel
You know you’re getting a high-quality product when you opt for Weleda, and this healthy toothpaste is no exception!
Weleda are a Swiss natural and organic health brand whose history dates back to 1921.
Offering 100% natural care for your family’s tiny teeth, this fluoride-free formula helps keep teeth and gums healthy without nasty chemicals or toxins.
This toothpaste contains organic calendula extract, which can help reduce plaque (source).
Unlike many other natural toothpastes, this one tastes minty and fresh, making it a great easy swap if you’re looking to make the move over to a natural toothpaste.
This toothpaste is formulated to be safe to swallow, so it’s ideal for babies and toddlers.
4. Jack N’ Jill 50 g Blackcurrant Natural Calendula Toothpaste
Jack n’ Jill are a cruelty-free cosmetics company hailing from Melbourne, Australia. After having kids, the founders decided to create a range of kid-friendly toothcare products that are appealing to little ones, perfectly safe and kinder to the planet too.
We think you’ll love this blackcurrant-flavoured toothpaste as it contains organic calendula to soothe teething gums, it’s free from fluoride, sugar, colours, SLS and gluten.
This toothpaste uses xylitol, which is a natural and sugar-free sweetener that gives the toothpaste a delicious taste.
Research also suggests that xylitol can help reduce the rate of cavity formation and protect teeth against tooth decay.
5. JĀSÖN Kids Only Strawberry Toothpaste
Although this natural toothpaste says that it’s ‘kids only’, there’s absolutely no reason why the whole family can’t enjoy this strawberry-flavoured toothpaste.
Coming in a bumper 124 ml tube that is perfect for your family’s needs, it boasts calcium carbonate for healthier teeth, calendula to soothe those teething gums and aloe vera to keep those small mouths healthy.
This toothpaste is free from SLS, saccharin (an artificial sweetener) and fluoride. It’s also vegan and cruelty free.
JĀSÖN only recommend this toothpaste for children aged two and upwards, so it’s not recommended for babies.
JĀSÖN are a natural personal care brand who use safe, gentle and natural ingredients in all of their products.
What Ingredients to Natural Toothpastes Use?
You might be wondering if it’s a good idea to choose a natural and fluoride-free toothpaste for your child.
While most dentists agree that fluoride helps reduce dental caries, even those who recommend fluoride toothpastes say that the amount of fluoride toothpaste used to brush babies’ and toddlers’ teeth should be very small, even as small as a grain of rice. This is because fluoride can be dangerous when it’s swallowed in large quantities.
If you’re worried about your child swallowing fluoride, you may prefer to opt for a fluoride-free alternative.
There are lots of natural ingredients used in natural toothpastes that could help promote good oral health. These include:
- Aloe vera gel – Aloe vera gel fights bacteria and can help prevent cavities (source)
- Calendula – Calendula, or marigold, is a common plant. This study found that calendula was effective in reducing dental plaque and gingivitis.
- Horse chestnut extract – This study on dogs suggests that horse chestnut extract could be used to treat periodontitis (inflammation of the gums).
- Myrrh – This study suggests that myrrh oil could help fight gingivitis.
- tea tree oil extract – Tea tree oil extract is thought to help with toothache, though we couldn’t find any scientific studies supporting this.
- Olive leaf extract – Some people believe that olive leaf extract can fight tooth infections, though we couldn’t find any scientific data to back this up.
- Xylitol – Xylitol is a natural sugar-free sweetener that can help prevent tooth decay (source)
Protect your babies and toddlers from those harmful ingredients, nasty toxins and other chemicals in toothpastes by choosing one of these natural, cruelty-free, planet-friendly toothpastes instead.
If we had to choose just one natural toothpaste to recommend for babies and toddlers it would be Green People Organic Children Mandarin & Aloe Vera Toothpaste as it tastes great, is 100% natural and is safe to swallow.