You might not realize it, but your dental hygiene routine might not be as sustainable as you think. If you're flossing (which, you totally are, right?!), that used string piles up in the trash. Plastic toothbrushes and electric heads do, too, each time they're replaced. But the biggest culprit is that plastic tube of toothpaste and all its packaging, which, more likely than not, will eventually sit in a landfill forever and ever and ever.
Fortunately, there's been a surge in eco-friendly, natural toothpaste innovation over the last few years, with many DTC companies (and the few traditional players) exploring sustainable alternatives to squeeze tubes and their plastic caps. According to Forbes, 1.5 billion toothpaste tubes are thrown away each year, contributing to a ridiculous amount of unnecessary waste.
Natural toothpaste options
Many companies are skipping out on the tube altogether, formulating "toothpaste tablets" that you pop in your mouth and swirl around, almost like a mint. Others are designing aluminum tubes that can be recycled once emptied, or packaging their product in recyclable glass and aluminum jars.
And if you think "natural" means not-effective, think again. Many natural toothpastes clean and brighten your teeth, and you may even reconsider the additional teeth whitening products that are in your cabinet. They also have ingredients to help strengthen your enamel, which can help protect your teeth even if you do indulge in some of the worst drinks or foods for your teeth.
With the amount of natural toothpastes on the market—most of which are dentist-approved and made with natural ingredients, might we add—you've got plenty of options to choose from. Scroll to give your teeth-cleaning regimen an upgrade that's good for your body, and the planet.
The best natural toothpastes for you and the planet
Your teeth and Mother Earth will both be “huppy” you made the switch to these tasty toothpaste tablets. Forgo the squeeze and just pop one of these in your mouth, swirl it around, and brush as normal. There’s no plastic packaging, as they come in a trendy aluminum can (kinda like mints) that can be recycled or upcycled. Plus, they do all the things you want in a toothpaste (think: whiten, freshen breath, remove plaque and tartar) all with more natural ingredients. If you want to round out your sustainable dental routine, the brand also sells eco-friendly floss and toothbrushes, too.
Hello also makes an excellent chewable toothpaste you can pop in your mouth, minus the plastic. Its whitening formulation is made with activated charcoal, coconut oil and fresh mint—there’s no artificial sweeteners, flavors, fluoride, dyes, sulfates, or gluten. It’s about as minimalist as you can get in a toothpaste, and since it’s in tablet form, you don’t have to worry about unnecessary messes.
Unpaste also makes a minty fresh alternative to traditional toothpaste tubes. They’re the same concept as the others—pop ’em in your mouth, chew ’em up, and brush it around for a plastic-free, pretty smile. Only these swap the aluminum packaging for a compostable wrapper you can toss in with other compostable, organic materials. Choose from mint and cinnamon flavors, and there’s a toothpaste without fluoride, too.
If you’re not too sure about toothpaste tabs, they do make recyclable toothpaste tubes, too, like this one from Davids. Rather than using plastic packaging, these toothpaste bottles are made from recyclable aluminum that won’t clog up landfills. As for the ingredients, they’re only natural and cruelty-free. And thanks to the metal tube key included in every purchase, you’re sure to get every last drop. Also available in peppermint, charcoal, and herbal citrus.
Dr. Noah markets these toothpaste tabs as travel-friendly, which they are. But they also look good right on your bathroom counter, too. They come in an aluminum tin that does make stashing in toiletry bags and carry-ons a breeze, and that can be refilled once emptied. But the star of the show is that citron mint flavor which leaves you smelling fresh and clean.
Dr. Bronner’s also makes a tube option if you’re not feeling the toothpaste tab. Just like its legendary soaps, this toothpaste is made using the best of the best natural ingredients that leave your teeth, gums, and tongue healthy and happy with every brush. When you finish it up, both the tube and the cap can be recycled through the TerraCycle program. Also available in cinnamon and spearmint.
Another eco-friendly bet comes from The Humble Co., which is dedicated to making all-things sustainable and earth-friendly. These toothpaste tablets are portable, easy to use, and effective, tackling plaque and tartar while you brush. There’s also a fluoride-free option and a charcoal option.
Move over, tooth tablets. Georganics swaps the bite-sized design for a completely different powder that’s simple and effective to use. When you’re ready to brush, dip a wet toothbrush into the jar and scrub onto your teeth for two minutes—it’ll foam up and get you squeaky clean. Also available in peppermint.
Bite into Bite’s toothpaste bits, which keep the planet and your teeth clean. Between the natural ingredients, teeth-loving formulation, and glass packaging that’s practically begging to be upcycled, adding these to your dental regimen is a no-brainer. You can get them in a set of two recyclable bottles, which includes a total of 124 bits (or about two months worth).
On a budget? Add this natural and recyclable toothpaste to your cart. The tube is made from aluminum which is “infinitely recyclable,” so the only single-use plastic is that little cap. It’s vegan, cruelty free, and free from any harmful chemicals that might hurt your teeth in the long run.
With T-brush, you can get 90 of all-natural, vegan toothpaste tablets packaged neatly in a reusable jar. Like the others, they’re easy to use, designed to be crushed in your mouth and brushed around with a wet toothbrush. Available in four flavors: mint, charcoal mint, orange, and a kid’s strawberry, all available with or without fluoride,
Here is another tooth powder to try. This one comes from Viva Doria and is powered with a minty breath freshener to get you cleaner with every brush. When you’re done, upcycle the glass jar as food storage or another organization tool. Or recycle it with your other glass recyclables.
Made with coconut charcoal, this tooth powder helps purify, detoxify, and remove stains (especially handy if you’re a coffee or red wine drinker). It also has bentonite that can help rebuild enamel. While it may be weird to rub black powder on your teeth, this organic toothpaste is actually designed to help whiten your teeth.
Instead of fluoride, these Chomp toothpaste tablets contain nano-hydroxyapatite, which is said to help strengthen and remineralize enamel. They contain no artificial ingredients, paraben, sulfate, or xylitol, and are naturally flavored. Each compact bottle is made with recyclable aluminum and has 60 tablets; refills come in paper bags.
Another tablet with nano-hydroxyapatite, these Weldental tablets help keep your pearly whites healthy and bright by polishing your teeth, strengthening your enamel, and reducing sensitivity. The glass bottle is refillable and the tablets come in three different flavors: peppermint, cinnamon, and watermelon.
The price tag on these toothpaste tablets may seem high, but the bag contains 200 fluoride-free tablets, which is at least a three-month supply. Good Organics is an SLS-free toothpaste, and it’s vegan and made from 100 percent natural ingredients. The tablets are infused with calcium carbonate and zinc citrate to help stop plague and whiten your teeth, and they have a minty flavor to leave your mouth feeling fresh. The bag is resealable, so it’s convenient for traveling.
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