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When it comes to our pearly whites, we don't mess around. We've tried teeth-whitening kits, DIY whitening—and even veneers—that promise to deliver a brighter-looking smile. So, we found it only fair to find out what the deal is with the semi-controversial topic of fluoride-free toothpaste.
Although research shows that fluoride toothpaste helps prevent tooth decay—in fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) only recommends toothpastes that contain fluoride—many people still prefer to reach for non-fluoride toothpaste for a variety of reasons.
Interested in learning more? Read on for the best fluoride-free toothpastes on the market.
Best Overall: Schmidt's Activated Charcoal Toothpaste
Leaves teeth feeling fresh
Some teeth might be too sensitive
This activated charcoal-based formula works to freshen your breath, whiten your teeth, and combat plaque buildup every time you brush. Unlike most other charcoal toothpaste, it's not black, but rather a light grey, and has an enticing minty flavor, so you're not left with a bitter aftertaste. It also contains superfood extracts, organic aloe leaf juice, magnolia bark extract, and vitamin E.
Active Ingredients: Activated charcoal, glycerin | Flavor: Wondermint | Size: 4.7 oz.
Best Budget: Hello Oral Care Antiplaque + Whitening Fluoride Free Toothpaste
Full of organic ingredients
Smaller in packaging size
Hello has thoughtfully formulated this natural toothpaste with well-known ingredients like soothing aloe vera, stevia, and a silica blend that works together in this toothpaste. In addition to being fluoride-free, the paste is free of artificial flavors, dyes, microbeads, parabens, and gluten. Even better? It's vegan and never tested on animals.
Active Ingredients: Aloe vera, stevia, silica | Flavor: Peppermint | Size: 1.0 oz.
Best Whitening: Tom's of Maine Antiplaque Natural Whitening Toothpaste
Contains no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colors, or flavors
Naturally-derived ingredients like glycerin, peppermint oil, and zinc citrate combine in this plaque-fighting toothpaste from Tom's. Say goodbye to surface stains while simultaneously cleaning the teeth and gums.
Active Ingredients: Glycerin, Silica | Flavor: Peppermint | Size: 5.5 oz.
Best Luxury: Marvis Classic Strong Mint Toothpaste
Lasts a long while
Leaves mouth feeling fresh
Imported from Florence, Italy, this toothpaste will make you feel ultra-fancy every time you brush. It's designed to clean and whiten while protecting against tooth decay, tartar, and plaque. Not to mention the chic packaging you can feel proud displaying on your bathroom counter.
Active Ingredients: Vitamins A, C, and E | Flavor: Mint | Size: 3.8 oz.
Best Organic: Dr. Bronner's All-One Toothpaste
Made with 70% organic ingredients
Consistency is hard to squeeze out
Not much taste
Brushing with this toothpaste might feel different at first because it doesn't contain synthetic foaming agents like most traditional toothpaste. Instead, it's made with 70 percent organic ingredients like coconut oil and stevia. The vegan, cruelty-free formula works to leave your mouth, teeth, and gums fresh and clean.
Active Ingredients: Baking soda, silica | Flavor: Peppermint | Size: 5.0 oz.
Best for Fresh Breath: Jason Healthy Mouth Tartar Control Flouride-Free Toothpaste
Fights tooth decay and plaque
Contains many botanicals
Taste might be poor to some
Tea tree oil is the star ingredient of this fluoride-free option. This formula works to keep the mouth clean and protect against plaque and tooth decay. Beyond keeping your teeth and gums healthy, the formula contains clove and cinnamon oils to keep your breath fresh.
Active Ingredients: Aloe leaf juice, glycerin, tea tree oil | Flavor: Cinnamon | Size: 6.0 oz.
Best Flavor: Aesop Toothpaste
Tastes distinct and spicy yet refreshingly mild
Freshens the mouth
Fun alternative toothpaste option
Might taste undesirable to others
The distinct flavor of this toothpaste definitely sets it apart. The formula combines sea buckthorn, cardamom, and Wasabia japonica to leave you with clean, refreshed teeth and gums.
Active Ingredients: Sea buckthorn, cardamom, Wasabia japonica | Flavor: Cardamom | Size: 3.4 oz.
Best Flavor, Runner-Up: Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste
Desert Essence promises this formula will leave you with that coveted "clean-mouth feeling." The formula discourages the growth of bad-breath causing bacteria as it cleans the teeth. Users also love the flavor of its peppermint essential oil.
Active Ingredients: Tea tree oil | Flavor: Peppermint | Size: 6.25 oz.
Best Natural: Davids Natural Whitening Toothpaste
Adds re-mineralizing strength to teeth
Could make some teeth sensitive
This whitening formula contains high-quality natural ingredients that fight plaque and freshen breath. And you can say goodbye to wasted toothpaste thanks to the included tube key, which allows you to get every last bit of product out.
Active Ingredients: Glycerin, baking soda, silica | Flavor: Peppermint | Size: 5.25 oz.
Best Vegan: Kiss My Face Triple Action Gel Toothpaste
Soothes the gums
Combats teeth ailments
Packaging could be stronger
In this case, triple-action refers to removing plaque, whitening, and preventing tartar buildup—three essential benefits. It's made with tea tree oil, aloe vera, olive leaf extract, and peppermint, and delivers a cool mint flavor. And a bonus? It's free from triclosan and sodium lauryl sulfate, two chemical ingredients that are often found in other toothpaste.
Active Ingredients: Glycerin, silica, aloe leaf extract | Flavor: Cool Mint | Size: 4.5 oz.
What to Look for in a Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
If you’re used to traditional whitening toothpaste and decide to go fluoride-free, you’ll want to look for a product that contains certain ingredients to help keep your teeth stain-free. Some studies have shown activated charcoal can help whiten teeth, but the ingredient can be quite abrasive and should be used with care. Tea tree oil is a good addition to a fluoride-free toothpaste because it has antibacterial properties.
Fluoride-free toothpastes often have milder flavors than ones with fluoride. While most fluoride toothpastes are available only in minty flavors, fluoride-free toothpastes tend to come in options like clove, tea tree, or fruit flavors. If you want the same clean feeling you’re used to from your previous toothpaste, pick a toothpaste in a flavor that appeals to you.
Is fluoride necessary in toothpaste?
Fluoride is considered an important component in preventing teeth decay. That said, many municipal water systems add fluoride to their water, so you are likely ingesting fluoride even if you opt for fluoride-free toothpaste. You can contact your city if you’re wondering if your water contains fluoride.
Is there a natural alternative to fluoride?
Many ingredients can be used to clean teeth without fluoride. Xylitol may help prevent tooth decay and has a naturally sweet, minty flavor. When you look at fluoride-free toothpastes, you’ll notice that most contain xylitol as a primary ingredient.
Why do people use fluoride-free toothpaste?
People use fluoride-free toothpastes for many different reasons. Some people prefer not to ingest fluoride, while others prefer alternative body care products containing more naturally derived ingredients.
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