The Best Vegan Toothpaste Brands With the Fewest Nasty Chemicals

Everybody wants their teeth healthy, strong, white, and all there, but lately, toothpaste has become a whole lot more complicated than just picking a flavor and whether you want it to whiten your teeth or not. The fluoride controversy is still raging on.

Plus most of the commercial brands have a lot of questionable ingredients in them.On top of that, many commercial toothpastes are not cruelty-free or vegan for that matter. The fact that many brands test on animals is something we all know to watch out for.

But animal-derived products in the toothpaste? Shocking. In this day and age where there is no need to test on animals at all and there are great plant-based alternatives for everything, it’s mind-boggling that this is still the norm.

But, things are slowly changing. We’ve made a list of the 5 best vegan toothpaste options that are healthier all around, not just for your pearly whites and overall health, but for animals and the environment too.

1. Hello Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste

Our Verdict: Best Carrageenan-Free Toothpaste

Hello Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste Using black toothpaste can be a whole new experience for some seeing as it’s black. It’s vegan and cruelty-free as well as free from harsh chemicals including carrageenan which many natural brands still use.

It has a minty flavor that isn’t overpowering and it may help to whiten teeth and while it doesn’t foam as much as commercial brands, it still cleans your teeth and leaves your mouth feeling fresh. It can be a bit messy for your sink but doesn’t stain it.

If you happen to drop some on your clothes, it’s not as simple as just wiping it off though.

Hello has other toothpastes with and without fluoride, with and without SLS, and options for children.

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Pros:

  • Vegan, leaping bunny and cruelty-free certified
  • Free from fluoride, SLS, artificial sweeteners, dyes, sulfates, parabens, microbeads, peroxide, carrageenan, and gluten
  • Though Hello uses titanium dioxide, they don’t use titanium dioxide nanoparticles
  • Contains charcoal to whiten teeth, and xylitol and coconut oil which all can help prevent cavities

Cons:

  • Contains hydrated silica although it’s not as harsh as some abrasives is still fairly harsh
  • It can stain your toothbrush, but you can buy a toothbrush from Hello that has black bristles

2. Tom’s of Maine Whole Care Fluoride Toothpaste

Our Verdict: Best Fluoride Toothpaste

If you choose to use fluoride toothpaste, Tom’s of Maine Whole Care Fluoride Toothpaste is a great option. It comes in cinnamon-clove, peppermint, wintergreen, and spearmint but the flavors may be a bit strong for some.

This company believes in using sustainable ingredients, so it’s good for your teeth and the environment. It helps your mouth feel fresh and clean, and the baking soda may help with whitening. The fluoride and zinc citrate help to prevent cavities and prevent tartar buildup.

The texture can be slightly watery and some may find using a toothpaste that isn’t completely smooth strange. There are also a few questionable ingredients in this toothpaste.

If you are sensitive to SLS or prefer not to use fluoride toothpaste, there are SLS and fluoride-free options available from this brand. You can also choose between the gel and creamy toothpaste.

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Pros:

  • Vegan-friendly and cruelty-free
  • All ingredients are naturally sourced
  • Free from triclosan, saccharin, and artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colors, or flavors
  • Available in cinnamon-clove, peppermint, wintergreen, and spearmint flavor

Cons:

  • Contains SLS
  • Contains hydrated silica
  • Contains carrageenan

3. Jason Sea Fresh Strengthening Toothpaste

Our Verdict: Best Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

Jason Sea Fresh Strengthening Toothpaste uses safe natural ingredients to keep your teeth strong and contains no SLS or fluoride. Either you’ll enjoy the flavor or you won’t. The spearmint doesn’t quite mask the slight algae flavor.

It may even help to whiten your teeth and leaves your mouth and teeth feeling clean. Keeping with the overall aim of the brand, this toothpaste is full of natural ingredients, there’s nothing synthetic.

It might be a bit thick for some people’s liking though. Another issue is that not all the ingredients are 100% healthy. Some people may experience a slight burning sensation when using this toothpaste.

If you prefer a fluoride toothpaste or an SLS containing toothpaste, Jason does include these options too in their toothpaste range.

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Pros:

  • Contains no animal products and is cruelty-free
  • Free from fluoride, gluten, triclosan, saccharin, parabens, phthalates, and harsh sulfates
  • Contains blue-green algae, sea salt, aloe vera, parsley extract, and perilla seed extract for freshness, antioxidants, and cavity prevention
  • Baking soda helps to whiten teeth and spearmint oil provides a refreshing flavor
    Certified organic

Cons:

  • Contains carrageenan
  • It’s a bit worrying that there is a State of California P65 warning for lead

4. Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Whitening Plus Toothpaste

Our Verdict: Best Whitening Toothpaste

The Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Whitening Plus Toothpaste Cool Mint is a refreshing toothpaste that can help to whiten your teeth and get rid of plaque. It still foams well despite being SLS-free and helps your mouth to feel clean.

Wintergreen and tea tree oil help to kill bacteria which helps to protect against bad breath and cavities and help to keep your gums healthy. It can, however, cause a bit of a burning sensation in some people and it may bother some people with sensitive teeth.

There are also more toothpastes in the Desert Essence range including some SLS containing variants.

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Pros:

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Contains wintergreen oil, tea tree oil, and horsetail oil, sea salt, and zinc citrate to remove plaque and harmful bacteria
  • Free from gluten, triclosan, fluoride, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, and SLS
    Cool mint flavor

Cons:

  • Contains carrageenan
  • State of California P65 warning regarding BPA in the packaging

5. Nature’s Gate Natural Toothpaste

Our Verdict: Best Budget Option

Nature’s Gate Natural Toothpaste comes in a range of flavors including cool mint, anise, herbal mint, and wintergreen. It contains helpful ingredients like white tea extract, ginger root extract, cranberry extract, and grapeseed extract that are full of antioxidants and help to fight against germs.

It also contains baking soda to help whiten your teeth. Plus, it’s free from artificial ingredients, SLS, fluoride, and other harsh ingredients and is one of the more economical natural brands. It does tend to be a little runny but not too bad.

Some may find the gel a bit hard to get out of the tube. Some may also find some of the flavors a bit strong.

It comes in a gel or crème version and they also have kid-friendly toothpastes as well. Some versions contain SLS.

Click For Full Ingredient List

Pros:

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Free from fluoride, triclosan, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners and flavors, gluten, soy, parabens, sulfates, and GMO (genetically modified organisms)
  • Contains white tea extract, ginger root extract, cranberry extract, grapeseed extract, baking soda, and aloe vera juice for dental health
  • Comes in cool mint, anise, herbal mint, and wintergreen flavors

Cons:

  • Some versions may contain carrageenan
  • Some may find the flavor a bit strong

How to Choose the Right Toothpaste for You

Our mouths are highly absorbent so even though you only brush for 2 minutes twice a day, these chemicals can build up in your body over time.

It’s also important to mention that natural isn’t always safe, for example, carrageenan is found in red seaweed, but it drives up inflammation and is used for this purpose in some cruel animal testing practices.

List of Nasty Ingredients

So here are a few ingredients that you need to look out for as they either cause irritation, hormone imbalances and in some cases, larger amounts of these have been linked to cancer. They can be hard to avoid, but the fewer there are, the better. Every bit helps:

  • Aspartame
  • Saccharin
  • Parabens
  • SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate)
  • SLES (sodium laureth sulfate)
  • Carrageenan
  • DEA (diethanolamine)
  • Propylene Glycol (PEG)
  • Triclosan
  • Artificial colors
  • Hydrated silica
  • Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles

SLS is one of those that may only cause a problem for some usually by resulting in or aggravating mouth ulcers. But, the upside is that SLS-free toothpastes usually don’t cause that same horrible taste when you eat certain foods.

SLSA (sodium lauryl sulfoacetate) is a much better alternative to SLS and SLES, and studies show that it is considered safe, but more research needs to be done.

Which Ingredients in Toothpaste are Animal Derived?

Glycerin. It can be hard to tell since glycerin can be derived from plants or created synthetically too, so look for a toothpaste that doesn’t contain glycerin or specifies that it’s plant-based glycerin. Synthetic glycerin isn’t a good option either. Unlike plant-derived glycerin, it’s often full of nasty chemicals. So keep that in mind as well.

Glycerin is coming under scrutiny in the dental community for a different reason though. According to this study, glycerin may actually contribute to the demineralization of teeth which is something that toothpaste should be preventing, not causing.

Having said that, they left the teeth soaking in the solution far longer than anyone would ever spend brushing their teeth.

Most toothpastes natural and otherwise contain glycerin so unless you make your own toothpaste it’s quite hard to find a premade toothpaste that is glycerin-free. But, since no one brushes their teeth for 8 hours a day as in the tests, it should be fine.

The Flouride Controversy

Many are fiercely advocating for or against the use of fluoride in both dental products and drinking water. The American Dental Association (ADA) stands by fluoride as necessary to prevent cavities others say it’s harmful. Let’s look at a few studies to actually find out whether or not we should be using fluoride.

How Does Fluoride Affect Dental Health?

The reason that the ADA supports the use of fluoride is that:

  • Remineralization: Fluoride contributes to the remineralization of teeth. Having said this, it plays a much smaller part than calcium and magnesium.
  • Kills off cariogenic microorganisms: Fluoride helps to kill off bacteria that causes cavities in the mouth.

The Dangers of Fluoride

The negative side effects listed below can happen if dental products are swallowed and/or drinking water is over fluoridated:

  • Brittle teeth: Too much fluoride can make teeth brittle, not stronger, especially if there is a deficiency of calcium and magnesium in the body.
  • Fluorosis: Fluorosis can occur, particularly in children. This is characterized by stained teeth, pitted teeth, and other tooth irregularities.
  • Learning difficulties: Some have expressed concern that it can also cause learning difficulties, autism, and ADHD, but research hasn’t confirmed that fluoride is 100% to blame or take into account other parameters such as diet during pregnancy.

The focus should be on educating people about good dental hygiene and diet rather than fluoridating the water.

But...

Topical Fluoride is Safe

This study done in 2016 shows that fluoride is okay and beneficial for topical use. Toothpaste does just that. You are not meant to be swallowing it. Mouthwash should also be spat out.

But, with small children, this can be problematic, which is also why kiddies toothpaste brands advise adult supervision during use. Teach your kids to spit out the toothpaste properly to minimize the amount of toothpaste swallowed.

Some scientists maintain that you are meant to spit but not rinse your mouth as the fluoride needs to stay on your teeth for a while to be of optimal use. But, this means you will inevitably swallowing some toothpaste. Others say that you can rinse your teeth without risking cavities as the fluoride still does its job during brushing.

It’s still a confusing point even in the scientific community.

Honestly, we don’t really need to be adding to the small amounts fluoride we consume from food since it’s present in very small quantities in fruit and vegetables as well as tea. That’s not even to mention the fluoride in drinking water. Rinsing can help to prevent this problem.

So...

The Decision is Yours

Since fluoride isn’t the only thing that contributes to healthy teeth, it’s your decision about whether or not you feel comfortable using toothpaste containing fluoride and letting your children do the same.

If you do still want to use toothpaste with fluoride, rinsing may be the best course of action. If this is what you have been doing all this time and haven’t gotten cavities, clearly it must be doing its job anyway or you have a healthy diet.

How to Ensure Healthy Teeth

For healthy teeth, follow these tips:

A Healthy Diet is Important

Diet is often overlooked when it comes to dental health, but just these changes will help a lot when it comes to preventing cavities and keeping teeth healthy:

1. Eat calcium and magnesium-rich foods

  • Leafy greens
  • Nuts
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Fruit (especially figs and bananas)
  • Seeds
  • Tofu
  • Whole grains such as brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat
  • Unsweetened fortified plant-milks
  • Low/zero sugar dark chocolate.

2. Minimize sugar

Sugar is one of the worst things for your teeth. Watch out for added sugar in fruit juice, yogurts, breakfast cereals, cook-in sauces, etc. As far as possible, eat whole foods. Processed foods almost always have added sugar.

Also, wean yourself off of adding sugar in your beverages and cereals. Choose fruit instead when you want something sweet.

3. Rinse after dried fruit and citrus

Dried fruit tends to get stuck in teeth and unfortunately, they are high in sugar. Citrus fruits are very acidic. Drinking fruit juice through a straw is helpful.

But, whether you eat or drink these fruits, rinse your mouth with water. In fact, after each meal, rinsing your mouth will go a long way.

4. Drink water

Water doesn’t just hydrate your body, it also keeps your saliva levels adequate (for remineralization) and helps to wash away food debris throughout the day and especially if you drink water with meals too.

Good Dental Hygiene is a Must

Whatever dental products you use, be sure to do the following:

  • Brush twice a day and no more than three times a day.
  • Wait at least half an hour after eating before brushing your teeth, an hour is best.
  • Try to brush your teeth for two minutes each time.
  • Use a toothbrush with soft or medium hard bristles unless your dentist tells you otherwise.
  • Set your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush back and forth.
  • Remember to do the back, front, and tops of your teeth and try to reach the back teeth too.
  • Brush your tong too.
  • For extra measure, a mouthwash can help to kill germs.
  • Floss every day.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.

This may seem like a lot to do, but really, most of it will come naturally soon enough and you may be doing much of it already.


Armed with all this knowledge, you can now make informed choices about your dental health and if you have children, theirs too. You could always make your own toothpaste, but in today’s world, not everyone has time for that. So let’s check out our 3 favorites.

Our Top 3 Picks for the Best Cruelty-Free Toothpaste

Let us know if you’ve tried any of these. Which do you think is the best cruelty-free toothpaste?

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