Toothpaste Ingredients to Avoid

It’s time for a side-by-side comparison of toothpaste. Let’s look at how organic toothpaste stacks up against the rest when it comes to a few common ingredients. Is it “healthier”? Is it “better”? And, after all, is it “worth it”? 

Fluoride

There’s a good chance that you were brought up being told that fluoride is a must-have because it can strengthen teeth and make them more resistant to tooth decay. The more that’s learned and researched, the more concerns grow about the health risks fluoride can present. This is especially worrisome for young children. Ingesting too much fluoride can possibly cause permanent tooth discoloration, stomach problems, skin rashes, and impairment in glucose metabolism. 

The worst part? Fluoride is an “ingredient” (if we can even call it that) that you can find in 95% of conventional toothpaste sold in the U.S containing fluoride. You can even check this by yourself on your next trip to the grocery store, as the FDA requires a warning label on every tube of fluoride toothpaste sold in the US. 

Triclosan

Triclosan, by definition, is a pesticide. Historically, its use is as an antibacterial agent in toothpaste with the claim that it helps fight plaque and gingivitis. It has even been deemed a “super-chemical” because of its downright frighteningly strong bacteria-fighting ways. 

The FDA banned triclosan from products like body wash and soap in 2017, and as of 2019, it is no longer commercially available in toothpaste. We point this specific chemical out to call attention to the fact that since 1972, it was an accepted ingredient in consumer toothpaste. For decades a chemical was “safe” until it wasn’t.  

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are surfactants. We use them in a range of products from industrial cleaners to toothpaste. Their main purpose is to provide a foaming lather (aka the stuff you spit out after brushing). Newsflash: foam doesn’t mean clean. About 85% of toothpaste on the market contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.  SLS causes irritation, especially for those with mouth sores. When you know you can get the same clean effect without putting an irritant in your mouth every day, go with the NO (the no chemical, no irritant option).  

Artificial Sweeteners – Saccharin & Aspartame

Saccharin is a petroleum-based sugar substitute. It’s sugar but produced in a lab, made from crude oil. Ew.

People commonly use saccharin in diet foods, soft drinks, lip balms, and toothpaste. It’s approximately 350 times sweeter than your run-of-the-mill sugar and falls into the same sweetener category as Acesulfame-K, sucralose, aspartyl phenylalanine methyl ester, alitame, and tagatose.

Aspartame is about 200 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less of it to get a similar effect. The issue is that aspartame can convert inside your body to formaldehyde. Additionally, there are reports from 2006 proving that aspartame is a carcinogen in rats. If it causes tumors and pulmonary lesions in rodents, it’s best to leave it out of our children’s (and adult) mouths.

One reason you will see Saccharin on the ingredient list of a lot of toothpaste brands on your grocery store shelves is that it is cheap. It’s no surprise the cheapest sweetener is the popular sweetener. If you read the above 3 sections, you know the answer to the question: Is Organic better and healthier for you? Organic means something. 

And if you’re now ready to make the switch and include Organic products into your oral care routine, there’s one brand that you can count on: RADIUS was the first company to make non-GMO Organic toothpaste. RADIUS® toothpaste is certified USDA Organic, which means it’s made from 98% organic ingredients. No toxic chemicals, no additives, no artificial sweeteners.