Let’s chat about fluoride-free toothpaste.
Although my partner and I have similar views on the environment and living sustainably, we both have differing priorities. One of my partner’s big priorities is fluoride. For some reason, fluoride has never really featured highly on my radar of things to be concerned about. As such, for the longest time, I’ve used fluoride toothpaste. The NHS tells us to! But in the face of opposing scientific views, we’ve been trying out various fluoride-free toothpaste brands to see which we like the best.
Is Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Bad for Your Teeth?
This post has been a really long time in the making – over 9 months! The reason why is I wanted to get a dental checkup after using fluoride-free toothpaste for at least 6 months to make sure my teeth stayed healthy before making any recommendations to you.
I had a checkup from my regular dentist in November, after 7 months of dedicated fluoride-free toothpaste usage. Here, I came away with a clean bill of health. In fact, after checking my teeth my dentist said to me that normally after 6 months people have a small build-up of tartar. Especially at the back of their lower front teeth. He then said, “I don’t know what you’ve been doing, but you’ve actually got no tartar build-up“! I’ve been seeing this particular dentist for years, and this was the first time he’d said this to me, or didn’t have to scrape off any tartar so I was a pretty happy camper!
I hadn’t told him I’d switched to fluoride-free toothpaste for fear of a telling-off. However, I don’t want to make any claims. Yes, it could be down to switching toothpaste, or toothbrush. However, it could be down to more vigorous brushing (to make up for the lack of fluoride) or changes in my diet. Or it could just be plain old luck. I just don’t know. What I do know is that my partner also got a clean bill of health at the dentist after 6 months of usage. Therefore it’s a definite thumbs up for fluoride-free toothpaste from us! No reports of bad breath either!
Here’s a rundown of the ones we’ve tried over the past 9 months:
Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Guide
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This was the very first fluoride-free toothpaste we tried. And I’ll be honest – I straight up hated Sarakan Toothpaste*. I didn’t like the taste or texture, much as I tried to get used to it. And I found the smell and taste of geranium a bit too overpowering. I also detected a definite hint of parsley- my least favourite herb. My partner said it smelled like a greengrocer (I think it was the parsley). However, as a parsley and geranium fan, he loved the taste. As such, as soon as it ran out he wanted another tube.
Kingfisher Fennel Toothpaste
I struggled to find a Kingfisher mint flavoured fluoride-free toothpaste locally (they do make a fluoride minty one, so do lookout). In the end, I settled for their Fennel fluoride-free toothpaste*.
My partner again loved this. He said it was like, in his exact words, “a lovely big liquorice“! I, however, wasn’t so keen. I didn’t think it tasted as bad as Sarakan. However, by this stage, I had come to realise that I prefer traditional minty tubes of toothpaste and the clean and fresh feeling they impart, over the fennel taste. My partner says this is his absolute favourite toothpaste. It’s now his regular paste of choice.
Green People Peppermint & Aloe Vera Toothpaste
After trying the other two fluoride-free kinds of toothpaste, I did not have high hopes for my fluoride-free journey. Even with the promise of peppermint, the sound of the aloe vera in this Green People peppermint and aloe vera toothpaste* didn’t exactly fill me with joy or anticipation. Nor did the putty colour. So I was quite surprised to find I actually really liked this toothpaste. So much so, that I have since gone through a further two tubes!
Sometimes I have to load a bit more toothpaste onto my brush halfway through a clean. However, my teeth always feel squeaky clean. I also really like the gentle and clean minty taste.
I don’t notice the aloe vera until after I’ve cleaned my teeth but I quite like the aftertaste. My partner conversely straight out hated this toothpaste (two peas in a pod we are!). He said he could taste the aloe vera quite strongly as he was brushing his teeth and didn’t like it.
Green People Minty Cool Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
I loved this Green People Minty Cool toothpaste*. Again, it’s putty coloured. And like all sodium Laureth sulphate-free kinds of toothpaste, it doesn’t foam up in the way more conventional types of toothpaste do. However, once you get used to that it’s great. It’s minty in the way that all great kinds of toothpaste are (in my opinion!). What’s more, my teeth feel clean, and my mouth refreshed after brushing.
Again, like the peppermint and aloe vera toothpaste, I sometimes have to add a bit more toothpaste onto my brush halfway through brushing, but I don’t mind that too much. My partner’s also a fan of this one. It’s the only one we agreed we both liked! Result!
Lush Toothy Tabs in Dirty
I really wanted to like Lush Toothy Tabs, as, at the time of writing it was the only toothpaste I could buy that was plastic-free. They now come in a plastic bottle.
However, and it’s a big, however, we both found that the Toothy Tabs tasted absolutely disgusting. As I said, I wanted to like the Toothy Tabs. In fact, I wanted to love the Toothy Tabs. But we just couldn’t.
Rather than a paste, you chew on a tablet. Once the foam develops, you then start brushing. Unfortunately, we found the tabs tasted like chewing on a particularly horrible aspirin. The taste and texture made us both heave, and we had to spit it out within seconds. Our mouths didn’t feel clean in the slightest, and we felt pretty sick.
We have now relegated the Toothy Tabs to the very very back of the cupboard for extremely extreme toothbrushing emergencies. I personally hope that day never comes. Even thinking about these 7 months after we first used them sends shivers down my spine! You can buy them in different flavours. I went for Dirty as it’s a traditional minty flavour. However, who knows, the other flavours might taste better?
So, to conclude, if you’re in the market for fluoride-free toothpaste and like things minty, I’d recommend the Green People Minty Cool toothpaste*. If you buy 3 at the same time you save 10%.
Do you have a favourite fluoride-free toothpaste that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below. In May 2021 I also wrote a guide to the best eco-friendly toothpaste, that has lots more fluoride-free options for you to check out too.
What About Toothbrushes?
A note on toothbrushes. I decided to switch toothbrushes to something more environmentally friendly. I tried bamboo toothbrushes but couldn’t find one I got on with.
At first, I found the sensation of brushing my teeth with what felt like a lolly stick in my mouth uncomfortable. Once I got used to it after a few weeks, the brushes started to fray really badly, and nylon bristle after nylon bristle was washing down the sink. Even though bamboo is a more sustainable option, it didn’t feel particularly sustainable or eco-friendly to be washing bits of plastic down the sink with every brush.
In the end, I switched to using a Preserve toothbrush*. These are made from recycled plastic. Once you’re done you can send the toothbrush and packaging back to Preserve for complete recycling.
If you are looking for other ways to green your beauty routine do check out my health and beauty category for more inspiration! I’ve got posts on how to reduce plastic in the bathroom and plastic-free bathroom products, if for example, you’re looking to minimise your use of plastic. I’ve also got advice on the best eco-friendly sunscreen too.
And of course, it goes without saying that I wasn’t compensated to write any of this. I paid for and bought all of the tubes of fluoride-free toothpaste, and toothbrushes with my own hard-earned money and wanted to share my experiences and thoughts with you! I’m really big on disclosure so if anything was sent for review or I was compensated you’d be the first to know about it!