5 tips to choose the best toothpaste for you (and our Planet)
So many classifications, benefits, functions and flavours… but what is the best toothpaste? That depends on what you are looking for. Check out some tips.
There are many, many, many toothpastes around and all of them seem to promise something magical. But why do you have to choose between strong teeth, white teeth, cavity-free teeth, fresh breath, natural ingredients, and so on? Maybe you don’t have to choose only one of them – maybe you just need to know what to look for in a toothpaste, and what to stay away from. Read on to know which is the best toothpaste for your teeth, body, and planet!
How to choose the best toothpaste
When choosing a toothpaste, you obviously try to pick the best toothpaste for yourself. But with so many brands, types, colours and prices, it can become rather confusing. We’ll give you some pointers (and food for thought) on what to be on the lookout when searching for the best toothpaste for your needs.
Think about the packaging
The package in which your toothpaste comes has an influence on the product itself, as well as on your health and on the environment. Many toothpastes have plastic packaging, and although some specific brands have been able to create recyclable toothpaste tubes, the vast majority is not totally recyclable. The choices of packaging a determined brand offers also reflects the brand’s views – and supporting brands who care for the environment is also a way to make the world better. When choosing, think about 100 recyclable packaging, such as paper or aluminium. The best toothpaste for you should not be harmful for the planet, for its animals, plants or for its people.
Watch out for toxic ingredients
Many toothpastes have potentially toxic chemicals in its list of ingredients that often go unnoticed, as people are often not aware they are toxic or dangerous. Some of the chemicals used in commercial toothpastes can cause skin irritations, act as poisons, weaken your immune system, cause endocrine disruption or be toxic for aquatic life, among others. When looking for the best toothpaste try to stay away from the following ingredients:
- Aspartame and saccharin
- Propylene glycol
- SLS /Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
- Tetrasodium (Tetrapotassium) Pyrophosphate
- Titanium dioxide
Stay away from plastic beads and microplastics
The majority of toothpastes have microplastics in it, under the form of microbeads that act as an abrasive agent. Check here How to Avoid Microplastics in Your Toothpaste.
These microplastics are normally smaller than 5mm and are virtually impossible to remove from the water – since they are so small and hardly visible in the naked eye, they will pollute our water courses and seas, and end up being consumed by fish and other animals. Apart from the environmental aspect, why would you want to ingest plastic yourself? These materials haven’t been around long enough to have solid proof of the long-term consequences on human health either. So, keep in mind that besides the promises on the label, microplastics do not belong in your body, and the best toothpaste for your body and planet will surely not contain them.
Pay attention to the classification and provenience
The concern with cruelty-free (CF), vegan, organic and natural products is growing. And these are perfectly valid concerns. A toothpaste being CF means that the ingredients or the final product were not tested in animals; the Vegan classification means that it contains zero ingredients from animals (for example, honey or bone-marrow glycerine); organic can mean many different things depending on the product it concerns, but when applied to toothpaste it means that the ingredients used, if natural, were grown without the use of dangerous pesticides, were not treated or mixed with harsh chemicals, and that the extraction/harvesting of said ingredients respects the environment and natural resources; a natural toothpaste means basically that it contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients, hormones, petroleum derivates other additives. The best toothpaste you can get, both for your health and for the environment, will ideally be all four: vegan, CF, organic and natural.
To fluoride or to not fluoride
Fluoride in toothpastes is a controversial topic. While many people want to stay away from it, many others swear by its effects on a healthy oral care. Fluoride is known (and proven) to help reduce and prevent tooth decay. Plus, it occurs naturally in plants, being absorbed by plants via water and soil. As such, sometimes vegetables contain fluoride themselves. And before you ask, yes, fluoride in extremely large concentrations is harmful to human health, however, the typical strength of regular toothpaste is around 1000 to 1500 parts per million (ppm) – and a quantity high enough to pose threats to health would be above 10 mg a day.
Now that you’re at it, check out The Bam&Boo Natural Toothpaste – vegan, organic and cruelty-free, with a 100% aluminium packaging!
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