Conventional toothpaste is packaged in plastic tubes, and can contain some questionable ingredients which is a double whammy for the environment and our health.
The truth is you don’t need all those unpronounceable ingredients to get that ‘clean teeth’ feeling. In fact, most dentists say the most important part of brushing your teeth is the toothbrush. Ever since I made the switch to zero waste toothpaste, my teeth have never felt cleaner.
You can easily DIY your own toothpaste, but not everyone enjoys DIYs. For that reason, I’ve assembled a list of zero waste toothpaste brands and DIYs you can trust.
First up are brands that make awesome zero waste toothpaste that actually work, then I list a bunch of DIYs for those who prefer making their own.
treat yourself natural clay tooth powder:
Have you ever used tooth powder before? It’s not hard to get the hang of, plus it’s kind of fun to try something new and different.
To use tooth powder, you just run your toothbrush under water, dip it into the jar, then brush like normal with the powder attached to your toothbrush bristles.
I really like Treat Yourself’s natural clay tooth powder because it’s full of natural ingredients that are actually good for your teeth.
Most conventional toothpaste contain questionable ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, fluoride, triclosan and artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners and the mouth has an absorbency efficiency rate of more than 90 percent.
Treat Yourself’s natural clay tooth powder only uses natural ingredients you can trust. The star ingredients consist of calcium bentonite clay, cinnamon, turmeric, clove, activated charcoal, and essential oils of frankincense and myrrh.
I love the fact it comes in a reusable glass jar. The lid of it is plastic but it’s still a great jar to reuse. I plan to use it to store my DIY deodorant when it’s empty.
davids natural toothpaste:
Perhaps you really love the idea of toothpaste coming in a tube. That’s cool: Davids Natural Toothpaste has you covered.
This toothpaste comes in a 100 percent recyclable metal tub with a small plastic lid. You just have to cut it open and rinse it out first before recycling.
The tube comes packaged in a box made of FSC certified paperboard that’s manufactured with renewable wind energy. How cool is that?
Also, each box comes with a metal “key” to help you roll up the tube and get the very last drops out of the tube so nothing is wasted, not even the last drop.
Their ingredients are great as well, completely free of fluoride and sulphates. They’re vegan friendly and cruelty free which is a huge plus.
This toothpaste is made from 98 percent USA origin ingredients which is fantastic because the more locally sourced ingredients, the less carbon emissions emitted.
To make their brand even more conscious, they’ve been EWG verified for consumer safety and health.
Their ingredients consist of calcium carbonate, purified water, baking soda, vegetable glycerin, hydrated silica, xylitol, sodium cocyl glutamate, carrageenan, peppermint oil, spearmint leaf oil, anise seed extract, wintergreen leaf extract and stevia leaf extract. You can see what each ingredient means and what it does on their very transparent ingredient list.
If you’re looking for an all-natural toothpaste that comes in a recyclable tube and helps support our local economy, this is definitely the toothpaste for you.
Uncle Harry’s toothpaste is very popular within the zero waste community because their natural toothpaste can be bought in glass jars which can be reused when empty. The lid is plastic, so It's not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Their natural toothpaste helps support tooth enamel remineralization. It also helps maintain a natural alkaline pH, which is very important for overall oral health.
Uncle Harry‘s is a 100 percent vegetarian company that never tests on animals, but all their toothpaste options are completely vegan. None of their products contain soy, gluten or dairy ingredients.
RELATED: Zero Waste Flossing Options
Their products are free of fluoride, triclosan, artificial sweeteners and sodium lauryl sulfate at all times. Unlike the other toothpastes I’ve listed, they come in a wide array of flavors as well, such as spearmint, cinnamon, peppermint and anise.
The ingredients for their toothpaste consist of bentonite clay, calcium carbonate, colloidal silver water, sea salt, ionic minerals, mustard seed, and various different essential oils (depending on flavor).
Uncle Harry’s even has children’s toothpaste options that are completely safe for kids and more palatable for youngsters.
To use the toothpaste, you just scoop a little from the jar using your toothbrush or small utensil, brush for one to two minutes, then rinse like normal.
peppermint baking soda toothpaste:
If you prefer DIYs, this peppermint baking soda toothpaste is easy to make. In fact, you might have all the ingredients for it in your house right now.
This is my personal favorite homemade toothpaste option. I use it all the time. Even my mom, who’s a dental assistant, approves of this recipe.
It’s super simple to make, only requiring three ingredients: Baking soda, coconut oil and peppermint essential oil. You’ll get that super clean feeling after using it too.
To use, just dip your toothbrush into the toothpaste, then brush away. There’s no need to splash it with any water. Just rinse your brush off when you’re done and you’re good to go.
You can store this three-ingredient toothpaste in an empty glass jar you have lying around. Super effective and low cost.
If you find baking soda to be too abrasive on your teeth, try using a little less than the recipe recommends and adjust it to meet your needs.
Making this recipe has honestly saved me so much money: The ingredients are cheap and easy to find waste free. I totally recommend giving it a shot!
dentist approved toothpowder:
If you’re looking for a tooth powder that’s all natural and one your dentist will love, look no further. This dentist approved toothpowder is the best.
You only need three ingredients to make it: Xylitol, baking soda and bentonite clay. All the ingredients can be found in bulk, or sustainable packaging.
Related: Life Without Bulk Options
This toothpowder recipe was made by collaborating with a dentist to get the perfect formula. How cool is that? It has none of those icky additives like artificial coloring.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener, baking soda dislodges plaque from the teeth and bentonite clay draws out toxins. All you need to do is put the ingredients together in a glass jar and shake it up.
Make sure to use a wooden or porcelain measuring spoon to touch the bentonite clay, as metal will deactivate it.
The sweetness of the xylitol should cancel out the saltiness of the baking soda, leaving it with a rather neutral taste. It’ll leave you with clean breath and tastes like nothing, perfect for people who prefer minimal to no flavors with their toothpaste.
charcoal toothpaste recipe:
Feel like your teeth need some whitening? This charcoal toothpaste recipe is perfect.
It only requires three ingredients: activated charcoal, coconut oil and baking soda. You can also add a few drops of essential oil for a refreshing aftertaste (I’d use peppermint or spearmint essential oil).
This shouldn’t be your main toothpaste because activated charcoal can cause sensitivity. Use it once or twice a week to help whiten your teeth.
Just be aware it can get pretty messy! The activated charcoal stains a lot of things, so don’t wear nice clothes while using this DIY.
Your teeth are going to feel super clean after using this toothpaste. The activated charcoal is a powerhouse ingredient which binds to grime, dirt and stains beyond the surface, drawing them out.
You can find most of the ingredients for this in bulk, or sustainably packaged. For instance, coconut oil usually comes in glass and baking soda comes in cardboard, which are easy to reuse and/or recycle.
The activated charcoal may be a bit tricky to find plastic free, so keep that in mind. You should be able to purchase activated charcoal plastic free online at the Refill Revolution though (along with other awesome ingredients for making DIYs).
You can store your homemade toothpaste in a small metal tin or a small glass jar you’re repurposing. Just dip your brush into the toothpaste and brush your teeth like you normally would.
Your teeth will turn a bit black at first using this toothpaste, but have no fear. When you rinse out your mouth, it’ll be stain free and feel super clean.
How do you brush your teeth?
Guest Post: Ariana Palmieri is the founder of Greenify-Me.com, a blog dedicated to zero waste living and sustainability. Her work has been featured on MindBodyGreen, Green Matters, The Penny Hoarder and several other publications. Get her free e-book "10 Ways to Reduce Trash" by signing up to her newsletter and learn how to reduce your waste today.