9 Plastic Free Toothpastes For Guilt Free Brushing (2023)
Your average toothpaste is stuffed full of unnecessary, ecotoxic ingredients.
Human teeth can’t heal themselves, and you only get one adult set of them!
So treat them right with a plastic free toothpaste that isn’t bad for you or the environment.
In this guide I’ve collected the best toothpaste options made by ethical brands who care about sustainability, and none of them subscribe to the use of petrochemicals or other harmful ingredients.
You can also learn about the impact something as simple as paste for your teeth can have on the world around you, but let’s start with some recommendations:
Plastic Free Toothpaste Options
More Fluoride Options
More Fluoride-Free Options
Bite – Top Choice
Active Ingredients: Sodium Monofluorophosphate
Bite is a sustainable oral care brand well known for their simple, plastic free products.
And honestly it’s hard to find many issues, if any, with their toothpaste tablets in particular.
It makes sense too, as they’ve named their brand after their toothpaste “bits”, and out of all the options I’ve tried I like them the most (and the same goes for some of their other products as well).
If you’ve never used toothpaste tablets before, it’s really not a big deal after you try it once – basically, you just crush one of the small mint tablets into powder between your teeth, and it quickly turns into a pleasant paste.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Bite’s toothpaste contains fluoride, so if you want to avoid that keep scrolling to some other recommendations (Bite also has a fluoride-free version). Personally, I like my toothpaste with fluoride.
You may also want to check out their simple bamboo toothbrushes, which pair quite nicely with their paste.
Extra Bite Info:
- Certified B Corp
- PETA Beauty Without Bunnies Member
- Certified Woman-Owned Business
Active Ingredients: 0.25% Sodium Fluoride (1.2 mg per tablet)
I use Etee’s toothpaste tablets pretty often as well, and they’re nearly on the same level as Bite’s.
They also come packaged in a glass jar with a recyclable metal top, and in terms of foaminess they may actually surpass Bite!
But, there’s one thing I’m going to make completely clear: they don’t taste minty, at all. Which isn’t bad – I mean, I personally don’t mind their flavor (it’s kind of a neutral, earthy one).
I just wouldn’t describe it as Minty Vanilla, which is how Etee does on their website. Aside from that, however, it hits all the marks you want to see when it comes to a sustainable fluoride toothpaste.
Active Ingredients: Calcium Fluoride (1350 ppm)
Georganics makes another fluoride toothpaste option, and similar to Bite, as a brand they specialize in oral care – which means they have some of the highest quality products around.
Their toothpaste is, well, a paste. But it’s a non-foaming paste that won’t froth up like conventional brands as your brushing, which can take a few days to get used to.
The texture is kind of like a soft clay, instead of a watery paste – but it quickly dissolves into an effective teeth cleaning material once you start brushing.
You can choose between a few different flavors: peppermint, orange, and charcoal, which is an unusually high number of options for toothpaste!
The mint flavor is also pretty mild, so if you aren’t a fan of concentrated peppermint flavor you don’t have to worry about Georganic’s being super strong.
Another product of theirs that I’d recommend is their plastic free floss, and Georganics also makes fluoride-free toothpaste as well.
Extra Georganics Brand Info:
- Certified B Corp
Active Ingredients: Sodium Fluoride (.62 mg per tablet)
You may have actually seen Unpaste’s fluoride toothpaste tablets at a local store, depending on where you live.
And like Georganic’s tablets they’re made with ingredients that avoid foaming – as foaming agents are usually made from things like petrochemicals, which we want to avoid.
The bag they come in is fully compostable at home or industrially, so if you dislike glass containers Unpaste could be a decent choice for you!
Simplicity is good when it comes to toothpaste, as most people don’t want any surprises when it comes to taking care of their teeth.
Unpaste makes both fluoride toothpaste tablets, and a fluoride-free version as well, both of which come in a mild mint flavor.
Extra Unpaste Brand Info:
- Leaping Bunny Member
The Humble Co.
Active Ingredients: Sodium Monofluorophosphate (1450 ppm)
The Humble Co.’s mint fluoride tablets come neatly packaged in a paperboard and bioplastic container with 60 total tablets.
The main distinguishing feature of their tablets is that they don’t foam very much – which is ideal for someone who wants a less messy, stressfree brushing experience.
Personally, I like a bit of foaming, which is why my top choices do have some fizzy action going on, but The Humble Co.’s tabs could be a great option for those with texture and sensory issues!
They also make a fluoride-free version of the same flavor, and they’re pretty well known in the sustainable oral care game for their toothbrushes and electric toothbrush heads as well.
Active Ingredients: Nano-Hydroxyapatite
Huppy is one of my fluoride-free brand recommendations, and you can grab a tin of their toothpaste tablets in three flavors: peppermint, charcoal mint, and watermelon strawberry.
So if you’re looking for a sweet and fruity option without fluoride, definitely check Huppy.
Instead of fluoride, they add nano-hydroxyapatite to their paste. In a nutshell, it’s added as an alternative remineralization agent to toothpastes by a growing number of dental brands.
The tablets come packaged in a cute and compact recyclable aluminum tin, and the refills they’ll send out to you are made from biodegradable, compostable materials with water-based ink!
Huppy’s tablets are pretty foamy – and they also make mouthwash tablets if you’re on the hunt for some of those.
Extra Huppy Brand Info:
- Pending B Corp Certified
Active Ingredients: Nano-Hydroxyapatite
Chomp is another brand making fluoride-free tablets, which come in a screw-top aluminum bottle – fantastic for those who travel.
Now, you should be aware of one major difference between their tablet options, aside from the different flavors, which are: peppermint, cinnamon, cool fruit, and very berry.
They have a regular toothpaste, and a Super Whitening version, which is the one that contains nano-hydroxyapatite (a fluoride alternative).
So, make sure you grab the whitening version if you want some extra teeth remineralization power, and the link down below will bring you to that version!
Active Ingredients: None
Hammond Herb’s toothpaste powder (yes, I said powder) is one of the more unique options out there, and it’s made specifically for those who want a fluoride-free experience.
It doesn’t include nano-hydroxyapatite either, which means if you’re looking for an absolutely barebones toothpaste, in powder form, you’ll enjoy this one a lot.
They call it their Tiger Tooth powder, and it comes in only one flavor: a vegan Cinna-Mint blend, packaged in a glass jar with a cork stopper.
Wondering how to use powdered toothpaste?
Well, it’s pretty simple actually: take your toothbrush, get it wet, and dip it in the powder before some vigorous brushing!
Extra Hammond Herbs Brand Info:
- Etsy Star Seller
Butter Me Up Organics
Active Ingredients: None
Butter Me Up Organics makes another simple, fluoride-free toothpaste without any other active ingredients.
But this time, it’s a paste, not a powder. And just a heads up, it’s a bit salty.
Which sounds strange when it comes to toothpaste, but Butter Me Up Organic’s paste is only made from a few vegan ingredients like baking soda, sea salt, coconut oil, and essential oils – and the saltiness is intended.
The texture of their paste is remarkably similar to traditional pastes that come in plastic tubes, so if you’re someone who needs a creamier paste to feel satisfied with your oral hygiene, you may want to give this one a shot.
Why does toothpaste use so much plastic?
Like I said earlier, you only get one set of adult teeth once your first set falls out.
Because of this, it’s essential to protect your teeth and keep them free of disease and that leads to a lot of paste being consumed everyday by billions of people.
But, why is all of it packaged in plastic? The answer is simple: plastic is cheaper.
Anyways, if everyone in the US alone uses just one tube per year, that’s more than 300 million (300,000,000) plastic tubes entering the waste stream each year.
And toothpaste tubes are made of many layers of plastic, resins and polymers which are pretty much impossible to recycle or reuse in any realistic way – it’s not just a simple plastic tube.
Used plastic tubes of toothpaste are difficult if not impossible to recycle for most industrial facilities, as recycling centers aren’t going to accept plastic tubes caked with leftover toothpaste – if the tubes even reach these facilities at all.
Sustainable packaging like cardboard, glass and metal offer an easier recycling pathway for the average person to take advantage of.
Toothpaste tabs don’t leave behind any paste making them an even more tempting choice when it comes to limiting your waste, and composting is also an option if you’re buying brands with simple paper packaging.
Does toothpaste contain plastic microbeads?
Not too long ago, many toothpaste brands even included plastic microbeads in toothpaste as a way of adding “abrasive qualities” to them, although it’s not as common anymore.
There may still be a few cases of toothpaste brands using microbeads, but generally it’s been phased out.
However, some countries do still allow widespread production of cosmetic products that include plastic microbeads as scrubbing agents in their formulas for stuff like face and body scrubs!
Which toothpaste ingredients should you avoid?
Hopefully you brush your teeth multiple times per day, and if not, please consider starting for the sake of everyone you interact with daily!
Unfortunately, the more you brush your teeth with conventional toothpaste, the more often you’re going to be exposed to just as many random unnecessary ingredients as any other cosmetic product.
Many of them are just inactive fillers (so they can easily be replaced) made from animal products or petrochemicals, some of which I’ve highlighted below.
Everytime you brush your teeth you inhale and ingest small amounts of these chemicals, and the toothpaste sticking to the inside of your used-up tubes easily makes its way into various waterways and ecosystems after being thrown out.
The list of ingredients to be aware of in dental care products is lengthy, so make sure you check out my harmful skincare ingredients guide, which covers some of the most common (dental and skincare products often contain similar ingredients).
And if you’re looking for more dental or personal care brands, you can read about more of them in my list of eco friendly skincare brands.
For now, let’s look at a few specific toothpaste ingredients like fluoride in more detail:
Fluoride has both legitimate dangers and many unproven conspiracy theories surrounding it, which can make it hard to talk about with some people.
It’s commonly found in groundwater all over the globe due to natural causes like volcanic activity, which means it’s highly concentrated in the drinking water of many people.
Those that use this contaminated water for everyday life may suffer from fluorosis, which can cause irreversible dental and skeletal health issues.
Below you can find an example of extreme skeletal fluorosis, which isn’t going to happen unless you’re exposed to high levels of fluoride, but it’s still worth being aware of.
There are many less severe fluorosis effects as well, mainly things like small changes to your teeth’s enamel.
It’s industrially produced and added to both tap water and products like toothpaste, so large quantities end up in the environment either way.
So, why do we use fluoride? Well, cavities and tooth decay are massive health issues across the globe.
These issues are incredibly common and preventable issues that financially burden people and lower their quality of life.
Fluoride added to water and dental products is widely considered to be a reason for recent improvements in tooth decay globally. The issue is, humans are pretty well known for overproduction of things – no matter how beneficial they are.
Just because fluoride improves dental health doesn’t mean it’s produced sustainably.
Titanium dioxide is a white mineral-based pigment added to toothpastes and other cosmetics.
It’s basically added to products to “brighten” them, and it’s what gives your toothpaste that shiny white look; so it’s added to most popular brands of paste for aesthetics only.
Considering the environmental impacts of mining and refining titanium dioxide, there’s really no reason it should be added to our toothpaste, aside from an attempt to sell more tubes of plastic paste.
Producing titanium dioxide from mining, and processing the mineral ilmenite (the main source) requires an insane amount of natural resources.
Each step of this refinement process involves land, water, and energy use that simply can’t be justified for something like toothpaste.
Finally, titanium dioxide is also considered a possible carcinogen and may cause other issues like organ toxicity in extreme cases!
What animal products are in toothpaste?
There are alot of cruelty free and vegan toothpastes options out there that don’t use animal products or animal testing, including all of the brands I’ve recommended above.
The ones that do contain animal products might use things like:
- Glycerin (animal fat)
- Propolis (mix of beeswax and pollen)
- Animal derived flavors or colors
Plastic free toothpaste is a super popular product, so it shouldn’t be hard to find an option that works for you, especially after reading through this guide.
Making the swap to a less wasteful toothpaste benefits both your health and the environment, no matter where you are within your sustainability journey.
Each change you make compounds itself, and starting by eliminating wasteful personal care items is one of the best ways to start!