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The Best Vegan Toothpastes Made With Clean Ingredients
Essential Takeaways
A consistent dental hygiene routine doesn’t just freshen your breath—it’s a preventative measure against tooth decay, gum disease, and more. Remember to brush twice daily, and use dental floss and mouthwash at least once daily, preferably in the evening.

The Best Vegan Toothpastes Made With Clean Ingredients

You’ve probably heard about your gut microbiome, the trillions-strong colony of bacteria and fungi in your digestive tract that bolster your immune system, among other things.

But did you know that your mouth is a microbiome, too, and that it’s home to more than 700 different types of bacteria—some good, some bad?

Lactobacillus is one of the good guys that help fight the bad kind that causes oral hygiene troubles, like cavities and tooth decay. Even with good bacteria, a solid dental care routine is essential for a healthy mouth.

But not all toothpaste is free from animal products, and some may contain ingredients that don’t fall under the “clean” umbrella. Fear not, though—we’re here to break down the components to watch out for and to suggest the best vegan toothpaste.

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Is Toothpaste Vegan?

To be considered vegan, toothpaste must be free from animal ingredients and also not tested on animals. Unfortunately, a lot of toothpaste brands test on animals, including major names like Crest and Colgate. While the latter launched a vegan-friendly toothpaste back in 2020, the parent company states that it tests on animals when required by law. Because of this, some vegans may boycott it, while others are okay with purchasing it.

There are a handful of non-vegan ingredients that are commonly found in toothpaste. One of them is glycerin, a humectant (a substance that attracts moisture) with a mildly sweet taste that prevents toothpaste from drying out. It can be derived from plant-based sources—like palm, soy, or coconut oil—or animal fats.

Vegan toothpaste on a toothbrush

Some toothpaste is made with propolis, an ingredient used medicinally since ancient times. In Egypt, it was used in the mummification process. In toothpaste, it helps improve oral hygiene. But, unfortunately, it’s actually animal-derived. Honey bees make propolis, also known as “bee glue,” from a blend of the sap of cone-bearing trees, wax, and their own saliva. They use this waxy, resinous substance to repair cracks in the hive. It also has antimicrobial properties, so bees also collect it to help fight infections.

Other ingredients to look out for include “flavors” or “natural flavors.” Due to the vague term, contacting the manufacturer is the only way to learn the ingredient’s origin.

Are Vegan Toothpastes Clean?

A vegan toothpaste isn’t always “clean.” Sodium lauryl sulfate, aka SLS, is a detergent that causes toothpaste and cleaning products to foam, which helps remove particles and debris from a surface. It also helps remove plaque. But, it can irritate sensitive gums. And clinical research has shown that SLS-free toothpaste can be just as effective as cleaning teeth and helping to prevent plaque and gingivitis.

Benefits of Vegan Toothpaste

Does vegan toothpaste work better than standard toothpaste? Not necessarily. But the choice to avoid animal products is often one based on ethics, not whether or not it’s “better” for you, though that may be a factor for many people. The good news for your teeth is that you’ll find that vegan toothpaste work just as well as those that aren’t.

Vegan or not, you should brush at least twice a day—ensuring that you get your teeth, your gums, the roof of your mouth, and your tongue— for two minutes each time. This removes and helps prevent the buildup of plaque, a leading cause of tooth decay and gum disease. It should be a toothpaste that contains fluoride, a mineral found in both water and toothpaste that gets a bad rap.

Closeup of a woman smiling with white teeth

While it can be toxic if ingested in excess, fluoride has been proven to prevent cavities and strengthen tooth enamel. In recent years, hydroxyapatite, a mineral that makes up 97% of tooth enamel, has shown promise as an alternative to fluoride in recent studies. It’s small enough to fill in cracks in the enamel caused by demineralization, a sign of tooth decay when tooth enamel begins to wear away.

You should also floss at least once a day before you brush to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. And you should also use mouthwash, which helps freshen breath and can help reduce gingivitis and plaque, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).

Remember to change your toothbrush every three to four months, as the bristles are frayed and less effective at removing plaque. Using mouthwash daily is also proven to remineralize your teeth and kill bad bacteria, in addition to giving you minty-fresh breath.

Regardless of the status of your chompers, you should visit the dentist at least twice a year for a routine checkup.

Do Toothpaste Tablets Work?

What about toothpaste tablets? You’ll often find glass bottles filled with these—they look like tooth-cleaning Altoids, and you’ll frequently find them being sold in independent organic grocery stores that have been selling vegan food before it was cool. But you also might get targeted with ads for them online, like after you finish reading this article.

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The good thing is that toothpaste tabs are generally cruelty-free, vegan, clean, and plastic-free, while toothpaste tubes are difficult to recycle. But, they often lack fluoride, and there’s not currently enough data to support how effective they are for long-term dental health, as reported by The Guardian.

Because of this, there are currently no toothpaste tablets that have been approved by the ADA, and experts recommend brushing your teeth with toothpaste from a tube in order to keep your mouth healthy.

The Best Vegan Toothpastes

These five kinds of toothpaste are cruelty-free, vegan, and made with clean ingredients.

Native Fluoride Toothpaste
Free from SLS and artificial preservatives, Native’s Fluoride Toothpaste uses the plant-based surfactants sodium cocoyl glutamate, which cleanses, and cocamidopropyl betaine, which foams, to cleanse your teeth. Meanwhile, hydrated silica, an ingredient commonly used as a whitener in toothpaste, helps to scrub stains from the surface of your pearlies. It comes in three flavors: Whitening Wild Mint, Detoxifying Charcoal, and Sensitive Soothing Mint.

Hello Naturally Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste
This vegan and cruelty-free toothpaste from Hello helps whiten teeth and strengthen enamel. It does the first job with a combination of calcium carbonate and hydrated silica, while fluoride takes care of the tooth-strengthening. Free from dyes and artificial sweeteners, it also contains farm-grown mint and tea tree oil for fresher breath.

Hey Humans Fluoride Toothpaste
Packaged in an aluminum tube for easy recycling, Hey Humans’ toothpaste cleans and helps prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar without animal products. Fluoride does its job as a natural cavity-fighter, and squalane, an ingredient that’s usually associated with skincare products, helps keep your gums hydrated.

Dr. Brite Anti-Plaque Toothpaste
This plaque-fighting toothpaste is made with hydroxyapatite, which helps to remineralize and strengthen teeth, similar to fluoride. Aloe vera helps to reduce gum inflammation, while spearmint, peppermint, and menthol provide a burst of freshness that’ll leave your mouth feeling clean.

Davids Sensitive Whitening Toothpaste
Got sensitive teeth? This toothpaste from Davids is made with calcium carbonate, a gentle abrasive mineral from limestone that helps remove stains from the teeth. It also contains baking soda, a home remedy for whitening teeth, and hydroxyapatite to help make the enamel stronger over time. Plus, it’s packaged in a recyclable metal tube, and you can subscribe, so you’re never in a position where you’re all out of toothpaste.

In Conclusion …

A consistent dental hygiene routine doesn’t just freshen your breath—it’s a preventative measure against tooth decay, gum disease, and more. Remember to brush twice daily, and use dental floss and mouthwash at least once daily, preferably in the evening.

Kat Smith is a New York City-based writer and editor who loves digging deep into sustainable fashion, beauty, food, and other lifestyle-related topics.

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