Natural Ingredients In Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
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Seven Natural Ingredients In Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

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One of the first things we notice about people is a shiny, white smile – the type of smile that lights up a room and causes others to smile back. Fluoride, found in most toothpastes, is a natural mineral that hardens tooth enamel, prevents cavities and helps to keep teeth healthy. However, for those who have a common sensitivity to fluoride, fluoride-free toothpaste or fluoride-free toothpaste are an effective alternative. People can be sensitive to fluoride for many reasons including age, aggressive tooth brushing or other aversions.

So without the protection provided by fluoride, how does toothpaste without fluoride protect your teeth? The answer is in the toothpaste ingredients. Let's take a look at the most commonly found active ingredients in some fluoride-free toothpaste and how these ingredients aim to protect teeth.


Used as an alternative to sugar, Xylitol is a natural sweetener obtained from a variety of plants. It's widely found in fruits, vegetables, trees, and corncobs. It’s often used in chewing gum and toothpaste ingredients as it reduces plaque (one of the main contributors to gum disease) and can help to prevent cavities.

Green Tea Extract

Although green tea is all the rage for many tea drinkers, it also has some valuable attributes when it comes to oral health. According to Hamilton-Miller of the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London, polyphenols are found in tea and contribute to the wide range of its beneficial effects. It also prevents bad breath, also known as halitosis, in its chronic form.

Papaya Plant Extract

Papayas are known for their treasure trove of black seeds, and they're loaded with potassium and vitamin C. But papain, the enzyme inside a papaya tree, possesses its share of benefits as well. Most notably, explains Saga, papaya plant extract added to toothpaste ingredients helps to whiten teeth by removing surface stains thanks to the enzyme.

Citric Acid

Oranges contain an abundance of citric acid. When plaque mineralizes on teeth, the result is a buildup of tartar. Citric acid assists in reducing the amount of tartar on teeth treated with it.

Zinc Citrate

Similar to citric acid, notes the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, zinc citrate significantly aids in the reduction of plaque in the mouth. When left untreated, plaque collects on teeth and gums resulting in gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Zinc prevents the production of the bacteria that contribute to gingivitis.

Bicarbonate of Soda

Also known as baking soda, bicarbonate of soda serves multiple purposes when it comes to teeth cleaning. Like some of the toothpaste ingredients above, bicarbonate of soda fights plaque. It also functions as a stain-remover, which leads to a brighter smile.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal in fluoride-free toothpaste as an ingredient has been big news within the wellness world in recent years. Activated charcoal is a fine powder made from oxidised wood, coconut shells and other natural substances. There’s still a lot of research to be done on activated charcoal, however, it’s thought to be good at removing surface stains on your teeth (especially when used occasionally after a professional cleaning) and improving bad breath. 

If you decide that fluoride toothpaste isn't for you, toothpaste without fluoride can clean your teeth just as well. But as part of any good oral health plan, be sure to include flossing, tongue scraping and rinsing with mouthwash every day – along with regular visits to your dentist for checkups and cleaning. 

Toothpaste Ingredients To Avoid

If you’d rather use a natural toothpaste, it’s handy to have a list of toothpaste ingredients to avoid. You may be conscious of avoiding ingredients like artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. If this is the case, some toothpaste ingredients to look out for include:

  • Triclosan
  • Sodium lauryl sulphate or SLS
  • Propylene glycol
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Parabens

Effectiveness of Natural Toothpaste Ingredients 

Typically, the ingredients in natural toothpaste or fluoride-free toothpaste will still clean your teeth, remove plaque and can also help with teeth whitening. However, without the presence of fluoride in your toothpaste ingredients, your teeth will miss out on a lot of protective benefits. Fluoride protects your tooth enamel and fights against cavities, while a fluoride-free toothpaste just can’t offer the same level of protection. It’s always helpful to have as much information as possible on the different types of toothpastes out there so you can make an informed choice about what’s best for you and your smile! 

Learn more about fluoride in toothpastes in the Colgate Oral Care resources.




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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.