Making the Switch to Zero Waste Toothpaste
Alright, so you’re on your zero waste journey, and you’ve got that super awesome compostable bamboo toothbrush. Now let’s talk about when you run out of conventional toothpaste. What do you do about zero waste toothpaste? The health of our teeth is important so it’s essential to consider all the options!
Why Choose Natural Toothpaste?
If you haven’t already, I’d say the most important thing would be to switch to a toothpaste with more natural ingredients, plastic packaging or not. Many conventional toothpastes have some nasty ingredients you probably don’t want in your body. A couple of ingredients in particular I try to avoid are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (A common foaming agent that can cause skin irritation) and Triclosan (A synthetic antibacterial agent and known endocrine disruptor that overtime can negatively affect health). Before I learned about the zero waste movement, I switched to a natural toothpaste. However, when I started trying to reduce my household waste, I decided to hunt for a not only natural but also plastic free toothpaste alternative.
One common option for zero waste and natural toothpaste is to make your own! I have not experimented with DIY toothpaste recipes, but I have several zero waste blogger friends that have. You can learn more about their experiences and recipes here! DIY toothpaste is a great affordable option, and the toothpaste recipes usually contain simple ingredients that you can find at your local grocery store without plastic packaging, like coconut oil and baking soda.
Ready Made Zero Waste Toothpaste
If you are, like me, not interested in making your own toothpaste from scratch, don’t worry! There are three great zero waste toothpaste options in the Tiny Yellow Bungalow online shop. I know a lot of zero wasters love coconut oil/baking soda toothpaste, but I really wanted something a little more complex for my teeth. After scouring the internet, I finally found a wonderful toothpaste and tooth powder to bring to our little eco shop.
Zero Waste Toothpaste
Our zero waste toothpaste comes in a glass jar with metal lid and is made in the U.S. It contains zero artificial flavors and is fluoride free. Ingredients include: distilled water, calcium carbonate, xylitol, orange oil, guar gum, and grapefruit seed extract. This is really a wonderful option for the non zero-wasters in your family, because its texture resembles conventional toothpaste. I love that this toothpaste is not only plastic free but also vegan!
Zero Waste Tooth Powder
Also be sure to check out our zero waste tooth powder with activated charcoal. This is my personal favorite. Like the toothpaste in our shop, this powder also comes in a glass jar with metal lid and is made in the U.S. Ingredients include: oral cleansing and healing herbal blend, activated charcoal, xylitol, sacred clay, & cinnamon essential oil. **We now have two flavors to choose from in the shop actually! You can choose between cinnamon and mint flavor tooth powder. You can use the powder directly with water, but I also like to mix it with coconut oil to make a paste. If you do mix with coconut oil, I would recommend spitting not in the sink but in the trash bin so you don’t clog your drains. Added bonus of this powder is that it is great for natural teeth whitening thanks to the activated charcoal!
I’ve got one more zero waste toothpaste suggestion for you! This is the newest addition to the Tiny Yellow Bungalow zero waste online shop, David’s toothpaste. We recently started using this paste and my partner loves it. It’s very very similar to conventional toothpaste but without the nasty ingredients we don’t want in our mouths. I actually think it tastes better than the plastic packaged toothpaste! 🙂 This paste is SLS free, fluoride free, and has a natural whitening, antiplaque formula. It comes in this old school metal tube with a key the you use to twist up the tube, making sure you get all of the paste out of the tube. This paste, like the other two zero waste toothpastes in the shop, is also made in the USA!
To recycle the metal toothpaste tube, you can cut it down the middle with a sharp blade or box cutter and rinse out the inside of the metal tube. You can also remove and dispose of the plastic cap.
Update: I’ve been asked for years and years if I knew of a zero waste tooth paste option that contained fluoride. I had found several fluoride plastic free toothpaste tablets but they were only available in Europe. Finally, this year, I learned of the brand Unpaste that makes zero waste tooth tablets with fluoride.
These tablets come in plastic-free, fully compostable bags made of non-GMO corn starch.
These toothpaste tablets gently polish your teeth leaving fewer places for bacteria to attach and reducing the formation of plaque and tartar. In addition, they are less abrasive than most toothpastes but leaves you with a just-after-the-dentist feeling. Also, the tablets contain no preservatives, SLS, sodium saccharin, artificial colors, aluminum or nanoparticles – nothing extra to be absorbed in your mouth.
This is also something new I just recently started adding to my oral hygiene routine. A tongue scraper! Have you used one of these guys before? I never thought scraping my tongue would be something I’d actually want to do every morning. But I loveeee it! I know, it’s a little weird haha. My mouth just feels extra clean after brushing my teeth and scraping my tongue. And this tongue scraper that you can find in the TYB shop is 100% plastic free–bonus!! If I haven’t already convinced you, check out Mind Body Green’s post on 5 Reasons Why Everyone Needs a Tongue Scraper. Y’all, they are amazing. Get yourself a tongue scraper and report back to me ASAP 🙂
Natural Homemade Mouthwash
To complete your zero waste teeth cleaning routine, don’t forget to try out my homemade natural mouthwash recipe! I experimented with a couple of different recipes to find a natural mouthwash that I really liked. Let me know what you think of it!
I’ve got one more tool to complete your zero waste dental care routine, biodegradable and vegan dental floss! I’ve hunted for a vegan and compostable dental floss option for the Tiny Yellow Bungalow shop for a very long time now. Before a few months ago, I had seen biodegradable silk floss on the market (we actually used to have that in the TYB shop), and I had also seen non-compostable vegan floss on the market. I was absolutely thrilled when I found this floss that checks both boxes. I can toss in my compost and also feel good about it not being a product coming from animals. Win win!! The floss comes in a paper box and the actual floss inside the box is on a spool made from corn as well as the transparent film that covers the spool. All of it is compostable.
Still haven’t found what you are looking for?
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If zero waste tooth paste in a glass jar or in a recyclable metal tube is not your thing, and you also don’t like the idea of charcoal tooth powder, I have one more suggestion for you. Now, I honestly haven’t tried this style zero waste toothpaste to give you feedback, but it’s something worth checking out. Another zero waste toothpaste option I have found is called tooth tabs. It’s basically toothpaste in tablet form that you crush in your mouth and brush with. I found this brand on Amazon, but haven’t tried it myself. I’ve also heard of a pretty popular tooth tab brand called Bite.
I’ll continue to update this post as I find more zero waste toothpaste options out there. If you have any brands that you love and would like me to add to the list, please let me know!
What does your zero waste teeth cleaning routine look like?? What kind of plastic free toothpaste do you love? Have you had any waste free toothpaste experiments gone wrong? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!
Author’s Note: This blog post was originally posted in February 2017, but I’ve updated some information and want to share it with my newest Tiny Yellow Bungalow followers. Enjoy y’all!
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