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A Simple Guide To Cruelty-Free Toothpaste, Mouthwash, And Dental Floss

by Suzana Rose

May 12, 2020

If you want to switch to cruelty-free toothpaste or vegan dental care, it can be hard to find all the products you need at your local drugstore.

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Personally what I like to do is buy everything I need from Amazon and iHerb, which carry several brands that don't test on animals.

Another option is Target, which carries a few cruelty-free and green beauty brands. Don't forget about your local health store, too!

Brands To Avoid

As I mention in my list of Companies That Test On Animals, a few toothpaste brands that aren't cruelty-free are listed here:

  • Aim
  • Aquafresh
  • Close-up
  • Colgate
  • Crest
  • Listerine
  • Mentadent
  • Pearl Drops
  • Reach
  • Scope
  • Sensodyne
  • Signal

If you look at the fine print of a product and can see that it's owned by Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, Church & Dwight, or Johnson & Johnson, chances are it's tested on animals. There are only a handful of exceptions to this rule, such as Tom's of Maine (which is owned by Colagte-Palmolive while remaining cruelty-free).

Cruelty-Free Brands

I'll pinpoint specific products in a moment, but first let me list some brands that are cruelty-free and offer oral care products like toothpaste:

  • Tom's of Maine
  • Desert Essence
  • Nature's Gate
  • Kiss My Face
  • Auromere
  • Vitacare
  • Eco-Dent
  • Radius
  • Hello Products

Cruelty-Free Toothpaste

The cool thing about cruelty-free toothpaste is that it's easy to find more natural alternatives. This is great if you're looking for fluoride-free or SLS-free toothpaste!

A word on these 2 ingredients before I get into the toothpaste. Fluoride strengthens teeth and reduces chances of getting cavities, which is why it's traditionally added not only to toothpaste, but also to tap water. However, it's now been proven that fluoride is toxic when ingested.

While it remains safe to use topically, whether or not you continue to use fluoride toothpaste is a matter of choice. The same goes for Sodium Laureth Sulfate, which is a foaming agent that's also an irritant.

Now, if you want regular minty toothpaste with fluoride, try Tom's of Maine's Simply White Natural Toothpaste. Note that Tom's parent company is not cruelty-free.

For something without fluoride and without SLS, there are lots of options such as Desert Essence's Natural Toothpaste in Wintergreeen, JASON's Powersmile, or Nature's Gate's Creme de Peppermind Natural Toothpaste.

There's also Tom's of Maine that comes in various flavors; I've liked every single toothpaste from them so I recommend this brand as well! My last suggestion for cruelty-free toothpaste is a brand called Auromere, which is also cruelty-free, vegan, and herbal.

Cruelty-Free Mouthwash

For a good mouthwash, I'm a fan of Desert Essence's Natural Refreshing Mouthwash. Other cruelty-free brands offer their own mouthwash, but this one has been my personal favorite! It has tea tree oil which is an antiseptic and a natural breath-freshner, contains no alcohol at all, and has a minty taste without burning.

Cruelty-Free Dental Floss

I've tried the Eco-Dent Gentlefloss and have found it decent. It's a good price for 100 yards, but keep in mind that it doesn't come in a plastic holder! This makes it a tad inconvenient, but I appreciate the eco-friendliness.

Another good option is by Desert Essence (again!). It's called the Tea Tree Oil Dental Floss and just like their mouthwash, it's coated with tea tree oil which is antiseptic. Desert Essence makes two kinds of floss, so choose according to your needs! Their "dental floss" is what I use; it's thinner and works best for those with smaller gaps between their teeth. They also make a "dental tape" (here) for those with wide gaps between teeth.

I hope this was helpful to some of you! If you have any favorite cruelty-free or vegan oral care products, please share them in the comments as well!

Shop Cruelty-Free—It's Easy!

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Suzana Rose

Suzana Rose

I created Cruelty-Free Kitty because animal testing has no place in the 21st century. My mission is to tackle ethical issues in the beauty industry one by one and find solutions for a better future.

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  • Avatar Marcus says:

    Are there any powder mouthwashes that are effective?
    It seems it would be better for the environment to ship powder than liquids.

  • Avatar Nicole says:

    As a newish vegan (3+ years now), I’ve followed your pages on FB and Instagram. I’m very grateful for all the time you have spent gathering all this information. I especially appreciate that you also update when companies change their policies. I was a huge Shea moisture fan … but now that their parent company is not vegan, I’m moving to a different company for my products. Thank you!!

  • Avatar Barbara says:

    Hi! Thanks for making this post, it’s very informative.
    Does anyone know if GUM from Sunstar is cruelty-free?

  • Avatar Catherine Stevenson says:

    I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have discovered Cruelty Free Kitty. Your dedication and hard work to such a noble cause is an inspiration to all us to help make our world a kinder, gentler place. Thank you for what you do !

  • Avatar Maria says:

    It’s terrible to realise that most of the products and brands we trust in have that kind of unconsciousness!!!

  • Avatar Annmarie Andreula says:

    Thank you so very much!

  • Avatar Alexander Viazovtsev says:

    Is Biotene testing on animals? Thanks!

  • Avatar jane alexander says:

    Hi I have sensitive teeth can anyone recommend the best cruelty free toothpaste for this. thanks Jane

  • Avatar Alice says:

    I need something to clean my dentures safely

  • Avatar Nancy says:

    Good morning. I’m looking for a Cruelty-Free denture adhesive product.

  • Avatar Ann says:

    Hi, does anyone know of a mouth spray for dry mouth that’s cruelty free, I can’t find anything on Biotene dry mouth spray. Thanks guys for your help

    • Avatar Angela Reimer says:

      Hi Ann,
      Though it’s not a mouth spray, I’ve found the Aesop mouthwash is very hydrating! I bought a bottle and keep a little travel size one in my bag.
      Side note:
      Aesop also makes a toothpaste.

  • Avatar Wendy Leja says:

    I just bought the Trader Joe’s flouride free brand and they are listed as vegan AND cf. I really like it, and affordable, too.

  • Avatar Aldair says:

    I’m so disappointed in myself. I am just now educating myself on this and I can’t believe that most of the stuff I use everyday rely on animal testing. I’m looking at some cute dog pictures on reddit right now because I cannot believe the pain these poor animals go through.

    • Avatar Maria says:

      It’s terrible to realise that most of the products and brands we trust in have that kind of unconsciousness!!!

  • Avatar Heather says:

    I’m having a problem finding a toothpaste that is cruelty-free that has fluoride for sensitive teeth!

  • Avatar mapps says:

    I was wondering if anyone knew of any cruelty-free toothpastes that are good for people prone to sensitive/bleeding gums? I’ve tried several by Tom’s but have had no luck and always have to go back to Colgate. :C I’m looking at trying Jason’s but maybe someone who has my issue can lead me in the right direction?

  • Avatar Jodi says:

    Dr Organic is great and I like being able to get a toothpaste with fluoride, but SLS free

  • Avatar Tania says:

    Do any of these come in gel or liquid gel presentation? I’m having a hard time finding one…

  • Avatar Ashley Ward says:

    Does ACT Oral Care test on animals?

  • Avatar V. says:

    Good afternoon… i would like to ask if elmex is still testing on animals .

  • Avatar Rebeka says:

    Don’t know whether you guys know about this, but Korres also sells toothpastes. They have two options, Spearmint & Lime and the Anisum & Eucalyptus whitening toothpaste, which is my personal favourite. I haven’t used anything else since I discovered it, tastes delicous.

  • Avatar Carly says:

    Hi! I’m wondering if you have any info about Quantum Labs brand toothbrushes and floss. Our dentist uses them and gave us samples which are good quality. However, when we called the company to see if they are cruelty-free prior to ordering products ourselves, they said they were cruelty-free after “confirming with the president of the company” in about 4 seconds. It seemed weird. Please let me know if you are able to get any better info regarding their cruelty-free status. Thanks CFK!!!

  • Avatar Katrina says:

    I bought my first tube of Desert essence toothpaste on my journey to cruelty free and love it. Thank you so much for the recommendation! You have no idea how helpful you have been!!!!

  • Avatar Rose says:

    And Pepsodent. Pepsodent also tests on animals.

  • Avatar Margaret says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I understood that Tom’s of Maine used bee propolis in their toothpaste, so technically, it would not be vegan. Let me know.

  • Avatar karen says:

    Hi! I know this is an old post, but Colgate-Palmolive now owns Tom’s of Maine (boo) so the parent company isn’t CF.

    • Suzi Suzi says:

      You’re linking to Tom’s of Maine, which is cruelty-free but it’s also owned by Colgate (which isn’t).

  • Avatar Minerva says:

    Eco-Dent floss is not actually vegan. They are very sneaky in their packaging- the WAX is vegan, but the string part is not. They list lactoferrin and lactoperoxidase as an ingredient, and when I emailed the company about it I was told that these ingredients were bovine derived but the dairy enzymes are filtered and purified so that the dairy agents are essentially eliminated. They told me that it is suitable for vegans because there is essentially no dairy in and of itself- yet they openly admit that dairy was used to grow and extract the enzymes used to make the floss. Calling their product vegan when they know dairy was used in its production seems awfully deceptive.

  • Avatar Jass says:

    Tom’s is a Colgate brand, so technically this isn’t vegan. Your giving your money to Colgate who aren’t vegan.

  • Avatar TalesFanGirl says:

    Ugh, I’m so mad that Sensodyne tests on animals. They were my go-to toothpaste for years because they help prevent acid erosion on my teeth. Guess I have to search for another alternative :/

  • Avatar Lisabella Fawzeya SayfUllah Da says:

    Hello Toothpaste has flouride and ADA approved

  • Avatar Jamie says:

    What about toothbrushes? It may seem like a weird question, but I’ve been wondering about this recently.

  • Avatar Emma Rawson says:

    Hey! i’m sure i’ve read somewhere that Jason’s has a non-CF parent company too. is that right, do you know?

  • Avatar Bianca says:

    Try Pearlie White for toothpaste 🙂

  • Avatar Josie says:

    The brand I use doesn’t have either one of those. It’s Boka and it’s a natural mint toothpaste so the oils in it are spearmint, peppermint, star anise, and wintergreen. It’s a subscription box for every 3 months and it only ships in the U.S just in case you’re outside of the U.S. If it’s something you’re interested in their site is https://boka.com/

  • Avatar Josie says:

    I use a brand called Boka and they state that they are cruelty free, but I was wondering if you had heard of it and if they are truly cruelty free? They work as a subscription box and only ship within the U.S so I at least know they aren’t shipping to mainland China, but now I’m doubting myself after seeing your list. >.<

    • They’re most likely cruelty-free but I haven’t heard of them until now! Their box looks cool.

      • Avatar Josie says:

        Oh yes it’s adorable. It comes in this little green box with a charcoal toothbrush. I don’t remember where I saw it from but I tried it and haven’t stopped since. I’m not very good at spotting frauds though so I was hoping you had heard of them but it seems they are still fairly new so it makes sense now.

  • Avatar Judith Nolasco says:

    Jason toothpaste contains carrageenan. Not cool. Is there A toothpaste thats 100% non deadly or harmful to our bodies..truly truly vegan? Please let me know.

  • Avatar Andrea Lollo says:

    Arbonne’s is vegan, cruelty-free and without fluoride! http://www.arbonne.com/PWS/AndreaLollo/store/AMCA/product/Pure-Mint-Toothpaste-4113,1955.aspx It’s expensive, but most good products are. They also run on a discounted membership program.

    • Avatar Tiffany says:

      It’s also a pyramid scheme, so it might not be cruel to animals but it is to other humans as well as predatory. Also, would you even post about it if you weren’t making money off of your link?

  • Avatar Pamela Whitehead says:

    I use a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and a drop or two of eco-friendly washing-up liquid in a cup of water to soak my denture in. If you look at the ingredients in denture cleaners they’re basically the same, but not as eco-friendly or cruelty-free!

  • Avatar Amy says:

    I think flouride is only toxic when consuned in very large/concentrated quantities. Each to their own but I’m glad there’s creulty free options for both!

  • Avatar Casey says:

    Toms of Maine is owned by Colgate-Palm Olive

  • Avatar MollyH says:

    Does anybody know of other mouthwash brands that are cruelty free?

  • Avatar Tayla says:

    Aesop mouthwash is cruelty free and tastes really nice. Seems effective

  • Avatar Beth Riney says:

    Hi Suzi – To no avail I’ve been trying to find info as to whether or not Marvis toothpaste sold at Sephora is CF. Any info?

  • Avatar Inèz says:

    I would like to use fluoride, but also I would like to use a brand that is owned by a cruelty-free company. Does this exist?

  • Do it and I’ll add your company to the list haha! 🙂

  • Avatar Leah says:

    I’m in the awkward position of having natural teeth on the bottom and a denture on top. Any cruelty-free (preferably vegan) denture cleaners?

  • Avatar CJ Anne says:

    Has anyone come across a sensitivity toothpaste that is cruelty free other than Tom’s of Maine?

    • Avatar Danielle says:

      Have you found one yet? I need sensitivity toothpaste and am not sure what to use! Thanks!

    • Avatar Erika B says:

      I was just wondering the same thing, but so far I haven’t been able to find one, plus I’m a rescue mom, so I need one without xylitol. I love Natural Dentist, but it’s not sensitive and lately, I’m really needing it. 🙁

      • Avatar Alexa says:

        I believe the Hello brand offers a sensitive option and is sold at Target!

        • Avatar Allie says:

          Hi Alexa, I’m just confirming your comment. Hello definitely offers a sensitive toothpaste that I bought at Target! 🙂

        • Avatar Tiffany says:

          As someone with sensitive teeth and has used Hello’s sensitive option I highly recommend not using it, I’ve always had great teeth despite them being sensitive and they did not help my teeth at all! It was terrible and I went back to Tom’s.

    • Avatar polly says:

      Kiss My Face makes a great cruelty-free, sensitive toothpaste. It’s also free of fluoride (which can yellow teeth) and sls. I prefer it to Hello brand because it’s a gel so it doesn’t splatter all over the mirror!

  • Avatar Lyn says:

    I’m looking for a toothpaste that has Flouride but NOT SLS. That seems to be the unicorn.

  • Avatar MsGhost87 says:

    It kills me to know so many animals are being hurt, needlessly, when there are a TON of horrible humans, who committed horrific crimes, sitting in a prison cell, being cared for with our tax payer money – Wouldn’t it make more sense to ask them to test out products that will be used BY humans!? We’ve had prisons for a long time, why hasn’t anybody thought of this!? Boggles my mind!!! But then again, I’m sure there would be an uprising if that actually happened, some extremist groups would say that’s inhumane. BUT Vegans & Vegetarians are The crazy ones, right? We have compassion & love for the ones without voices, because nobody thinks of what happens to them behind closed doors, until you decide to seek out the truth for yourself. Open your eyes my fellow human beings, STOP PAYING FOR THIS TO CONTINUE! Stop giving your hard earned money to these companies! It’s us, as consumers, who have to put an end to this suffering, because it is us who keep them in buisness.
    In Reguards to this article – I think it’s great! I’ve learned a lot from reading these blogs & now I can pass along that knowledge to my family & others who are willing to listen. I think it’s amazing that someone cares enough to research this subject & return that knowledge to the readers.
    I appreciate it & look forward to reading more! Take care to anyone who reads this ☺ Peace be with you✌

    • Avatar Prot says:

      No, you’re the extremist here. Advocating forcefully testing on unwilling humans. They already carry out voluntary human trials. And testing doesn’t require humans or animals – artificial/lab grown skin etc. can be used. For someone that clearly likes to think of themselves as compassionate you’re showing very little. With your all caps and advocating torture on a self labelled category of people you clearly know nothing about, you sound like a typical born again self righteous fascist. The ugly side of veganism/vegetarianism and caring for animals. It’s sad when people wake up to caring about animals etc. but then think that entitles them to advocate violence and mistreatment of people, and pushing their views forcefully and aggressively. Peace

    • Avatar Jacob says:

      wow, you’re one disturbing individual…

  • Avatar Felicia Mallon says:

    I recently picked up some toothpaste by the brand “hello” at Target. Their website states that they are Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free and vegan and I’m really enjoying the one I picked up so far.

  • Avatar LawGeekNYC says:

    Tom’s seems to put xylitol in everything though, which is good for teeth but tastes weirdly chemical in the concentrations they use (and unnecessary if you’re using flouride).

    I use prescription flouride toothpaste, but finding cruelty-free for my husband is proving challenging, as he finds the taste of ingredients “natural” companies use very off-putting. I wish someone would just design a non-animal tested version of the store brands. 🙂

    • Avatar Lyn says:

      Is your husband insistent on mint? Tom’s Cinnamon Clove is so delicious, I look forward to brushing!

  • They’re listed on leaping bunny tho..

  • Suzi Suzi says:

    Thanks for sharing! I’ve never tried their toothy tabs myself but they seem cool.

  • Suzi Suzi says:

    I mention that in the post. 🙂

  • Avatar B. says:

    I love the Jason toothpastes! They’ve become a staple in my household! Great post.

    xo Brianna | Glazed Over

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