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Looking For Vegan Toothpaste? Here Are Some Of Our Top Picks

by Charlotte Pointing

Aug 29, 2022

The average person spends more than 82 days brushing their teeth over the course of a lifetime. That involves a heck of a lot of toothpaste. But like many industries, the oral care market has an impact on animals.

Spread the word.

Most mainstream toothpaste companies aren't cruelty-free. And while you may not have considered it before, a lot of tubes of toothpaste have animal ingredients in them too.

But, if you want to spend the rest of your tooth-brushing days without impacting animals, good news: there are plenty of vegan and cruelty-free options available. Here, we've rounded up some of the best.

But first, let's take a look at why all toothpaste isn't vegan.

Why isn't all toothpaste vegan?

Toothpaste can contain a number of ingredients that are either derived from animals or are animal byproducts.

Glycerin, for example, is a humectant that helps to stop toothpaste from drying out. But, while it can come from vegetable oil, it can also be derived from tallow, which is fat from animals (usually pigs).

If a product lists glycerin in its ingredients and it's not labeled vegan, it's best to avoid or reach out directly to the brand for more sourcing information.

Another non-vegan ingredient commonly used in toothpaste is propolis. Used for its effective oral care properties (it's antibacterial and anti-inflammatory), propolis is produced by honeybees.

Essentially, it is bee saliva, wax, and plant exudate mixed together, and is used by the pollinator as a kind of cement, ideal for fixing and sealing cracks in beehives.

Another questionable toothpaste ingredient is calcium phosphate, which can be extracted from animal bones.

As well as using animal ingredients, many mainstream toothpaste brands, like Sensodyne, Aquafresh, and Colgate, are not certified as cruelty-free. All three of these examples may test on animals themselves, or through a third party, and sell products where animal testing is required by law.

What is vegan toothpaste?

The oral care market has a long way to go before it's considered animal-friendly.

But a growing number of brands abstain from animal ingredients and avoid animal testing.

Instead of animal products, they use ingredients like vegetable-derived glycerin, coconut oil, and baking soda. Plus, their products will leave your teeth and your mouth feeling clean, fresh, and well cared for.

Here are some of our top vegan toothpaste picks, and of course, all are certified cruelty-free. We've included options that include fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral that helps to prevent tooth decay, and some that don't.

While some prefer to avoid fluoride, and evidence shows it can be harmful if ingested, a strong body of research suggests that fluoride is safe when used just on teeth (without swallowing) and is key for staving off cavities.

Parent company tests on animals Yes - Colgate-Palmolive
Contains fluoride Yes
Type Tube

Founded in the 1970s, Tom's of Maine was one of the very first natural toothpaste brands on the market. And it's still going strong today.

Tom's of Maine Simply White Toothpaste helps to make your smile whiter with the help of naturally derived silicas. These help to remove stains from the surface of your teeth without using chemicals, like hydrogen peroxide (a common teeth whitening ingredient).

It comes in several varieties (including spearmint and peppermint), all of which offer just a subtle pop of flavor, and will leave your teeth feeling smooth and your mouth feeling fresh.

There's also an option for those who prefer to avoid fluoride.

Parent company tests on animalsNo
Contains fluoride No

Another OG natural toothpaste brand, JÄ€SĂ–N was founded back in 1959 and focuses on chemical-free "nature-led" formulas. Its Powersmile toothpaste claims to whiten teeth with the help of bamboo powder, silica, baking soda, and calcium carbonate.

Plus, the addition of peppermint oil ensures clean, fresh breath.

The formula also features grapefruit seed and perilla seed, which may help to counter the acid produced when we eat sugar. This acid is harmful as it dissolves tooth enamel, paving the way for decay.

Best natural:

Parent company tests on animalsNo
Contains fluoride No

This Ayurvedic herbal toothpaste is one for those who like to keep their toothpaste as natural as possible.

It's formulated with 24 special herbal extracts, including neem, a centuries-old ingredient used in Ayurvedic oral hygiene, Indian licorice root, clove, and peelu.

The latter, known as "the toothbrush tree," has been used for thousands of years around the world as a chewing stick.

Modern research suggests that miswak, which comes from the root of peelu, has a number of properties beneficial to oral hygiene. For example, it's antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-plaque.

Best for sensitive teeth:

Parent company tests on animalsYes - Colgate-Palmolive
Contains fluoride Yes

If you feel a twinge when you drink an iced beverage or tuck into ice cream, you could be suffering from sensitive teeth. But don't worry, help is out there. Choosing the right toothpaste may offer you some relief.

Hello's See Ya Sensitivity toothpaste contains potassium nitrate and sodium fluoride, both of which provide pain relief for sensitive teeth. The former helps to calm down nerve fibers, while the latter helps to strengthen tooth enamel.

Not only does this product help to reduce sensitivity, but it also gently removes surface stains, leaving your teeth whiter and cleaner. The taste isn't overpowering either, just mild and minty.

Parent company tests on animalsNo
Contains fluoride No

All of Desert Essence's oral care products are inspired by nature, and this Wintergreen toothpaste is no exception. It freshens and cares for the mouth, gums, and teeth with the help of neem and tea tree oil.

The latter contains antifungal compounds, and research has shown that it may help to minimize the risk of gum disease, by reducing inflammation and removing bacteria.

Parent company tests on animalsNo
Contains fluorideNo

Toothpaste can do more than just maintain oral hygiene. Better & Better claims it can also help you pack more vitamins into your body.

When you use it twice a day, the brand's energy toothpaste contains 100 percent of your recommended daily dose of vitamin B12 and 80 percent of your daily vitamin D3. Both of which are absorbed through the gums and the tongue.

Ingredients in this toothpaste (which is made in the US) include organic menthol, organic spearmint, and organic peppermint (combined for super fresh breath), as well as flavor-enhancing blue agave, baking soda, vegetable glycerin, and organic coconut oil.

Parent company tests on animalsNo
Contains fluorideYes and no (two options available)

Unpaste is on a mission to take plastic out of oral care. Packaged in paper-based compostable bags, its toothpaste comes in tablet form.

But aside from the difference in appearance, Unpaste's tablets are still effective when it comes to oral hygiene. They contain cellulose, which, research suggests, helps to reduce plaque and tartar buildup.

Instead of pasting on a toothbrush like usual, crunch the tablet before brushing with your toothbrush. The rest is the same as usual: rinse and repeat.

The tablet comes in two flavors, mint or cinnamon, and doesn't contain fluoride. There is also a fluoride version available.

Best for whitening:

Parent company tests on animalsNo
Contains fluorideYes

Gleaming pearly whites are a top priority for many consumers, and Supersmile has been pumping out products to cater to them for around 40 years.

The secret, the brand claims, is its signature Calprox formula, which contains its own proprietary form of calcium peroxide. It works by dissolving pellicle, a layer of protein on the surface of teeth that often contains plaque, bacteria, and stains.

According to the brand, it can whiten teeth by six shades in just five days.

Plus it comes in an array of flavors. If mint really isn't your thing, it also offers cinnamon and green apple.

Best for the planet:

Parent company tests on animalsNo
Contains fluorideNo

Another brand fighting plastic pollution, Kaylaan packages its toothpaste tablets in eco-friendly tins instead of tubes.

The tablets are made with xylitol, a natural five-carbon sugar polyol found in fruits and berries. According to some research, it helps to kill bacteria in the mouth that causes decay. Some studies have suggested that it could even help to reverse decay in the early stages of the process.

Unlike standard toothpaste options, Kaylaan's tablets come in an array of flavors, including candy-like watermelon. There's also classic mint, as well as strawberry, neem, blueberry, and cinnamon flavors.

The verdict

We all need a great, effective toothpaste in our lives. It's a vital part of oral care, reducing the buildup of plaque and bacteria. But sadly, most mainstream toothpaste companies aren't cruelty-free, and a number of them don't offer vegan products either. But there are still plenty of ethical options available.

To summarize, here are some of our favorites:

Best for...

Natural ingredients: Auromere Ayurvedic Fresh Mint Herbal Toothpaste
Sensitive teeth: Hello Products Sensitivity Relief Fluoride Toothpaste
Whitening: Supersmile Professional Whitening Toothpaste
The planet: Kaylaan Watermelon Toothpaste Tablets

Which Brands Are Cruelty-Free?

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+ Show Comments (3) - Hide Comments (3)
  • Lori Edgar says:

    Thank you for identifying the parent companies’ stand on animal testing – I’ll never buy Tom’s of Maine or Hello products again…

  • Lori Edgar says:

    Omgggg I make effort not to buy products that have any relation to animal testing and your list just enlightened me on Tom’s of Maine and Hello! I will NOT be supporting either of those companies until they branch out and become 100% not associated with the needless and cruel suffering inflicted on animals…. Thank you Cruelty Free Kitty!!!

  • Michelle says:

    I didn’t see Himalaya toothpaste brand here. I may have to double check it’s status as I thought it was CF and free from the bad things found in other brands. As always, thanks for providing great products and information.

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