It may come as a surprise to some vegans that toothpaste products incorporate animal-derived products and that some of them are tested on animals.
Since brushing your teeth is essential to your entire oral cavity, vegan toothpaste is the solution for taking care of your mouth without making any animals suffer for it.
So, in this post, we’ll clarify what makes toothpaste truly vegan and whether or not it’s effective. We’ll also shed light on some of the best vegan brands of toothpaste available in 2021.
- Comparison Table
- 9 Best Vegan Toothpaste in 2021
- What Makes a Toothpaste Vegan?
- Vegan vs Cruelty-Free
- Are Generic Brands of Toothpastes 100% Vegan?
- What to Look for in an Effective Vegan Toothpaste?
- Popper Brushing Technique
- Final Words
|Tom’s of Maine Whole Care||Yes||No||No|
|Kiss My Face Extra Gel||Yes||Yes||No|
|Black Pearl Whitening Powder||No||No||No|
|Hello Oral Care Sensitivity||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Hello Oral Care Whitening||No||No||Yes|
|Ivyees Peppermint Toothpaste||No||No||No|
|Dr. Brite Mint Natural||No||No||No|
9 Best Vegan Toothpaste in 2021
Below is a list of the nine best vegan and cruelty-free toothpaste products on the market. We’re quite confident that one of the following products will meet your needs.
1. Tom’s of Maine Whole Care
If you previously used and liked the Colgate vegan toothpaste, but you want a cruelty-free alternative, Tom’s of Maine Whole Care is a wonderful toothpaste choice with pretty much the same ingredients and effects.
It’s unconditionally vegan, cruelty-free, and made of naturally-derived products with no artificial flavours, colourants, or preservatives.
It’s packaged in a recyclable plastic tube to reduce the amount of non-degradable trash on the planet and comes in 4 flavours; spearmint, peppermint, wintermint, and cinnamon clove.
It contains fluoride; thus, it can promote remineralisation and strengthening of the tooth enamel, decreasing the likelihood of cavity formation. It has no active whitening/bleaching agents such as hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, but it has silica particles that help to remove extrinsic stains on the teeth.
Tom’s of Maine is a certified B-corporation, meaning it meets the highest social and environmental standards, and it’s transparent to the public as well as legally accountable. It gives 10% of its profits to organisations helping children with their various needs, so it’s a great company to support.
2. Kiss My Face Extra Gel
Kiss My Face Extra Gel is another great option for vegan toothpaste. It’s not tested on animals, so it’s also cruelty-free. It also contains no gluten or chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) or parabens (known for skin irritation and hormone disruptions).
The Extra Enamel line contains potassium nitrate, so it helps in decreasing tooth sensitivity as well as fluoride to battle dental decay. It also contains aloe vera that freshens the breath smell, protects the gums, and has antioxidants.
On the other hand, the Whitening, Sensitive, and Triple Action lines don’t have fluoride, so don’t just assume all Kiss My Face products have fluoride.
Its only disadvantage isn’t with the actual product, but with its packaging. The tube may say it’s recyclable, but it doesn’t state the Plastic Identification Code; therefore, many recyclers won’t bother with it.
3. Desert Essence
If you’re looking for fluoride-free vegan toothpaste, Desert Essence is a good choice. Since it’s fluoride-free, it can be used by people who live in areas with high water fluoride levels or by children under six years old as long as they’re under supervision.
It contains tea tree oil, which has antiseptic properties and is flavoured by pure wintergreen leaf essential oil.
Desert Essence is a certified B-corporation and makes its toothpaste with all-natural products. This toothpaste is also cruelty-free and a non-GMO verified project, i.e. it has no genetic modifications.
Some consumers who have Sjogren’s syndrome (a genetic condition that causes dryness of the eyes and mouth) have claimed that this toothpaste doesn’t exacerbate the dry feeling and leave their mouths feeling comfortable, unlike other kinds of toothpaste.
Since the Desert Essence toothpaste doesn’t contain harsh abrasives, some people have complained about feeling as if the toothpaste doesn’t clean as well as other brands. However, as long as the proper brushing technique is used, this shouldn’t pose a problem.
4. Black Pearl Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder
The Black Pearl Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder makes for a slightly different tooth brushing experience. It’s a powder in which you dip your wet toothbrush and then get to brushing, which makes for an interesting sensation.
Activated charcoal has been noted to gradually remove stubborn extrinsic stains, such as those from coffee, tea, or wine. It is also known to eliminate foul odours produced by bacteria, so you won’t have to worry about any offensive smells reaching others.
Just bear in mind that after brushing with the charcoal powder, you may need to brush your teeth again with just water or regular toothpaste to remove any powder residues. Also, it shouldn’t be used too much or too forcefully to not irritate the gums or wear down the tooth’s enamel layer.
5. Hello Vegan Sensitivity Relief Toothpaste
If you’ve wished for a Sensodyne alternative vegan toothpaste, then the Hello Vegan Sensitivity Relief toothpaste is the answer. It’s an ADA-approved toothpaste formulated to reduce teeth sensitivity due to its potassium nitrate content, which decreases the susceptibility of teeth’s nerves when reacting to triggering stimuli from cold or hot food and drinks.
It also contains fluoride to discourage cavity formation in addition to coconut oil and aloe vera, which are both capable of moisturising and soothing the mouth.
It contains no gluten, artificial ingredients, or potentially harmful chemicals, and it has never been tested on animals. It has a mild mint flavour that could go well with children who complain of “spicy” toothpaste, and since it doesn’t contain any SLS, it’s great for people prone to canker sores.
6. Hello Oral Care Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpaste
The Hello Oral Care Fluoride-Free Antiplaque & Whitening toothpaste is a good alternative for people who don’t want fluoride in their toothpaste. It’s vegan, cruelty-free, Leaping Bunny Certified, and PETA recognised.
It doesn’t actively whiten teeth, but it removes blemishes and discolouration with its silica and calcium carbonate minerals, leading to overall whiter and brighter teeth.
Its tree oil content fights foul breath, while its coconut oil content moisturises and calms any irritation or aggravation present in the gums, tongue or cheeks.
7. SprinJene Natural
The SprinJene Natural toothpaste is capable of both battling against dental decay and desensitising sensitive teeth. It also comes with the added bonus of calculus control due to its zinc citrate content.
It’s wholly made from natural products that can freshen the breath and provide relief for dry mouth complications as fissures, cracks, and inflamed gums.
It comes in a mint and clove flavour that leaves you wanting to brush your teeth even more while leaving no strange or unpleasant aftertaste.
8. Ivyees Peppermint Toothpaste
The Ivyees brand also offers a great naturally sourced toothpaste that’s infused with raw honey and all the advantages it provides.
Honey is known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, helping with suppressing the bacteria present in plaque that can cause gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth decay. However, some people would say that honey makes the toothpaste not vegan as it comes from bees’ involvement.
It contains no artificial ingredient or chemicals suspected to cause harm, and it has also not been tested on animals. However, it doesn’t contain any fluoride, so don’t buy it if you have a sweet tooth and are easily prone to cavity formation.
9. Dr. Brite Mint Natural
For a mess-free activated charcoal experience, the Dr. Brite toothpaste with activated coconut charcoal is the solution. It contains no pigment, so it delivers the benefits of stain and odour removal without the black residue on your teeth or your bathroom sink.
It also contains absolutely no artificial sweetener, flavours, or colours and is verified by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to be made with 100% edible ingredients. It’s been verified to contain no harmful or hazardous products, making it very safe for children in the case of unintended swallowing.
It contains no fluoride and comes in mint, coconut mint, mint chip, and berrylicious flavours to suit the tastes of all adults and children. It doesn’t really foam, but it’s very gentle on the oral tissues.
The toothpaste bottles are made with BPA-free plastic, getting rid of any risks related to the immune, reproductive, nervous systems.
What Makes a Toothpaste Vegan?
To be considered vegan toothpaste, the product should contain no animal-derived products. To add, no testing on animals should be involved whatsoever.
Regular toothpaste has ingredients such as glycerol, calcium phosphate, and propolis, which can all be extracted from animals.
Vegan toothpaste looks for synthetic or plant-based alternatives to the above-mentioned ingredients or altogether different substitutes capable of delivering the same results.
Vegan vs Cruelty-Free
It’s important to note that not all vegan toothpaste is cruelty-free. That is, the toothpaste can have no animal products (technically vegan), but it may have been tested on animals, which may lead to the harm of said animal.
The opposite is also valid, where a cruelty-free toothpaste may contain ingredients derived from animals without using animals for safety testing.
So, if you genuinely believe in the vegan philosophy of not causing harm in any shape or form to animals, then make sure to look for both vegan and cruelty-free toothpaste.
Meanwhile, if you simply need to use toothpaste free of animal-derived products for reasons such as allergies or religion, then any vegan toothpaste will suffice.
Are Generic Brands of Toothpastes 100% Vegan?
For the most part, no. As previously mentioned, lots of generic brands of toothpaste like Signal, Colgate, Close Up, Aquafresh, and other equally known brands use animal by-products in their toothpaste formulas.
You may have heard about a Colgate vegan toothpaste recently being launched and marketed as being vegan. However, Colgate, as a company, will still test on animals when required by law. Therefore, this Colgate vegan toothpaste isn’t cruelty-free and therefore not 100% vegan.
This necessitates the search for through-and-through vegan brands, i.e. made with plant-derived/synthetic ingredients without animal testing, even if they’re more obscure and not as readily at hand as the more famous ones.
But what if you have sensitive teeth? Is Sensodyne vegan or do they have a specific vegan toothpaste? Unfortunately, Sensodyne uses animal-based ingredients in their products and have no such thing as 100% vegan toothpaste.
However, have no fear, as there are vegan brands of toothpaste that work just as well as Sensodyne. You just have to know what ingredients to look for in toothpaste with a desensitising effect.
What to Look for in an Effective Vegan Toothpaste?
Toothpaste can contain a multitude of ingredients like flavourings, colouring agents, humectants, abrasives, detergents, sweeteners, and whiteners.
To ensure a toothpaste’s effectiveness, though, you need to make sure it includes one or more of the following components.
Please note that a toothpaste’s ingredients change depending on their function. Some products are formulated to protect the teeth and their surrounding tissues from harmful bacteria that lead to cavities and their ensuing pain, whereas others help treat sensitive teeth.
Fluoride is the most vital component of any toothpaste. It’s the only anti-caries agent approved by the ADA (American Dental Association), which helps in preventing caries formation and reverses early tooth decay.
Its method of action can be explained as follows: a tooth is composed of calcium hydroxyapatite crystals, which can be eroded by the acids produced by oral bacteria when they feed on ingested sugars. These acids cause a drop in the pH and subsequent tooth demineralisation, which leads to the tooth becoming softer and more prone to decay.
Fluoride is the agent which combats this softening process, as it forms crystals called fluorapatite. These crystals are more strongly connected and thus harder to erode, therefore decreasing demineralisation. Fluoride also encourages the tooth’s remineralisation by calcium and phosphate ion deposition once sugars are no longer present in the mouth and the pH increases.
Fluoride comes in a concentration of about 1,000 ppm in regular toothpaste, and it can reach 5,000 ppm in high-fluoride types for people with a severe inclination for dental decay. It can be present in many forms as sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride or sodium monofluorophosphate.
Some people claim that fluoride in toothpaste is unnecessary as it’s already ingested from most water sources. However, fluoride in toothpaste gets stored in the biofilm (plaque) surrounding the teeth, which is later released, increasing the total amount of fluoride present in the saliva.
Other people claim that it’s harmful in the case of ingestion by children and can cause tooth staining or systemic fluorosis.
Yet, for actual harm to occur, fluoride needs to be ingested in huge quantities, and that won’t happen as long as the suggested amount of toothpaste is used (a smear for children under three and a pea-sized amount for children over three years).
Caution should also be exercised with children unable to properly expectorate, where the adult should take care that the child spits rather than swallows the toothpaste.
Toothpaste can contain active ingredients that oppose hypersensitivity. These ingredients include potassium nitrate, strontium chloride, and stannous fluoride.
They work to reduce teeth sensitivity by occluding the tubes that lead to the tooth nerves or decreasing the actual nerves’ responsiveness to stimuli.
Components such as sodium polyphosphate and zinc citrate help reduce the build-up of tartar (calculus). Other ingredients like stannous fluoride help in relieving gingivitis.
Note: triclosan is an ingredient that was approved to aid in preventing caries, plaque, and gingivitis. However, it hasn’t been commercially available since 2019 due to studies showing that it’s not safe for daily use over long periods.
Popper Brushing Technique
No matter how good, no toothpaste will be able to properly fulfil its function if a proper brushing technique isn’t used.
The purpose of tooth brushing is to remove as much of the plaque/biofilm layer formed on teeth as possible. It consists of a mesh composed of salivary proteins and polysaccharides that’s later invaded by bacteria, and in time becomes calcified forming calculus/tartar.
After some time, the bacteria in the plaque become responsible for cavity formation, inflamed gums, and periodontal problems, which can all cause pain and lead to eventual tooth decay or loss.
Mechanical friction is the only way capable of removing this plaque layer; therefore, correctly brushing your teeth is vital.
First, tilt the toothbrush till it reaches a 45-degree angle with the bristles poting towards the gums. This is done so that the brush can clean the 1-3 mm of tooth hidden by the gum.
Then, move the brush in short strokes for 10 seconds on every single tooth, taking care to clean the outer, inner, and occlusal/chewing surfaces. This usually takes up 3 minutes, so if you finish brushing in less time, know that you’re probably cutting corners.
Finally, remember to brush twice a day so that the second brushing will hopefully cover any spots missed during the first session.
Tip: Use a soft-bristled brush that’s capable of navigating the narrowest and most difficult areas to reach. Make sure to replace the brush once the bristles are frayed as they don’t clean your teeth decently enough.
Thankfully, there’re many vegan and cruelty-free options available on the market that are reasonably priced, easily delivered with a click of a button, and effective with consistent and thorough brushing habits.
If you’re at high risk of caries formation, whether due to your eating habits or your genetic disposition, then pick a toothpaste with fluoride in its components. The Tom’s of Maine, Kiss My Face, and Hello Vegan brands deliver on account of preserving and protecting your teeth.
If you are afraid of the accidental swallowing of toothpaste, especially in the case of children under 6, then get the fluoride-free toothpaste options of Dr. Brite, Desert Essence, and Ivyees.
In the case of sensitive teeth, make sure to get the Kiss My Face, Hello Vegan, or SprinJEne Natural brands with potassium nitrate to numb the pain and enjoy your food and drinks with no worries about their temperatures.
Choose Desert Essence or Hello Oral Care for maximum comfort and relief if you suffer from any mucosal ulcers, fissures or skin chaps.
And finally, provided that you wish not to exacerbate and hopefully alleviate the discomfort caused by a dry mouth condition, take care to choose both a soothing and a fluoride-containing toothpaste such as Hello Vegan or SprinJene Naturals. This is because the risk of dental decay increases with a decreased salivary flow.
Hopefully, with the aid of the information provided in this article, you were able to pinpoint the perfect vegan toothpaste for your needs. Feel free to let us know which one of the above-listed products is your favourite.