Myth #7 Demystified: The Complex Truth About ‘Natural’ Toothpaste and Other ‘Natural’ Claims

Myth #7 Demystified: The Complex Truth About ‘Natural’ Toothpaste and Other ‘Natural’ Claims

In recent years, there’s been a growing trend towards ‘natural’ products in oral care, driven by a widespread desire for less toxic ingredients and cleaner products for ourselves and our children. However, the use of the term ‘natural’ in marketing oral care products has led to confusion and sometimes, misleading claims.

The Misleading Nature of ‘Natural’

In the realm of toothpaste and other oral care products, the term ‘natural’ is frequently highlighted to suggest a higher degree of safety and effectiveness. However, this label can be misleading. The definition of ‘natural’ for these products lacks stringent regulation, leading to a broad range of interpretations. A toothpaste or mouthwash labeled as natural may still include synthetic or processed ingredients, or it might be missing crucial components needed for effective oral care. Additionally, the natural origin of an ingredient does not inherently ensure its safety or benefit for dental health. For instance, tobacco is natural but is neither safe nor effective for oral care, illustrating that ‘natural’ isn’t always synonymous with ‘beneficial’.

Evaluating ‘Natural’ Toothpaste Ingredients

Many ‘natural’ toothpastes lack essential ingredients that combat cavities or gum disease effectively. They might contain herbal antimicrobials such as peppermint, tea tree, or eucalyptus essential oils, which can disrupt the oral microbiome balance. Moreover, these products sometimes replace sugars with alternatives that can still promote an acidic environment conducive to harmful bacteria growth.

Seeking Unbiased Resources

For those looking to make informed choices about the safety of ingredients in oral care products, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a valuable, unbiased resource. The EWG provides insights into which ingredients are safe and which should be avoided. This resource can help consumers navigate the sometimes-confusing claims of ‘natural’ products.

Balancing Natural Ingredients with Effectiveness

While aiming to use products with natural ingredients, it’s crucial to ensure they are still effective. Avoiding artificial ingredients doesn’t mean compromising on oral health. Look for products that strike a balance between natural components and proven effectiveness in promoting dental health.


The allure of ‘natural’ toothpaste and mouthwash can be strong, but it’s important to look beyond labels. Consumers should scrutinize ingredients and leverage resources like the EWG to make educated decisions. Prioritizing products that are both safe and effective will ensure that your oral care routine supports your overall dental health.