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Is Your Toothpaste Full Of Carcinogens? Check this list…

I do everything I can to take really good care of my teeth – brushing, flossing, regular dental cleanings, and avoiding sticky, sugary candy and soda. Bad teeth and gum health are linked to all sorts of health issues. Not taking care of your mouth can even affect your cardiovascular system, possibly leading to clogged arteries and strokes. So taking care of your teeth is more important than just having a gleaming white smile – which is an awesome bonus of course. 

When it comes to toothpaste, I’ve tried many different brands and switched it up a lot over the years as I learn more about the ingredients that are allowed for use in cosmetics and personal care products. This is especially the case when it comes to toothpaste, as this is something that we are putting in our mouth at least twice a day and even if we don’t swallow it, the mouth is one of the most absorbent parts of the body. Essentially, whatever is in your toothpaste is getting a free pass into your bloodstream – and once you see the types of chemicals that you’ve been brushing your teeth with, you might start to think twice about the brand you’ve been buying.


If you thought the processed food industry was bad, cosmetics are even worse!

The cosmetic industry, which toothpaste is part of, is one of the least regulated industries in the U.S.

Just like our food, they’ve been bastardized in America with ingredients that are banned overseas and self-regulated by the industry. They don’t even need to list all the ingredients on the label! It’s pretty scary and disgusting what some cosmetic companies are getting away with while raking in billions of dollars. 

Don’t believe for one minute that the FDA is protecting you from toxic ingredients in your toothpaste – in fact they are part of the problem!

Case in point: Colgate has been selling “Colgate Total”  for nearly 2 decades – and the FDA has just now FINALLY gotten around to banning its active ingredient triclosan… from hand and body soaps… but NOT from toothpaste.

The FDA says it is not okay to wash our hands with triclosan and rinse it off, but it’s perfectly safe to put in our mouth??? That makes no sense and some dentists are calling them out too. Why are they protecting Colgate – the only brand approved to sell toothpaste with triclosan? The FDA is clearly not watching out for consumers and are more interested in protecting the bottom line of some big corporations.

If the FDA isn’t protecting us, how do we know our toothpaste is safe?

If you’ve read the list of ingredients on a box of toothpaste lately, you’ll know that it takes a lot of research to seek out the safest brands. Even if you’ve become an expert food label reader, the ingredients in toothpaste are a whole new animal! You can’t trust the claims like “Natural” the package either, since anyone can just slap that on a toothpaste box.

That’s why I often rely on EWG’s Skin Deep Database to help me pick out safe products – and the nonprofit watchdog group Cornucopia Institute just came out with a Toothpaste Report and Scorecard, ranking toothpaste brands from best to worst, which I found very helpful… and it’s got some BIG surprises!

Check your toothpaste for these hazardous ingredients:

Artificial colors: Toothpaste can contain colors that are considered too toxic for food. The main colors I found in toothpaste were Red #30, Red #33, Blue #1, Yellow #5  – and the brands targeting children are almost always brightly colored! Made from petroleum, these artificial colors are contaminated with carcinogens and can also contain heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, and arsenic. Do you really care what color your toothpaste is?

Carrageenan: This additive is linked to intestinal inflammation and cancer, even in small doses! According to Cornucopia, “there is no restriction on the amount of carcinogenic poligeenan in the grade of carrageenan used in toothpastes”

DEA (diethanolamine): This foaming agent interacts with other common ingredients in toothpaste to form nitrosamines, which are strongly linked to cancer in humans. You’ll even find this one in some “natural” toothpastes!

Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives: There is a long list of toothpaste preservatives that release small amounts of formaldehyde right into your mouth. This carcinogen is easily absorbed through the mucosal lining of the mouth. Europe and Canada have strong restrictions on formaldehyde, but that’s not the case in the U.S.! No one is checking toothpastes to see how much formaldehyde they contain, companies are not required to test them for formaldehyde and aren’t even required to disclose to customers that it might be in their product. Preservatives to watch out for on the label: DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, methenamine, quaternium-15, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (Bromopol), 5-bromo-5-nitro-1,3 dioxane (Bronidox), and glyoxal.

GMOs: Unless it is certified organic or non-GMO verified, you might be supporting Monsanto with your toothpaste. Some GMO ingredients to look out for and the GMO crops they are usually derived from: Glycerin (GMO soy, cotton, or canola oil), Citric Acid (GMO sugar), Xanthan Gum (GMO sugar), Xylitol (GMO corn), and Lecithin (GMO soy).

Parabens: These endocrine disrupting chemicals mimic estrogen and can lead to cancer, which is why they are restricted overseas in other countries. That’s not the case in the U.S. where they are very widely used as a preservative in toothpastes, shampoos, lotions, deodorants, and cosmetics.

PEGs (polyethylene glycols) and Propylene Glycol: These ingredients make it easier for the other chemicals in toothpaste to penetrate the skin and get into your bloodstream, exposing you to more toxins. PEGs are notoriously contaminated with 1,4-dioxane (a carcinogen), and although there is a way for companies to remove this impurity from their products – many choose not to.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): These foaming agents break down the protective lining in the mouth. SLES is another ingredient contaminated with the carcinogen 1,4-dioxane.

Should your toothpaste have Fluoride in it?

I have not personally used toothpaste with fluoride for years and have not noticed any negative affects on my teeth. It’s been drilled into us since childhood that applying fluoride to the surface of your teeth is supposed to prevent cavities – but its effectiveness is hotly disputed (sources: 1, 2, 3). Just taking a read about why two-thirds of our U.S. public water supplies are now “fortified” with manufactured fluoride (that’s riddled with arsenic) should be enough to give you pause.

Fluoride itself is highly toxic and when it accumulates in your body can lead to skeletal fluorosis, bone cancer, and thyroid disorders. New research links it to type 2 diabetes. This is a bigger risk for children who typically swallow more toothpaste than adults, where it can affect cognitive function and can cause yellow and brown stains on the teeth.

Most people in America are already getting doused with fluoride in drinking water, packaged beverages and soups (made with fluoridated tap water), and from naturally-occurring sources like nuts and fruit – you’ve got to question whether your toothpaste really needs it too or if this is just another big myth perpetuated by the chemical industry.

Popular Toothpaste brands to avoid all costs:

These toothpastes are filled with several of the toxic ingredients listed above and got the worst ratings on Cornucopia’s scorecard. The sad thing is these are the most popular ones that fill up mass-market grocery store shelves and spend big money on advertising! I’m sure many of you grew up brushing with these…

  • Crest 
  • Colgate 
  • Arm and Hammer
  • Plus White Whitening

Avoid Aquafresh

Kid's Crest Avoid


Watch out for some “natural” toothpastes too…

Desert Essence, Tom’s of Maine, Jason, Honest, Spry, Nature’s Gate and Kiss My Face toothpastes did not rank well at all… and they are sold in natural food markets everywhere. This surprised me a little bit, and I even personally have used some of these in the past when I didn’t know the risks associated with some of the ingredients. Some of these toothpastes contain carrageenan, foaming agents, possible toxic contaminants or potential GMOs. 


This is why ingredients in toothpaste are so important. And that’s why I made a toothpaste. 

Truvani Clean Toothpaste: It’s carrageenan and fluoride free. We also removed all other weird ingredients like DEAs, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS). Just great ingredients. All the way through. 

Now, you’ll notice that our toothpaste is not USDA organic. Why?

A real toothpaste requires some ingredients that can’t be organic. Like calcium carbonate. This is a compound often made from minerals from rocks… and rocks can’t be organic. But this ingredient is essential because it’s a light abrasive that can help clean teeth.

Cornucopia also provides easy recipes to make your own homemade toothpaste in their report. I haven’t personally tried to make my own, but if you have please let me know in the comments below how yours turns out!

If you have friends and family who brush their teeth with carcinogens, please share this post with them! When more people start demanding and buying safer products, companies will take notice and better options will be made available to us all. 




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170 responses to “Is Your Toothpaste Full Of Carcinogens? Check this list…

  1. I agree make it yourself and if that doesn’t sound like fun I make Organic coconut oil base toothpaste with essential oils and real salt Heather Lane Cosmetics on Etsy oxox or dot com.

  2. I use Dr. Bronner’s toothpaste . I try other so-called nature brands but for me, all of them should be 100% Organic, which no one has been able the make, YET !
    Seems like they fall apart or can be put in tube. So maybe they should be sold in 2 parts until the customer is able to mix it together. Would you take the time to do that ?

  3. Hi! I would love to hear your feedback on Arbonne products. Have you tried them? We follow the EU instead of the FDA and I do believe that you will like them if you try them 🙂

  4. I agree with you. I stopped using any toothpaste any more two years ago because My teeth had many cravings and easy break. One of friends suggested I should use to mix with baking soda and coconut oil. I ? it.

  5. It makes me wonder about all the things the dentist puts in my mouth. I know one fluoride rinse that makes my stomach sick so I ask the dentist to NOT use that one on me. Still… there are probably chemicals that I would be upset about in the “cleaning” process?

  6. Q I use Sensodyne toothpaste due to sensitive teeth and ACT mouth wash recommended by my dentist. What is your ( Foodbabe’s ) opinion about both?


  7. When will health professionals such as doctors ,dentists, pharmacists, and nurses, wake up to professional ethics and begin advising their patients about the toxicity or carcinogenic potential of common household products they know their patients and their children consume such as toothpaste?

    1. We do, too! My dentist said my teeth & gums have never looked better.
      He changed my dental cleanings from every 4 months to every 6 months.
      I take Thieves for the hygienist to use when cleaning instead of the fluoride filled / synthetically flavored toothpaste they offer.

  8. I just use coconut oil with turmeric and make a paste. Works great. But does stain the brush and you will need to rinse the sink right away!

  9. Fluoride is highly toxic and a cumulative poison, like lead, arsenic, and mercury. I have asked many forced-fluoridation fanatics to tell me how much accumulated fluoride in the body they think is safe. So far not a single one of them has been able to answer the question.

    It is unlikely to just be a coincidence that the US, Australia, and Ireland, which have had high rates of forced-fluoridation for decades, also have high rates of joint problems, and poor health outcomes in general.

  10. I tried Arm and Hammer Complete Care toothpaste. Thought it was pretty good. It’s not readily available in supermarkets here in Malaysia, so I have not restocked. Can’t remember all the ingredients used in the toothpaste. Isn’t it mostly baking soda and peroxide?

  11. We use,
    Kiss My Face fluoride free, and Epic Dental Fluoride Free Xylitol Toothpaste Spearmint.
    I put both of these together on my tooth brush.
    Since I have been using Kiss my Face, I do not have to use whitener.

  12. Hi Vani,
    I’ve been making my own toothpaste for over 2 years with equal parts baking soda and coconut oil and peppermint oil (tried clove once too). It’s really easy. I recently also started adding some bentonite clay. The consistency always takes some tweaking (based on season-hot/cold) but the batch I’m using right now is totally perfect! Ever since I started making my own, I can’t count the number of times I’ve told others I will NEVER go back to using any commercial toothpaste. You should definitely try it!

  13. Have you looked into mouth washes? Just wondering about those too, like the toothpaste. Would love to know…thx?

  14. Hello Vani,
    Have you gone into ingredients of Indian toothpastes? We from childhood are using Meswak, Dabur’s Red and now Patanjali’s Dant Kanti or BAPS Herbal Toothpaste. We normally buy this either from Indian Grocery store or straight from India. I just read your article today and will try to find this Hazardous ingredients in the toothpaste listed above.

    Please advise.

  15. SENSITIVE TEETH – Like a few other posters, I was wondering how Sensodyne ranked. I would love to use a DYI or natural toothpaste, but people with sensitive teeth are in a totally different category. Anyone have ideas?

    1. I used Sensodyne for years but it’s not great toothpaste. Try coconut oil and baking soda or “Clearly Natural” if you can find it. I LOVE it and my teeth are EXTREMELY sensitive. Never had a problem yet!

  16. Hi,

    Thanks for this post, recently Patanjalis – Dant Kanti is putting Colgate and other brands off the shelf.

    Mayank Vora

  17. Hello I really thank you for your research and writting because you are changing our lives and making the world a better place!!!

    Please if you know the efects of any of these ingredients… they are in the toothpaste I use… please I’d love to hearing them:

    Hydrated silica
    Sodium saccharin
    Sodium benzoate
    Chlorophyllin- Copper complex

    I’m using FOREVER BRIGHT
    I thought it was natural and harmless but I’ve already found it has Glycerin, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Carrageenan… plus the ing. I’ve listed above…
    This is the only toothpaste I’ve found available in Uruguay where I live now… do you recomend using it?… cause I have no other options in the market… Thank you!

    1. I’m not Food Babe, but maybe I can help. I would at least find something without SLS because that is clearly the worst ingredient in there. I’ve heard that iHerb ships to other countries so maybe check them out? As for the other ingredients you can search them individually in EWG’s database. Some of those look like they might be artificial sweeteners, which I personally wouldn’t use. Also I think Aroma=Fragrance on US labels, which EWG rates very poorly because it could literally be anything. I wouldn’t necessarily turn down a natural product just because it has Aroma or Fragrance on the label as long as the other ingredients are good, but definitely get rid of that SLS.

      1. Tammy thank you! I really apreciate your kindness and the knowlege you are sharing with me… I will look up fo IHERB and EWG’S database…
        Sending you love!

  18. I use “Clearly Natural” and it’s GREAT ALL NATURAL toothpaste. Amazingly, my dentist has never heard of this and peddles Colgate and Crest which I told him “I refuse to use that poison” and in turn he was beside himself and gave me a crazy look as he knew that I KNEW what was in those.

    If you want some GREAT toothpaste, try and bit of coconut oil and baking soda. It works everytime with a SOFT toothbrush!!!

  19. I have been using Dr. Katz will no issues. Does anyone know how safe it is. I know it is considered Kosher???

  20. Since I found out how bad those any brands tooth paste we don’t used it any more instead we brush our teeth with Himalayan sea salt so good make your teeth so shiny, even after one brushing,and if you want to feel fresh ,rinse it with any mouth wash or with small amount of baking soda with water! My husband and I are both in the 70 years old and our teeth still good condition especially myself still complete and haven’t seen a dentist for years,save me money and my husband as well.try this natural home remedy its works! My parents and grandparents never used a tooth paste all their life and they live over 80,never been to a dentist their teeth, are amazing white and healthy!

  21. While I agree with you Vani, ( I use doTERRA`S), the problem for most lies with the cost. You know I can point out long term benefits but when people are on minimal incomes or have families, cost is a definite factor. I wish companies would take that into consideration as well. I am aware of cost to do business and supply and demand. Unfortunately, the privileged have a greater advantage over the not so privileged:( I`m sure in time that will change, hopefully in my lifetime. Anyway, I respect your work very much. Keep up the crusade! xoxox

    1. DoTerra’s toothpaste has carageenen in it! I was so disappointed when I saw it on the ingredients label!

  22. I stopped using fluoride toothpaste and got cavities. Switched back and haven’t had one since.

  23. I went to the dentist with toothache a few years ago. My dentist said that I was using the wrong toothpaste. He said that I needed to use Colgate sensitive pro relief. Although I was sceptical it worked exactly as he said it would. So is there a healthy alternative that won’t bring my toothache back?

    1. I had tooth sensitivity after an illness a couple of years ago. It persisted until I began using an organic homemade style remineralizing paste that had Calcium and Bentonite Clay in the mixture together with essential oils, organic coconut oil, and xylitol. After a month of using this this paste, the sensitivity went away. I bought through a small apothecary shop that sold products through

  24. I have alternately used several different kinds of tooth products and make sure I try to buy organic and non GMO. Bottles of essential oil drops of peppermint and spearmint. I also have ordered online through of a company that makes organic coconut oil mint paste with using ingredients such as: organic coconut oil, essential oils (you pick the flavors), Bentonite clay, calcium powder, and xylitol. I also use Tropical Traditions Teeth cleansers which has these ingredients for the mint: purified water, organic virgin coconut oil, baking soda, xanthum gum, wildcrafted myrrh powder, stevia, and organic essential oils of peppermint and spearmint. I have used Weleda, Nara’s tooth powder and from a company called Goat Milk Stuff which recently began selling their own tooth powder.

    For those who are interested, can Google some of the names (brands) not familiar with and do their own research as I have to see which works the best for themselves. 🙂

  25. Thank you Vani for all your wonderful research and information. I use doTerra’s toothpaste and when I had my teeth cleaned my dentist was very impressed with my teeth I had no tartar!
    These companies need to clean up their act!! I will be sharing this with my co-workers tomorrow!
    Keep up the excellent work and thank you again!

  26. Uh oh Vaani’s on the rampage again. It’s time for toothpaste companies to get a taste of their own medicine 🙂
    I have brushed my teeth with Bob’s Red Mill baking soda(aluminum free) for the past few years and it’s worked out great.
    One reason I have mottled teeth is because of the excess fluoride I was treated with when younger from the water, toothpaste and the dentist.
    So a big F*** you to those who said that was good for me.


  28. There goes my Trader Joe’s Antiplaque Toothpaste.

    It contains Chondrus Crispus (Carrrageenan).

  29. I’ve been sharing the hazards from using personal care products and cleaning products that contain these toxins! PLEASE folks start day by day and rid your homes of these chemicals that accumulate in your bodies – dis ease! FYI Carrageenan is in many foods also – watch for it. Grateful for many choices. My favorite is Thieves Toothpaste (can be homemade also). There are many facts. … Links to heart disease, cancer and more. If you want to know more about the destruction of teeth I freely offer all information. I include the science & meddical studies. Too much to mention here. So why Thieves? Ingredients: Thyme oil kills 60 different strains of bacteria and 16 strains of fungi. Ocotea reduces oral inflammation, gingivitis and periodontists. Just as some of these are in the noted references as above, I appreciate the powerful, potent & safe oils in some of the Young Living pastes: clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus radiata and orange. Sometimes I make my own with coconut oil, baking soda and a few drops of Thieves. LOVE the mouthwash! Be empowered. Thanks to Food Babe for heart for helping others. We are just seeds. Through my studies I have a basket of different therapies for different condiitons. Prayer is my first go-to.

    1. Believe it or not but baking Sosa isnt actually natural, it’s a chemical compound of sodium and carbon. Be careful if you have HBP issues or kidney issues

  30. Lush toothy tabs and tooth powder (esp if you are sick to death of or simply hate minty flavors) are absolutely wonderful. ANY AND ALL of their products should make your list of “approved by FB” ALL THE TIME

  31. i love your posts !!! Thank you for putting your time into researching these products so that the rest of us will gain awareness 🙂 it’s incredibly helpful ! I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of Arbonne – but please check out the products ! I was hoping to see the toothpaste on your recommended list . Their products are vegan/botanically based and will list every ingredient on the website !! Please check it out and email me your feedback !!

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