Tooth powder vs. Toothpaste: The Light and Non-Toxic Alternative

Use tooth powder. It’s much lighter, safer for you, safer and cheaper. 


Hmm, so fresh and holistic.

Hmm, so fresh and holistic.

Have you ever tried a tooth powder instead of toothpaste? I made the switch from toothpaste to toothpowder in an effort to help my teeth remineralize (it was incredibly successful in shrinking my cavity). It also eliminated any bad breath I had in the morning and throughout the day. A high quality tooth powder is much lighter (about 1/16 of the weight) and much better for you and the environment. Many main brand toothpastes are full of toxic chemicals that you are not only exposing yourself to, but by continually spitting your daily toothpaste in the ground, you are also polluting the environment.

Why I love my tooth powder:

First off- a month’s supply is literally about a quarter of an ounce. If you bring ALL of it at once, it will still weigh just an ounce if you transfer it to a little baggy. I divide it up, and it weighs almost nothing. In comparison, a small sample toothpaste, about two weeks supply, weighs about 2 ounces.

I choose my tooth powder because of the organic ingredients used, all of which have a nontoxic purpose in curing and preventing tooth decay. I’m naturally coating my teeth with vitamin and mineral rich herbs that naturally disinfect and reduce inflammation in mouths. You can buy the tooth powder I selected here. The owner, Lakshmi is an incredible woman with the goal of creating truly holistic products for our teeth that combine ancient wisdom that has been verified with modern technology and science. I also want to thank the company for kindly donating tooth powder to me for my Appalachian Trail thru-hike this spring!

Holistic Dental Store’s Natural Tooth Powder Ingredients:

  • Wildcrafted White Oak Bark – anti-inflammatory, astringent, rich in vitamins
  • Organic Plantain – tightens tissues and is soothing. Certified by Oregon Tilth
  • Organic Peppermint – antibacterial provides relief and relaxation. Certified by Oregon Tilth
  • Aloe Vera Resin- known for its ability to heal and to soothe
  • Wildcrafted Horestail – Can be effective in strengthening nails, hair, and teeth
  • Wildcrafted Myrrh Gum – Soothing
  • Organic Clove Bud – Freshens breath and prevents tooth and gum disintegration. Certified by Oregon Tilth
  • Organic Lobelia herb and seed – medicinal “cure all” plant. Certified by Oregon Tilth
  • Wildcrafted Goldenseal root – natural antibiotic, and all purpose healer .
  • Willow Charcoal – gently whitens teeth
  • Menthol derived from corn mint
  • Organic Licorice Root – Certified by Oregon Tilth


What’s in your toothpaste? Probably a handful of carcinogens and an antibiotic.

Photo from

Photo from

Here is an example of one of the leading brands…

Active Ingredients:

Sodium Fluoride 0.24% (0.15% w/v fluoride ion) – Anticavity, Triclosan 0.30% – Antigingivitis

Inactive Ingredients:

Water, Hydrated Silica, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Flavor, PVM/MA Copolymer, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Saccharin, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, FD&C blue no.1, D&C yellow no.10


What ingredients concern me?

  • Sodium Fluoride- This is a highly debated topic, and if you are from the viewpoint that the addition of fluoride to our toothpastes and water are some of the greatest public health achievements of all time, I highly encourage you to read through these.
  • Triclosan– Are you kidding me?! I can’t believe they are putting this in here still. A known skin irritant, and antibiotic linked to creating antibiotic resistant bacteria. It’s also an endocrine disruptor. It’s also known to have long term adverse effects to water life. Think about that every time you spit into the forest.
  • Glycerin- Although glycerin in and of itself is not innately bad, it does create a film on your teeth that prevents remineralization. When trying to heal my cavity, making sure I didn’t have glycerin in my toothpaste was important.
  • Sorbitol- A sugar alcohol known to give people Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. Nothing like having the runs while hiking…
  • “Flavor” – this could literally be anything. It’s usually a chemical concoction that includes MSG. The lack of transparency is immediately concerning and I stay away from any substance that includes the word, “Flavor” in the ingredient list.
  • PVM/MA Copolymer- this one’s weird, but fine.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)- this is a tissue and gum irritant and can often have traces of a known carcinogen, Dioxane in it. This also creates that fantastic lather effect.
  • Propylene Glycol- This is antifreeze. It’s considered a safe food additive by the FDA, but is known to also be a skin irritant and cause liver and kidney damage… so… about that.
  • Sodium Saccharin – an artificial sweetener known to cause more weight gain than sugar. It also can cause allergic reactions to people with sulfa sensitivities! I am allergic to sulfa drugs and HAD NO IDEA that I should be careful around this until now. Thankfully I avoided it anyways…
  • Titanium Dioxide- The whitener, classified as “possibly carcinogenic”.
  • FD&C blue no.1- The FDA even warns people that if you have any risk of gut permeability (leaky gut, IBS), then you should stay away from this, or risk death. Woah, they didn’t say anything about that on the toothpaste label. Also known to cause kidney tumors in animals. Oh- this also has aluminum in it.
  • D&C yellow no.10- Again, aluminum. Linked to Alzheimer’s.  Think about that every time you cook in your aluminum pot…

In summary, I urge you to not only think of your health, but to also consider the environment. Please don’t pollute our forests or your bodies with the toxic chemicals in toothpaste and consider bringing a very light and very HEALTHY tooth powder.

For those who are counting… 36 more days.

Julieann Hartley

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