Your Kids Toothpaste Could Be Toxic

girl brushing teeth with kids toothpasteMy daughter hasn’t brushed her teeth in two days. That’s because we ran out of the natural kids toothpaste, and so did our local supermarket. The convenient little shelf that featured all my favorite eco-friendly kids toothpaste brands is gone, and none of them are integrated anywhere else. Sure, I can make a special trip to Whole Foods. But for kids toothpaste? I might as well just grin and bear it—pun intended—and buy a tube of the conventional kind. Right? Wrong. Because as I found out, conventional kids toothpaste can be toxic.

Especially for those kids who consider it a condiment, there shouldn’t be toxic chemicals in their toothpaste!

At the store, the two labels that I looked at—from major “safe” children’s manufacturers of kids toothpastes—contained propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate and FD&C Blue 1, a carcinogen derived from coal tar. Then there’s the one brand that still loads their toothpaste with triclosan.

Finding these toxic chemical ingredients in kids toothpaste is frightening. But when you take into account the fact that children often consider toothpaste a condiment, it takes it to a whole new level.

The propylene glycol is what scares me the most. It’s associated with elevated risks of cancer, as well as developmental, reproductive and organ toxicity. According to the Environmental Working Group, even concentrations as low as two percent have led to skin irritations, among other problems.

Luckily, with one-click shipping, I can get truly natural kids toothpaste—like my daughter’s favorite Tom’s Of Maine Silly Strawberry Kids Toothpaste or fluoride-free Jack N’ Jill Natural Kids Toothpaste—by tomorrow.

And her whites will be pearly again.

Photo: Modern Mom



  1. We use Jason, which is free of almost all they bad stuff except for cargeenan. Pick your battles, I guess.

  2. Theresa Novotny says

    How about Honest toothpaste?

  3. Do you recommend an adult toothpaste? We’ve used Toms for years, but noticed they changed the product about a year ago.

  4. hi…..I am the inventor of Good Gums…….”a 100 per cent non-toxic toothpowder for brushing teeth…… love it too… is instead of toothpaste….and is very effective!! If you want me to send you a complimentary Good Gums, I would be most happy to send it….
    Best regards,
    Isabelle Dunkeson

  5. We use Tom’s without the fluoride. I don’t think carrageenan is a problem.

  6. Tom’s of Maine has both sodium laurel sulfate and carrageenan

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      I just did more research and that sodium lauryl sulfate really is a problem. I don’t know if that’s new to the formulation–I did not see SLS before and I swear I looked at the label! We have been using that toothpaste for all our kids for years. Does anyone know? Meanwhile, I’m going to strike that recommendation from the story. Thanks for the head’s up, Jamie!

  7. My son will only use the Tom’s Silly strawberry, but I don’t like that it has Carrageenan & the only kids toothpaste without are gels & my boys don’t like the gels. I wish I could find a better alternative. Plus I heard that Tom’s is now owned by Colgate & I would rather not buy their products. 🙁 Maybe I’ll try the Jack n Jill


  1. […] I posted previously, children consider toothpaste a condiment–a fact that worried me when I realized there was propylene glycol and other toxic chemicals […]

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