Ingredients to avoid in toothpaste and other dental products

Ingredients to avoid in toothpaste and other dental products

When it comes to regular toothpaste and dental care products, many contain harmful ingredients and that is one of the main reasons why we decided to manufacture toothpaste ourselves.
We wanted to provide customers with products with clean formulas. Today we will go over the ingredients on our black-list, and why we don’t use them.


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS

What are its uses?

SLS is a low cost, tasteless, anionic detergent and surfactant. This means that it effectively separates molecules for better widespread contact between the product - in this case between the toothpaste and mouth, creating the lather effect we have all become accustomed to. These properties enable the product to absorb and disperse stains and build-ups, aiding in cleaning your teeth. SLS is also an effective emulsifier keeping ingredients in toothpaste together, as mentioned above.

Why do we avoid SLS?

The Journal of American Toxicology states that SLS has a “degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties” and can penetrate skin even at low levels of concentration.

SLS is not food grade, and the mouth is the most absorbent part of the body. Regular and cumulative exposure will inevitably result in ingestion of these chemicals. As our bodies are unable to break them down, negative side effects can occur.

The largest known negative side effect of SLS is increased mouth inflammation and irritation of the mouth and lips which can cause swelling and sores. Like all detergent surfactants, SLS removes oils, having a drying effect which can contribute to dry mouth. Dry mouth is literally a dryness of the mouth that can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria causing gum disease, swollen gums and canker sores. It also has been linked to negative incidents of oral irritation for subjects that are prone to mouth ulcers. In 2012, the Journal of Oral Diseases from the US National Library of Medicine identified that duration and pain score of ulcers significantly decreased with SLS free participants in a controlled study with 90 tested subjects.

SLS can also be toxic to our environment, if it gets into the water systems it can bioaccumulate and is toxic to marine life.

We feel that SLS is an unnecessary health risk to expose ourselves to and want to be able to offer natural and gentler alternatives that have the same effect but don’t irritate your mouth. If you want to avoid SLS, it can be quite confusing as it has a few different names. So look out for any of these on the label

  • Lauryl Sodium Sulphate
  • Lauryl Sulphate Sodium Salt
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate
  • Sodium n-dodecyl Sulphate



What are its uses?

Alcohol is a key ingredient used by major oral care brands because of its strong tingling sensation and powerful antibacterial qualities. It is mainly used in mainstream toothpaste and mouthwash.

Why do we avoid alcohol?

So powerful in fact that it destroys both the good bacteria as well as the bad. It’s also drying, which can contribute to dry mouth syndrome and is a known carcinogen, not something you really want in your mouth, right? According to ADA, there is now sufficient evidence to show that alcohol-containing mouthwashes contribute to the increased risk of development of oral cancer. 
We’ve become accustomed to using mouthwash with alcohol but actually gargling with warm salt water and some baking soda, or using a natural alcohol-free mouthwash is actually just as effective when it comes to clearing the bad bacteria in your mouth.




Synthetic sweeteners

What are its uses?

When it comes to adding flavouring to oral care products, many brands use artificial sweeteners. These are all sweeteners that are not refined sugar. These sweeteners, distinct from refined sugar, are aimed at providing a sweet taste that can make toothpaste more appealing, potentially leading to a preference or even a craving for the sweetness.

Why do we avoid synthetic sweeteners?

One well-known sweetener is sodium saccharine. Despite its intense sweetness, being 300 times sweeter than sugar, it harbours carcinogenic properties, which raises concerns about its safety. The inclusion of sodium saccharine in toothpaste is closely tied to the presence of other artificial additives in over-the-counter toothpaste formulations. These additives serve to conceal the potentially hazardous compounds like silica gels and sodium fluoride. Another common sweetener in toothpaste is sorbitol, which doubles as a laxative notorious for inducing diarrhoea in children. The list of artificial sweeteners is very long.

We only use natural sweeteners that are scientifically proven to benefit oral hygiene in two of our products and those are our fluoride toothpaste and chewing gum. We use naturally derived Xylitol (1), Eurythol (2) in these product, as it is known to fight and prevent the bacteria in our mouth that cause plaque and cavities. Xylitol is naturally produced by humans and animals in very small amounts when processing carbohydrates. The one we use is extracted from birch trees. Also, we wanted to create a chewing gum that would be much more natural than regular chewing-gum and therefore it’s necessary to make it a bit sweet to give it the best taste!




What are its uses?

Preservatives are used in toothpaste and oral care products to prevent the growth of micro-organisms. These are used in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetic products to help the products from going bad. Here are some examples of preservatives in cosmetic products:

  • Parabens;
  • Formaldehyde;
  • Isothiazolinones;
  • Phenoxyethanol

Why do we avoid preservatives?

Some preservatives are more harmful than others. Parabens are one of the well-known harmful preservatives. (3) They are easily absorbed through the skin, raising concerns about their potential to disrupt our hormonal balance, earning them the label of "endocrine disruptors."
Research indicates that exposure to parabens may accelerate skin aging in sunlight and possibly elevates the risk of certain cancers, like breast cancer. Additionally, it's advisable to steer clear of parabens during pregnancy, as they could contribute to increased obesity risk in the child's future.

At Georganics we avoid using harmful preservatives and only use COSMOS-approved preservatives when necessary. We use a form of Benzoic Acid (Sodium Benzoate) in our Mouthwash and Toothpaste Tablets.


To conclude, choosing dental care products should be about more than just maintaining oral hygiene; it should also be about safeguarding overall health and well-being. The ingredients we’ve discussed, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), fluoride, alcohol, synthetic sweeteners, and harmful preservatives like parabens, pose significant health risks, ranging from mild irritation to severe health issues like cancer and hormonal disruption. Our commitment to avoiding these harmful substances stems from a desire to offer safe, natural, and effective alternatives.
By being informed and selective about the ingredients in your dental care products, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from potential harm. Always remember, a healthy mouth contributes to a healthy body, so choose wisely and prioritize clean, safe ingredients in your oral care routine.



(1), (2), (3)