Budget Green (and Safe): Oral Care


In two earlier posts I compiled lists of relatively inexpensive and readily available personal care products, and baby/kid products, from Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. I chose items with the lowest hazard ratings that were easily found in drugstores, grocery stores, and discount stores like Target. Today, the focus is on oral care. According to EWG, the hazard ratings are

0-2 Low Hazard

3-6 Moderate Hazard

7-10 High Hazard


1 Nature’s Gate Toothpaste Creme in Peppermint, Creme de Anise, Creme de Mint

1 Tom’s of Maine Anti-Plaque Plus Whitening Clear Gel in Peppermint & Spearmint

T of M Toothpaste with Propolis & Myrhh, Fennel & Spearmint

T of M Homeopathic Style Whitening Toothpaste in Unflavored, Apricot, Peppermint & Baking Soda

1 Burt’s Bees Dr. Burt’s Toothpaste

2 Tom’s of Maine Antiplaque, Tartar Control & Whitening in Peppermint, and Fennel

T of M Natural Whole Care Fluoride Toothpaste

3 Crest Sensitivity Protection Toothpaste, Mild Mint

3 Sensodyne Maximum Strength Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth & Cavity Prevention

3 Pepsodent Anti-Cavity Toothpaste

3 Colgate Toothpaste Cavity Protection, Regular

4 Crest Whitening Plus Scope, Fluoride, Anticavity Toothpaste

Crest Extra-Whitening Anticavity, Tartar Protection

Crest Tartar Protection, Tartar Control Gel

4 Sensodyne Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth, Baking Soda, Tartar Control & Whitening

4 CVS Sensitive Toothpaste with Fluoride, Tartar Control & Whitening

4 Colgate Viadent Toothpaste

Colgate Platinum Toothpaste

4 Ultra Brite Advanced Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste, Clean Mint

4 Arm & Hammer Peroxy-Care Toothpaste

Arm & Hammer Advance White

4 Close-Up Fluoride Toothpaste

4 Aquafresh Advanced Toothpaste

4 Aim Gel


1 Tom’s of Maine Cleansing Mouthwash

2 Colgate Phos-Flur Anticavity Fluoride Rinse

2 Cepacol Liquid Mint

2 Tom’s of Maine Cleansing Mouthwash, Cinnamint

T of M Tartar Control Mouthwash, Spearmint

T of M Mouthwash with Aloe & Vitamin C, Cinnamint

3 Walgreens Fresh Breath Antiseptic Mouth Rinse

3 CVS Oral Cleansing Antiseptic

CVS Antiseptic Mouth Rinse in Blue Mint & Green Mint

3 Listerine Antiseptic Mouthwash, Freshburst & Original

Listerine Tartar Control Mouthwash, Wintermint

3 Crest ProHealth Oral Rinse, Refreshing Clean Mint

3 Colgate Peroxyl Antiseptic Oral Cleanser

3 Scope Mouthwash in Cool Peppermint & Smooth Mint

4 Oral-B Anticavity Rinse

For those of you into Crest Whitestrips, you’re in luck, they rated only a 3, which is reasonably low. Some of the highest hazard items were super-whitening toothpastes, many in the Rembrandt line.

Again, I would caution you not to go with a brand’s entire line simply because they have some low-rated products. The hazard ratings vary widely within brands. Be sure to check the list yourself if you’re concerned about a specific product.

As always, if you have used any of these products and have input as to their effectiveness, please leave a comment.

While we’re talking about oral care, please consider Preserve’s Recycled Toothbrushes. Through their partnership with Stonyfield Farm, Preserve manufactures toothbrushes made from recycled yogurt cups. They also allow you to ship the toothbrushes back to them (postage paid) when you’re finished and be recycled yet again; this time they become plastic lumber. Fortunately, they are becoming more widely available in Whole Foods, and even mainstream grocery stores.

Photo Credit: L. Woodruff