Do Natural Oral Hygiene Products Work?

A bamboo toothbrush with natural-ingredient toothpaste on it, provided by a patient at Tri-City Dental.

Natural oral hygiene products might be tempting for many reasons. For one, you may want to reduce the number of toxic chemicals in your body, including parabens, dyes, and artificial flavorings.

The question is: do these natural products work? Today, we’ll take a look at the effectiveness of a variety of dental products to help you decide whether you’d like to stick with natural products or transition to something else.

Do natural oral hygiene products work?

The American Dental Association (ADA) is the top resource for determining dental products are safe and effective. All toothpaste and mouthwash options with an ADA Seal of Acceptance are safe by the ADA’s standards.

One thing you may find is that many natural oral hygiene products lack the Seal of Acceptance. Why? Typically, it’s because the ADA only endorses products with fluoride (which has proven to be the leading way to reduce tooth decay and cavities).

But just because natural oral products don’t carry fluoride doesn’t mean they’re not safe. It simply means not enough testing has been done to ensure their safety or efficacy, so use them with caution.

Herbal Toothpaste

If you’re trying to figure out how to clean your mouth from bacteria without exposing yourself to harmful chemicals, sourcing natural toothpaste is a good first step. Herbal toothpaste helps destroy bacteria and fight gingivitis, just like many other kinds of toothpaste do.

The difference is that there are no additives or preservatives in herbal toothpaste, and it’s flavored with various herbs and oils to give your mouth a fresh, clean feeling.

One study focused on the impact of herbal and non-herbal toothpastes on plaque and gingivitis. While the results showed that both toothpastes helped with plaque and gingivitis, the results are still inconclusive as to the long-term effects of natural oral care products.

The general rule of thumb is that if you’d like to go natural, stick to ADA-approved dental care products. Tom’s of Maine is a quality, natural brand with the ADA Seal of Acceptance on its products. Currently, three Tom’s of Maine children’s anticavity fluoride toothpastes and five of their adult anticavity fluoride toothpastes are considered safe by the ADA. Get the full list here.

These products include naturally sourced fluoride, which helps strengthen your teeth and put up walls against cavities and tooth decay. They also contain combinations of green tea, aloe vera leaf juice, chamomile, natural peppermint, spearmint, and cinnamon to provide natural cleaning power, fresh breath, and astringent properties.

Another great, ADA-approved toothpaste option is ​​Hello Naturally Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste by Hello Products. Not only does it have a yummy flavor, but it contains plenty of calcium and other minerals to give your smile extra whitening power. The primary ingredients include peppermint, tea tree oil, and coconut oil.

Herbal Mouthwash

People use mouthwash for many reasons. The most common reason is to get rid of any bacteria that causes bad breath. Herbal mouthwash can help freshen up the breath as well as eliminating bacteria. The ingredient we see the most is green tea extract, which has antimicrobial benefits.

If you’re looking for a natural mouthwash, we recommend Tom’s of Maine Alcohol-Free/Natural Children’s Anticavity Mouth Rinse (Silly Strawberry™). It helps little ones get to all those difficult crevices between the teeth, helping them fight off cavities. It also provides a delicious favor that combats bad breath without exposing your kids to any artificial dyes, sweeteners, or ethyl alcohol.

Another great option that is among the best natural dental products is the Hello® Kids Fluoride Rinse (Natural Wild Strawberry). This mouthwash contains no alcohol but a good amount of fluoride to keep away the cavities, make your kids’ teeth stronger, and remove any bacteria that might be hiding out in the mouth. As a bonus, it is as tasty as can be. (Don’t worry: adults can use mouthwash for kids, too!)

Oral Probiotics

Studies suggest that oral probiotics can have a positive effect on your dental health. What is an oral probiotic? It’s a tablet or drink that provides healthy bacteria to boost the health of your teeth and mouth.

While more research must be done, experts say that this type of probiotic can reduce plaque, deter bad breath, and lessen gum disease symptoms. The Advanced Oral Probiotics by Great Oral Health are dentist formulated, and they contain natural ingredients.

Keep in mind that oral probiotics are not yet ADA approved, though, so use them with caution. As with any supplement, it’s best to consult a doctor (and your dentist) before taking this product.

If you prefer a natural route but don’t wish to take any probiotic tablets, here are some natural sources of probiotics:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Miso
  • Tempeh

Bamboo Toothbrushes (vs. Electric Toothbrushes)

As you transition to a natural lifestyle, you may be considering a bamboo toothbrush with biodegradable handles. This type of toothbrush is effective at deep cleaning, but it comes at a cost. Many bamboo toothbrushes feature animal hair bristles (usually horse or pig), which can be a lot on your teeth and increase your likelihood of gum problems.

Electric toothbrushes are considered safe for your teeth and healthier for your mouth as a whole, as bamboo toothbrushes have a higher chance of bacterial growth. An electric toothbrush can provide a thorough cleaning, and all you have to do is turn it on. There’s no need to scrub at all. Your toothbrush will do all the work.

If you are simply trying to steer clear of plastic chemicals, we suggest finding a toothbrush with nylon bristles instead. The Sage Ultra-Soft Toothbrush is a great option for this. If you desire an electric toothbrush, we recommend a Quip Smart Toothbrush.


Natural oral hygiene products do work. They can clean just as much as alternative options as well as provide many benefits for your teeth and mouth. You’ll just want to make sure to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance when shopping for natural dental products. It will assure you that your product is high quality and effective.Want more tips on how to keep teeth healthy naturally? Tri-City Dental Care would love to be of service. Book a dentist appointment