Woman brushing her teeth and smiling

Photo courtesy of Schmidt’s

Considering we’re brushing our mouths with toothpaste at least twice a day, stopping to take a look at the ingredient list feels pretty important. Unfortunately, even the products we put in our mouths can contain controversial additives, though there are naturally-derived options that can make effective alternatives. We’ve identified a few safe ingredients found in adult toothpaste (and some also found in kids toothpaste) that do some serious heavy lifting when it comes to oral health and just might be worth looking out for next time you’re shopping for a new paste.

Tea Tree Oil

Some toothpastes have traditionally included triclosan as a plaque-fighter based on its ability to help reduce and prevent bacterial contamination. After 2013 studies indicated triclosan may trigger antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption, the FDA banned its use in personal care products like body wash and soap beginning in 2017. Though triclosan is still a federally-accepted ingredient in toothpaste, it’s safe to assume we’d be wise to look for plant-based alternatives also known for their antibacterial properties, such as tea tree oil. 

Tea tree leaf extract contains naturally-occurring chemical compounds thought to be responsible for the extract’s said healing properties. Having antiseptic attributes, tea tree is known to help reduce the presence of fungus and bacteria in or on our bodies. In turn, its use in toothpaste can, in theory, help support the strengthening of tooth enamel and reduce gum inflammation that could otherwise be adversely affected by acid erosion.

Upclose picture of woman smiling with red lipstick

Photo courtesy of Gabriel Silverio/​Unsplash

Magnolia Bark Extract

Bad breath sucks. Give your mouth the steel magnolia treatment. Thought to help reduce oral bacteria that causes bad breath and tooth decay, magnolia bark extract is also said to help inhibit plaque and other odor-causing bacteria. Do you like to chew gum after you eat? It could be the magnolia bark extract — commonly found in chewing gum — that helps neutralize your mouth’s odor. A toothpaste with magnolia bark extract can have the same effect. 


Toothpaste comes in many different flavors, some of which are — surprise — not naturally-occurring and may be artificially sweetened. The sugars helping to sweeten the taste of your toothpaste could be of concern for the same reasons we’re wary of them in our food and beverages. For instance, when we process aspartame, our bodies break it down into methanol, a highly toxic alcohol when consumed. Or sometimes, artificial sweeteners are known to make us crave more sweetness, ultimately leading us to consume even more of it.

Choosing toothpaste with xylitol means you’re getting the sweet flavor we’re all accustomed to, with benefits. Naturally derived from plants, xylitol is said to help neutralize pH levels in the mouth (so that tooth decaying acid won’t build up), while also preventing bacteria from sticking to your teeth. The only thing you’ll be left craving more of is your toothpaste. 

Pomegranate cut in half

Photo courtesy of Nathalie Jolie/​Unsplash


Basically superheros for your mouth, superfoods are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that can contribute to your oral health. Goji berry and pomegranate extracts, for example, are said to have anti-inflammatory effects — and for your mouth, that could mean they help to reduce gum inflammation and irritation.

Another known smile-worthy antioxidant is Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). The good news is that your body already contains it — the cells in your body depend on it to merely function and energize. However as you age your body begins producing less, and certain parts of your body may start underperforming. Powering up your toothpaste with CoQ10 could help support your gums and surrounding tissue to maintain strength and prevent against periodontal diseases and gingivitis.

This article was updated for publishing on January 31, 2019 and was originally posted on January 11, 2018. 

Articles from The Natural should not be considered medical advice. Schmidt’s does not claim that these ingredients perform these functions in their toothpaste. This article is intended to provide information on the qualities of unique ingredients, not their performance within our completed formula. If you have any questions about your oral health, please consult a medical professional.