With the rising popularity of documentaries like Super Size Me, Food, Inc. and Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, people are seriously watching what they put in their bodies. But while we’re avoiding fast food restaurants and jumping on the bandwagon with the other high fructose corn syrup haters, we could be forgetting that the stuff we don’t swallow could be just as toxic.

Food Rules author Michael Pollan classifies “real food” as something your great-grandmother would recognize. He reemphasized it in more detail here, and since I heard it on his interview with Oprah way back when, it has stuck with me. Now every time I walk past things like yogurt-to-go, I cringe a little and imagine great-grandma scratching her head in confusion and asking, “um, it’s what?”

So why shouldn’t we be lumping things like hair products, cleaning supplies and toothpaste in the same category? Maybe we should be looking for a few more products that would make sense to grandma and don’t have an ingredient list rivaling epic Ancient Greek poetry.

Let’s start with toothpaste. Would you dare swallow the stuff you use now? I’d guess probably not. Here are a few more natural options that get the job done just as well and don't require immediate poison control if ingested.


Clockwise from left:

Earthpaste Amazingly Natural Toothpaste, $8, Natural Joy Beauty

Cinnamon, wintergreen or peppermint essential oils paired with redmond sea salt, tea tree oil and food grade redmond clay. That about sums up the whole of the ingredients here. Simple enough, I say.

Tom's of Maine Wicked Fresh Toothpaste, $5, Tom's of Maine

Natural oils and botanical extracts make up this popular and effective paste that's available for purchase at most food stores.

doTERRA On Guard Whitening Toothpaste, $11.33, doTERRA 

Orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils kill germs and pathogens and also reduce plaque and whiten teeth. 

Kiss My Face Natural Aloe Vera Gel, $5.36, Walgreens

This flouride and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate free gel contains olive leaf extract, iclandic moss and peppermint oil to freshen breath and whiten teeth the natural way.