Tom’s of Maine is marketed by its parent company, Colgate, as a natural, healthy brand of toothpaste. But is this “natural” toothpaste as good for you as its marketing team claims it to be? We are here to take a good look at the ingredients of Tom’s of Maine toothpastes to determine whether or not it’s everything it’s cracked up to be.
Tom’s of Maine Toothpaste: Is it Really “All Natural”?
There are different varieties of Tom’s toothpastes, and in comparison with Colgate’s regular toothpaste (and most other conventional toothpaste brands), Tom’s of Maine is certainly a better choice. That being said, there are still some things you need to watch for and be aware of.
Regular Colgate Toothpaste Ingredients
To start, let’s take a look at regular toothpaste as a reference point to compare the Tom’s toothpaste to. These are the ingredients for Colgate’s Advanced Whitening Toothpaste:
Sodium Fluoride, Anticavity (0.24%)
Triclosan, Antigingivitis (0.30%)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Whew – that’s a lot of ingredients! There are some definite issues with the ingredients in this toothpaste, such as the use of fluoride, which has actually shown to damage your teeth and bones, and even could cause damage to your brain. (4, 5, 6, 7) Other big problem ingredients here include the Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, carrageenan, and titanium dioxide. (More on that later).
So how does that compare with so-called “natural” Tom’s of Maine? That’s just the problem: The products are shockingly similar.
Tom’s of Maine Toothpaste
On their website, Tom’s not only lists each ingredient, but also states what the purpose of that ingredient is and where it is derived from, presumably all natural sources. Click on the name of each type of toothpaste below to visit the Tom’s site.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium Fluoride (0.24%)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Before we get into the unfortunate reality that is Tom’s of Maine toothpaste, we should point out that there are some benefits to the brand, and while there are certainly more natural options out there, it is still a better choice than conventional toothpaste.
Naturally derived ingredients: Much of Tom’s ingredients comes from earth-based sources, such as birch trees, corn, fermented vegetable matter, and seaweed.
Fluoride Free: Some varieties of Tom’s toothpaste are fluoride free, but be sure to double-check the label. Chances are, if it doesn’t say “fluoride free” right on the front of the packaging, it isn’t.
No microbeads: Microbeads are often added as a mild abrasive to help remove plaque and stains from your teeth. These microbeads, however, are made of plastic, which is not only bad to put in your body, but also extremely harmful to the environment.
You can tell just by comparing the ingredients lists of the three toothpaste that there are still some glaring issues with Tom of Maine toothpaste.
Fluoride: While some varieties are fluoride free, many still contain the chemical as a means of fighting cavities. Unfortunately, it has been discovered that fluoride more than likely does more harm than good. It has been linked to dental and skeletal fluorosis, conditions that involve the degradation of either tooth enamel or bone and joints, as well as potential damage to brain and thyroid tissues.(4, 5, 6, 7)
Titanium Dioxide: Titanium Dioxide has recently been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a Group 2B Carcinogen, meaning that it is “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. In mice, titanium dioxide has shown to induce DNA damage, toxicity, and oxidative stress and inflammation. (8)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: SLS is derived from coconuts, and technically shouldn’t be an issue. The problem arises in the processing of the ingredient. During manufacturing, SLS is often contaminated with 1, 4-dioxane, a known carcinogen. The impact of SLS on your health includes organ and reproductive toxicity, neurological damage, disruption of the endocrine system, and of course, cancer. (9, 10)
Carrageenan: Carrageenan has been shown to cause inflammation in the GI tract, ulcers, lesions, and some colon cancer in lab animals. The American Diabetes Association also discovered that carrageenan leads to glucose intolerance and insulin resistance in mice. More studies need to be done on humans. (11)
Natural and Homemade Toothpaste Alternatives
While it is unfortunate that a so-called “natural” brand of toothpaste isn’t the healthy alternative we hoped it would be, there are thankfully plenty of other natural toothpaste brands, as well as homemade varieties that are made of ingredients you can buy at the grocery store and no unwanted, potentially harmful chemicals!
Natural Toothpaste Brands We Like Include:
Homemade Toothpaste Recipes:
What is your favorite natural toothpaste brand? Have you tried using your own homemade toothpaste? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to share this article with your friends and family to spread the word about the dangerous ingredients in even the “healthy” toothpastes.