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Why We Made the Switch to Natural, SLS Free Toothpaste

Orajel™ Kids toothpastes have a naturally sourced formula available in both fluoride-free training toothpaste and fluoride toothpastes.

We know change can be difficult for you and your little ones, but here is why we got rid of sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sugar, artificial sweeteners, parabens, gluten, and other ingredients, and why once you’ve adjusted to the change, you’ll be glad we did!

What is Natural Toothpaste?

Natural toothpastes use ingredients sourced from nature such as stevia, baking soda, water, and cellulose gum (from tree pulp / cotton seed). A natural toothpaste does not contain ingredients common in conventional toothpaste such as dyes, artificial sweeteners, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), parabens, or artificial flavoring.

While conventional toothpastes are generally regarded as safe by the American Dental Association and the US Food and Drug Administration, some people are sensitive to SLS, dyes, and other ingredients. Natural toothpaste cleans teeth without these potential irritants and fights tooth decay when it contains fluoride.

All of the ingredients in Orajel™ Kids Training Toothpastes are naturally sourced, and Orajel™ Kids Anti-Cavity Toothpaste has over 99% naturally sourced ingredients. The only ingredient that is not naturally sourced is fluoride, which is an important ingredient to help prevent cavities.

All Orajel™ Kids toothpastes are free from:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
  • Parabens
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Aspartame
  • Artificial colors
  • Dyes
  • Sugar
  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Silicones
  • Alcohol

Why did we remove these ingredients from our toothpaste formulas? Because we know that parents are looking to protect their children in every way possible while giving their kids the best healthy smile.

What are the ingredients in Orajel™ Kids Toothpastes?

We’ve told you what isn’t in our natural toothpastes, so here’s what you can find in our toothpaste tubes:

  • Sorbitol, derived from corn – this is a sugar-free sweetener to help the toothpaste taste good without sugar, which can cause cavities.
  • Hydrated silica, a mineral – this mild abrasive is used to help scrub plaque and stains from your child’s teeth.
  • Glycerin, from vegetables – this ingredient helps the toothpaste have a smooth texture and glide from the tube.
  • Cellulose gum, from tree or cotton seed pulp – helps the toothpaste ingredients bond together into a thickened, smooth paste.
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine, from coconuts – helps the toothpaste foam and get around and between teeth during brushing.
  • Stevia, from stevia plant leaves – this is a nonfermentable sweetener, meaning it helps the toothpaste taste good but doesn’t lead to tooth decay.

Orajel™ Kids fluoride toothpastes also contain sodium fluoride to help strengthen tooth enamel. Although fluoride is a natural mineral found in rocks, soil, and water, the fluoride must be processed into a form that can be added to toothpaste, which is why it is not considered naturally sourced. However, it is the key ingredient to protect against cavities and is important for kids ages 2 and up.

Does Natural Plant-Based Toothpaste Work?

Natural toothpastes with fluoride work in the same way as conventional toothpastes to help strengthen teeth and remove stains and acids that can cause tooth decay. The difference between natural and regular toothpastes are the inactive ingredients, which are naturally sourced in natural formulas.

Many ingredients in toothpastes are “inactive,” meaning they aren’t part of preventing cavities. Instead, these ingredients help with the action of cleaning and create a tasty and pleasant paste that can last in a tube and in your bathroom. Thanks to advancements in sourcing and formulation, natural ingredients can be used to accomplish these same goals.

Bottom line: Pediatrician recommended* Orajel™ Kids natural toothpastes have all the good things you need to clean your kids’ teeth and help prevent cavities with the fluoride formula. What’s missing are sugars, dyes, and artificial preservatives.

Does Natural Toothpaste have Fluoride or is it Fluoride-free?

Natural toothpastes are available in fluoride-free versions, as well as with fluoride to help prevent cavities. It’s up to you which type of toothpaste is best for your child.

Orajel™ Kids Training Toothpastes do not contain fluoride. Once your child can control swallowing and spit out toothpaste after brushing, you may consider moving to an Orajel™ Kids Anti-Cavity Toothpaste with fluoride.

What is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free Toothpaste?

Most natural toothpastes are SLS-free, meaning they do not contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a common ingredient in shampoos, conventional toothpaste, body wash, and laundry detergent. SLS helps create foam, which helps disperse other ingredients around the surface of things being cleaned, like teeth. Natural toothpastes use another ingredient – often cocamidopropyl betaine created from coconuts – to create a foaming action.

Why use a sugar free toothpaste without artificial sweeteners?

Many people agree that sugars that can eat away tooth enamel don’t belong in a product that helps prevent cavities. The naturally sourced formula in Orajel™ Kids toothpastes removes all artificial sweeteners and replaces them with natural sweeteners.

Some people can be sensitive to artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin while others simply want to avoid these ingredients. Orajel™ Kids toothpastes use sorbitol, a sweetener derived from corn, and stevia extract from the stevia plant and do not contain any sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Why use a Clear, Dye Free Toothpaste?

Toothbrush with clear toothpaste

We know it can look weird for toothpaste to be clear, especially when you’re used to blue or pink or striped toothpaste on your kid’s brush. While colored toothpaste may look more appealing or fun, the fact is that dyes are an added artificial ingredient that doesn’t help clean your kid’s teeth. Some children are sensitive to artificial dyes and many parents of kids with autism, ADHD, or other neurodivergence choose to avoid all food dyes.

The clear color of the new Orajel™ Kids toothpastes simply shows you what isn’t there – any artificial colors and dyes. It’s a naturally clear formula with an added bonus – less stains and mess in the bathroom and an easier cleanup for Mom and Dad, too!

What if My Child Doesn’t Like Toothpaste?

Child brushing her teeth with Orajel kids natural toothpaste

Some kids are more sensitive to strong flavors than others. You may have heard your child say that toothpaste is “spicy.” They may not like the tingly feeling that certain foods and toothpastes can give. It may just feel strange in their mouth.

Some kids don’t like it when toothpaste foams up in their mouth. That may feel weird and even a bit scary to see a foamy mouth in the mirror. Some children have easily triggered gag reflexes and toothpaste or toothbrushing can activate it. Still other kids may not like having a toothbrush or toothpaste in their mouth at all.

If your child struggles with using toothpaste or brushing teeth in general, slow and steady is the name of the game.

  • Start with a small toothbrush and brush with just water at first. Then introduce a tiny smear of toothpaste to the brush – not enough to really foam, but just enough to taste.
  • Praise your child each time they successfully allow you to help them brush or do so on their own.
  • As they grow more comfortable, gradually increase the amount of toothpaste to about the size of a grain of rice, then finally to a pea-sized amount when they are able to brush on their own.
  • Don’t refer to toothpaste as candy or something you eat, and you’re better off not trying to convince a child who doesn’t think something is yummy that it is. Just let them adjust at their own pace.

Tips to Help Your Child Change Toothpastes

Sometimes, your child needs to change toothpastes, either because they’re ready to move from a training toothpaste to an anti-cavity formula, or because you cannot find your favorite in stock. Change is difficult for everyone, but anyone who’s been the parent of a toddler knows they can be particularly resistant to any change – and quite loud about it! Here are some tips to help with the transition to a new toothpaste.

  1. Prepare your child for the change. Knowing it’s coming can help with anxiety about it. Even if the preparation is only a few hours before brushing, it’s better than a surprise change when you’re at the sink.
  2. Involve them in the change. Take them to the toothpaste aisle or your favorite online storefront and let them choose their own tube and even a new toothbrush. Make it fun and exciting – an expedition! Orajel™ Kids toothpastes have some of your kids’ favorite licensed characters, too. Who better to help with a change than Elmo, CoComelon™, Chase from Paw Patrol™, or Miraculous™ Ladybug™?
  3. Start early if possible. Begin introducing the new toothpaste while you still have some of the previous one. You can even try mixing the new toothpaste and the former one on the brush to introduce the new flavor gradually.
  4. Start with a small amount. Back off on the amount of toothpaste you usually use and begin with just a bare smear of toothpaste on the brush. Toothpastes can be intense flavors so it’s best to begin with just a little and let your child get used to it.
  5. Start with less time brushing. While it’s best to brush for the recommended two minutes whenever possible, when you’re introducing a new toothpaste less can be more. Shorten the brush time if needed to shorten the experience with the new toothpaste. You can also brush more with plain water to clean teeth while your child is getting used to a new flavor. Gradually build back up to the two-minute brushing routine.
  6. Praise and reward! Praise your child for trying something new! Sing a song while you brush! Try a new toothpaste yourself so you’re both experimenting! Tell your child how proud you are of them. Distract them with something like a joke or give them a reward like getting to read an extra book at bedtime or a few extra minutes of screen time.
  7. Try, try again. Some people just don’t like certain foods or flavors. Orajel™ Kids Training Toothpastes and Anti-Cavity Toothpastes come in more than one flavor for this reason. If the first one you tried was a bust after trying steps 1-6, try another flavor. It’s natural and normal for some kids to prefer one flavor over another!
  8. Stay patient. Change is hard and takes time. Keep your composure, stay positive, and trust that your child will adjust.

Orajel™ Kids is Here for Every Age and Stage

Life with kids is always an adventure, and teeth are just a part of it! From teething, to learning to brush, to losing teeth, trips to the dentist, and even braces and wisdom teeth, the journey from your child’s toothless grins and giggles to a healthy adult smile is different for every child.

Orajel™ Kids products are pediatrician recommended and help support healthy habits from the first tooth to a full smile*. Whether you need help encouraging your kids to brush their teeth, keeping track of daily brushing, or prepping them for their first trip to the dentist, Orajel™ Kids is here for you every step of the way. Try one of our naturally sourced toothpastes and remember to relish every age and stage with your child. They’ll be grown up before you know it.

*Pediatrician recommended among those who recommend a brand