Toothpaste Without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a common ingredient in cleaning and personal care products, including toothpaste. Some people choose products without SLS for various reasons. Good news: there are SLS-free toothpastes that do an excellent job cleaning your teeth and freshening your breath.


What is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?

SLS and its cousin, sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are ingredients that can be found in everyday products around your home or for your body. You’ll find SLS in lotions, liquid soap, laundry detergent, dish detergent, body wash, shampoo, facial cleansers, bath bombs, and even toothpaste. It’s often added as a foaming agent to make bubbles and lather.

Sodium lauryl sulfate can be created from petroleum, but more often it is made from plant sources such as coconut oil or palm oil. Although it comes from natural sources, it is converted from fatty acids into a crystalline salt using a chemical manufacturing process.

SLS is approved for use as a food additive by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services states that SLS is safe for use in oral care products. SLS is also permitted for use in the European Union. You’ll find SLS in some foods such as marshmallows where it is added as a thickener or as an emulsifier to keep oils mixed with other ingredients.


Why is SLS an Ingredient in Many Toothpastes

SLS is common in cleaning products because it is very effective at spreading out the cleansers and trapping dirt particles to rinse them away. SLS in toothpaste can help rinse away food debris after you brush. It also allows the toothpaste to foam and reach all areas of your mouth.

Some people are more sensitive to SLS than others, especially when used in sensitive areas like the mouth. If your gums are sensitive or you are prone to canker sores, SLS-free toothpaste might be a good alternative. However, you might just prefer a SLS-free toothpaste due to the way it feels, freshens, and cleans your mouth.


Woman brushing teeth

How Do SLS-Free Toothpastes Clean Teeth?

Instead of sodium lauryl sulfate, SLS-free toothpastes use other cleansers to disperse and remove food particles. Some, such as ARM & HAMMER™ Essentials, also use baking soda to help remove food, stains, and whiten teeth for a beautiful smile.

SLS-free toothpastes may not foam as much as those containing SLS, so the experience of using one may feel a bit different. You still have choices in flavor and formula when it comes to SLS-free toothpastes. There are SLS-free toothpastes that contain fluoride, which can help strengthen teeth and prevent cavities, while other SLS-free toothpastes that do not have fluoride among their ingredients.


Try an ARM & HAMMER™ Toothpaste without SLS

Which kind of toothpaste you use is up to you, including those that don’t have sodium lauryl sulfate. Here are three SLS-free formulas from ARM & HAMMER™ you can try:

Learn More about How to Take Care of Your Teeth


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