And, since Desert Essence really isn't all that good for you, despite it being sold in the local organic market, I figured I would search around for a better brand. If I'm going to buy "hippie" toothpaste, it should be real hippie toothpaste, and not faux-greenwashed crap. I found five brands that met my criteria.
I am not opposed to fluoride in toothpaste. I think it has uses when applied to teeth, so long as you aren't necessarily drinking it in quantity. It isn't necessary if we would cut out the sugar, but hey, realistically I am a sugar junkie and that's unlikely to change. Even when I cut out processed sugar, I eat tons of fruit. Still, I prefer a fluoride-free toothpaste, and would rather use a fluoride rinse after at my choosing.
Since my scalp did better when I got away from sulfate based shampoos, I decided I wanted a non-SLS toothpaste too. I also preferred not to have titanium dioxide, and I have to watch my sweeteners, preservatives, and colorings (if any).
The Brands, Runners Up
TheraNeem -- I found out that my Shampoo & Conditioner company makes toothpaste too, but only after I had made my initial selection and bought my toothpaste. I didn't look at this brand as closely, just tacked it onto the list as an afterthought. I do love my hair products.
TheraNeem Mint Toothpaste - 4.23 oz - Paste
NOW Foods XyliWhite -- comes in three flavors, xylitol for sweetener, uses papain as a whitener (from papaya), baking soda as the main abrasive, sodium coco-sulfate as foaming agent, also includes tea tree oil
Now Foods Xyliwhite, Baking Soda Toothpaste, Platinum Mint, 6.4-Ounces
NOW Foods Xyliwhite Cinnafresh Toothpaste Gel 6.4 Ounces
NOW Foods Xyliwhite, Refreshmint, 6.4 Ounce
Weleda -- four flavors, was first sold to me as a completely detergent-free toothpaste (for those with eczema issues), three use calcium carbonate as abrasive, while the other uses a silica, lots of therapeutic oils (many of which I know nothing about). It doesn't seem to have any foaming agents, which is best for your teeth but may be disconcerting to some users. Note that each flavor has vastly different components, and may work better/worse for a particular person.
Weleda: Natural Salt Toothpaste, 2.5 oz
Weleda Children's/Calendula Tooth Gel, 1.7 oz
Weleda: Ratanhia Toothpaste, 2.5 oz
Weleda Plant Gel Toothpaste, 2.5-Fluid Ounce
Nature's Answer PerioBrite -- two flavors (cool mint and cinnamint) and a whole system of things you can buy to go with your toothpaste. Rinse stuff to put in your oral irrigator. Mouthwash for after. Topical rub. They seem to use the "kitchen sink" method of alternative healing. There is a rack of stuff crammed into this, so much so you wonder how they can get it all in the tube, and yet it warns that it's "super-concentrated" and to only use "a pea-sized amount". They also blended the abrasives, using a mix of baking soda, calcium carbonate, and silica. Some things do work better with some people, so I guess they figured they could get the widest customer base by just including everything in one convenient tube. I'm not sure this is my "go to" answer, however.
PerioBrite-Toothpaste 4 Ounces
Nature's Answer Perio Brite Toothpaste, Cinnamint, 4 Ounce
Heritage IPSAB -- IPSAB products have a small but ferociously dedicated following. The toothpaste is actually a ho-hum product by all accounts but they adore the mouthwash and tooth powder. Add the gum treatment and you have a total mouth care package. The paste was Heritage's attempt to gather in the masses who think tooth powder to be a little too quaint for modern tastes. If I ever take a whimsical foray into tooth powder, this will be where I go.
Heritage IPSAB Toothpaste, 4.23 Ounce
Heritage Products IPSAB Toothpowder Peppermint - 4 oz
The One I Purchased...For Now
Earthpaste -- four flavors. This is the one I ended up buying, because it was the most natural, being made of Redmond Clay. And I got the weird-out-significant-other factor by admitting I was going to clean my teeth with dirt. It's clay, xylitol, oils, and salt, and meant to be used with a soft brush because the salt can be abrasive. Also doesn't have any foaming agents, so I hope I can get used to it NOT foaming, or spitting out brown toothpaste. I can't imagine it's worse than the bloody spit I have half the time now. There is a notice "may contain lead" which they have to put on the side of the box. Earthpaste says it is because of the medicinal Redmond Clay they use. People EAT this clay, by the way, it has been proven to be beneficial to some forms of Irritable Bowel syndrome for whatever reason. California law being what it is, however, since Redmond Clay carries infinitesimal levels of lead, the sticker must go on. Apparently, you can get an exemption for natural products, but then you also have to have the money to fend off any potential law suits when someone tests your product and it shows a trace amount of lead ("NO ONE TOLD ME THERE WAS LEAD! OMG!! SUE SUE SUE!!" Despite it not being enough to actually hurt anyone.) They decided it was cheaper to "stick with the sticker".
Earthpaste - Peppermint - Natural Organic Flouride Free Toothpaste - 4 Ounce Tubes
Earthpaste - Wintergreen - Natural Organic Flouride Free Toothpaste - 4 Ounce Tubes
Earthpaste Amazingly Natural Toothpaste- Lemon Twist 4 Ounce Tubes
Earthpaste Amazingly Natural Toothpaste-Cinnamon 4 Ounce Tubes