Taking good care of your teeth and gums is a huge part of any healthy lifestyle. Many people don’t realize, but mouth hygiene is so much more than white, shining teeth, in fact, digestion starts in the mouth and gums can absorb anything you put in your mouth, so what you use to brush your teeth matters.

Conventional toothpastes might do a great job at making your teeth sparkle, but they can contain artificial additives such as Blue #1, Yellow #5 or other Food, Drug, and Cosmetic colorants as well as saccharine, benzoic acid and artificial flavors. Other scary additives include antibacterial triclosan which is a potential carcinogen that has been linked to breast cancer (the state of Minnesota even banned it), Diethanolamine (DEA) a foaming agent that’s also a hormone disrupter and can react with other ingredients to form a potential carcinogen called NDEA. On top of that, some “added whitening” toothpastes contain plastic microbeads which can get trapped in gums and create pathways for bacteria – effectively causing gum disease.

Fluoride is also a concern for some people. While this chemical has long been lauded as the secret to strong teeth, too much can cause dental fluorosis in children – a condition where tooth enamel fails to crystallize properly, leading to staining and brittleness. It can also be toxic to your kidneys, cause gastrointestinal issues, exacerbate iodine deficiencies, and even hinder the development of fetal brains. Considering most municipalities add fluoride to drinking water, having it in your mouthwash and toothpaste isn’t necessary.

Knowing all this, you’re probably rethinking your go-to toothpaste, but don’t fret – finding a natural alternative is easier, and way more effective, than you might think. To help you find your new favorite toothpaste, we’ve compiled a list of natural ones that can get you a stress-free smile in no time at all!