Why Our Toothpaste Contain Fluoride

Fluoride has been the key cavity-fighting ingredient (and the only one approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) used in toothpastes since the 1950s. So, why did we decide not to include fluoride in ours? Simply put, people wanted it left out. Our Honest Toothpaste is fluoride-free for the ever-growing amount of consumers interested in that option.

We also recognize that while there may be certain benefits to fluoride, there can also be potential risks.

  • Just 1 gram of fluoride toothpaste (a full strip of paste on a regular-sized brush) is sufficient to cause acute fluoride toxicity in a two-year old child (e.g., nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhea) (1).
  • Children who swallow fluoride toothpaste can reach fluoride levels in their blood that exceed the levels that have been found to inhibit insulin secretion and increase blood glucose in animals and humans (2-4).
  • Fluoride has been identified as a developmental neurotoxicant linked to lowered IQ in children (5-8).
  • 40% of teenagers in the U.S. show signs of fluoride overexposure (9).

We believe there are some basic, better ways to protect our teeth — like consistent, daily oral hygiene practices (brushing and flossing), healthy nutrition, avoiding excess sugar, and regular teeth cleanings and checkups with your dentist.

Still, we also strongly encourage you to discuss this issue with your family dentist. If you’re prone to cavities, careful use of a toothpaste containing fluoride might be beneficial. Only you and your dentist can know for sure.

That said, Honest Toothpaste, available for both kids and adults, relies on calcium carbonate, baking soda, aloe, ginger, and other ingredients to safely help reduce tartar build-up, brighten teeth, and promote healthy teeth and gums — for an honestly clean mouth and peace of mind!


  1. Shulman, J. D., & Wells, L. M. (1997). Acute Fluoride Toxicity from Ingesting Home‐use Dental Products in Children, Birth to 6 Years of Age. Journal of public health dentistry, 57(3), 150-158.
  2. Chiba FY, et al. (2012). NaF treatment increases TNF-a and resistin concentrations and reduces insulin signal in rats. Journal of Fluorine Chemistry 136:3-7.
  3. Menoyo I, Rigalli A, Puche RC. 2005. Effect of fluoride on the secretion of insulin in the rat. Drug Res 55(5):455-60.
  4. Shahed AR, et al. (1986). Effect of F on rat serum insulin levels in vivo. Journal of Dental Research 65:756.
  5. Choi, A. L., Sun, G., Zhang, Y., & Grandjean, P. (2012). Developmental fluoride neurotoxicity: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
  6. Grandjean, P., & Landrigan, P. J. (2014). Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity. The Lancet Neurology, 13(3), 330-338.
  7. ON, F. W. (1999). Effect of fluoride in drinking water on children’s intelligence. Wei Sheng Yan Jiu, 28(6), 337-8.
  8. Lu, Y., Sun, Z. R., Wu, L. N., Wang, X., Lu, W., & Liu, S. S. (2000). Effect of high-fluoride water on intelligence in children. Fluoride, 33(2), 74-78.
  9. Beltran-Aguilar ED, et al. (2010). Prevalence and Severity of Dental Fluorosis in the United States, 1999–2004. NCHS Data Brief No. 53.

This post was revised as of 1/26/2016.

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22 thoughts on “Why Doesn’t Honest Toothpaste Contain Fluoride?

  1. I for one am happy that you offer a fluoride free option. I feel completely at ease letting my 4 and 5 your old brush their teeth by themselves, knowing they will not swallow harmful fluoride. However, I also practice other methods for keeping their teeth clean and healthy (all the ones you mentioned). Having treats happens though so I always make sure to accompany sweet foods with water. 🙂

    Thank you for your continued commitment to your loyal Honest Families. 🙂

    1. Thanks for your support and feedback, Blanca! We’re happy that you’re enjoying the fluoride free option. And, we too, enjoy the occasional sweet. ; )

  2. I’m curious as to why you didn’t include xylitol in your toothpaste. There appears to be good evidence that it is effective in helping to prevent cavities with few side effects, but perhaps I’ve missed some troubling aspects of this ingredient?

    Thank you for being a trusted resource for products I feel safe using with my family!

    1. I wonder about this as well. I see xylitol in a lot of things, but I always thought it was a sweetener. I don’t know much about it. We have to stay away from artificial sweeteners due to either migraines, nausea, or digestive issues, depending on the sweetener, so I have tried to steer clear of it. Have I been wrong?

    2. We think xylitol looks like it may have true potential for promoting oral health, but it has not yet been approved for that purpose by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We’re definitely keeping our eyes on it, though!

  3. We recently had started my 3 year old son on fluoride toothpaste and he still doesn’t do all that well with not swallowing which was of concern to me. We do the Honest monthly bundle so I was so happy to get the email about new product available of fluoride free toothpaste! I ordered two days ago and can’t wait to get it. I am so happy with Honest that makes fluoride free toothpaste! Altogether, I am just so thankful for Honest product. I feel stress free and at ease that there’s no bad chemicals. Thanks, Honest!

    1. Natalie, thanks so much for your support. We’re so happy we could create a product that your family needs. Please let us know how you and your little one likes the toothpaste once you have a chance to try it. Your feedback is really appreciated!

  4. I’m so torn and I really appreciate you giving us more information on it. Our children’s dentist recommends giving our children fluoride tablets, which we do not do because I am not comfortable with it. I appreciate the open communication on the ingredients. It really helps with decision making!

  5. Thank you for keeping fluoride out of the toothpaste, despite the medical world pushing it so much. The pediatrician is pushing fluoride tablets since we have well water, but I know we get enough fluoride from other sources. I am cautious about giving too much chemicals to children, and even ourselves! This gives us another option.

  6. Despite poison warnings printed on fluoridated toothpaste containers advising children use only a pea-sized amount, illustrations in ads in two widely-read parents’ magazines show four times that amount, which puts children at risk of bone and tooth damage, according to research published May 15, 2013 in the Journal of Community Health

  7. Thank you so much for having both children’s and adult toothpaste formulas without fluoride! Not an easy product to find.

  8. There is this “informative” article circling Facebook (not that i trust that as newsworthy it just got me really curious) about the colored boxes on toothpaste tubes over the seal. The article said the color boxes were codes green=natural, blue=natural +medicine, Red= natural +chemical, black=pure chemical. I have no idea if it is true or not, but could you shed light on what the color squares do mean? I noticed Honest was black. I trust your toothpaste more so than the corporate brand i was using, but it got me really curious.

    1. We really appreciate your attention to detail. The Internet provides a wealth of information for today’s consumers, but it also provides a wealth of misinformation. Often times this misinformation can spread like a virus and because we see the same claim repeated all over the place, it starts to seem like the truth. With that said, we can definitely confirm that the mark has absolutely nothing do with the ingredients in the toothpaste. It’s actually an eye mark so that when the tube is being filled the machine can center the tube and knows where to make the crimp so the artwork is centered. The black eye mark was chosen based on the equipment and machinery used at our manufacturing facility.

      We list all of the ingredients of our products online and on the packaging (we don’t leave anything out!) so you can always check out what is inside our products. If you have any questions about the ingredients in our products, we’re always happy to answer them. We also have a list of ingredients we have consciously selected not to use, these are listed in the Honestly FREE Guarantee here: https://www.honest.com/about-us/honestly-free-guarantee. We hope this helps debunk the myth and reassure you that our products are healthy and safe. Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns – we’re always happy to help!

    1. Our toothpaste is great for the whole family! We offer a natural strawberry flavored version because little ones love it, but the mint toothpaste is just as safe. In either case, if your toddler is under 2 years of age, be sure to consult with your dentist or physician first. Let us know if you have any other questions!

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