is your toothpaste vegan?
In a world where you have thousands of toothpaste options at your fingertips, Davids Natural Toothpaste was...quite literally...made to stand out.
While there are so many things that set Davids apart from the rest, we wanted to take a deeper dive into a topic that we feel is extremely important in the world of toothpaste...and the self-care industry as a whole. So, to celebrate the debut of our blog, we’re answering the seemingly simple question, “What makes us so proud to be a vegan toothpaste?”
Don’t be fooled, the answer is both multi-layered and jaw-dropping. But at least we know if you already use Davids, that dropped jaw leaves behind a pleasant aroma of fresh, USA-grown mint.
aren’t all toothpastes vegan?
First things first...let’s examine what it means to be a vegan product. To be vegan, a product must:
- Not contain animal products or animal-derived ingredients.
- Certify that its processes are cruelty-free and do not include animal testing.
You might be surprised to find out that a lot of toothpastes that have long dominated the market are not vegan. During the 4-year-long journey of creating Davids, our founder Eric David Buss realized that many people...even those who regularly attended vegan trade shows...were shocked by this.
Most toothpastes contain glycerin, a thick liquid with moistening and flavor-enhancing qualities. Its gooey nature adds body to liquid products, preserves them by locking in moisture, and keeps them from sticking to their casing. Glycerin has been used in the personal care industry for decades in products like toothpaste, shower products, surface cleaners, soaps, and more.
(Fun fact: glycerin is also known for its use in the soap opera industry. When applied to the eyes...which we don’t recommend...it acts as an instant tear-jerker, allowing actors to easily cry on-command.)
But what a lot of people don’t realize...and a lot of companies like to sweep under the rug...is that the glycerin in toothpaste and other personal care products often comes from animal fats. As a good rule of thumb, if a product doesn’t outwardly claim to be vegan and simply lists “glycerin” in its ingredient list...sans “vegetable” or “plant-based”...it’s probably not vegan.
It’s also important to note that even if a brand uses strictly plant-based ingredients, it’s possible that they still test on animals. Be sure to look out for the Leaping Bunny Logo, which is currently the only internationally recognized symbol certifying that no animal tests were used in the development of a product.
At Davids, we’re committed to staying true to our definition of natural toothpaste which means we’ll always be 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
To accomplish this, we use vegetable glycerin that’s naturally derived from soy plants and processed into a pure, food-grade ingredient. On top of this, we proudly sport the Leaping Bunny cert, source and derive all of our ingredients from nature, and use innovative, sustainable packaging.
what are some amazing ingredients in our vegan toothpaste?
Non-GMO Vegetable Glycerin
Our non-gmo vegetable glycerin is made with vegetable oil derived from soy. The vegetable oils are processed until the glycerin splits from the fatty acids to form a food-grade, syrup-like liquid.
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not glycerin is safe for your teeth...you’re not the only one, but we’re here to set the record straight. A glycerin-tainting rumor popped up in 1997, when chemist Dr. Gerard Judd wrote “Good Teeth from Birth to Death.” He claimed that glycerin coats your enamel and would require 20 rinses to get off...preventing your enamel from naturally rebuilding when it needs to.
However there’s actually no scientific evidence to back up these claims, and they’ve since been refuted. Holistic dentist Dr. Gerry Curatola reaffirms that glycerin is water-soluble...it dissolves easily, has prebiotic qualities, and does not harm your enamel.
- Hydrated Silica
Firstly, abrasive ingredients are not inherently bad. They’re actually fundamental in removing surface stains and improving the efficiency of cleaning. Toothpastes are rated on a scale of Relative Dentin Abrasivity to assess their potential abrasive harm. Davids is rated as a low abrasive toothpaste...making it safe for everyday use.
Low-quality imported silica with large abrasive particles run the risk of damaging your enamel. But at Davids...we use only the highest quality, USA-made hydrated silica. The ultra-fine, microscopic particles safely clean your enamel without damaging it.
- Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate
- Our Other Vegan Ingredients
Read our full list of vegan, natural ingredients...and our definition of natural...in our Natural Statement.
what are some benefits of vegan toothpaste?
It’s better for the environment.
Animal agriculture makes up 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions...more than the emissions from all forms of transportation combined. One of the biggest ways to make a positive impact on the environment is to reduce your reliance on animal products and not-so-obvious animal byproducts.
By using only plant-based glycerin in our toothpaste, we’re able to completely eliminate this industry from our products...and avoid contributing to that massive 18%. Using plant-based toothpaste may seem small compared to eating a plant-based diet, but consider how many oral care products we use every single day. These things add up!
It’s also important to remember that as our toothpaste goes down the drain, it doesn’t just disappear...the pipe ends somewhere. The EPA considers personal care products “contaminants of emerging concern”, as they can end up back in our surface and groundwater. This allows the chemicals in mainstream toothpastes to pollute the environment and severely impact biodiversity. But because our ingredients are derived from nature...the particles potentially released back into the environment from Davids actually belong there.
As an important sidenote, roughly 1.5 billion plastic toothpaste tubes are tossed into landfills every single year...that’s ~50 per second! Davids comes in a recyclable metal tube (with a food-grade liner), and our plastic caps can be reused. Simply enter ***REMOVE CAP*** on the second line of your shipping address when ordering, and we’ll spare the plastic. We’re always brainstorming better ways to be an eco-friendly toothpaste.
- It advocates for animal lives.
500,000 animals suffer and die every year from animal testing in the cosmetic industry alone. 40 countries have already passed laws banning cosmetic testing on animals, but the USA still isn’t one of them.
As a certified cruelty-free brand, you can rest easy knowing that your Davids purchase values and respects animal lives. Not only does the Leaping Bunny certification ensure that brands never test on animals, but it proactively advocates for animals...educating people on the topic, promoting new legislation, and working to develop safe alternative testing methods.
When you seek out products that are Leaping Bunny certified like our cruelty-free toothpaste...other companies take note. By demanding these types of products, you can help to grow the list of 2,000+ companies committed to ending animal testing for good.
It’s better for your entire body.
When you think about it...your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body. The things we consume...foods, drinks, medications, oral care products (unintentionally)...all enter through the mouth and play a massive role in our holistic health.
A common pattern seen with mainstream toothpaste is...while some synthetic ingredients may help strengthen your enamel and clean your mouth...they do so at the risk of harming the rest of your body.
As one example, all ADA-approved toothpastes contain fluoride...usually sodium fluoride to be exact...a synthetic, industrial form of the mineral. When too much fluoride is ingested (primarily from drinking water but amplified by products like toothpaste), it can have various toxic effects such as dental and skeletal fluorosis. While these are extreme cases, and there’s still a lot of uncertainty when it comes to fluoride, we prefer avoiding the risk altogether.
That’s why Davids is a fluoride-free toothpaste...and steers clear from all chemicals, synthetics, and artificial ingredients. You can rest easy knowing your Davids toothpaste isn’t harming the rest of your body. As an EWG toothpaste, Davids meets the strictest standards for health and transparency established by the Environmental Working Group.
It promotes transparency.
Because we only use natural ingredients, and we’re certified cruelty-free...we have nothing to hide.
We’re proud of our ingredients. We love to talk about where they come from, how they’re sourced and derived, and the benefits they provide. We also prefer confronting critiques and clearing up any confusion about our ingredients.
On top of that, we’re proud of our processes. We pride ourselves on the operations behind our manufacturing, the ethics behind our testing, and the way we contribute to the U.S. economy. Everything we do is for nature+america+you, and we always want that to show through. So if you ever have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
- It cleans your mouth.
Though, we hope this one is obvious. Brushing regularly with Davids kills bacteria, reduces plaque, freshens breath, and whitens your teeth. We’re able to accomplish this without chemicals and other artificial ingredients...so we’re kinda wondering why any toothpaste uses them.
seek out safe swaps.
If any of these facts about toothpaste come as a surprise to you, we recommend checking out your other household products...shampoo, conditioner, lotions, soaps, surface cleaners...to see if they contain animal-derived, synthetic ingredients.
If they do, don’t worry...our friends at Grove Collaborative, Goop, and The Detox Market make it easy to find alternatives that are vegan, natural, and sustainable. At the end of the day, our goal is to help you make safe and sustainable product swaps...without all the overwhelm. We want to do our part to make the process both relaxing and liberating for you!
Since you (hopefully) brush twice a day, and your mouth is the window to your soul...oops, we mean the rest of your body and holistic health...we think making a safe toothpaste swap is the perfect place to start.