A number of brands make natural toothpastes free of sodium lauryl sulfate, including Tom's of Maine Clean & Gentle Toothpaste. SLS is a chemical added to most toothpaste because it helps prevent tooth decay. However, it has also been found to cause canker sores and bad breath.
Many SLS-free toothpastes are sold in drugstores, supermarkets and other major retailers; several brands are available online. Since sodium lauryl sulfate can be made from natural ingredients such as coconut oil, it is important to read the packaging before purchasing “natural” toothpaste to be sure it is free of SLS.
In addition to Clean & Gentle, Tom's of Maine also makes Botanically Bright, a whitening toothpaste that is also fluoride free and Toddler Training Toothpaste for little ones aged three to 24 months old. The entire ProNamel line of toothpastes from Sensodyne are SLS free, as are the three dry-mouth toothpastes from Biotene. Kiss My Face has a full line of SLS-free toothpastes for both adults and children.
Also a foaming agent, SLS is found in most shampoos and soaps, as well as a variety of industrial cleaners. The danger of using products made with sodium lauryl sulfate has been widely debated, but there is no scientific evidence linking the use of SLS to cancer. Despite the fact that SLS does not appear to be toxic, it can cause small tears inside the mouth that result in canker sores. SLS can also cause dry mouth, which throws off the pH balance and promotes bacteria growth, resulting in bad breath. As toothpaste is often swallowed, SLS has also been known to cause upset stomach and diarrhea.