The 3 Best SLS-Free Toothpastes

fotolia/Wayhome Studio

While not toxic to humans in low enough amounts, sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, is widely considered one of those ingredients in hygiene products that people should probably avoid. After all, SLS can lead to everything from itchy, irritated skin, to damaged hair, to persistent canker sores. So, if you're in the market for one of the best SLS-free toothpastes, you've come to the right place.

Because sodium lauryl sulfate is the ingredient that causes hygiene products to foam, it's found in most toothpastes. In fact, some research shows as much as 85 percent of all toothpastes on the shelves has sodium lauryl sulfate on the ingredient list.

The good news: SLS doesn't actually play an active role in keeping your teeth clean. So, opting for a toothpaste without it shouldn't have any serious repercussions on your dental health. When deciding between one SLS-free toothpaste and another, keep your flavor preferences, budget, and consumer habits in mind.

While all of the options below are free of sulfates, some take it one step further and have fluoride-free formulas. Still others are 100-percent organic, and rely on natural ingredients like beeswax to effectively clean your teeth. Keep scrolling, for the best SLS-free toothpastes.

Pro-tip: If you're looking to eliminate sulfates from your daily routine, take a look at the best sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners.

The Best Overall, All Things Considered

If you've experienced mouth irritation or persistent canker sores, this SLS-free toothpaste is the best pick for you. Not only is it free of sodium lauryl sulfate, but it's formulated with vitamin E to help reduce gum inflation, and fluoride to prevent against tooth decay. This toothpaste has a soothing, fresh mint taste that reviewers love, and comes in a 4.5-ounce tube for just $8. And, to top it all off, fans who have tried other toothpastes on this roundup praise this option as the most helpful in clearing up painful canker sores.

What fans say: "I have suffered from canker sores my whole life, so when I stumbled upon research about SLS being a possible cause, I decided to give Verve Ultra a try. I've used it for the past two months and haven't had any canker sores, which is great, but I thought could also just be a coincidence. That was until I bit my lip last week. In the past, whenever I've bit the inside of my lip or cheek, it has turned into a canker sore 100% of the time and this time it didn't! So now I am convinced that it has been the SLS all along and will keep using this toothpaste."

The Best For Sensitive Teeth

Hello's SLS-free toothpaste is formulated without parabens, gluten, or dyes or artificial flavors, to eliminate any chance of painful mouth irritation. Even better, the formula is vegan and not tested on animals. For just $4 (a truly deal-breaking price), you'll get 4 ounces of this sensitivity-relief toothpaste. Made with a sugar substitute, moisturizing coconut oil, and soothing aloe, this fan-favorite toothpaste is packed with ingredients designed to protect sensitive teeth. But, don't take my word for it. Hundreds of reviewers rave.

What fans say: "I've been dealing with tooth sensitivity for years now. It's been incredibly frustrating. There had been times I couldn't even drink things with too much ice in them, it would hurt so much. I tried several types and brands of toothpaste trying to ease the pain. I changed toothbrushes several times. Nothing worked, even the brands my dentist recommended. I ordered this toothpaste on a whim. I've been pain free! I have no idea how this toothpaste is so different that the pain would stop so dramatically but it's worked!"

The Best Without Fluoride

This Tom's SLS-free toothpaste is a great option if you're trying to avoid fluoride in addition to sulfates (although the American Dental Association does recommend fluoride). It's "botanical" formula includes natural ingredients like bee propolis to whiten and protect your teeth. Available in peppermint, spearmint, or herbal mint flavors, this toothpaste is an affordable buy that you can even pick up in bulk for more savings. While fluoride-free toothpastes don't protect quite as well against tooth decay as formulas with the active ingredient, fans still praise Tom's as effective at both whitening and protecting against canker sores.

What fans say: "LOVE this toothpaste! One of the few toothpastes out there that is fluoride free and SLS free, AND also tastes and works like regular toothpaste."

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.