You may be well aware of what your moisturizer or body wash contains, but other personal care items tend to get overlooked. Like your toothpaste.

Have you picked up the toothpaste on your bathroom counter and looked at the ingredient listing? Do you see sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)? How about Propylene Glycol? Fluoride? And just because the label says it is "natural" does not mean it is necessarily safe. Even some natural toothpastes contain harmful ingredients.

Harsh cleansers, toxic fluoride, chemical preservatives, and artificial colors and flavorings. These are what you don't want in your toothpaste.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is a foaming agent commonly added to conventional toothpastes but is also found in some natural toothpastes. SLS gives the paste "sudsiness" which some people associate with an extra clean feeling. But this harsh cleanser can irritate delicate tissue and has been known to cause mouth sores and sensitivity. It is also a penetration enhancer which allows other chemical ingredients to more easily absorb into the system.

Propylene glycol (or related ingredients PEG (Polyethylene Glycol) and PPG (polypropylene glycol) is added to certain products to give them a more solid consistency without becoming dry, like deodorant or toothpaste. But this ingredient is derived from petroleum, a known carcinogen, and can easily absorb into the system. It is also used in anti-freeze and floor wax. Not exactly what we want to put into our mouths on a daily basis.

Fluoride is a controversial issue. Dentists swear by this ingredient for its cavity-diminishing properties, and recommend children and adults use fluoride-containing toothpaste. It is added to most mouthwash, and you can even buy bottled water that contains fluoride. But this toxic ingredient has also been found to exacerbate acne and other skin conditions. And it accumulates in the bones over time and is thought to weaken them, causing certain ailments and even cancer.

Synthetic colorants and flavors are added to toothpastes to entice both children and adults into using them. It has actually become difficult to find a plain white toothpaste, free from fluoride, chemical whiteners, and other toxic ingredients.

Toxic synthetic ingredients are not only unnecessary for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums, but irritating and harmful to your health. Fluoride-free toothpaste made from plant extracts, natural minerals and essential oils fight bacteria, protect teeth and gums, and freshen mouth naturally. Our selection of nontoxic toothpastes contain healthy natural ingredients to provide safe yet effective cleansing for you and your family.

Lavera's Baby Toothpaste Strawberry/Raspberry 100ml in Strawberry/Raspberry protects against plaque and cavities gently with natural orthosilicic acid, and the yummy flavor will be a hit.

While you are shopping for organic cosmetics and natural personal care items for your family don't forget the nontoxic toothpaste. It is essential in keeping you, and your mouth, healthy…naturally.