Kids will be more likely to brush if they like a toothpaste’s flavor, but artificial flavorings, along with synthetic foaming agents like SLS, can cause gum and mouth irritation. Many natural brands use organic fennel and spearmint for flavorings, while others include cranberry extract, which may also help reduce plaque. Other natural bacteria inhibitors include neem and xylitol. As for the fluoride debate? That remains controversial, especially when it comes to kids. The American Dental Association recommends children use “a small amount” of fluoride toothpaste (except children under age 2), but many holistic practitioners like Neustaedter caution against it, especially for little kids who could swallow it, potentially weakening their developing bones. Try: Burt’s Bees Natural Toothpaste Kids (contains fluoride); My Dentist’s Choice Tooth Tissues; Weleda Children’s Tooth Gel (fluoride free)