Environment Magazine

Natural Toothpaste | Why Use Fluoride-free and SLS-free Toothpaste?

Posted on the 01 July 2011 by I Prefer Organic @ipreferorganic

Natural toothpaste | Why use fluoride-free and SLS-free toothpaste?We all believe toothpaste is good. It makes us beautiful and attractive. It makes us smile. It is the “fresh air” in our mouth. It fights the galaxy of germs and keeps us healthy. But is it REALLY so good? Well, it depends on the choice you make. Natural toothpaste, also known as herbal toothpaste, is the best toothpaste and should be the first and only choice for parents with small kids. Find out why.

Toothpaste myths:

  • Toothpaste cleans the teeth. Actually, it is the brush that cleans. Neither the toothpaste, nor how strongly you press on teeth is important. It is the time that matters. Choose a soft brush and clean your teeth 1 – 2 min every morning and evening.
  • Toothpaste has a healing effect. Despite all the statements and promises on the packaging, toothpaste does not clean the tartar, neither heals gingivitis. For these, you have to go to the dentist.
  • Toothpaste is useful. Actually, it depends. The reality is that the more white teeth a toothpaste promises, the more it is packed with chemicals. At the end, we just have a damaged enamel and gums.

Toothpaste ingredients. What do you put in your mouth twice a day?

The toothpaste I used to buy promotes fluoride and many fall for it.  Fluoride is a very toxic industrial chemical that has little benefits and many risks. The benefits are to the teeth when it’s applied locally. Such application, however, involves many more organs than the teeth, from where the risks arise. There are risks for the brain, the bones, and the kidneys.

Even the effect on teeth is under question. Too much fluoride in childhood  – sodas made in areas with fluoridated water and swallowing fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwashes, can cause fluorosis (discoloration, white spots or brown and black stains on teeth). In March 2007, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that 41% of children aged 12-15 now have some form of fluorosis , whereas 36% of children 16-19 have fluorosis.

Another ingredient used in toothpastes is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). This ingredient does not clean the teeth. It just foams and is used in shampoos, body washes, soaps and etc. SLS irritates and the gums and can leave you with skin irritations in case you are sensitive. However, the American Cancer Society considers SLS as safe.

Hydrated silica - it scrubs the teeth more effectively, but if this product is in the form of powder, can be carcinogen if breathed.

Triclosan – used in “antibacterial” products. From the mouth tissues, it goes into our bloodstream and can cause allergies and irritations. Triclosan is stored in human breast milk. It may upset the functioning of “healthy” bacteria and hormones.

Saccharin – a carcinogenic artificial sweetener.

Dyes & Fragrances - all made from chemicals derived from oil, gas or gasoline. e.g. FD & C Blue No. 1 – an artificial dye that may cause allergic reactions and possibly tumors.

What is a natural toothpaste?

The best toothpaste is the natural toothpaste, which ingredients may even be certified as organic. Natural toothpaste consists of all-natural ingredients. It uses essential oils and compounds that haven’t been sprayed with chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.

Many of the natural toothpaste brands contain herbs:

  • Myrrh – it kills the bacteria causing plaque. Myrrh is known to treat inflammations of the gums and mouth, including mouth ulcers, stomatitis and gingivitis;
  • Aloe Vera -  it fights germs causing cavities and destroys bacteria causing mouth diseases;
  • Chamomile relieves dental pain;
  • Tea Tree reduces gingivities and bleeding.

Natural toothpastes also use natural sweetener, xylitol, that occurs in fruits, vegetables and mushrooms and reduces plaque formation. Other natural ingredients in toothpastes are propolis (produced by bees), baking soda, eucalyptus (for fresh, cooling and soothing effect).

Natural toothpaste should be especially considered for toddlers who often ingest toothpaste while learning to brush their teeth.

If you are a fan of DIY approach, here is a very simple and natural homemade toothpaste recipe that does a great job:

Ingredients:

baking soda + essential oils.

Notes:

Different essential oils are for different purposes:

- tea tree and lavender are for killing germs;

- lemon fights the plaque (use only 1 – 2 drops);

- peppermint, cinnamon and fennel are for flavor and freshness.

Essential oils are highly concentrated. That’s why always use a few drops only and make sure the one you use will not harm you in case of swallowing.

You may also add xylitol for sweetness and coconut oil as a base.


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