If you use commercial toothpastes on a regular basis, you may be exposing yourself to a variety of low grade poisons. A recent study published in Environmental Science Technology showed that an ingredient known as triclosan found in most toothpastes and anti-bacterial products, can react with chlorine in the water you use to brush your teeth. The result is the production of the harmful chemical, chloroform. The reality is you may be exposing your family to chloroform every time they pick up their toothbrush. Other toothpaste components that are being scrutinized for their toxicity are fluorides, coal tar derived dyes, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. If you want to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals found in many toothpaste products, try exploring the world of commercial toothpaste alternatives.
Commercial toothpaste alternatives: Natural, organic toothpaste
If you’re concerned about the ingredients in commercial based toothpastes, take a trip to your local health food store or natural food market and see what they have to offer. If you have a local Whole Foods Market in your area, they can be a good source for non-toxic, natural toothpastes. If you choose this route, be sure to carefully read the label. Just because a toothpaste is labeled as natural or organic doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily healthy. Do your own detective work before purchasing any toothpaste product.
Commercial toothpaste alternatives: Make your own
An all natural toothpaste can be made at home with just a few ingredients. You don’t need Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, the component that gives toothpaste its foaming properties that’s come under scrutiny for its adverse health effects or fluoride which is a poison in large doses. Making your own toothpaste is as simple as mixing glycerin, baking soda, and salt. You can thin this mixture out with water to suit your tastes. It may not have the enticing flavor of store bought brands but it’s definitely healthier and more pocketbook friendly. If you want a little natural mouth freshening after using this toothpaste, chew on parsley and mint leaves. Another option is to add a drop of peppermint or spearmint oil to your homemade toothpaste for added flavor. After a while, you won’t miss the more expensive and potentially toxic commercial toothpastes.
Other all natural ways to promote healthy gums and teeth are to drink green tea which has been shown to kill decay causing mouth bacteria and to snack on natural tooth cleaning foods such as apples and celery, strawberries, and parsley. Washing your mouth out with salt water is another effective way to remove plaque causing bacteria after a meal and is completely non-toxic. Flossing your teeth should also be a regular part of your decay prevention routine.
By using toothpaste alternatives, you can reduce your risk of exposure to such questionable ingredients as ticlosan, which is also classified as a pesticide, fluoride, as well as unhealthy dyes and colorings. It’s a switch that’s well worth making.
Written by: Dr. Kristie