Fluoride is a chemical put in most public water systems and is placed there because someone thought it would help prevent cavities. The metro area I live near was actually the very first city to put fluoride in their water. Experts were/are hoping that through regular fluoride consumption the rate of cavities in both young and old would be reduced.
Unfortunately, not only has it yet to be proven to be effective, it has also been shown to decrease fertility (one source and another source) in many of the animal studies that have been done. Seems that it causes multiple problems with sperm quality. Chronic exposure to fluoride has also been linked to thyroid and neurological disorders, hormonal imbalances, and heart disease.
Yet it’s in almost every conventional toothpaste as ‘cavity prevention’.
Another ingredient, Sodium Laurly Sulfate, is an anionic surfactant (foaming agent) that is used in many cleaning and hygiene products, both conventional and even many so called ‘natural’.
It’s the ingredient that helps to cause the foaming in our toothpastes, shampoos, bubble baths, and shaving creams. It has been linked to greater risks of developing canker sores, and more importantly it has been shown to be an endocrine disruptor as well. Which means this; once it is absorbed into the body, it mimics the activity of the hormone Oestrogen causing the natural balance of your hormones to ……disrupt.
After deciding to rid my body of exposure to these particular two toxins, I headed to the nearest health food store and browsed the shelves. I was completely surprised by how many ‘natural’ toothpastes had not one – but both of the ingredients in their mix.
Actually, not just surprised….. appalled.
How many people had done the same thing I had, in running out to find a better alternative for their families, and were misled by the ‘natural’ label?
But, I finally found a toothpaste that I thought would meet my requirements and bought it.
A few months later I noticed my teeth.
Don’t get me wrong – I brush every day, floss sometimes, but how often do you really get up close and notice your teeth? I knew I hadn’t been doing the greatest job in the world, but I seriously almost cried.
I had dark spots between, and along the gum line, of a few of my teeth. Tartar buildup.
You see, I had started using a glycerin based toothpaste, and come to find out……glycerin prevents teeth from remineralizing as it supposedly stays on the teeth for days after brushing. While studies are hard to come by, different sources claim that it can take 20 – 30 rinses to get it completely off the teeth. I don’t rinse like that, and I doubt you do either.
Plus what happens when you use it twice a day? It seems in my case anyways, my teeth have not gotten a chance to remineralize at all.
There are a few good solutions.
1. Homemade Toothpaste
Easy to make with some basic kitchen ingredients. You can also vary the flavor based on your preferences.
I’ve used toothpowders before as well, most recently a powder from Harmony Acres Soap Company. It contains dried sage, dried orange peel, peppermint essential oil, and kaolin clay. It tastes great and keeps my teeth feeling clean, and I love the added clay compared to other herbal tooth powders. I really think it’s the one added ingredient that really gets off plague.
The one store bought toothpaste that I’ve liked is by Redmond Clay. (Katie of Kitchen Stewardship gave me a tube of hers to try) it contains only hydrated Redmond Clay, Xylitol, essential oils, and Real Salt. I’ve used it a few times now, and the clay in it really helps to clean the teeth.
Better than conventional in fact.
I know because I switched to a conventional toothpaste when I needed to travel for a blogging conference and bought a tube of toothpaste. The entire weekend I was brushing my teeth multiple times per day trying to get the plaque off. Tonight I keep running my tongue over my teeth loving the fact that they feel so smooth.
- 2 teaspoons Dr. Bronners Castile Soap – liquid (the baby mild or almond is recommended)
- 5 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- ½ Tablespoon aluminum free baking soda
- 10-20 drops essential oil (I used a mix of orange and mint, but base this on any Dr. Bronners you use)
- ½ teaspoon stevia
- 1 Tablespoon water
- optional – tooth powder
- Place 2 teaspoons of Dr. Bronners into a small bowl. (This does have a small amount of glycerin in it. Some sources say it’s “different” than”normal” glycerin. I dunno. you can leave it out if you prefer.)
- Add in the 5 Tbsp of melted coconut oil, having it melted makes it easier to mix.
- Then ½ tablespoon baking soda (you can leave this out if you’d like. Personally I won’t add this every time as I’ve also heard it can wear down enamel with long term use. You can also taste it so I leave it out of my sons toothpaste) and 1 tablespoon of water,
- Then comes the ½ teaspoon stevia (helps to sweeten – but to much can leave it chalky feeling)
- Place your mix of essential oils into the bowl (I used about 10 drops sweet orange and 5 drops spearmint)
- If you have an herbal toothpowder, you can also add in a couple of teaspoons to this homemade toothpaste.
- Mix it all together and then revel at the crazy concoction you’ve just made.
- Pour it into a small container and let set back up. (any container will do, I happened to have a very small mason jar on hand)
- To use, just dab your toothbrush into the mix.
What do you use for toothpaste?