It’s a rather well known fact that regular toothpaste from the store contains a variety of dangerous ingredients. After all, the toothpaste labels themselves say “Poison”!
The most well known of toxic toothpaste ingredients is sodium flouride. Sodium flouride is so toxic that ingesting more than a pea size of toothpaste requires an emergency call to Poison Control. Ingestion of too much sodium flouride can cause a variety of symptoms within minutes including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, tremors, muscle spasms, seizures, and in severe cases, multi-organ failure.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel at all comfortable brushing my teeth with poison. Even if you don’t swallow the toothpaste, the chemicals in it easily get into the blood via the very thin gum tissue. If you don’t believe that chemicals can get into your blood via simple contact with gum tissue, then try putting a tiny pinch of chewing tobacco between your bottom lip and your gums. I guarantee you will be dizzy, nauseated and ready to vomit in about 30 seconds (unless you happen to be a professional baseball player who chews tobacco regularly!)
Another really bad chemical in many conventional toothpastes is triclosan. Triclosan is an anti-bacterial chemical that is increasingly linked to hormone disruption among other things. I blogged about the dangers of this chemical in a blog post a couple months back titled “Danger Lurks in Your Antibacterial Soap
You should NEVER put chemicals in your mouth that you don’t want in your blood. You don’t need to swallow to be damaged by them.
Even Healthfood Store Toothpastes Not a Good Idea
What is less well known is that even toothpaste from the healthfood store should be avoided. While the ingredients may not be as toxic, the ingredients may hinder overall tooth and gum health.
For example, nearly all nontoxic toothpastes contain glycerin. Glycerin is a sticky, sweet tasting, clear, thick liquid that is a byproduct of the soap making process. When you brush your teeth with toothpaste containing this chemical, some of the glycerin stays on your teeth due to its extreme stickiness. This impedes remineralization of your teeth as you sleep and can lead to cavities in the long term.
In addition, be aware that a number of healthfood store toothpastes shockingly contain sodium flouride! There is simply no substitute for reading labels either for the food you buy or the cosmetics you use!
What to Use to Brush Your Teeth?
I have not used either conventional or healthfood store toothpaste for a number of years. I first got started using a simple, homemade mixture of baking soda and sea salt (3:1) after attending a fantastic, eye opening lecture by Dr. Ray Behm DDS back in 2005. He has a website that details how to make your own tooth powder at home and the benefits of doing so at his website Save Your Teeth
If making your own tooth powder is not your thing or you would rather buy one that is juiced up with some wonderful herbs that benefit tooth and gum health, then I would suggest taking a look at a product called Good-Gums. I tried this product a few months back at the suggestion of a friend who knows the owner of the company and I have been delighted with it.
Good-Gums contains baking soda and sea salt, the primary ingredients of tooth powder dentifrice as recommended by Dr. Behm. It also contains beneficial soothing and antiseptic herbs such as myrrh, tea tree, peppermint, cinnamon, and cranberry. In addition, Good-Gums contains a whole food form of vitamin C. Vitamin C is known to be critical to gum health and the avoidance of periodontal disease.
*I receive no financial or product based compensation for recommending Good-Gums in this blog. I simply want to make my readers aware of a really excellent product that I started using myself a few months ago.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist