A Better Alternative to Toothpaste

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist Healthy LivingComments: 29

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.

Picture Credit
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Comments (29)

  • Kerry_Kid Giddy

    Can't wait to give this a try. Can this be found in a Natural Food Store? Thanks! Love your blog – always such great info! -kg

    June 15th, 2010 12:07 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Kerry, you actually need to mail order this product from the website. I haven't seen it in healthfood stores – at least not yet.

    June 15th, 2010 12:13 pm Reply
  • Joy

    I was using baking soda/salt, and my teeth started to get sensitive to hot/cold food. I read in a health newsletter about a natural clay powder called Pascalite. I have been using now for almost a year. My sensitivity was gone within a week and my teeth stay white. As a side option, you can swallow this, as it contains valuable minerals that are good for you. I would like to recommend this as another viable option.

    June 15th, 2010 12:49 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Thanks for sharing Joy!

    June 15th, 2010 3:57 pm Reply
  • Rebecca Pitre

    Great Article! It is an often overlooked fact, that dental health plays such a vital role to our overall health. Not to mention the fact that toothpaste is expensive. You can buy a whole gallon of raw milk for the price of one tube!

    June 15th, 2010 4:01 pm Reply
  • Alina

    Hi Sarah,

    I have been using Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. What do you think of that? I started using it after I found out about Tooth Soap from Karen van Cleef. I think that ingredient wise Tooth Soap and Dr. Bronner’s are the same except that Dr. Bronner’s is a fraction of the cost of the Tooth Soap.

    June 15th, 2010 4:48 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Alina, I just googled the ingredients of Dr. Bonner soaps and the glycerin is retained so I do not think this would be a good choice for tooth brushing.

    June 15th, 2010 4:55 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Betancourt

    Seems nice, but the peppermint would be a problem for people that use homeopathic remedies. I wonder if they make a mint free version.

    June 15th, 2010 7:18 pm Reply
  • Alina

    Apparently as they make the soap the glycerine is a by-product. There is no way around it but at least no extra glycerine is added. The same goes for the Tooth Soap from Karen which, from what I remember, is recommended by Ramiel Nagel.
    Joy in a comment above mentions Pascalite. I was wondering what is the difference between Pascalite and regular bentonite (which I already have at home). I contacted the company but I cannot get a straight answer from them. Hopefully Joy will see my post and maybe she can shed some light on it.

    June 15th, 2010 8:06 pm Reply
  • Joy

    You can find info about Pascalite at http://www.pascalite.com/AboutP.htm
    They say: "Pascalite can be best classified as a calcium bentonite/montmorillonite of the non-swelling type. It's categorized as a white clay but this unique mineral is actually cream-colored."
    My jar of clay powder says that 1/2 tsp contains 27 mg of iron, 80 mg of magnesium and 47 mg of calcium. Hope this helps.

    June 15th, 2010 10:13 pm Reply
  • John Chisholm

    Hi Jennifer, Currently the only version of Good-Gums comes with peppermint, but not the essential oil (only dried and ground leaf). You and your health practitioner may be interested in a link to an article by the Secretary of the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists about when mint is not contraindicated with homeopathy. (http://www.dreamous.com/pdf/Mint%20Not%20Contraindicated%20with%20Homeopathy%20%20HSR%20Health%20Supplement%20Retailer%20%20March%202000.pdf) He recommends taking your remedies at least 15 minutes before or after brushing with anything containing peppermint to avoid interference.

    June 17th, 2010 4:02 pm Reply
  • Alina

    Hi Joy,
    Thank you for your response. I guess that what I am getting at is: can I use the regular bentonite to clean my teeth instead of the Pascalite? Would the bentonite work as well?
    Thank you.

    June 18th, 2010 6:35 am Reply
  • Anonymous

    our family is trying Xylitol dissolved in Virgin Coconut Oil, along with a little baking soda– it tastes pretty good and the Xylitol kills caries bacteria– Rebecca

    June 21st, 2010 6:58 pm Reply
    • Kelly

      Unfortunately, Xylitol is a sugar alcohol – not just a plain sugar. It should be avoided according to Ramiel Naigel (author of Cure Tooth Decay). It has never been given “Generally Recognized As Safe” status by the FDA. Instead it was approved as a food “additive” – toothpaste, chewing gum, etc.

      Page 56: “Xylitol is metabolized primarily by the liver. Xylitol’s anti-cavity properties are purported to depend on the fact that bacteria cannot digest sugar alcohols and convert them into acids. Yet, in chapter one I clearly demonstrated that bacteria and acids are not the primary culprits of tooth decay. Also, avoid other unnatural sounding sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol and erythritol.”

      January 30th, 2014 9:45 am Reply
  • Kelsey

    I've been using just plain baking soda to brush my teeth with – didn't know about the sea salt! I'll have to add that in! I also sometimes brush with just some peroxide sprayed on my toothbrush because I read that peroxide is very healthy for your teeth – anyone know anything about that?

    September 15th, 2010 9:12 pm Reply
  • Joyce

    Hi Sarah,
    I found this among some of your older Blogs and found it quite fascinating. I had no idea about the glycerin. Will definitely look for this. I know this was written prior to the Nov. conference where you met with Dr. Rami (sorry, I can’t remember his correct name!) Any updates about tooth cleansing products since then?
    Also, do you have the info on how he suggests healing cavities with clay?
    Thanks, Joyce

    January 18th, 2011 3:12 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Joyce, no updates at this time. Rami just sent me a copy of the latest edition of his book, so I will be reading it and commenting in future blog posts.

      January 18th, 2011 4:18 pm Reply
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  • Vicree

    The video (Traditional Fats) on the sidebar sure grabbed my attention today!
    This past weekend I was speaking to a man who raises and market grass-fed beef about making a purchase. I told him I would want the processor to package the bones and fat also! When I explained my use of stock, broth , and tallow, he smiled a bit and told me, that they are very bad for you and really bad for the heart! Wonder if he thought the beef he was selling was also ‘bad’ for me? Woo hoo! Did we ever have a talk!!

    June 14th, 2011 1:02 pm Reply
  • Raquel

    I unfortunately just had periodontal surgery on most of my upper teeth and I’m only 29. Do you have any suggestions on how I can heal faster? I eat fairly healthy and avoid sugar.

    July 29th, 2011 11:39 am Reply
  • Deetta Godar

    Almost all of what you mention happens to become astonishingly specific and it would make me wonder the reason why I hadn’t seemed at this in this mild ahead of. This piece definitely did switch the gentle on for me as significantly as this specific topic make any difference goes. But there is certainly an individual position I’m not necessarily way too comfy with and whilst I try to reconcile that with the main strategy of the challenge, allow me see what many of the rest of your readers must say.Very nicely accomplished.

    March 28th, 2012 12:12 pm Reply
  • Lulu Sanchez

    Do you suggest I use this on my 2 year old daughter?

    April 5th, 2012 10:21 pm Reply
  • Noel McNeil

    I looked up the good gums and it looks great, but kind of expensive. How long does it last? I currently have 4 people in my house that would use it. 2 adults and 2 children. Thanks for all your hard work on this blog…I love it!!! ; )

    May 17th, 2012 9:52 am Reply
  • Patricia

    I’ve been using a mixture of baking soda and food grade diatomaceous earth for a few years now.
    Works really well and is very cheap.

    June 12th, 2012 5:16 pm Reply
  • Lena

    What would you recommend for young children (3 and 5 year old)? We’ve been using xylitol gel, but then I’ve read your recent post that was not really good for you. Thanks.

    January 7th, 2013 4:27 am Reply
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  • Kim F

    I am going to try Good Gums for myself. Curious what your children use? Do they like Good Gums, or do they just use baking soda?

    March 13th, 2013 11:07 pm Reply
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  • Geoffrey Godfrey

    I replaced my chemical filled toothpaste with a natural Tooth Oil – an easy option – even heard a German dentist ordered 200 of these for his patients.

    It is specially optimised for 21st century convenience, whilst drawing on a 3,000 year old tradition of oil pulling. Comes direct from Austria – easy to use, full of potent oral health cleansing power – all natural – see video on: http://www.purenaturalfresh.com/tooth-oil/video/

    Hope it’s helpful

    September 22nd, 2015 2:02 pm Reply

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