Toothpaste has come a long way (and not in a good way). In the 1800’s, chalk, salt and soap were sold together to clean teeth. While not too tasty, chalk has calcium, salt has trace minerals and soap helps kill bacteria. Not only was this mixture effective, it was also chemical and toxin-free!
Today’s leading toothpastes contain a number of toxins that, in the long run, may outweigh any beneficial ingredients. However, there are also now more brands of toothpaste that are trying to “return to their roots” so to speak by going toxin-free and including effective ingredients. Below, I’ll be listing common toxins in toothpastes and alternatives.
Triclosan- fights gingivitis but is an endocrine disruptor and causes resistance to antibiotics.
Fluoride- a neurotoxin.
Propylene Glycol- toxic to organs, causes skin and eye irritations and is also used in paints, antifreeze and deicers for airplanes.
Diethanolamine (DEA)- has been linked to stomach, liver, bladder and esophagus cancers.
Artificial sweeteners and colors- may be contaminated with heavy metals or made from petrochemicals.
Carrageenan- a known carcinogen that causes inflammation.
Lead- any explanation needed?
Glycerin- an odorless liquid, while not a toxin itself, coats your teeth like bubble wrap and blocks them from re-mineralizing and maintaining the needed balance of nutrients. It also inhibits the natural flow and protection of saliva and would take about 20 rinses to get off!
Organic toothpastes consist mainly of natural oils, such as peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon and lemon, along with herbs. If you find a toothpaste that has coconut oil, tea tree oil and/or cacao extract bromine in it, even better. Coconut oil encourages saliva production, eliminates toxic bacteria and stimulates the salivary glands. Tea tree oil, also used in some mouthwashes and as a toothache remedy, helps keep your teeth clean and germ-free. And naturally occurring cacao extract bromine has shown to be better in repairing and re-mineralizing teeth than fluoride.
Here’s To Good Oral Health
Most of us probably wouldn’t want to start brushing our teeth with chalk, salt and soap, but thankfully, we don’t have to. We have an increasing line of toothpastes with appealing flavors, but importantly, safe and effective ingredients.