Most toothpastes contain ingredients, which can cause toxicity within the body, damage tooth enamel and contribute to issues like sensitivity, bad breath and sore gums. For example, fluoride a common ingredient in the majority of toothpastes is used to prevent cavities. One of the issues of fluoride is that it inhibits the production of thyroid hormones by blocking the uptake of iodine. Over time this may lead to imbalanced thyroid functioning and a toxic level of fluoride build up within body tissues.
I always recommend using a fluoride-free toothpaste but there other additives in toothpastes, which are cause for concern. The tissues of the mouth are an entry point into the main body for many of these harmful ingredients where they can influence health.
Toothpaste Ingredients to watch out for include:
- Sodium fluoride - Toxic when swallowed. The risk to children from swallowing toothpaste is greater as children's toothpaste is often flavoured to taste like bubblegum and candy.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) - a foaming agent, which can cause dehydration/irritation of mouth tissues. It alters the pH of the mouth, which may influence the growth of harmful micro-organisms
- Hydrated Silica - An abrasive agent which helps to whiten teeth. Tooth enamel re-mineralises daily from the supply of minerals like ionic calcium and phosphorus found within saliva. Scratching the surface of the tooth with an abrasive such as hydrated silica may damage the enamel further and prevent re-mineralisation. Avoid if you have sensitive teeth, tooth decay or gum disease.
- Glycerine - coats the teeth and may prevent saliva from mineralising the teeth
- Aspartame and saccharine - toxic sweeteners
- Tricloscan - An antibacterial agent, which can disturb gut friendly bacteria and influence immunity. It may also contribute to bacterial resistance to antibiotics
Alternative Tooth Cleansers
It's easy to make a simple but effective tooth cleanser. You could include ingredients like:
- bicarbonate of soda,
- powdered dried herbs like peppermint, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil or neem
- powdered spices like cloves, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon
- finely ground natural salts like Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
- virgin coconut oil
- essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon
- activated charcoal
- bentonite clay
My Tooth Powder Recipe
10 tbsp bicarbonate soda
1 tbsp dried sage/peppermint powder
1 tsp Himalayan salt
5 drops peppermint essential oil (optional)
- For my tooth powder, the first step was to dry a small bunch of fresh peppermint and sage leaves from my garden. This took a couple of days in my sunny conservatory.
- I then ground up the dried leaves to a fine powder in my coffee grinder along with a teaspoon of Himalayan salt.
- Next I placed the salt/herb mixture in a glass jar and added some bicarbonate of soda and a few drops of peppermint essential oil.
- I put the lid on my jar and gave it a good shake to make sure I was all mixed in.
Here's my tooth powder in a glass jar.
It's really easy to use, you just need to pick up a little tooth powder with a damp toothbrush and apply to teeth, gums and tongue. Gently massage in for a few minutes and then rinse out thoroughly with some clean water.
This simple tooth powder will last for ages. It doesn't contain any harmful ingredients like most commercial-based toothpastes but best of all it cleans teeth beautifully and helps to keep the mouth pH at a level where bacteria will find it difficult to take root.
By the way, this tooth powder mixture would also make a refreshing footbath soak. I may do this as there are endless combinations of toothpowders to try using herbs, spices and oils from my kitchen and garden.