We’ve always been told to brush our teeth at least twice a day to make sure they remain healthy and that our smile stays radiant.
But, what if brushing that often good do more harm than good? Plus, when you read the ingredients on the toothpaste packaging, how many ingredients are you able to pronounce? And are you able to distinguish good ingredients from bad ingredients?
I’ve compiled a list of common ingredients found in toothpastes to bring some clarity over this issue.
This is a mineral that can naturally be found in the water we drink.
It is supposed to help in the prevention of tooth decay according to health authorities and it’s been scientifically proven to do so.
In large quantities, this ingredient can actually attack tooth enamel instead of protecting it in the case where kids swallow large quantities of toothpaste.
To parents out there, make sure your kids spit that toothpaste out when brushing or use a kid-friendly option. There are Fluoride-free options you can consider if your kids are like mine!
Parabens can be found in many personal care products as they provide a longer and stable shelf-life.
They include methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben.
Although there’s no evidence that using parabens containing products actually causes breast cancer, if you’re cautious about the quality of the products you use, I’d recommend using paraben free options.
Formaldehyde is supposed to occur naturally in the environment in very low quantities but industrial production is millions of tons per year.
The issue with this ingredient is the risk when inhaled or absorbed through the skin as it can cause cancer.
According to health authorities, this ingredient can help to reduce or eliminate bacterial contamination.
It can indeed be found in a lot of products ranging from lotions, hand sanitizers, cosmetics, toothpaste and mouthwash, shampoos and even some natural health products.
There isn’t enough evidence to show that this substance can cause antimicrobial resistance or affect the thyroid function but it can definitely pose a risk to the environment, especially the species living in the water.
Aspartame and Saccharin
These two are sweetening ingredients used instead of sugar to avoid cavities (that’s the whole point, right?).
It can however affect some individuals with an inherited metabolic disorder called phenylketonuria.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
This ingredient is what makes toothpastes bubble and foam. It can cause skin irritation and in some cases, canker sores.
It is used in very low quantities in toothpastes but if you notice that you’re often getting canker sores, consider an SLS free option.
So, what do you do with all this information? Obviously, you don’t stop brushing. Now that would be silly!
“At a minimum, you should limit your exposure to suspicious ingredients by using all natural toothpaste, if not for your own sake, then to protect the environment and the species alive.”
You have two options:
You can trust manufacturers that they are doing their job correctly and abiding by the rules of the health system/authority in place.
You just show up to the store and buy your toothpaste on sale without trying to question anything. Most of us do. If you need it, you buy it!
You can pay more attention to the products you use and educate yourself as much as possible through research and knowledge.
This is by far your best option! But it sounds like a difficult and time-consuming task. Who has time to research?
True. It takes time and energy to research. But the more we research, the more we grow to be more aware and conscious about what we’re introducing to our bodies and to the environment.
Think about it for a second. It is your health and your family’s health we’re talking about here.
The least you can do is avoid products with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
“If it’s useful, accept it. If it’s useless, reject it!”
I’m not saying to brush with baking soda on a regular basis instead of toothpaste since it can damage teeth enamel, although some dentists do recommend brushing once a week with baking soda to whiten teeth.
What I’m suggesting is there are better options out there that can help restore your mouth’s PH balance without all the possible negative effects on your health and/or the environment.
All natural and Charcoal based toothpastes are better options to the fluoride based toothpastes as they are 100% natural and made out of coconut charcoal, which helps whiten teeth and reduce the chance of getting gingivitis by eliminating the bacteria in the gums.
This stick is made from the roots of a tree called Arak. This stuff is great especially if you chew on it several times a day and there are studies showing possible benefits when used as a brush.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions or concerns, you can leave them in the comments below and I will be glad to respond.
Have a great day!