Today, without giving too much thought, we all use toothpaste because we’ve always used it. But why is there a need to look for natural toothpaste and not just any other toothpaste?
Popular brands of toothpaste today contain ingredients that are considered harmful of which can be a cause of concern if you are using the same regularly.
Natural toothpastes on the other hand do the job of cleaning your teeth just the same but without the harmful and nasty chemicals. They’re made using natural ingredients that are considered safe for use for oral hygiene.
Remember, protecting your teeth and overall health starts with making smart choices about the products you use. By avoiding harmful ingredients in your toothpaste and choosing safer alternatives, you can take a proactive approach to your oral health and enjoy a brighter, healthier smile for years to come
Nasty Ingredients in Regular Toothpaste
Here’s 5 of the most common ingredients found in regular toothpastes and the reason why you should consider avoiding them (have a look at the ingredients in natural toothpastes).
Avoid harmful ingredients in toothpaste, such as SLS, triclosan, microbeads, propylene glycol, artificial sweeteners, potassium nitrate, glycerin, and carrageenan.
Consider natural alternatives to traditional toothpaste, such as baking soda, coconut oil, and charcoal.
Fluoride is a chemical compound added to most regular toothpaste. It helps strengthen tooth enamel and slows down tooth decay. Additionally helps prevent bacterial growth in the mouth.
Many studies have shown that the amount of fluoride in toothpastes is generally harmless and safe for kids. However, too much of it can lead to a condition called fluorosis. Fluorosis is a staining of the teeth that usually appears dark brown.
People affected by fluorosis were exposed to high amounts of fluoride either through the use of oral care products or drinking water from fluoride filled water drinking sources or both.
It’s entirely up to you if you want to get rid of fluoride from your oral care routine. You can do further research on the subject or talk to your dentists about it.
If you decide to stay away from fluoride, you’d be happy to know that many natural toothpaste are fluoride free. And they’re just as effective at giving you those pearly whites as regular toothpastes.
Fluoride: To Use or Not to Use?
Fluoride is a controversial ingredient in toothpaste, with some people advocating for its use and others concerned about potential negative health effects. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to use fluoride toothpaste:
- Benefits of Fluoride
Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. It has been proven to be safe and effective for oral health when used appropriately.
- Potential Risks of Fluoride
Some studies have suggested that fluoride can have negative effects on overall health, particularly in high doses. Additionally, fluoride can cause dental fluorosis, a condition in which white spots or streaks appear on the teeth. However, dental fluorosis is primarily a cosmetic issue and does not affect tooth function.
- ADA Recommendations
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the use of fluoride toothpaste for both children and adults to prevent tooth decay. However, if you have concerns about fluoride or have been advised by your dentist to avoid it, there are fluoride-free toothpaste options available.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS
Sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS is a synthetic chemical added to many personal care products like soap. It’s a surfactant that helps these products produce foam or lather. It’s easy to produce so many manufacturers use it for their personal care products.
While there’s no conclusive proof of SLS’ long term effects on our health, it’s a known irritant. It causes irritation of soft issues in the mouth which could lead to mouth sores or canker sores.
Triclosan is a synthetic chemical added to various personal care and cosmetics products. It can also be found in many pesticides. It’s known for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
There are many ongoing studies on the effects of triclosan on our health. It has been suggested by various experts that triclosan disrupts hormonal balance and could cause antibiotic resistance to some people.
Like many ingredients in this list, propylene glycol is found in many products like toothpaste, skin care products, cosmetics and antifreeze. It is primarily used in toothpaste as a preservative to prolong its shelf life. When taken in large quantities it could cause serious damage to the liver, central nervous system and heart.
Just like propylene glycol, parabens are added to a lot of cosmetics and personal care products as a preservative. It’s considered as a hormone disruptor and has been linked to various health conditions.
Microbeads are small plastic particles found in some toothpastes as an abrasive agent. However, they can be harmful to the environment and potentially harmful to human health. Microbeads can build up in waterways and be ingested by fish and other animals, leading to negative consequences for the ecosystem.
Microbeads can be abrasive to the enamel and gums, causing irritation and damage. To avoid these negative effects, look for toothpaste with alternative abrasive agents such as baking soda or hydrated silica.
Artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin, are sometimes added to toothpaste to improve taste. However, they may be harmful to your health. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to negative health consequences, including an increased risk of cancer.
Some artificial sweeteners can alter gut bacteria and disrupt the digestive system. To avoid these negative effects, look for toothpaste with natural sweeteners such as xylitol, which has been shown to prevent cavities and promote oral health.
Potassium nitrate is a common ingredient found in toothpaste marketed for sensitive teeth. While it can help reduce sensitivity, some people may be allergic to it or experience irritation from its use.
If you experience any discomfort or irritation when using toothpaste with potassium nitrate, consider switching to a different product.
Glycerin is a common ingredient found in toothpaste, but it may interfere with the remineralization process of your teeth. Remineralization is the process by which minerals such as calcium and phosphate are added back to the enamel, helping to strengthen and protect your teeth.
Some toothpastes without glycerin may be better suited to support the remineralization process.
Carrageenan is a thickener and stabilizer sometimes added to toothpaste, but it may be harmful to oral health. Carrageenan can cause inflammation in the gums and increase the risk of periodontal disease. If you have gum issues, consider choosing toothpaste without carrageenan.
Other Considerations When Choosing Your Toothpaste
Packaging and Sustainability
In addition to considering the ingredients in your toothpaste, it’s also important to think about the packaging and sustainability of the product. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Recycling and Waste Reduction
Look for toothpaste packaged in recyclable materials or with minimal packaging. Additionally, consider using toothpaste in refillable containers to reduce waste.
- Sustainable Ingredients
Choose toothpaste made with sustainable ingredients, such as those certified by the Rainforest Alliance or other reputable organizations.
- Brand Values
Consider the values of the toothpaste brand you choose. Look for companies that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices in their manufacturing and packaging processes.
With these factors in mind, you can choose toothpaste that not only meets your oral health needs but also aligns with your values and supports a healthy planet.
FAQs on Toothpaste Ingredients to Avoid:
Is fluoride safe to use in toothpaste?
Fluoride is a controversial ingredient in toothpaste, but it has been proven to be safe and effective for oral health when used appropriately. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the use of fluoride toothpaste for both children and adults to prevent tooth decay.
However, if you have concerns about fluoride or have been advised by your dentist to avoid it, there are fluoride-free toothpaste options available.
What are some harmful ingredients to avoid in toothpaste?
Some harmful ingredients to avoid in toothpaste include SLS, triclosan, microbeads, propylene glycol, artificial sweeteners, potassium nitrate, glycerin, and carrageenan. These ingredients can cause a variety of health issues, such as irritation, inflammation, and increased risk of certain diseases.
Are natural toothpaste alternatives effective?
Natural toothpaste alternatives such as baking soda, coconut oil, and charcoal can be effective for promoting oral health. However, it’s important to keep in mind that they may not be as effective as traditional toothpaste in preventing tooth decay or providing other specific oral health benefits.
How do I choose the best toothpaste for me?
To choose the best toothpaste for your needs, consider your oral health needs, read ingredient lists carefully, choose toothpaste with the ADA seal of approval, and select a flavor and texture that you enjoy using. Additionally, consider natural alternatives to traditional toothpaste and packaging and sustainability factors.
Consult with your dentist or dental hygienist for personalized recommendations and guidance on selecting the best toothpaste for your individual needs.