Brushing our teeth is a crucial routine that we should include in our daily lives. This, after all, not only boosts our oral health but increases our confidence as well. But, while we’ve all made it a habit of brushing our teeth, did you know that not all kinds of toothpaste are safe to use?
This is because there are certain ingredients found in toothpaste that are harmful to our health. Are you surprised? Now having known that, what toothpaste ingredient should you avoid/ If you’re naive as I used to be, worry no more because below is a list of the ingredients that you should avoid and some alternatives that you can use instead:
Toothpaste Ingredients to Avoid
When you go to the grocery store to buy toothpaste, before you mindlessly grab the first one you see, take note of these ingredients as they can be disadvantageous or damaging to your dental and overall health.
1. Artificial Colors
While there are already artificial colors approved by the FDA, there are still others which are under review. For instance, Yellow #5 is not yet passed as it has been linked to anxiety, hyperactivity, migraines, and even cancer. Though more research will be needed to affirm this, it’d be best you stayed away from toothpaste with this color.
2. Artificial Sweeteners
Some toothpaste have sorbitol in them, an artificial sweetener that acts as a laxative, causing diarrhea mostly in children. Saccharin is another artificial sweetener that’s often used in toothpaste, and this has been linked to cancer. So, it’s ideal to use one with natural sweeteners in it such as xylitol or stevia.
This is a red seaweed used to thicken the texture of a toothpaste. However, carrageenan has been linked to colon cancer, gastrointestinal inflammation, and ulcer, which were observed in laboratory animals.
The fluoride that’s often being used in some toothpaste is called sodium fluoride. According to the FDA, this is an over-the-counter drug. As a matter of fact, the FDA has placed warning labels on toothpaste with this substance.
The problem here is that too much fluoride will result in a condition that’s known as fluorosis, which invariably causes the enamel to discolor. In some cases, it causes bone fractures and brain impairment.
5. Propylene Glycol
Some kinds of toothpaste do have Propylene Glycol in them. This is a primary ingredient used in antifreeze solutions and cosmetic products. A high dosage of this can lead to a damaged central nervous system, heart, and liver.
4. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Originally used to clean the floor, this detergent is used to help the toothpaste foam easily. Too much of this can lead to microscopic tears or damage in one’s mouth, leading to canker sores. If you want a healthier alternative, use toothpaste with glycyrrhizin instead.
This substance is often used in personal care items and products since it can effectively reduce bacterial contamination. However, there’s an FDA ban to it, prompting that Triclosan be removed from soaps and body wash products.
Despite this, some toothpaste such as Colgate Total Line is still using this. There has been a link to antibiotic resistance, thyroid hormone disruptions, and tumor problems in this substance.
Healthy Toothpaste Alternatives You Can Try
If you want to use a much more natural alternative, you can use one of these:
All Natural Soap
You can use a natural soap, peppermint soap precisely, so as not to leave any soapy taste on your tongue.
You can use baking soda mixed with lemon juice and water to brush your teeth. It’s an excellent alternative to whiten and clean your mouth. However, only use a little of it as it’s abrasive nature can chip off your enamel in time.
You can mix coconut oil with your favorite essential oil, or you can put a few drops of lemon juice to it. Gargle your mouth with this as it has antifungal and antibacterial properties, leaving you with a clean and healthy mouth.
You can actually clean your teeth by dry brushing, that is, simply using your toothbrush without adding any toothpaste to it.
Herbal Tooth Powder
Buying herbal tooth powder is also a great alternative in cleaning your teeth as it helps treat inflammation and infection in the mouth.
This is another effective way to whiten and clean your teeth. With this method, all you have to do is simply soaking your toothbrush in a glass of hydrogen peroxide with a little water. However, if you have amalgam, it is not ideal as hydrogen peroxide does not react well when mixed with mercury.
Another natural alternative is sea salt. Just like baking soda, it’s highly abrasive, so you’ll have to dilute it with a little bit of water. Simply add the mixture on your toothbrush and proceed to brush your teeth like how you normally do it.
If you’re not a fan of all-natural soap, you can use tooth soap, which is made especially for the teeth. Just make sure that you buy the natural ones so that you’ll be safe from any harmful ingredients.
The Importance of Using Natural Ingredients
Using natural toothpaste to aid brushing can help kill bacteria in the mouth without harmful ingredients. As these kinds of toothpaste are made from natural ingredients like mint to freshen the breath and hydrated silica to brighten the teeth, they are more gentle compared to those artificial products that use fake dyes, flavorings, and ingredients, allowing you to have excellent oral health.
In a nutshell, not all products in the grocery are safe to use, so be mindful when picking a toothpaste. To have a healthier overall oral health, use the list above as your guide. In this way, you can pick a safer alternative for you and avoid the bad ones.
If you have comments or suggestions as to what brands of toothpaste we should avoid, drop your thoughts below. And if you know any natural toothpaste in the market at the moment, don’t hesitate to share your ideas.