It’s been two years since I wrote about how to use your diet to improve your dental health. I also wrote about my thoughts on toothbrushing not being a critical factor to healthy teeth and cavity prevention. And when I wrote about the many uses of baking soda as well as about the uses of coconut oil, I mentioned that I use baking soda and coconut oil as toothpaste alternatives. Though I haven’t been using commercial toothpastes for over four years, I’ve never shared my reasons here.
I have several concerns about toothpaste. One is fluoride, which is a commercial waste product and toxin that despite all the hype hasn’t been proven to prevent tooth decay. (If you’re interested in learning more fluoride, you can start at this site). It’s baffled me for years that there are warnings on the tube of toothpaste like “Do not swallow” and “In case of accidental ingestion, contact the poison control center” since swallowing a pea sized amount of toothpaste can poison a young child – but while we lock up chemical cleansers so they don’t get into it, we don’t even consider the free access our kids have to toothpaste. Not only do we not keep them away from it, we lovingly open their tiny mouths and rub it all over their teeth.
Then there’s the another thing that puzzles me. Dentists tell you to brush well after eating sweets, and then the paste you use to brush your teeth is filled with sweeteners. Doesn’t that seem….well, contradictory? You dip your brush in something sweet to rub away the residues of sweet food?
There are ingredients like the detergent sodium lauryl sulfate that may cause irritation to sensitive gums (linked to canker sores for many people). And then there’s a very problematic ingredient called glycerin. A good diet can substantially increase the strength of your teeth, and even remineralize them when decay has occurred (yes, that means you can heal your teeth through high quality nutrition). Your teeth can only remineralize if they are clean, but glycerin coats your teeth with a film that prevents them from being able to absorb nutrients (and it takes 27 rinses to wash off the glycerin). You can see how this is working against your efforts to build stronger teeth!
These are some of the reasons we don’t use toothpaste. I’ll write about what what you can use as toothpaste alternatives as well as share about my kids’ dental history in another post.
(This post is part of Fight Back Friday.)