Along the same theme as last week’s product comparison (shampoo) I’d like to introduce everyone to the natural world of toothpaste 🙂 I’ll share info on some natural alternatives you might be interested in trying!
What’s in my regular toothpaste?
After working in the health industry for a while, I’ve been fortunate to meet with people and learn about the quality of ingredients in a lot of products. Toothpaste ingredients are especially interesting because they are one of the few body care products that inevitably will be ingested. I like to keep 2 questions in mind when choosing toothpastes – ‘Is it safe to eat?’ and ‘What is it doing for the health of my mouth and teeth?’
Ingredients to be mindful of:
Teeth need minerals (especially calcium) to grow strong. Gums need lots of vitamin C, and overall mouth hygiene requires ingredients that kill bad bacteria (causing bad breath, plaque, gingivitis, etc.)
Fluoride – this has been put in toothpaste as a means of preventing cavities, but there are much safer alternatives. Simply, fluoride is an unnecessary chemical to our body. It has been indicated as the cause of white spots on teeth. There are some poison warning labels on fluoridated toothpastes, and many Canadian cities (Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg) along with Australia and Europe have banned fluoride in tap water. This is just the information I’ve gathered so I encourage you to do your own research too. Bottom line – you are A-OK to look for non-fluoridated toothpaste if you want to!
Artificial Sweeteners – aka chemicals. Why companies feel we need our toothpaste to taste sweet, I have no idea.
Anti-bacterials – there are lots of great natural anti-bacterial ingredients like cloves, cinnamon, tea tree and neem that are fantastic and effective to clean your mouth and eliminate bad breath.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate – this is a detergent that causes toothpaste to foam up in your mouth. It makes you feel like you’re scrubbed all the dirt off your teeth, which is nice, but there have been a few articles recommending humans stay away from SLS. The Skin Deep database rates it a “moderate hazard” – look it up here for yourself.
Jason – “Sea Fresh” and “Healthy Mouth“
Sea Fresh is the bomb and is a staple in my apartment. Jason toothpastes boast no: SLS, preservatives, artificial colours, sweeteners, saccharin, propylene glycol, and no gluten. This toothpaste has no fluoride and instead contains silica, sea kelp and algae for natural calcium and minerals, and parsley extract for fresh breath. It is SO minty you won’t believe it!
Weleda – “Salt Toothpaste”
Kinda weird to get used to but this toothpaste is minty with a hint of sea salt. Salt you say? Yes, that’s right – salt promotes saliva secretion, which naturally protects your mouth against bacteria and tooth decay. and naturally whitens teeth.
Earthpaste – Peppermint/Wintergreen/Cinnamon/Lemon
This is my personal favourite toothpaste but I won’t lie, it’s the hardest to get people to consider because it has absolutely no foaming action and basically melts on your toothbrush. BUT hear me out – it is made from clay (mineral-rich), xylitol (anti-bacterial natural sweetness), sea salt, and essential oils. THAT’S IT. You can eat this.
Or…make your own!
For all the DIY earthies out there, here’s a recipe for making your own toothpaste. It costs literally next to nothing and gets the job done well. I’ve personally made many batches of homemade toothpaste when I run out of my regular stuff, or I just want to save some money.
My recipe: 1/2 tsp baking soda + 2 tbsp coconut oil + 4-5 drops peppermint extract. Mix it altogether in a small glass container and go to town! I just dip my toothbrush in the mixture. To be honest it still kinda tastes like baking soda when you’re finished, but the peppermint extract helps a lot. Coconut oil is naturally anti-bacterial as well.
Happy brushing everyone!