When I made the decision to clean out my health and beauty products for more natural and safer ones, I knew I’d find some harmful ingredients in my toothpaste as well. But when I actually read all the labels, I was shocked to see just how bad it was! A lot of the ingredients were the same hazardous ones I found in my soap and shampoos, but instead of it just touching my skin, I was putting this in my mouth and no doubt ingesting some of it! Some common ingredients found in toothpastes are:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is an emulsifying detergent used in thousands of products. It is known to cause eye and skin irritation, as well as organ and reproductive toxicity. It is also a possible carcinogen.
Flouride is often recommended by dentists in order to prevent tooth decay, but it could be harmful if ingested in large amounts. It can weaken bones and ligaments, cause problems to the nervous system, and one Harvard study suggests it can lower IQ in children.
Propylene Glycol keeps the solid and liquid ingredients in a toothpaste from separating. It can irritate and cause sensitivity to the eyes and skin.
Triclosan is used as an antibacterial ingredient. It’s side effects include reproductive and hormonal disruptions, danger to fetal development, muscle weakness, liver problems, and even cancer. It is also really harmful for the environment.
Diethanolamine (DEA) is a foaming agent linked to organ toxicity and cancer.
Carrageenan – the safety of this ingredient is highly debated. It is derived from edible seaweed and is used as a gelling and thickening agent. Many studies have linked it to serious gastrointestinal problems.
Even though majority of the toothpastes found in stores contain these harmful ingredients, there are still plenty of great options to keep your pearly whites in good shape. Here are some of our favorite dental products!
1. Earthpaste – a clay based toothpaste. At first it might feel weird to not use a foaming toothpaste, but once you get past that, this is quite a good toothpaste. Cleans well and leaves my mouth feeling fresh. Where to buy: amazon.com, Whole Foods
2. Uncle Harry’s – made of clay, sea salt, and plant essences. It leaves your mouth with a fresh, minty, and clean feeling. Might taste a little salty at first but you will be surprised at how clean your teeth get. Gluten free, glycerin free, and vegan. Where to buy: www.uncleharry.com, amazon.com
3. Jack and Jill – this is a great choice for your kiddos! It got a 0 rating on EWG because it’s flouride, color, and sugar free. Your kids will love the fun flavors it comes in! Where to buy: jackandjillkids.com, amazon.com
4. Miswak: nothing can be as effective as something that is Sunnah. Miswak has natural antimicrobial and whitening properties. There is no toothpaste involved! Where to buy: amazon.com
5. Baking Soda – This surprisingly cleans teeth really well! Wet your toothbrush and dip in some baking soda to brush teeth. Or you can make your own toothpaste at home using 2 tablespoon baking soda, mixed with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Coconut oil is also an anti-bacterial. Add in a few drops of peppermint essential oil to freshen things up!
6. Tom’s of Maine Wicked Fresh Mouthwash – This mouthwash is alcohol free and contains zinc, which neutralizes the odor caused by bad breath germs for long-lasting fresh breath without the burn. Where to buy: Target, health stores, tomsofmaine.com
7. DIY Mouthwash – Really simple and inexpensive to make. The tea tree oil acts as an anti-bacterial and peppermint will leave your mouth feeling and smelling fresh.
– 1 cup filtered water
– 3 tsp baking soda
– 4 drops tea tree oil
– 4 drop peppermint essential oil
Hydrogen peroxide also works as a great mouthwash. Mix one part filtered water to one part hydrogen peroxide. Make only enough for one use. It kills germs while whitening teeth.
– Most dentists recommend using a soft bristled brush. It is best at cleaning teeth without damaging them or the gums.
– Change your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months. And soak it in hydrogen peroxide regularly to kill germs.
– Make sure to floss everyday! It is just as important as brushing. We like Tom’s of Maine Dental Floss.