When we brush our teeth, it makes us feel healthy and clean, helping us to believe that we're looking after our personal care well. But some tooth care products contain harmful chemicals which have been linked to a range of health issues.
When choosing natural tooth care products you need to look beyond a brand that may appear "natural" and carefully scrutinise the ingredients to ensure there is nothing nasty lurking inside.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
- Artificial colours and flavours
- Bleaches like hydrogen peroxide
- Synthetic preservatives
- Artificial sweeteners (including Aspartame and Sorbitol)
- Propylene Glycol
- Titanium dioxide
Keeping your teeth healthy without these toxins will ensure you have a perfect smile for life.
What about Fluoride?
There is a range of differing perspectives about the role of fluoride in toothpastes. Fluoride acts as a protective agent which helps to prevent tooth cavities and shields tooth enamel. Many dentists advocate for the importance of fluoride in toothpaste, especially for children.
Too much fluoride in the diet can cause fluorosis - discoloured spots on teeth. It has also been linked to neurological problems, skeletal weakness and seizures. There is still much we do not know about fluoride and we should be cautious when adding it to our diets.
A 2006 study by the US National Research Council of the National Academies found evidence that fluoride affects normal endocrine function which controls many functions in your body including the release of hormones. In 2012, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and China Medical University found a strong connection that fluoride may negatively affect cognitive development in children.
The Problem with Floss
Traditional dental floss products are often petroleum-based and presented in single use plastic packaging. Dental floss is much more comfortable when it glides evenly between your teeth, but the non stick coating that makes it glide easily is often PFAS (poly-fluorinated alkyl substances). The problem with these 'forever chemicals' is that they persist in the environment for 1000s of years and studies have shown some worrying side effects on humans and animals after prolonged exposure. In a large study of over 70,000 people in America who were exposed to PFAS in their drinking water, the results proved links between PFAS exposure and conditions such as high cholesterol, cancer and thyroid disease.
The natural alternatives to dental floss are compostable natural fibres like silk floss and bamboo floss, which is also vegan. Natural dental floss can be coated in plant-based candelilla wax to help it glide easily between your teeth. Activated charcoal is often added to natural dental floss and tooth powders because it is known to have powerful toxin-clearing properties, as well as being effective at removing plaque and stubborn stains like coffee or red wine.
Did you know?
900,000 plastic toothpaste tubes end up in landfill each year worldwide. There is a range of plastic free alternatives to toothpaste tubes, including refillable glass jars of toothpaste and metal tins for tooth powder. We have a Terracycle box at our Vic Park Eco and Garden store for the recycling of plastic toothpaste tubes, floss containers and toothbrushes.