Most commercial toothpastes contain a laundry list of chemicals, many of which have been linked with harmful effects. For example, sodium laurel sulfate, the agent that makes toothpaste foamy, has been linked to eye infections and hormone imbalances. Some toothpastes are sweetened with saccharin, which has been linked to cancer, or various sugars, which cause tooth decay (ironic, no?)
Many whitening toothpastes include sodium or potassium hydroxides, which are just fancy names for lye, a recognized toxin. And many toothpastes now bill themselves as "antibacterial" thanks to the inclusion of triclosan, an antibacterial agent that's believed to contribute to antibiotic resistance.
If that isn't enough, consider that all commercial toothpastes contain fluoride, which is still controversial substance in some circles. Some evidence suggests that fluoride can contribute to weak bones and even bone cancer. And fluoride overdoses are a recognized cause of fluorosis, the discoloring of teeth that sometimes develops in childhood.
Natural toothpastes usually contain fewer that a half dozen ingredients, and most are instantly recognizable: Tea tree oil, aloe vera, calcium or sodium bicarbonate, and various plant extracts are commonly found, as in eylitol, a natural sugar substitute that does not promote tooth decay. (In fact, studies show that this natural sweetener can fight the bacteria that causes cavities.) There are now many varieties and flavors of natural toothpaste to choose from, and you don't have to travel to a health food store to find them.
It's true that natural toothpastes used to cost more. But we did a little comparison shopping to see if that was still the case. On a recent visit to www.drugstore.com, a 4.6 ounce tube of Crest was $3.09, and a 6-ounce tube of Tom's of Maine was $3.99.
Here's another option: Make your own natural toothpaste. You'll know just what's in it and save money too. See below for instructions.
Institute For Cooperative Medicine Volume 2 Issue 1 Dec 2005.
Don't want to make your own but want an excellent and safe all-natural toothpaste? Try Nature's Sunshine "Sunshine Brite Toothpaste"
Sunshine Brite Toothpaste features hydrated silica powder, calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate to help remove stains and polish teeth without damaging tooth enamel. Sunshine Brite also contains soothing aloe vera gel, golden seal, myrrh, Icelandic moss, astragalus, green tea and elderberry for natural oral health care. Sunshine Brite is naturally flavored with real mint. It contains no fluoride, which can be dangerous to children. Enjoy its fresh Mint Tingle sensation as you brush.
Thanks for stopping by. If I can be of any assistance, please email me at:
Alan Mowery, Mr. VitaHerbs
300 E-Business Way, Suite 200, PMB 2145
Cincinnati, Ohio 45241