Choose your toothpaste like you would a best friend
I happened to glance at the back of my natural toothpaste purchased at the health food store. I was dismayed to see a warning on the tube, similar to the commercial brands I consider toxic. The warning said that if the toothpaste is accidentally swallowed, to call the Poison Control Center. This alarmed me because I know that toothpaste ingredients are easily absorbed through the mucous membranes in your mouth. You don’t have to swallow toothpaste to have it end up in your body.
Health and well-being are my family’s number one priorities. As shown on that label, my toothpaste’s ingredients were not supporting my health or well-being. Why would I want to put something in my mouth, on my teeth and gums that was harmful to my health? Why would I want that for my family? Especially since I know the health of the mouth affects the overall health of the rest of the body.
I was surprised to see that a natural toothpaste’s ingredients are harmful. Ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate (linked to cancer, neurotoxicity and organ toxicity, skin irritation and endocrine disruption), stannous and sodium fluoride (thyroid disruptor, neurotoxicity and banned in many countries), Triclosan, (destroys the oral microbiome, making you more prone to disease), artificial colors (toxicity as well as carcinogenic properties) and artificial sweeteners (disrupt the oral microbiome) should not go into the body. Period.
Most of us put very little thought into which toothpaste we use. Toothpaste should be carefully chosen like you would choose a best friend, as it should play a positive, healthy and supportive role in your daily life.
I decided to find toothpaste that would do just that:
- Help to create and support overall health and well-being.
- Ingredients that could be swallowed without harm.
- Support healthy gums, teeth and create a healthy, balanced environment for the oral microbiome.
Your oral cavity teems with life (the oral microbiome) in the form of bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa and archaea that live in harmony to support your health and well-being. Your mouth with its seven hundred types of bacteria is home to twenty billion bacteria, your immune system’s first line of defense. Your bacteria process minerals, enzymes and vitamins to nourish and nurture your teeth and gums.
Healthy bacteria keep your teeth white and stain free. They create a healthy biofilm — the thin and shiny coating over your teeth. Harmful bacteria create cavities, plaque, bad breath and inflammation as well as bleeding gums.
Most mouthwash and toothpaste get rid of all bacteria, good, bad or indifferent. When the bacteria in your mouth is out of balance, your oral and over-all health can suffer. Thousands of studies have linked oral disease to systemic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, strokes, heart disease and diabetes. A variety of causes turn these microbes from helpful to harmful: oral infections, the standard American diet, stress, drugs and dental materials and procedures. Harmful microbes can then spread disease and illness to other parts of your body.
Give your oral microbiome a healthy environment in which to flourish. That just makes sense; it’s a win-win situation.
I have tried the following toothpastes that fit my criteria. I always keep a few different brands on hand because I like to rotate my toothpaste:
- Revitin Prebiotic Toothpaste (www.revitin.com)
- Bronner’s anise or cinnamon toothpaste (www.drbronner.com)
- Auromere Ayurvedic Licorice Toothpaste (www.auromere.com)
- Botanique Himalaya Simply Cinnamon and Simply Spearmint (www.Himalayausa.com)
- Weleda Children’s Tooth Gel (www.weleda.com)
Since I grew up with “industrial strength” mint-flavored toothpaste, it took some getting use to other flavors. Revitin, flavored with tangerine and lemon essential oils is my favorite for strengthening and balancing the microbiome in both my mouth and digestive tract.
Dr. Gerald Curatola, D.D.S. speaks on the truth about toothpaste:
Here are some other brushing tips to keep your mouth healthy:
- Be gentle with your teeth: a soft nylon bristle toothbrush with rounded ends will protect your gums. I also use an electric toothbrush from time to time. Use a light touch as you move along your teeth and gums.
- Rinse your brush well and let it air dry. Sometimes I rinse my brush in a mixture of water with a drop of an antibacterial essential oil like peppermint or clove.
- Change your toothbrush when the bristles begin to fray. Usually this is every 2 to 3 months.
- Flossing removes food particles and bacteria that get stuck between your teeth. I prefer a “tape” style floss verses a thin string that can more easily cut your gums.
- After meals rinse your mouth out with water. Wait at least ½ hour before brushing your teeth because you will just be brushing acid from your meal into the tooth enamel.
Since changing to a healthier toothpaste, and following my brushing tips, my over-all health as well as the health of my mouth has improved. Thanks to my new best friend!
Diet and exercise are important to being healthy, but your oral health must be considered as well. How much thought and effort have you put into finding the best toothpaste for strengthening and balancing the microbiome in your mouth?
Choose your toothpaste like you would your best friend!
Kimberly Miles is the author of At The Root: My journey to health and healing. Could your mouth be the root cause of your health problems? KimberlyMiles.com