Dangers of Fluoride and other chemicals in your store bought toothpaste
I understand the rationale, we’re not supposed to be eating our toothpaste. But toothpaste goes in your mouth, so small amounts of fluoride often trickle down the throat each time you brush.
Check the Labels on your Toothpaste
Have your read the list of ingredients on your tube of toothpaste lately? Ingredients in commercial toothpastes is a little frightening. On the labels of many brands, you’re likely to find one or more of the following ingredients:
Triclosan – This is an antibacterial agent and preservative used in some toothpastes. According to the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetics Database, Triclosan has been shown to be an endocrine disruptor, a skin irritant, and can cause allergic reactions in some cases.
Aspartame, Sachharin – These are artificial sweeteners that often show up in toothpaste formulas. Each has been linked to some serious health problems and should be avoided altogether.
Sorbitol – A liquid that keeps toothpaste from drying out, sorbitol has laxative effects that can cause diarrhea if too much is swallowed.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – SLS is a foaming agent and detergent that is added to most toothpastes. This ingredient is dangerous because the production of SLS results in contamination with a carcinogenic by-product. Studies on SLS have shown it can have many detrimental effects on the body. Suds aren’t all that important, and definitely not at the expense of my overall health.
FD&C Blue Dye No. 2 – That fun color stripe in your toothpaste is most likely from a synthetic dye. The Center for Science in the Public Interest recommends avoiding these artificial dyes in personal care products because of the adverse impact they can have, including hyperactivity in children, allergic reactions, and even cancer (in animal studies).
Fluoride – This ingredient in toothpaste deserves the attention of an entire article, but putting it simply, fluoride is toxic! It is considered a drug that is added to our toothpaste (and our municipal water supplies), and it alters the body when we use it . Too much fluoride can have some serious effects on the body including, but not limited to, fluorosis (spotting and discoloration on teeth). In fact, the FDA now requires all manufacturers to put a poison warning on all fluoride toothpaste. I’m serious, go look at your toothpaste label.
To learn more about the fluoride issue you may be interested in the following:
Fluoride Alert – a network seeking to educate the public on the true dangers of fluoride.
The Fluoride Deception – an eye-opening video highlighting information from the book, The Fluoride Deception.
How to AVOID Toxic Ingredients in Toothpaste
If you’re not willing to totally give up store-bought toothpaste, there are many natural brands of toothpaste on the market formulated without ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial dyes, artificial sweeteners, and fluoride. Some of these are great choices, and can be found in health food stores or even larger grocery chains. Be ready for a heftier price tag than you’re accustomed to – a good natural toothpaste often costs more than $5, and usually comes in a smaller tube.
However, be aware that some of the natural brands you may have trusted in the past are being bought out by giant companies with lower standards. This makes me wonder what types of things they will try to sneak into the “natural” formulas they now have control over, including cheaper ingredients (above) that keep overall costs down.
The cosmetics industry, like the food industry, is becoming more sophisticated at the art of naming ingredients. You may not notice some of the toxic ingredients listed on the packaging anymore, usually that’s because other names are being used to describe the same ingredient. For example, sodium lauryl sulfate may also be called sodium dodecyl sulfate, lauryl sodium sulfate, sodium n-dodecyl sulfate, or lauryl sulphate sodium salt. This requires a more savvy shopper and some awareness of all the possible pseudonyms that might exist for an ingredient.
The best way to avoid having harmful ingredients show up in your mouth is to stay away from commercial toothpaste. Homemade toothpaste is one of the easiest DIY projects you can do.
Cleaning Your Teeth Naturally
Gentle brushing with a soft toothbrush and a few safe ingredients can keep your teeth and body healthier than brushing with toxic toothpaste. There are many different combinations of natural ingredients you can use to clean your teeth.
Here is one my favorite recipes:
- 1/2 cup coconut oil- http://amzn.to/1WQcxCx
- 1 T Xylitol crystals –http://amzn.to/1MhbSm4
- 2-3 Tbsp baking soda, http://amzn.to/1RQpPvY
- 10-20 drops of Young Living Essential Oils
Add all ingredients and mix well. That’s it!
And my other favorite –
1. 3 Tbsp Bentonite Clay (http://amzn.to/1OoXWuV)
2. 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (http://amzn.to/1WQcxCx)
3. 1 – 3 T Xylitol, you’ll need to experiment to see how much or little you like (http://amzn.to/1MhbSm4)
4. ¾ tsp unrefined high mineral salt, http://amzn.to/1hMjXHb
5. 1 tsp baking soda, http://amzn.to/1RQpPvY
6. 3 Tbsp distilled water to thin, more as needed
7. 5-10 drops Thieves essential oil.
8. 3-5 drops Peppermint essential oil (find essential oil here: http://bit.ly/1iBrCJ9)
In a glass bowl, blend together the coconut oil, xylitol, salt, baking soda and essential oil. Mix in the bentonite clay. Stir in the water a tablespoon at a time. When you have you desired consistency you are done! I put my finish product in a smaller glass jar (http://amzn.to/1MhcpEL). You can either use a small spoon to put some on your toothbrush or dip your brush right in. Your choice.
*All but the essential oils can be found on Amazon.com
Hazardous Ingredients in Conventional Toothpaste
While studies show sodium fluoride applied topically to your teeth may be helpful in preventing tooth decay, accidentally swallowing even a pea-size amount of toothpaste with fluoride is enough to warrant a call to poison control. Fluoride toxicity can cause a number of symptoms, most commonly gastrointestinal discomfort. Even if you don’t swallow fluoridated toothpaste, it can still enter your bloodstream via the gums, especially if they bleed when you brush them, so using these products multiple times a day raises some serious concerns. Read more about the dangers and fluoride debate on Mercola.com.
Commonly used in toothpaste, glycerin coats the teeth, which can prevent remineralization. This can weaken teeth over time.
One search in the SkinDeep Database for toothpaste brings up a number of chemicals considered harmful, like those used for foaming or whitening. The most common ones being:
BHT: Can cause cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, allergies, immunotoxicity, irritation to skin, eyes or lungs and organ system toxicity.
PEG/PPG 116/66 COPOLYMER: Causes concern about ecotoxicology, contamination, organ system toxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: Can cause ecotoxicology and non-reproductive organ system toxicity.
PVP: Can cause non-reproductive organ system toxicity.
Phosphoric Acid: Can cause irritation in skin, eyes or lungs as well as non-reproductive organ toxicity.
Titanium Dioxide: Can cause organ system toxicity.
After reading up on this, I realized that I could make a homemade toothpaste that is natural and good for me and my teeth.