Is Your Toothpaste Toxic? (with homemade toothpaste recipe)
Did you know that brushing and flossing is not what makes your teeth healthy? The health of your mouth is greatly impacted by your nutritional choices instead of dental hygiene. Did you know that cavities can even repair themselves when people eat a Paleo or Weston A. Price style diet full of animal foods like wild fish, grass fed beef, bone broth and pastured eggs?
When Dentist Weston A. Price traveled the world in the 1930′s he found remote tribes who had never brushed but had no cavities and beautiful straight teeth. We can be sure that those villagers did not have access to fluoride toothpaste, x-rays and annual checkups.
I still want to brush my teeth!
That being said I don’t think anyone wants to stop brushing their teeth and relying solely on a real food diet. We all want strong teeth and fresh breath but commercial toothpaste with toxic ingredients could be hurting our health. There are better options than common industrial toothpastes for cleaning our pearly whites.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients from a popular mainstream toothpaste:
Inactive Ingredients: Glycerin , Hydrated Silica , Sodium Hexametaphosphate , Propylene Glycol , PEG-6 , Water , Zinc Lactate, Trisodium Phosphate , Flavor, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate , Polyethylene, Sodium Gluconate , Carrageenan , Sodium Saccharin, Xanthan Gum , Titanium Dioxide , Red 40 Aluminum Lake
If a label reads like a science experiment ask yourself: Is that something I want in my mouth?
Anything we put on our tongue and teeth will be absorbed into our blood stream which is has to be filtered by the liver. When the liver is clogged with toxic chemicals our hormones will be disrupted and metabolism can slow down.
Some of the major offenders in popular commercial toothpaste:
Fluoride: Is a dangerous chemical poison that is a by product of the fertilizer industry. This toxic poison can cause fluorosis, a discoloring of the teeth and breakdown of enamel. Big manufacturing companies have to pay to dispose of fluoride but instead they sell it to the government to put into the drinking water. We have been conned into believing fluoride helps our teeth but really it degrades them and leaches mineral out of our bodies. Many countries in Europe ban fluoride because of it’s toxic health effects such as cancer, hypo-thyroidism and Alzheimer’s disease. I have even read that it has a mind numbing effect on populations so it increases complacency about important issues like fluoride in our water and personal care products! Read more about fluoride effects here:
Polyethylene: Is the most common ingredient in plastic. Why is that in toothpaste?
Carageenan: starts out as an innocent seaweed used historically in Ireland and Asia in home kitchens but now it is highly processed with high heats and acidic chemicals creating a dangerous product. Processed and degraded carrageenan causes gut irritation and cancer in animal experiments. The World Health Organization states that is not safe for use in baby formula. It is used as a thickener in many foods (dairy products and milk replacements) and may cause many people to have allergic reactions. The high-profile doctor of integrative medicine, Andrew Weil implicates carrageenan in both colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease; he advises everyone to avoid it. If you avoid processed foods and unnatural personal care products it should be easy to steer clear of this thickener, but always read your labels checking for carageenan.
Sugar: is common toothpaste ingredient often called maltodextrin which is easily digestible because it is absorbed rapidly as glucose. Isn’t sugar in toothpaste contrary to the goal?
Saccharin: is a highly processed sugar substitute that has been used for a long time. It has a controversial history and has been linked to many health problems. It has been declared safe and unsafe many times by different agencies like the FDA and EPA. It was on California’s list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer for the purposes of Proposition 65 until 2001. Until these agencies make up their minds I think it is good to avoid this fake sweetener.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate: is a detergent that can be linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive problems. It can also cause mouth ulcers and skin and eye irritation.
Propylene Glycol: is used to clean up oil spills and in anti-freeze. Seems like over kill for teeth cleaning…
Triclosan: is an antibacterial agent that is commonly used in toothpaste which has been shown to inhibit thyroid function.
Artificial colors: can cause ADD and ADHD type symptoms.
Xanthan Gum: is a thickener derived from a bacteria that grows on corn and wheat which can affect people with food sensitivities.
There is a better way!
Make your own toothpaste:
I have not had any cavities since going Paleo two years ago. Before that I had about 20 cavities in 10 years despite brushing and flossing daily. Coincidence? Even though I understand that strong teeth are made at the dinner table I still like that clean feeling after brushing.
My little sister made this paste when I was at home on a visit and it was so simple. She made it in five minutes and I took the pictures. I used the paste on my teeth the rest of the trip and it was very pleasant. My teeth felt clean and strong after using it. My breath was minty fresh too!
3 tablespoons organic coconut oil
3 tbsp baking soda
10 drops Peppermint Oil (This is the brand I recommend)
3-4 drops liquid Stevia to taste
Mix the room temperature coconut oil, baking soda, peppermint oil and stevia.
Once it is well mixed put into a small glass jar with a lid.
Use about a teaspoon or so to brush your teeth as usual.
Be sure to Pin it:
Too busy to make your own?
I recommend this brand:
Looking for more info about fluoride safety? This is a great book: