The One Toothpaste That Actually Works
I work hard to remove fluoride from my water and antimicrobials from my soap. I go out of my way to put healthy, useful things into my body. The last thing I want to do is use a toxic toothpaste full of chemicals that are going to be absorbed into my gums and body.
I can’t stand regular toothpaste. Not only does it taste so sweet I can’t stand it, but it’s full of things that I’d rather not put in my body.
The problem is that I want to have clean and white(ish) looking teeth, Can’t I get that without the gnarly ingredients in common toothpaste? Even the Whole Foods toothpastes have ingredients I want to avoid.
Over the last 7 years I have been experimenting with toothpaste that is fluoride free and glycerin free. I do not want added fluoride in my body from non-natural sources and have always heard that glycerin on teeth does not allow the teeth to re-mineralize. Glycerin leaves a biofilm on the teeth and leaves them prone to tooth decay. Teeth are living and need blood from the body to nourish them, saliva to keep them moist. Teeth allow certain substances into them through pores to keep healthy. The nourishment goes awry when we bathe them in chemicals that don’t belong.
What’s Wrong With Toothpaste?
Fluoride – fluoride is said to help harden our teeth, and it certainly plays a role in doing that. Some studies show that fluoride applied directly to the teeth will help remineralize and harden teeth. However, drinking fluoride in water may not have any benefit according to many studies and actually may cause harm. Fluoride has been used as a thyroid drug, and its also said to calcify our pineal glands. I feel that our bodies are naturally designed to take in the minerals we need for tooth health from our diet and put them into our teeth as needed. Direct application is probably unnecessary. and I’d like to avoid swallowing any fluoride and having it put in places that may wreck my health.
Triclosan – Antimicrobials like triclosan are now banned in hand soap as unsafe and ineffective according to our own FDA. Yet they are still allowed in toothpaste. They aren’t safe for human use in hand soap, but it’s perfectly OK to eat them in your toothpaste. FDA allows this because there is some evidence that antimicrobials in toothpaste may, I repeat, may help with gingivitis. If I have gingivitis, Ill give it a shot. Otherwise, keep it out of my mouth.
Glycerin – I have read over and over on the internet and heard from natural dentists that glycerin puts a biofilm on our teeth and this makes it hard for our teeth to naturally remineralize and thus keep cavities away. I don’t know if this is true and cannot find any studies proving this. THIS article also tried to find studies and found none. Because we don’t know either way, I will avoid this ingredient.
Plastic Microbeads – Not only can these get trapped in your gums and actually cause gum disease, they also go down the drain, end up in our water and oceans, absorb toxins in the water and are then eaten by us and other animals.
Artificial Sweeteners – I try to avoid sugar, but I still use a little stevia or erythritol for sweetness. However, when I use regular toothpaste it is so sweet I can barely stand it. I do not want artificial sweeteners in my body and therefore not in my toothpaste either.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – this stuff makes your toothpaste foam. Foaming does nothing to clean or protect your teeth, but it makes you feel like something is happening. It’s totally unnecessary and the ingredient used to make it happen is bad for you. This ingredient can dry the mouth, and when our teeth and mouth are dry the body is not able to effectively keep harmful bacteria off the teeth, which can lead to cavities. In addition, SLS can lead to canker sores.
Read more about all these ingredients and others HERE.
Over these last 7 years I have tried different toothpastes and powders rated well on the internet for 6 months each. At the beginning of each 6 months I ended a dentist appointment with a cleaning and polishing. At the end of the 6 months I went into the dentist and they assessed the plaque, staining and gum health of my mouth.
I have tried commercially available tooth powders
Benefits – no glycerin, no fluoride, said to brighten tooth luster (I’m not sure what this even means).
– This powder stained my teeth brown, or did such a poor job of cleaning stain that my teeth were stained brown from drinking tea. Really noticeably brown. The dentist polished my teeth with extra grit to make them white again after using this stuff.
I didn’t want regular toothpaste with all the junk, so I tried fluoride free toothpastes from the natural section at the store like Tom’s of Maine.
Benefits – No fluoride, still looks and feels like a typical toothpaste that we all grew up with.
– This also left my teeth stained and every one of them I could find anywhere online or in stores contained glycerin and an artificial sweetener.
I tried brushing with salt. This was horrible and didn’t feel effective.
I tried brushing with soap. Literally wetting a bar of soap and rubbing my wet toothbrush over it and then brushing. It was gross, tasted horrible and also left me with stained teeth.
My teeth stain easily. If I use high end fluoride with whitening toothpaste, my teeth generally get white. But these contain glycerin, sometimes sodium lauryl sulfate (to create foaming in the mouth, purely aesthetic with no real effect), glass beads, plastic microbeads (environmental disaster), artificial sweeteners, and fluoride.
However much I want to avoid all that, if I use these products, I also tend to get some gum bleeding in a couple spots when I go to the dentist and they stick that steel pick in my gums. It frickin hurts.
So not only do these have ingredients I don’t want to use, but the are not helping my gums.
The Routine That Works
The routine I have been using for the last 12 months had the hygienist and dentist asking me what I changed to have such healthy gums and teeth. My gum health numbers improved, my stains were almost nonexistent.
Here is what I do today
I am using a toothpowder that I have to make myself. This stuff really works!! Believe me, I have tried almost everything.
I found this recipe from a combination of searching online, trying out many ingredients over years, and reading Nadine Artemis’s amazing and short book Successful Self Dentistry.
- I floss, using as proper technique as I can. Once a day. Before I brush my teeth at night.
2. I then use the waterpic set at a 6 setting out of 12. 12 is too high and hurts my gums and I have heard natural dentists say you should never use them that high. I use reverse osmosis water so as not to be forcing chlorinated and fluoridated water into my gums.
3. I then brush my teeth with a Sonicare toothbrush with tooth powder that I adapted from this book (Successful Self Dentistry). I put it on my brush dry, with a dry brush, and brush. I rinse the brush off at the end, and spit without putting water into my mouth. I really try to keep the chlorine and fluoride out of my mouth.
If I’m planning to spend time with my wife, I will add 2 drops of cinnamon or lemon or other essential oil to the toothbrush after the toothpowder is on it and before I brush to really give my mouth a clean and wonderful smell.
This is what my toothpowder looks like. I just dip my dry toothbrush right into it and then brush.
When I wake up I use the Bass brushing technique with a children’s toothbrush dry, nothing on it, or a XX brush again dry.
Sometime during the day I use my rubber tip device to stimulate the gums. Usually I do this 3 times a week while at work in front of the computer.
If I need my teeth to me a little whiter, I can immediately improve whiteness by breaking open a capsule of activated charcoal (the kind you buy as a supplement for a night of drinking let’s say), and pour it into a small glass container. I then dip a dry toothbrush into the charcoal and wipe it on my teeth. Do not brush with it. Let is sit 2-5 minutes, rinse and then brush. Whiter teeth!!
My Toothpowder Recipe
2 Tbs Aztec Bentonite Clay
1tbs Baking Soda
1tsp Magnesium carbonate
1tsp calcium carbonate or citrate
1tsp sea salt
2 capsules activated charcoal emptied into the powder
Stir and keep in a sealed small glass jar.