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Toothpaste is an item many people grab without thinking at the store. They go with what they’ve been buying for years or they select the cheapest option.
Some people go with the brand’s promised perks. Want whiter teeth? There’s a tube for that. Want to prevent cavities? There’s a tube for that.
Yes, it’s important to brush your teeth with something that will clean and protect them. But have you ever thought about the ingredients?
Looking at a toothpaste label is like looking a nutrition label. Look for recognizable ingredients. Steer clear of chemicals and toxins. It’s important to know what you’re brushing with so you don’t negatively impact your health.
Brushing your teeth with a small bit of toothpaste twice a day seems harmless. But common ingredients can be dangerous when used on a regular basis.
The mouth is one of the easiest access points for germs, bacteria and more to get into your body and bloodstream. Your gums are very absorbent, and it’s easy to swallow toothpaste. So when you’re brushing, you could be dumping harmful chemicals into your body.
It’s crucial to know which ingredients are in your toothpaste. The problem is that well-respected brands use harmful ingredients. You’ve seen that warning on the box: contact a poison control center if your or a child swallows too much toothpaste. Yikes!
Brushing with the best natural toothpaste will protect your teeth and overall health.
Here are 5 ingredients to avoid:
Fluoride has long been the answer for preventing tooth decay. And yet the protective layer of fluoride is only six nanometers thick. I’m not an expert mathematician, but that’s incredibly thin!
Is fluoride as protective as they say it is? What happens when you swallow it?
Ingesting fluoride can cause health issues in children. Kids can easily swallow toothpaste while brushing. Too much fluoride can cause problems with enzymes, endocrine dysfunction, and more.
2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) are very common in toothpaste. They make toothpaste foam and bubble. They also make everything you eat taste bitter after brushing your teeth. Blech!
SLS can causes canker sores and irritate the skin. It’s toxic to fish, marine life, and insects... because it's a registered insecticide. Do you really want to put SLS in your body knowing that? I think not!
Triclosan is a common ingredient used to fight bacteria. It's effective at protecting against plaque and gingivitis. However, triclosan it has many health risks.
The Mayo Clinic urges people to avoid products that contain triclosan. It has been linked to hormone disruption, the development of antibiotic-resistant germs, and immune system damage.
Ditch the triclosan and naturally fight plaque build-up. If you’re craving something sweet after a meal, eat an apple! The crunch will help prevent plaque. You could also brush with coconut oil or aloe vera.
4. Propylene Glycol and Glycerin
Would you brush your teeth with an ingredient used in paints and antifreeze? I sure wouldn’t! And yet, many toothpastes contain propylene glycol. It acts as a surfactant and prevents toothpaste from drying out.
Glycerin can cause all sorts of health issues. For example, it can irritate the eyes, skin and lungs. It has also been linked to potential organ toxicity.
5. Diethanolamine (DEA)
Diethanolamine (DEA) helps toothpaste foam while brushing. EPA-conducted studies found that animals with repeated oral exposure to DEA had issues with their blood, liver, kidneys and central nervous system. In humans, DEA has been linked to hormone disruption.
In the end…
Brushing twice a day every day really adds up. The next time you’re shopping for toothpaste, take an extra minute to find out what the ingredients are. Avoid the ones that won’t protect your teeth and negatively impact your health.