You work hard to take care of your teeth. You brush twice a day, floss and see your dentist. But what if taking care of your teeth is harming your health? If youve never examined the list of ingredients on your toothpaste, you might be shocked to find out what kind of ingredients youre putting into your mouth on a daily basis. Here are eight ingredients to look for:
1.Fluoride – But wait, I hear you saying, my dentist tells me I need fluoride to prevent cavities! While fluoride does strengthen the surface of the teeth and is known to reduce cavities, it is also used as a pesticide and as an ingredient in rat poison. The amount of fluoride in the typical amount of toothpaste is considered to be only mildly toxic, but overdoses of fluoride can be fatal.
2.Tin – While not a common toothpaste ingredient, stannous fluoride is a fluoride compound that does contain tin. Stannous fluoride can cause irritation and allergic reactions, while overdose can cause abdominal pain and even shock.
3.Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate – If youve ever looked at your shampoo bottle, you may have noticed one or both of these ingredients on those ingredient lists as well. These chemical additives help the products foam up and clean more effectively. The problem is, they are also linked to ulcers and skin irritation such as canker sores, and cell degeneration.
4.Triclosan – Found in many antibacterial product, there is evidence that this chemical could be contributing to antibiotic resistant bacteria and is linked to allergies and hormone disruption. Triclosan is added to toothpaste to help prevent gingivitis, but flossing is just as effective.
5.Propylene Glycol – The primary ingredient in non-toxic varieties of antifreeze. Dont be fooled by the non-toxic qualifier. Just because it isnt as lethal as ethylene glycol found in other types of antifreeze, doesnt mean it doesnt have serious health effects. There is evidence to suggest that it may cause abnormalities of the heart, liver, kidneys and central nervous system.
6.Diethanolamine (DEA) – Helps the toothpaste foam, and may increase the risk of liver and kidney cancer.
7.Carrageenan – This common food additive is extracted from red seaweed. While this may seem like a positive, it can cause bowel irritation and some evidence suggest that it may increase the risk of certain cancers.
8.Artificial sweeteners – Saccharin, Sucralose and Aspartame are all commonly added to toothpaste to make it taste better. While toothpaste that tastes good makes the routine easier to stick with, artificial sweeteners are associated with a great many health issues, including brain tumors. Stevia and Xylitol are much better alternatives, and xylitol is a great cavity fighter.
If youre wondering whether there are any good toothpaste, there are a few. An even better option is a fully customizable homemade toothpaste. Stir a bit of baking soda into a little coconut oil. Add some xylitol for sweetness that actively fights cavities, and a little essential oil or flavoring oil of your choice for flavor.