Do we even need toothpaste?
Do we need to clean our teeth? Yes. Do we need commercial toothpaste? No. Most of them will do more harm than good (even the natural ones). You're essentially paying for a product that tastes good and has minimal benefits.
Some ingredients you want to look at in more depth:
1. Glycerin. Glycerin is natural, it's great at retaining moisture, and I use it in a lot of products like hand and body soap. So what's wrong with it? Well, it's used to do exactly what I said. Keep the paste moist and prevent drying out. UNFORTUNATELY, we don't need a paste to begin with. Also, chances are that you are not getting an organic glycerin, but a genetically modified version of one, rendering this ingredient completely useless. The glycerin acts as a 'plastic wrap' for our teeth creating a barrier so nothing can get past it (LIKE THE MINERALS WE NEED) It takes about 20 rinses to remove glycerin from the teeth. Have you heard that your teeth can NOT be remineralized? Well, that's true..when you're using a paste that contains glycerin.
2. But what about Flouride? Fluoride is a natural occurring mineral but it is actually a poison and can be toxic when too much is ingested. We already intake Fluoride in most food that we consume like fruit, veggies, nuts, and water that has Flouride added to it, so there is no need for additional Fluoride to be added to our dental treatments. Fluoride accumulates in your bones which can lead to chronic joint pain, weakened bones, and arthritic issues. It affects the brain, leading to diseases like dementia and lowered IQ, and also affects the thyroid gland.
3. Good old Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. This is the foaming ingredient found in soaps, shampoos, and you got it! Toothpaste! SLS is considered a skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritant. So why would we want this in our mouths? Well, we love the way our mouth feels so fresh and so clean clean after we use it. But the truth is, there's not enough surfactant (or foaming) to even remove the buildup on our teeth so this ingredient is also pretty useless and harmful as well.
4. Triclosan. The ingredient in most anti-bacterial soaps that is proving to be quite hazardous is also in our toothpaste! Triclosan is commonly used as a preservative and an antimicrobial agent. It is found in a wide range of household products, including garbage bags, toys, linens, mattresses, toilet fixtures, clothing, furniture, fabric, paints, laundry detergent, and facial tissues, as well as in cosmetics such as antiperspirants/deodorants, shaving products, creams, anti-bacterial soaps and detergents, cleansers and hand sanitizers, toothpastes, and tooth whitening products. I, personally, don't want anything in my mouth that shares an ingredient with a garbage bag.
Some other ingredients to avoid:
Formaldehyde, artificial colors + flavors/sweeteners, Propylene Glycol, Microbeads, Diethanolamine.
So now you're wondering, "Well, HOW do I clean my teeth without ingesting all of these harmful chemicals?" Don't worry, I did the work of you!
100% Natural + Vegan Whitening + Remineralizing tooth powder!
Transitioning from a paste to a tooth powder is a bit different (like all natural products) but once you get into the routine you'll never look back! This is available in a 2 oz glass container and will last a really long time as you only need a pinch of powder.
My tooth powder is comprised of Bentonite Clay & Diatomaceous Earth which, when combined, contain over 100 minerals that your teeth needs to stay healthy and strong.
They act as gentle exfoliators to polish gunk and stains off your teeth. They are also great for gum health as they work to absorb impurities and toxins. Bentonite clay will grab any bacteria before you swallow it which helps you to avoid getting sick as well.
To help with the whitening, baking soda and activated charcoal are added. These are extremely gentle exfoliators and won't harm the teeth like other abrasive ingredients.
Depending on what flavor you choose, spearmint/peppermint/orange/clove/cinnamon all have great anti-bacterial properties and will give you a natural flavor as well so you don't feel like you're brushing with straight up dirt :]
Results will not be instant but you will begin to notice day after day that your teeth are getting whiter, you'll feel the cracks in between your teeth, sensitivity will decrease, and your breath will remain fresher for longer. As mentioned above, it takes about 20 rinses to remove the Glycerin barrier from your teeth which is present in most toothpaste.
When finished brushing, do NOT follow with a mouthwash. You can rinse with water or water with essential oils, melted coconut oil, etc. Following with a non-natural mouthwash will remove all the minerals you just added to your teeth/mouth.
Also, consider transitioning to an organic, bamboo toothbrush (just do your research as some contain plastics, animal hair, etc.) as generic toothbrushes that we use will never decompose. The first ones made are still around!