You might not think twice about what goes into your toothpaste compared to your personal care products (I know I didn't until recently) but the fact is your mouth is one of the most highly absorbent areas of your body and you utilize a ton of toothpaste over your lifetime - about 20 gallons actually.
Since your mouth is highly absorbent, the chemicals in your toothpaste get a fast-track into your bloodstream. The mouth and gums are the direct path to all our other body systems. This is why you need to be so so careful when choosing your toothpaste.
The brands we're most familiar with, like Crest, Colgate, etc., have a lot of chemicals lurking in their formulas. These chemicals aren't benign either - oh no - they happen to be highly toxic with plenty of studies that show how detrimental they are to our body and environment.
How do these products get sold to the public? Because our personal care industry in America is focused on profit over safety and we don't have FDA regulations to protect us from these harsh chemicals, like other industrialized countries in the world do, such as Canada and Europe. Companies don't need to list out all their ingredients, or test them, and you can see how this clearly negatively impacts the consumer. Due to our non-existent regulations, we have no choice but to become conscious consumers.
Like really conscious. Because some “natural” toothpastes are still owned by the same companies that produce conventional toothpastes (Tom’s of Maine, for instance, is owned by Colgate). And some of these big brands have a American Dental Association Seal of Approval, when this organization is partially subsidized through acceptance fees by the personal care industry, and the seal of approval does not necessarily mean the toothpaste is harmless.
For awhile I thought I had sensitivities to toothpaste because of my teeth, so I switched to Sensodyne toothpaste for sensitive teeth, but still didn't get relief from pain. It turns out I was just sensitive to the harsh chemicals in commercial brand toothpaste, because when I switched to a natural non-foaming kind of toothpaste, all sensitivity went away completely.
Foaming vs. Non-Foaming
This year I learned that non-foaming toothpaste is safer for your teeth and gums. Most toothpastes contain the chemical Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which is a chemical used to create the foaming action. SLS can cause or irritate existing allergies, create canker sores and bad breath, which is why a non-foaming toothpaste is recommended. I used to always get canker sores and now I don't after making the switch!
Diethanolamine (DEA) is also found in many foaming products such as toothpaste. It's a known hormone disrupter and can react with other ingredients to form a potential carcinogen called NDEA (N-nitrosodiethanolamine), which is readily absorbed through the skin and has been linked with cancers of the stomach, esophagus, liver, and bladder.
Many toothpastes contain other surfactants like sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES). Surfactants are also chemicals responsible for the foaming action of the toothpaste, but they interfere with the functioning of your taste buds by breaking up the phospholipids on your tongue.
This enhances bitter tastes and could be the reason why everything tastes so bad right after you've brushed your teeth.
Oh, and SLS is also registered as an insecticide and may have toxic effects to marine life, including fish, insects, and crustaceans after the water distributes from the sewers. No insecticide in my toothpaste, thank you very much.
The popular toothpaste Colgate Total contains an antibacterial chemical called triclosan. This is an antibacterial and antifungal agent that has been linked to concerns over antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption.
Endocrine disruption is serious, and lots of our chemical-laden personal and home care products contain these. They promote a wide variety of health problems, including breast, ovarian, prostate, and testicular cancer, preterm and low birth weight babies, precocious puberty in girls, and undescended testicles in boys.
In fact, a compound of Triclosan was used in the Vietnam War in Agent Orange! This is in a self-care product, and what the majority of people are putting in their mouth...it's horrifying. This chemical has also been linked to cancer, with research finding triclosan may promote breast cancer progression. Many states are now pushing to completely ban triclosan (with the state of Minnesota already banning most uses of triclosan) but until then it's still widely sold across the US in toothpaste, hand soap, makeup, and more.
Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are often added to commercial toothpastes.
Our body has trouble eliminating these from our body due to the methanol found in them, and in fact humans are the only mammals who are not equipped with a protective biological mechanism that breaks down methanol into harmless formic acid.
The methyl alcohol travels through your blood vessels into sensitive areas, such as your brain, where the methanol is converted to formaldehyde.
Symptoms from methanol poisoning are many, and include headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness, and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral disturbances, and neuritis. NO thank you.
Fluoride is being investigated as actually being as effective as it's been advertised to us. There is plenty of science which clearly demonstrates that fluoride is a toxic chemical that accumulates in your tissues over time, wreaks havoc with enzymes, and produces a number of serious adverse health effects, including neurological and endocrine dysfunction. Overall, the risks far outweigh the few benefits.
That's just the tip of the iceberg, there are even more chemicals involved that you can also research. Now you know why it's so important to make the switch to natural toothpaste, there are too many reasons not to. It's time to form new habits and make your wellness your number one priority, because you're the only one that can ensure this for yourself!
Most companies have shown (especially in the U.S) that they do not have our best interest at heart and until that changes, become an educated consumer and research what you're putting in and on your body - and in your home!
Everything has a cause and effect, and when something has negative impacts on health and the environment, I have to address it and change for the better.
The good news is you can make your own toothpaste, with the simple recipe below, or try doTERRA's fluoride-free and non-foaming natural toothpaste (the one I use). All of doTERRA's products are third-party tested, with testing results available on Sourcetoyou.com. This toothpaste is awesome because it's whitening (all-naturally) and has immune-boosting essential oils meant to protect the most absorbent area of our body.
How does it do all this naturally? It contains Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary essential oils that clean and freshen breath, Myrrh essential oil for soothing to the mouth, gums, and throat, Peppermint essential oil for breath, Calcium hydroxyapatite has been clinically shown to support strong and healthy-looking teeth, natural xylitol sweetener tastes great while helping to keep the teeth and gums clean, and hydrated silica is a natural abrasive that helps remove plaque and tooth stains, but is gentle enough to not damage tooth enamel.
Make Your Own Toothpaste:
Mix 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 drop peppermint or lemon essential oil, and a few drops of water. Then brush your teeth
For more convenience, get doTERRA's Natural On Guard Protecting Toothpaste at wholesale price of $8.50 (the one I use). When you're ready to get it send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get you all set up! I offer a membership continuing education program where you get access to a membership site full of essential oil recipes, ebooks, guides, studies, and more, as well as a education Facebook Group and more. Learn more about it here.