Why I Stopped Using Toothpaste

Why I Stopped Using Toothpaste. Did you know there are some ingredients in toothpaste that you probably don't want in your mouth? Find out why I stopped using toothpaste--and what I use now instead!

 

{There are so many toxins in personal care products these days.  One of the best ways to reduce your exposure is to make your own products like moisturizing cream, homemade foaming soap, and homemade hair spray.  Today I am so pleased to introduce you to Andrea Fabry, of MomsAWARE. Andrea is sharing Why I Stopped Using Toothpaste, along with her Tooth Powder Recipe. Andrea and I have known each other for quite awhile. She has a fascinating, albeit frightening, personal story about how her family had to evacuate their home due to mold toxicity. You can read more about that here.}

My decision to find an alternative to toothpaste began when a health crisis forced me to reevaluate my personal care regimen. I knew that if I hoped to turn my health around my product choices needed an overhaul. I learned to read labels.

Thanks to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and other watchdog groups, I awakened to the truth that the vast majority of ingredients in toothpaste and other personal care products haven’t been reviewed for safety.

Also influencing my growing aversion to conventional toothpaste was my poor dental health.

Numerous cavities and gum problems haunted me. It only made sense to question my dental protocol.

So–What’s In a Typical Tube of Toothpaste?

Toothpaste ingredients. Why I Stopped Making Toothpaste. Tooth Powder Recipe

Typical Toothpaste Ingredients

1.  Sodium fluoride: This is a colorless crystalline salt used to fluoridate our water supply. It is also used as an insecticide as well as in the treatment/prevention of tooth decay. I have a natural aversion to the ingestion or topical use of a chemical that is used to kill insects. It’s a simple, logical train of thought; toxic is toxic. Swallowing fluoridated toothpaste is so hazardous the FDA now requires a poison warning on every tube of toothpaste containing fluoride.

2.  Triclosan: This is a chlorinated aromatic compound first registered as a pesticide in 1969. It has been found to be effective against gingivitis but red flags have been raised when it comes to long term health implications. The FDA is currently reassessing its safety.

Toothpaste ingredients. Why I Stopped Making Toothpaste. Tooth Powder Recipe

3.  Inactive Ingredients: From propylene glycol, to titanium dioxide, to sodium lauryl sufate, inactive ingredients are added to preserve or facilitate the effectiveness of the active ingredients. The term “inactive” can be misleading as it might be assumed these additives have no implications to our health.

4.  Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, for example, has been linked to skin and eye irritations, organ toxicity, development toxicity, endocrine disruption and more. While its presence in a toothpaste is quite minor, I’d rather clean my teeth with something that carries no risks or poison warnings.

I explored natural, chemical-free toothpastes. EWG offers an excellent list of 679 toothpastes and evaluates each for levels of toxicity. I gravitated to Herbodent, an antibacterial formulation utilizing 21 herbs.

I still buy this for my kids.

For myself, however, I continued to experiment and discovered success with homemade tooth powder. The recipe is based on the advice of controversial dentist, Dr. Hal Huggins, a leading proponent of the mercury-free movement, who states in his Client Education Packet:

“Over the years, one ‘tooth paste’ has won all records, and it is not really a paste. It is a powder. Salt and baking soda. About 20% salt, 80% soda, altered to taste. Some like 50/50, some 10/90. . .the more salt the better it is for your gum. It feels like brushing your teeth with sand, yet is less abrasive than any tooth paste.”

Note:  This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on them, I might make a commission, but your price does not change.  Your support of my blog is much appreciated and enables me to continue to produce health posts, and whole food recipes for free :)!

{From Adrienne: We stopped using traditional toothpaste a long time ago as well and I just received ingredients in the mail for making another tooth powder–this post is great timing!  If you would like to make Andrea’s recipe, read Which Essential Oils Company is Best? to see which essential oils I use.}

It’s been 2 years since I stopped using toothpaste.

My gums and teeth feel healthier than ever. I’ve had no sign of decay.

At a recent cleaning, my hygienist noted the improvement in my overall dental health and encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing – advice I intend to follow.

Where to buy the products to make the Tooth Powder?

Amazon has all of them.

You might also try Mountain Rose Herbs.

More Non-Toxic DIY Personal Care Products

– All Natural Personal Care
- “Best” Eye Makeup Remover
Nourishing Body Scrub
- Alcohol-Free Hair Spray that Works

Please note- Neither Adrienne nor Andrea are dentists so you need to make decisions with your dental professional for your own dental care.  Please don’t change your toothpaste without consulting him or her.  Thanks!

What do you use to brush your teeth?

Andrea Fabry - A woman dedicated to detoxifying her family for health's sake.Andrea is a former journalist and the mother of nine children ranging in age from 28 to 12. Following a toxic mold exposure, Andrea and her family discovered the wonders of natural living. Andrea is the founder and president of momsAWARE, an educational organization designed to empower others to live healthy in a toxic world. You can follow her family’s journey at Our Health Journey. She is also the owner of Just SoNatural Products.

Shared at: Ricki Heller.

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  1. I was looking to buy Herbodent for my children but then I looked at the ingredients, did you know that Herbodent has SLS and parabens? I found the ingredients list here: http://www.jaikaran.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8&Itemid=10

  2. I read somewhere that one should dissolve the granules in a bit of water and brush with that. But you are talking about taking the granules straight to your teeth, right? It seems like that is where it might be abrasive until the granules dissolve in your saliva. But you don’t find it so?

  3. How about xylitol instead of stevia or does stevia also help rebuild teeth?

  4. Kayla Buchanan says:

    Hi there! I’ve been making my own tooth powder for a month or so and I was wondering what is the reason for adding salt to your recipe? Is there some significance for using it? I’m new to this so I’m slowly learning the whats & why’s of things. :) Thank you!

    Kayla Buchanan

    • Kayla,
      I think it’s a biochemical issue when it comes to salt. Certain microorganisms cannot thrive in salt, so it adds a certain level of antimicrobial potency. That’s my take on it anyway. Great question.

  5. My dental hygienist says baking soda isn’t good if you are needing to watch your salt/sodium intake, have you heard any info on this?

  6. Hi there!

    Interesting post! As a dental hygienist I try to read up on what alternatives are out there as much as possible, so I can keep up with what my patients are up to. I also try and keep things as natural as possible with my family, while balancing the risk/reward ratio. I have a couple of comments that I hope you don’t mind me sharing.

    1. Yes, fluoride is poisonous if ingested in large quantities, so it should have a warning label. Hopefully you are not swallowing your toothpaste. I totally respect the individual right to choose whether or not you use fluoride. But just a couple of things from my perspective: fluoride does help prevent cavities, and also helps repair potential decay before it becomes a full blown cavity. Dental decay is an infectious, transmittable disease, so especially for children, preventing this is much more desirable than having to treat it. In addition, there are questionable ingredients in all filling materials as well, which stay in the body much longer than the time it takes to brush. Everything on earth is a chemical, and most things are earth are toxic if taken in large enough quantities… Children who cannot rinse and spit properly should not use a fluoridated toothpaste for this reason.

    2. Salt is very abrasive. If you have to use it in a tooth powder recipe, I would really limit it to a very small amount, as fine a granule as you can, and definitely try to dissolve it at least a little before you use it.

    3. It is true that baking soda is abrasive, and true that toothpaste is much MORE abrasive than baking soda. So it is a good alternative.

    4. To the person who asked about Xylitol, it would be a great alternative to the stevia, because it does help rebuild tooth structure. Mind you, I have no idea if it would work in the recipe.

    5. In reality, you do not need toothpaste of any sort. The main point in brushing your teeth is to remove plaque biofilm, and you accomplish this through the mechanics of the bristles against your teeth…toothpaste merely provides fluoride and flavor. So you don’t actually have to use anything but water. And floss : )

    6. If you choose not to use fluoride, you have, have, have to floss. NOTHING, no matter what the claim it makes, gets in between the teeth to remove that bacteria. Flossing doesn’t just help your gums, it helps prevent decay between the teeth.

    7. This should not damage any existing fillings, unless indirectly, because by not using fluoride, the potential for decay to start around existing restorations rises.

    Hope this helps!

  7. How about the organic toothpaste? Is there a brand better to use?

    Vanessa

  8. Tiffany Smith says:

    I have a metal allergy which causes serious cardiac and neurological problems. Its not only titanium dioxide that we have to omit but silica as well. I would highly recommend using & specifying the silica free baking sodas. Thanks for the recipe. …the only one I had found so far with no metal but still contains SF is an A&H one.

  9. I use LUSH toothy tabs! They are baking soda based and absolutely amazing! I work for and use LUSH products. It was the very first alternative I’ve found for brushing without all those chemicals!

    Thanks,
    Take care

  10. Uma Charles says:

    Hi. thanks for the recipe. I have been looking for ways to incorporate my neem powder into a recipe like yours. Can you add distilled water to it to make it a paste? will it change the effectiveness of the ingredients?
    Thanks.

    • Hi there. I am not aware that it interacts w/ any of the ingredients but I guess you could check that. Are you aware of interaction issues? I would think adding water would make it spoil more easily but if you make small enough batches you will probably be fine.

      thanks!

  11. Priya Thomson says:

    I have been making and using two different toothpastes, one using baking soda, salt, peppermint and coconut oil and the other using bentonite clay as the main ingredient. I have noticed a greenish layer on my teeth, particular the back of the bottom teeth for a couple of weeks now. It is reasonably easy to floss off or pick off with a dental pick but it’s a bit of a trial to do this each night when brushing and flossing used to be just fine. Any idea what is causing this? Thanks.