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Looking after our dental health is something I think most of us do out of habit . At least twice a day brushing our teeth, flossing, maybe using mouthwash. How many of us really think about the health of our gums, tongue or breath? Or what could be in our dental hygiene products.
I guess most of us don’t think about the other health problems that bad dental health could bring.
Absolute Dental has a list of 10 Health Issues Caused by Bad Oral Health.
I had heard of “Cardiac problems” before, but some these issues such as “Infertility in Women, Pregnancy Complications, an increased risk of Erectile Dysfunction for Men, Respiratory Infections, Cancer , risk of Developing Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Dementia and possibly Alzheimer’s Disease, Kidney Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis”.( There is much more information on the link. )
It is amazing to see just how many of these diseases could be avoided from good oral health.
Most of us just think of dental pain, tooth loss and bad breath.
Keeping up to date with dental checkups is a must, though here in France and the UK it has been difficult to get anything but an emergency appointment with the virus around.
Keeping a good routine with your dental health and eating a healthy diet is a good start.
Taking care of our mouth and teeth is supposed to be good for us. But if what we use isn’t…what then? Here are some ideas that work just as well and perhaps better.
What is in it ?
WHAT IS IN TOOTHPASTE
What is in toothpaste? something we use everyday. I always wondered why they have the amount ( Pea Size) to use on the tube ,with the warning not to swallow it!
If it is ok to put in your mouth, then why isn’t it safe enough to swallow?
I have found a really good article by DR MERCOLA on FLUORIDE ACTION NETWORK -” Toxic Toothpaste Ingredients You Want to Avoid.” He says the average American over their life time swallows about “20 gallons of toothpaste, even if you spit it out.” That is such a huge amount.
One of the chemicals that can be found in toothpaste is
Triclosan (an antibacterial chemical) This could cause endocrine disruption. Which can have far reaching health problems such as cancer. It can be found in other products like soap and cosmetics.
CONSUMER REPORTS Have an article explaining that although Triclosan has now been removed from toothpaste ( Colgate Total used this in their product) that there are other ingredients to be careful of.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate( SLS)or ( SLES) Normally used for a foaming action –
Artificial Sweeteners – eg Aspartame ( from link )”In humans, the methyl alcohol travels through your blood vessels into sensitive areas, such as your brain, where the methanol is converted to formaldehyde. And since there’s no catalase present, the formaldehyde is free to cause enormous damage in your tissues.)“
Fluoride– He recommends a no fluoride toothpaste for both children and adults .
Propylene Glycol-Which is also used in Ant-freeze and paint! This can cause problems for skin, eyes and lung.
Diethanolamine (DEA) a number 10 for toxic effects on EWG.
Microbeads-Have been found trapped in patients gums. And of course these go down into our water ways causing pollution.
DR MERCOLA Goes into depth just the health concerns on these listed ingredients , he also gives a couple of ideas for homemade recipes.
A simple one of “Baking soda , drops of essential oils such as peppermint or lemon and a drop of water. Or another with bentonite clay, “recipe on( the link above. )
Since then there is an article on the use of TRICLOSAN which was at one time put into Colgate toothpaste.
Which of course is a hugely popular product. Included in the article below explains the issues with this.
This article is by QZ.COM
ASK THE DENTIST.COM has a really great fact finding article plus more homemade recipes for toothpaste.
We have been using this type of homemade toothpaste for some time now, there is an article on this too from the newspaper
THE TELEGRAPH where a lead researcher Dr Damien Brady at the Athlone Institute of Technology in the Republic of Ireland, gives reasons why this can work. the article is from 2012.
I came across another brand of tooth and gum powder by Laila London , an organic product. This is Fluoride free and naturally whitens.
Some of the whiteners out there have some chemicals that I would rather not use either!
NATURAL TOOTHPASTE WITH ORGANIC COCONUT OIL & NATURAL MINERALS .
They have many other products for the teeth.
Charcoal, seems to becoming more an more popular these days. Some people suggest using it only twice a week. Some information on a review on the comments.
Advice on whether they have found any benefit to using them to whiten teeth. It is worth perhaps looking into this a bit further before using it.
Our local shop seems to have charcoal in everything, toothpastes, tooth powder even soap!
Listening to the dentist in the video below, he seems to think that because you are scrubbing the black color from your teeth, the difference between the black coated teeth and the visual appearance afterwards can give the impression of whiter teeth.
DAVIDS -USA.COM Natural Toothpastes .
TOM’S OF MAINE Natural Toothpaste , they make deodorant and soap too.
Some Organic Tooth Powders often with Bentonite Clay.
ARGANAT– All Natural Peppermint Whitening Clay Toothpaste
BANYAN BOTANICALS – Activated Charcoal & Miswak Toothpaste Powder ( also contains amalaki, neem, using Calcium carbonate and baking soda to polish the teeth. Combining teeth cleaning with Ayurvedic tradition) Made in USA here on Amazon
I am sure most of us would love beautiful white teeth! Just watching TV or a film, the actors have amazing white and straight teeth . Maybe this has made more of look at what we can do to change our appearance, a lovely smile certainly gives you confidence.
Finding a dentist who can achieve that smile, but using products that are safe and not damaging.
We knew one lady who wasn’t a trained dentist, offering this service in a shopping center! I was amazed just how many people would happily sit and have goodness knows what chemicals applied to their teeth.
She mentioned the company supplying the solutions had a weaker one under the counter just in case they were asked to give a sample to a dentist! I don’t know if they are still going around offering this! I would rather stick to someone trained myself.
How Stuff Works gives a really good explanation into teeth whitening, just why we can get yellow stains, what causes this and some of the chemicals that are being used out there.
This video gives an over view on what is out there, but not really going into the chemical effects afterwards.
Healthline also give “6 ways of naturally whitening your teeth.” Even some years back Americans were spending $11 billion on teeth whitening! Now an average price is $650 to $1,150 in an office. I guess it depends where you are! I am not sure how much they charge in the UK.
One is Oil- Pulling, which is also covered in this article . This can done with sunflower, sesame or coconut oil.
Hydrogen peroxide -Some toothpastes contain this ingredient, I have seen Bicarbonate toothpaste as well. There could be safety factors with using this.
A Strawberry and Baking soda mix– this actually sounds ok, the strawberries must make the baking soda taste better.
Toothpaste containing Bromelain- found in Pineapples
Brushing and Flossing of course – prevention is better than cure
Limiting Sugar and eating a diet with Calcium (enamel eroding can show the yellow layer- Dentin , underneath)- Eating plenty of vegetables and fruit.
Statista have a graph running from 2011-2024 on this rising trend of teeth whitening.
What’s Cooking America – say that last year alone on just over the counter products was $1.4 billion . They give some side effects of whitening at home, one was the” Blue Teeth People” ( I love this description, we have all seen people who have gone too far and it just doesn’t look natural anymore.)
I used to have a dentist in the States, who used a Bicarbonate pressured spray while doing the dental clean. I have to admit it always made your mouth feel very clean.
THIS VIDEO BY ASHLEY – is a homemade toothpaste recipe, it seems to be a popular choice.
Other blogs that I have been impressed with has been
This video ( In the section for mouthwashes)also covers a homemade mouthwash, Tracy give some great advice on mouthwashes with alcohol and what to use if making products for children and using essential oils correctly and what to avoid. Great reading.
This blog has really made me think about what we were using in mouthwashes and why.
I found a great little container/ cup for your toothbrush when travelling, I prefer to take our own cups to use . This has no toxic chemicals or metals in it .
Made by GAROSA it comes in different colours too.( info on link.)
Made of high quality material, free of heavy metal, eco-friendly, harmless, nontoxic and durable in use.
If you fancy trying a different type of brush than the plastic version . We should change our toothbrushes as we are told every 3-4 months, these plastic brushes will end up in the landfill. They believe they could take 1,000 years to degrade!
Dr Silman Smiles PA.COM Explains how changing your toothbrush can help protect your health. Germs can stay around the bristles of your toothbrush too. If the form of the toothbrush starts to become frayed then it won’t clean the areas around your teeth correctly .
One thing that is mentioned is that cold and flu can live on the toothbrush for 3 days, so if your toothbrush is next to it it could spread to everyone else in the family.
BAMBOO RAINBOW TOOTHBRUSHES – Bamboo, biodegradable toothbrush is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial. BPA FREE
BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSHES – (WHITE )if you are not into color.
THE BAM AND BOO also make bamboo toothbrushes – They offer a subscription service, which is available in months of 1,2,3 or 4 months in both adult and child sizes.
A variety of Bamboo toothbrushes here on Amazon too.
TOOTHBRUSHES MADE FROM RECYCLED PLASTICS
I came across another company today, based in the USA, they have a great model where they make their products, including toothbrushes by recycling yogurt pots.
They also offer a deal if you recycle your Preserve toothbrush through them. The company is called PRESERVE.ECO. They have many more products made from recycled plastic, tote bags, lunch bags, razor blades and cups and plates. A great idea.
They also do a tableware set that is-Preserve Compostables are made from plants and return to the soil when the party is over. ( taken from their website)
ALIBABA.COM have a whole range of replaceable head toothbrushes and where to find them.
I did hear one comment ,” only floss the teeth you want to keep!” love that!
I hate that you can’t even use a floss without wondering what it is covered in!
SCIENCE ALERT has a very revealing article, on some of the toxic ingredients, that can be hiding a simple product such as dental floss. Containing chemicals PFAS, these are the forever chemicals that stick around forever and can be found in water. There is more information on how these chemicals can effect even the way your body will accept a Covid Vaccine.( under section of non stick pans)
SILENT SPRING INSTITUTE Has another article with links to look deeper into this issue which has come to light more this year. Again going into the very real worries about PFAS, found in non-stick, waterproof and also stain proof items( how many of us have these in our home? ) It is found in dental floss as well.
DR MERCOLA also has a good article on this. A very clear reporting on this topic.
Chemicals that can be in your dental floss
They have found that certain dental floss can contain perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) which is a chemical that they use also in products such as packaging, non stick cookware, foam used in fire fighting. ( even more proof on these chemicals.
These can have health impacts such as liver damage, immune problems and cancer. One of these products mentioned is Oral B glide Floss.
BUZZ FEED have a information on how Oral-B glide Floss could also have health issues. Using the same chemical .Among five brands mentioned.
Click to open expanded view GEORGANICS NATURAL CHARCOAL DENTAL FLOSS They are using a beeswax base, ingredients on link. Plus they have refills available to refill the glass container. I love the idea that it isn’t in a plastic container.
I have never tried this, it sounds a great way to cut out the chemicals and keep your mouth clean .
Our daughter has braces at the moment which is an ongoing procedure for the last two years, I don’t know if you have experienced the hygiene aspect of these, and the amount of care in keeping these clean. I wish I had seen these before.
If you want a totally different approach how about a water flosser? This one has no need of using a chemical covered floss. MORPILOT WATER FLOSSER. This one is hugely popular and has three different actions.
At least it is just water being used .
I had never realised just what was in these liquids. Some have alcohol , I had heard that they can also cause problems with the natural flora in your mouth.
This blog by Tracy has a homemade mouthwash and she covers some very clear ideas which mouthwashes to try, including advice on why people use them.
THE DENTAL HERB COMPANY explain the why using the Alcohol in a mouthwash isn’t the best choice.
ASK THE DENTIST has a good clear article on the dangers and problems of using some mouthwashes. Giving tips on how to create your own homemade solution.
OUR OILY HOUSE VIDEO on using essential oils to make your own mouthwashes and teeth whitening.
MORE NATURAL MOUTHWASHES
A mixture of oils, list of ingredients on the link.
HEALTHLINE.COM have written about the science around OIL PULLING , another way of keeping a clean mouth. This was new to me as well.
Though they say the art of oil pulling for a healthy mouth has been used for many years in India, it is part of a type of Ayurvedic medicine .
I wanted to get another perspective on this, the video below had a person using the oil pulling for 30 days, he suffers from gingivitis but unfortunately it hasn’t worked for that problem, whether it works on the other areas that some suggest such as teeth whitening I am not sure. This was carried out by a dentist.
ON WEBMD they have some other suggestions on how to use this methods to enhance your dental hygiene.
CANCER.ORG have some great advice on keeping your mouth healthy and what to look for, help on mouth cancer. They have advice on dry mouth, sore throat and mouth and other information.
I have seen mixed views on this for some years. I am still not sure what is the best way to think of it all, I thought if I could give a balance of differing views it may be more helpful to you .
As my older children were growing up, I was told by dentists that it was a good thing that they had lived in an area where Fluoride was added to the drinking water, that it was one reason their teeth were stronger.
Since that time I have often seen organic products offering a Fluoride free toothpaste or product, that got me wondering why the information was different.
WEBMD give the reasons in a clear report, where you can look at the pros and cons of using it, according to them it seems as if the dosage is the important factor.
As I have mentioned before we live in France and part of Europe.So this report from the EU was an interesting read.
This report on Fluoride is from the EU – “Absorbing too much fluoride can impair normal development of enamel in teeth before they erupt, and the effects may not be visible until 4-5 years after exposure. They include white streaks on the enamel surface and, in more severe cases, porous areas of enamel, pitting and discolouration of the tooth surface.” They explain that too much Fluoride can cause weaker bone (Skeletal fluorosis ) As they mention in the report, often this has been in countries exposed to higher levels of fluoride, India, China & Africa. This can be crippling for the child.
” Children under a year old incorporate up to 90 per cent” into their bones! That is frightening to me.
THE TELEGRAPH NEWSPAPER has a really interesting article going back into time when Fluoride was added to the drinking water and going into some of the myths and issues that may come from this, giving a different perspective on using it.
Like everything, it is personal choice on what we use or are happy with. The most important thing I believe is to understand what we are using.
Looking into the products that we use on our teeth, has really given me food for thought.
Something that is as simple, as our daily hygiene routine can have such an effect on our health and bodies.
It has made our family change all our dental hygiene products for the better. I have really learnt a lot of tips from some great people, and websites. I hope that this has helped you make informed decisions in what you use for you and your family.
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