Welcome to a brand new focus for June and what a treat I have in store for you! Who knew that oral hygiene products could be so diverse, so contaminating and so damaging? Luckily for you, I have spent a few weeks research, learning and compiling a whole new selection of information, facts and beautiful eco alternative products!
Before we delve any deeper, I want to share with you some amazing facts on our mouths. Check these out.
Crazy huh? There are so many other things to learn about our mouths, teeth and gums – it really makes you realise just how important it is to get the right dental routine using the best products you can.
In non-eco dental products, there can be quite a few nasty chemicals. A lot of them are harmless to us BUT they may have been tested on animals or they could actually just be fillers in products and do no use what so ever! Here are just a few of them that I looked in to:
- Titanium dioxide whilst it is safe to use, it is also used for a range of industrial and consumer products, including paints, coatings, adhesives, paper, plastics and rubber, printing inks and roofing materials.
- Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate is an odourless, white powder or granular solid. As well as being used in toothpaste, it is also used in household and industrial cleaning compounds, as a water softener, a metal cleaner and for oil well drilling.
- Carrageenan is added to thicken toothpaste and although it is made from red seaweed it has been linked to gastrointestinal inflammation, ulcers and even colon cancer in laboratory animals.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate – can irritate eyes, skin, and lungs, especially with long-term use.
- Sodium saccharin is a chemical derived from coal tar. It is extremely sweet, so small amounts are able to make toothpaste palatable–better tasting. Sodium saccharin is not linked to any benefits for oral health, so its only function in a toothpaste is to improve flavour.
I don’t know about you – but I would like to avoid those as much as I can. And I definitely don’t want them in my children’s mouths!
Finally, I thought it might be good to share some pro’s and con’s of the great FLUORIDE debate. It is one that has been going on for many years and may shed some light on a few things for you.
So firstly – What is fluoride? Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water in varying amounts, depending on where in the UK you live. It can help prevent tooth decay, which is why it’s added to many brands of toothpaste and, in some areas, to the water supply through a process called fluoridation.
So if fluoride is naturally occurring in water (and even ADDED to our water here in the UK), why do we still need it in our toothpaste? Fluoride in toothpaste can help to strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay when used correctly and as directed.
Arguments against fluoride The biggest argument against fluoride is that it can have quite serious consequences if we have have an excess of it in our bodies. In young children Dental Fluorosis can occur if too much fluoride is used in the early years of life and can cause dark spots to form on teeth. In older adults, excessive fluoride can cause skeletal fluorosis but can also interfere with other tissues such as the brain and pineal gland. Because we cannot control how much fluoride we intake through food and water, it is a concern that the fluoride in toothpaste may lead to these excessive amounts which cause problems.
Can we get our daily fluoride intake from somewhere other than toothpaste? YES! Here in the UK our water contains fluoride but also, lots of foods do. Things like tea, coffee, yoghurt, apple, avocado and carrots all contain fluoride.
So do I have to have a toothpaste with fluoride in? The answer here is…it is up to you. If you have strong, healthy teeth, drink plenty of water and have a healthy and varied diet, then the chances are you do not need added fluoride in your toothpaste BUT you should always check with a qualified dentist first.
Now you are armed with some facts, it might be time to make some switches in your dental routine. Check out the full range of products here.