Shopping Guide: All The Natural Dental Products You Need For Healthy Gums And Teeth

natural toothpaste and dental products

When you’re making the switch to natural products, it can seem overwhelming. Where do you start?

Well, I think that you start with the products that you use most often. And you use dental products twice a day, so that’s a great place to start!

natural dental products

Think about toothpaste. You use it twice a day, every day. And yet toothpaste can be full of toxic ingredients. I wrote a post recently on what to look out for when you’re shopping for natural toothpaste, so that’s a good place to start.

But there are lots of other products that you use for good dental health.

Here’s what you’ll need for your new natural dental care regimen:

A new toothbrush

Your plastic toothbrush will end up sitting in landfill for hundreds of years. Replace it with one made from biodegradable bamboo or cornstarch. Eco friendly brushes are also better for you — they’re gentler on teeth and won’t hurt your gums.

Toothbrushes with activated charcoal bristles are also brilliant. The Binchotan charcoal-infused bristles on the one from Keeko help remove plaque and prevent the growth of bacteria on the toothbrush itself.

For a deeper clean, you might want to try Dr. Tung’s Ionic Toothbrush, which is clinically proven to remove more plaque than regular brushes. It also reduces gingivitis and hypersensitivity.

Tip: Did you know you’re not supposed to brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking? According to this study, it’s best to wait at least 30 minutes.

Natural toothpaste

A good toothpaste is key to good oral health. But what if your toothpaste is doing more harm than good? Common toothpaste ingredients like triclosan, fluoride, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulphate, and parabens all have damaging effects on the body.

Instead of the usual supermarket brands, opt for natural toothpastes without synthetic foaming agents, artificial colours and preservatives, and other nasties. Grant’s, Dr. Brite, Miessence, and Dr Bronner’s toothpastes use natural antibacterial ingredients and breath fresheners like peppermint, clove, neem, activated charcoal, and organic coconut oil instead.

Dental floss

Flossing can actually be fun and eco friendly. Noosa Basics’ bamboo fibre dental floss is infused with activated charcoal and lightly flavoured with essential oils. There’s also Dr. Tung’s “smart” floss, which removes up to 55% more plaque and comes in a biodegradable dispenser. I cringe whenever I see dental floss picks (so much plastic waste!), but these ones from Pearlbar are fully biodegradable and are charcoal infused to boot!

Tongue scraper

Tongue cleaning is an ancient dental care practice recommended by both Ayurvedic practitioners and modern scientists. It’s a fast and easy way of getting rid of the food buildup and bad bacteria that can cause bad breath, gingivitis, cavities, plaque, and other dental issues. Do this before you go to sleep and you’ll wake up with fresher smelling breath and a fur free tongue. Try Dr. Tung’s classic tongue scraper, which has comfort grip handles, or the one from Keeko, which is made from copper.

Alcohol free mouthwash

Most of the mouthwashes you see on store shelves contain a frightening amount of alcohol. Apart from the unpleasant burning sensation and the dryness it leaves, you really don’t want alcohol in your mouthwash because it may harm the strength and appearance of teeth. It has also been linked to oral cancer. Fortunately, there are tons of natural mouthwashes that remove plaque, freshen breath, and reduce gum inflammation – all without alcohol.

Non toxic teeth whitening product

Mainstream teeth whitening kits contain harmful chemicals like carbamide peroxide, which can erode enamel and cause sensitivity over time. If staining or yellowing is a problem, there’s loads of natural teeth whitening products to try. The most effective are based on ingredients like activated charcoal, bicarb, bentonite clay, and organic coconut oil.

Breath freshener

For sweet smelling breath when you’re out and about, grab these natural breath freshener capsules or a bottle of mouth spray. Two of our favourites are the organic one from Riddells Creek and the one with activated charcoal from Dr. Brite. They’ll leave your mouth feeling — and smelling — minty fresh in an instant!

VCO for oil pulling

Coconut oil (VCO = virgin coconut oil) is a popular choice for oil pulling not only because it tastes good, but because it’s high in lauric acid that kills bacteria and reduces inflammation. Keeko’s pre-portioned and lightly flavoured coconut oil packets make oil pulling more fun and fuss-free, especially when on the go.

What are your biggest dental health challenges and what do you do to address them? Any natural dental care products you swear by? Share below!

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Shopping Guide: What To Look For In A Natural Toothpaste

what to look for natural toothpaste 2

We all use toothpaste twice a day. So it makes sense that our toothpaste should be one of the things that we look at first when we’re making the switch to natural products.

Have you ever looked at the label of your favourite toothpaste? If you’re looking at a supermarket brand, you’re likely to find a list of synthetic antibacterials, detergents, chemical additives, and artificial flavours and sweeteners.

However, even toothpaste brands marketed as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ may contain controversial ingredients like fluoride and carrageenan.

Shopping Guide: What to Look for with Natural Toothpaste

While you don’t usually swallow your toothpaste, your mouth is one of the most absorbent parts of your body. While you’re brushing with toothpaste or swishing mouthwash, some of the ingredients can enter your bloodstream through the tissues of your mouth.

Fortunately, you can get your pearly whites sparkling clean without having to compromise your health or the environment. As you’re scanning those natural toothpaste ingredient lists, here’s what you should look for and what you should avoid.

Toothpaste ingredients to avoid

Sulfates

Sulfates are foaming agents that you’ll find in things like shampoo, hand soap, and body wash. In toothpaste, they don’t serve much of a purpose other than creating the suds that we’ve come to associate with cleaning.

Although sulphates can come from natural sources like palm kernel or coconut oils, they can still be harmful to your body. In your mouth, they can irritate the soft tissue and create microscopic tears that grow into painful mouth ulcers. Sulfates may also contain toxic manufacturing impurities like carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide

Diethanolamine (DEA)

This is another toothpaste ingredient that gets that foaming action going. Unfortunately, repeated exposure to DEA may lead to hormone disruption, cancer, and organ system toxicity.

Like sulfates, DEA isn’t something you want to be brushing your teeth with. And though we’ve been conditioned to equate that sudsy sensation with ‘clean’, foam doesn’t really help make teeth any cleaner. What’s strange is that if I ever use mainstream toothpastes these days, they feel gross to me now – almost slimy with the foaming stuff.

Artificial sweeteners, colours, and flavours

More ingredients that have no dental health value whatsoever. FD&C Blue 1 and other synthetic colours can enter the bloodstream and accumulate in the body over time. Meanwhile, studies have linked aspartame, a common artificial sweetener in toothpaste, to a multitude of ailments, including headaches, seizures, dizziness, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and behavioural and learning problems.

Triclosan

The US FDA banned triclosan from soaps and body washes in 2016 because manufacturers were unable to prove that it is safe for daily use over a long period of time. Strangely, they didn’t ban it in toothpastes. Triclosan has not been banned in Australia, so it can still be found in toothpastes and personal care products.

This antibacterial compound is linked to endocrine disruption, impaired cardiac function, allergies, and cancer.  Studies have also found that the widespread use of triclosan may have contributed to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

Titanium dioxide

This chemical gives conventional toothpaste its bright, white colour.

However, titanium dioxide nanoparticles may be able to penetrate your gums and enter your bloodstream. A recent study showed that oral exposure to titanium dioxide causes cancerous growths in rats, although whether this is applicable to humans is still open to debate.

Carrageenan

Carrageenan, which comes from red seaweed, is a common thickening agent in toothpastes, dairy products, medicines, and pet food. Although it’s in some natural toothpastes, carrageenan may be problematic. Studies have found that it can cause inflammation in the intestines.

Fluoride

This is a tricky one. We’ve all been told that fluoride is necessary because it helps prevent cavities and tooth decay. However, this notion came under scrutiny after scientists found that the protective shield fluoride forms on our teeth is nowhere near thick enough to actually protect our enamel and is quickly removed by ordinary chewing.

Another problem is that fluoride is harmful when ingested. This is why toothpastes marketed for children are usually fluoride free. Fluoride can accumulate in our tissues and can cause fluoride toxicity, the signs of which include stomach pain, vomiting, skin rashes, bone deformities, and brain development problems in children.

If you do decide to choose a toothpaste with fluoride, look carefully at the other ingredients. There are good, natural toothpastes with fluoride available.

Natural toothpaste ingredients to look for

Activated charcoal

This highly porous substance effectively removes surface stains and helps prevent tooth decay by raising the mouth’s pH.

Coconut oil

The lauric acid in coconut oil helps get rid of mouth bacteria and stops plaque buildup. Lauric acid also helps prevent and reduce gum inflammation.

Coconut oil in natural toothpaste

Xylitol

Xylitol is a derivative of xylose, a sugar that comes from birch bark. Studies have shown that because xylitol can’t be metabolised by plaque bacteria, it effectively reduces plaque buildup.

Essential oils

Natural toothpastes often contain essential oils because they have powerful antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and general cleansing properties. Essential oils of tea tree, neem, chamomile, clove, peppermint, spearmint, eucalyptus, myrrh, fennel, lemon, and cinnamon help freshen breath, remove plaque, and kill oral bacteria.

Want to to know which natural toothpaste is right for you? Check out our article on “14 Natural Toothpastes Tasted, Tried and Tested for You“.

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