So you probably wouldn’t think so, or even want to believe it but toothpaste can be toxic! When, a couple of years ago I started delving deep into health and everyday products that though not common knowledge have been proven to contain substances that are bad for us, I was amazed. Shocked even. How is even possible that pharmaceutical- and cosmetic companies are allowed to get away with it? Yes – I know its all about money, and oodles of it, but how can they get away with slowly poisoning us and blatantly advertising their wares as being good for us in one way or another?! So what am I ranting on about now? Well read on about the following substances- and more that are found in your toothpaste. Your mouth is highly absorbent and so these chemicals can easily find your way into your bloodstream. It might only be a tiny splodge on your brush, but over time and when you think about it – a lifetime of brushing your teeth twice daily – it soon adds up. Luckily there are healthier alternatives and I shall list those at the end, but first the bad news!
SLA (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) and its counterparts of which I have written about before in my soap blog are foaming agents, but are also registered as agricultural pesticides. To top things off, during the manufacturing process carcinogenous compunds are released into the environment, and can be harmful to our marine life.
Sodium Fluoride, is rat poison and can be found in industrial pesticides. Do I need to say anymore?!
Triclosan. Though it helps prevent gingivitis, it has been proven to disrupt the endocrine system. This is quite serious as endocrine disruption is being linked to all kinds of cancers and more, but in particular it is being linked to breast cancer progression and the little known, debilitating endometriosis.
Articial Sweeteners like Aspartam. Primarily comprised of aspartic acid and phenylalanine , which has been synthetically modified to carry a methyl group, responsible for sweetness. Methanol is also found in fruits and vegetables but is in those cases bonded to pectin allowing to pass through the body. But not so with methanol created by aspartame there is no bonding agent to eliminate it. Methanol poisoning can include gastrointestinal disturbances, numbness, chills, shooting pains and more.
Propylene Glycol, a wetting agent in toothpaste is to be found in anti-freeze. Safety Data Sheets warn that it can be rapidly absorbed with prolonged contact leading to brain, liver and kidney abnormalities. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) won’t allow workers to handle it without wearing rubber gloves.
Diethanolamine (DEA) is a foaming agent but it disrupts hormones and forms carcinogenic nitrates. The EPA of California lists DEA as a possible human carcinogen.
Microbeads found in toothpaste, body washes, facial scrubs and toothpaste are tiny plastic particles that go down the drain, through waste treatment plants and into the environment. Through marine life we may actually end up consuming them!
The healthy alternatives. You can make your own
It is possible to make your own chemical free toothpaste using coconut oil, bicarbonate of soda and peppermint essential oil. You could add in bentonite clay, salt and water to form a paste and store in a jar with a lid.
You can try just coconut oil on its own, I oil-pull with first and then with a fresh blob, brush my teeth.
Or you could try just bicarbonate of soda and peppermint essential oil and a few drops of water to form a paste.
Til the next time!