March 11, 2017

Healthy Alternatives for Dental Care


It’s been two years since I started using natural and healthy alternatives for my beauty and cosmetic products. When it comes to oral care, I definitely recommend switching over to toothpastes and mouthwashes that don’t contain sulfate, fluoride, or parabens.

Sulfate soap is commonly used in American toothpaste because of its thick, creamy texture, but when it foams up, its corrosive properties tend to do more harm than good when scrubbed against delicate gum tissues. Fluoride falls between arsenic and lead on the scale of toxicity which is why the FDA warns against small doses that can induce symptoms of acute fluoride poisoning including gastrointestinal pain, nausea, and headaches. Parabens, although their preservative qualities help prevent fungus and microbes from growing, they have a weak estrogenic effect on the body which has led studies to pose the possible risk they have on impacting breast cancer.

Sources:
On Parabens: click here
On Sulfate: click here
On Fluoride: click here, here, and here

Regardless of if these additives actually pose any harm, I’d rather clean my mouth with more holistic ingredients that don’t have any controversy around them.


The three dental care products I'm currently using include TheraNeem Cinnamon Toothpaste, Oral Essentials Mouthwash, and a natural bristle toothbrush from C.O. Bigelow, the oldest apothecary in America!


This particular toothpaste from TheraNeem contains supercritical extracts from neem leaf and bark that support healthy gums. Neem twigs, commonly known in India as the "Toothbrush Tree," has been proven by modern studies for its medicinal properties. The toothpaste brand even uses the logo, "If you want your teeth to gleam, brush with Neem!" Other ingredients in the toothpaste include: Grapeseed, Clove Bud, Cardamom Seed oil, Star Anise fruit, Cinnamon Bark, Licorice Root, and Vitamin C.


When I first tried out the toothpaste, the taste of cinnamon was definitely prominent. As the toothpaste quickly foamed up into a light consistency, I could slightly taste the cinnamon and a hint of licorice in my mouth. After brushing, I found there wasn't much of an aftertaste which I surprisingly liked since I've only been accustomed to toothpastes with lingering traces of mint in the past. Overall, I'm very happy that I decided to try the cinnamon-flavored one rather than the mint since the amount of cinnamon turned out to not be overpowering as I had hoped.


For my mouthwash, I decided to buy a formula treated for sensitive teeth since my previous use of Crest whitening strips have caused my teeth enamel to weaken and suffer the consequences! Rather than containing ingredients like baking soda or hydrogen peroxide which tend to break down enamel over time if used too frequently, this Oral Essentials mouthwash has Dead Sea Salt as its key ingredient. This particular sea salt that comes from the Dead Sea is known for its natural detoxifying properties and is helpful in strengthening bones and teeth with minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium.


Instead of cheap denatured alcohol that is commonly used in most mouthwashes, Oral Essentials uses the process of pasteurization to keep their ingredients fresh. The liquid substance is also clear, ensuring that there's no added dyes with artificial color.


The mouthwash also contains organic Aloe Vera juice and the following oils: Peppermint, Holy Basil,  Spearmint, Wintergreen, and Clove Flower. Even though it contains many different mint oils, there is barely any flavor to the mouthwash except the slight trace of basil which I'm perfectly fine with!


So I hope you've enjoyed getting a little insight on these natural products and their medicinal, detoxifying properties. What products are part of your current dental care routine?


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