Last week we wrote about oral health and oil pulling. (If you don’t know about oil pulling, make sure you read this.) Oral health is just as important as daily sweat fests, eating real food, drinking pure water and thinking positive thoughts. Brushing and flossing our teeth is part* of a healthy oral routine.
*Nutrition plays a major role in our oral health. In fact, our oral health begins before we're even born! Mothers begin to establish their children's DNA and oral health. Another reason to "eat for health"!
But have you ever looked at the ingredients at the tube of toothpaste?
If you haven’t, run to your bathroom right now and read the label.
(We'll wait for you.)
Okay, now that you have the box or tube in your hands, read the label. See the ingredients? These ingredients are toxic and some of them are known to cause cancer.
Does putting known toxins and carcinogens into your body sound healthy? No, of course not! When we consume toxins whether it’s through our mouth from things like toothpaste, mouthwash, gum, mints, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, food-like products or on our skin like lotion, perfumes, colognes, our body absorbs them. And it's causing many health problems.
A quick rundown of the some these ingredients that are found in toothpaste (and a host of other products like anti-bacterial soaps and hand sanitizer, body & face lotion, shampoo, food products to name a few):
This toxic chemical is in antibacterial soaps, dish soaps and hand sanitizers and Colgate still puts in toothpaste. Triclosan is a pesticide and a fungicide. Studies have also shown that triclosan disrupts the endocrine systems of rats -- including thyroid function and production of sperm, testosterone and estrogen. Another startlingly fact? This chemical can be found in the urine of 75% of Americans (CDC) and the EPA has registered triclosan as a dangerous pesticide. And yet people are still ingesting it and wonder why their health is not good. See how wellness is not singular? It’s plural- mind, body, spirit.
What happens when you are exposed to this chemical? It damages the liver, kidneys, heart and lungs, suppress the immune system, and cause hormonal disruption, paralysis, sterility and brain hemorrhages.
If you are sweating daily, eating real food but still having chronic pain and other health issues, look at your toothpaste, soaps, body care products. Your endocrine system controls so much of your wellness (like metabolism for example).
Bottom line: read labels and get rid of anything that contains triclosan. This means no antibacterial soaps, antibacterial hand sanitizer, popular dishwashing detergents, etc. Note: germs aren’t the enemy, deadly chemicals are.
Propylene Glycol (PG)
Another toxic chemical is found in many Big Food products as well as body care products is propylene glycol. This is used in antifreeze, in “blueberries” in some Big Food products, and yes, even toothpaste.
This chemical has been shown to cause allergic reactions in patients with eczema and other skin allergies.
This is another dangerous chemical. Do you eat rat poison? Before you say “no way!” sodium fluoride is in toothpaste and rat poison. This is why you see the warning label on commercial toothpaste boxes.
But did you know that most popular toothpastes contain enough fluoride to kill a small child within 2 to 4 hours?!
What are the consequences of this chemical? In children and youth, minimal ingestion of sodium fluoride causes salivation, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, and diarrhea. Large doses of the carcinogen may cause paralysis, muscular weakness and clonic convulsions, followed by respiratory and cardiac failure. Source.
Sodium fluoride is also used in rat and cockroach poisons, and a key component in anesthetic, hypnotic, and psychiatric drugs and sarin nerve gas! Yikes!
Important note: Fluoride has never shown to reduce cavities and scientists link fluoride to dental deformity, arthritis, allergic reactions and about 10,000 unnecessary deaths each year from cancer. And the FDA has never approved fluoride.
Note: kids and pregnant moms should be careful using oral fluoride (toothpaste/mouthwash). Fluoride is useful in preventing tooth decay so using a natural source of mouthwash or adding to the toothpaste recipe below is helpful in preventing cavities. Natural Dentist Healthy Teeth Fluoride Rinse is a good option. Made with quality and safer ingredients (no coloring dyes or alcohol) it will be helpful in keeping teeth cavity free. You could also supplement brushing with a natural toothpaste (although many natural toothpaste at the health food stores do not contain fluoride because of the associated risks). We don't want unwanted trips to the dentist!
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
American College of Toxicity has stated this chemical is corrosive and harmful to skin tissue.
Even more appalling is that the journal of the American College of Toxicology reports that SLS can penetrate and be retained in the eye, brain, heart, and liver with potentially harmful long term effects. This ingredient is also found in most shampoos including "no tears" baby shampoos, SLS can keep children's eyes from developing properly, can cause cataracts in adults, can retard healing, and can impair hair growth. Source.
Other toxic ingredients in popular toothpastes are coloring dyes like FD & C Blue Dyes 1 & 2 is just like ingesting crude oil (petroleum) or coal tar, hydrated silica, parabens to name a few. If you didn’t think toothpaste was toxic before reading this, you do now!
So now that you are going to throw out your toothpaste RIGHT NOW, what will you brush with? Here is a recipe for toothpaste that I created. Safe, very effective with no death, blindness or cancer as side effects. Before you make this, I also suggest that you begin the healthy ritual of oil pulling every morning upon rising. Read how to do it here.
How to make toothpaste
½ cup Baking soda
5 drops Tea tree oil (antiseptic, anti-fungal, infection-reducing, antibiotic)
2 tablespoons EVCO (Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral)
1 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt (not table salt) (Celtic Sea Salt contains 82 trace essential minerals for human wellness and longevity)
1-2 tablespoons water
For peppermint toothpaste add
3 drops of organic peppermint extract (fights cavities, fresh breath, reduces stress, whitens teeth)
For cinnamon toothpaste add
½ teaspoon organic ceylon cinnamon (antibacterial, anti-fungal, supports immune system)
Mix all together in a small glass bowl to form a paste. Adjust water and baking soda amounts as needed.
(I personally add both peppermint and cinnamon as the health benefits from both are fantastic.)
Simply scoop a little of the paste on your finger and onto toothbrush.
After you brush your teeth, simply rinse with water and then use this mouthwash (making sure not to eat or drink for 30 minutes after rinsing) and rinse well with water. And, of course oil pulling is another healthy oral practice!
Healthy habit tip: if you aren’t in the habit of reading the label of everything you buy and knowing exactly what that ingredient is, start doing so right now. So much of what is marketed to us is toxic and disease, cancer-promoting. Be an educated consumer!
Cover photo credit: Narin-flicker