Oct 25, 2010
People are becoming increasingly more health conscious, whether it is about eating “clean,” or about the kinds of products they use on their hair and skin. Consumers are looking for greener alternatives to many of the items they use, including toothpaste. Are natural toothpastes better than commercial toothpastes?
There are quite a few “all-natural” toothpaste brands on the market, and many things should be considered before deciding which toothpaste to use. A question that should be asked is “what is considered natural?” Does the definition of “natural” mean something different to each manufacturer? For example, does one company consider their toothpaste natural if they eliminate the dyes? Or perhaps if foaming agents or abrasives are eliminated – maybe that makes it natural? And do natural toothpastes give the same cavity protection as commercial brands? Are they effective at controlling tartar and protecting against gum disease?
We know that commercial toothpastes are comprised of chemicals, some of the same chemicals found in shampoo and body washes, hair color and bleaches. Natural pastes contain ingredients such as menthols and eucalyptols, which may cause soreness and burning in some people. There is also some debate over fluoride and whether or not it is linked to cancer. Fluoride is absorbed in the tooth’s enamel and makes it more resistant to cavity-causing bacteria which is why dentists promote its use. Some “natural” toothpastes don’t include fluoride – does that make it natural?
The debate about natural toothpaste being good or bad can go on and on. You should be proactive about your oral care, but be well informed, too. Before making a switch, be sure to read labels well so you know what is in the toothpaste, and ask your dentist about any questions you may have. He or she will give you an expert opinion. And remember – no matter which toothpaste you choose to use, always make sure to brush and rinse thoroughly.