Okay, so you don’t really neeeeed toothpaste.
Yes, you read that right. In fact, in many cases, you’re better off without it – especially if your only “option” is the average toothpaste you find in your average big box or drug store.
In our opinion, that option’s no option, due to the potentially toxic ingredients conventional toothpastes typically contain.
Take sodium fluoride, for instance – a drug under the jurisdiction of the FDA. It’s the ingredient that merits the poison warning you see on every box.
Whether from hygiene products, “supplements,” or fluoridated water, too much fluoride during the first eight years, while teeth are still developing, can cause dental fluorosis. In severe cases, the teeth turn brown, with rough and pitted surfaces. It’s a clear sign of too much fluoride.
If only the concerns were “just cosmetic,” right? But fluoride has also been linked with many chronic conditions. These include arthritis, neurological issues, cancer, cardiovascular disease, pineal gland problems, thyroid disease, kidney disease, and endocrine disruption – to list but a few.
And for all this, it may not even prevent decay. (It certainly doesn’t address the cause.)
Other problem ingredients include sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, and FD&C blue dye 1 and 2.
So if that’s what’s available, then ditching the toothpaste is a good thing. You don’t neeeeed it. After all, the main reason we use it is just to provide a little grit to help remove plaque more easily – and for the pleasant taste and clean feeling it leaves.
And for that reason, most of us probably don’t want to do without.
Fortunately, there are great nontoxic alternatives available. One of our favorites, as we’ve mentioned before, is Theodent. It’s an option you can feel good about.
Theodent’s active ingredient is theobromine, a natural compound derived from cocoa beans. Research suggests that this alkaloid may encourage tooth remineralization by restoring minerals to the tooth’s structure – all without relying on fluoride.
Even more promising research has published of late, further supporting theobromine as a safe and effective alternative to fluoride.
One study serendipitously found that theobromine causes the formation of large hydroxylapatite (HAP) crystals. Hydroxylapatite is the main mineral in tooth enamel. While small crystals were seen to increase demineralization during acid exposure, large crystals did not and were associated with less decay. Because of this – and its safety – the authors consider theobromine “a better ingredient than fluoride.”
We believe that theobromine can be used as an ingredient of dentifrices and even if swallowed accidentally, there are no adverse effects.
A second study pitted Theodent classic – in both fluoride-free and fluoridated forms – against Colgate Regular (containing fluoride) and a prescription remineralizing paste. The goal was to compare their effectiveness at decreasing tooth sensitivity. Theodent did so more quickly than the others. Colgate fared the worst. Clearly, the theobromine made a difference.
If you want to decrease sensitivity, prevent decay, freshen your breath, and avoid a whole host of toxins, Theodent is definitely worth a try. Even though you don’t really neeeed it, we think you’ll waaaant it.
Images by Adam Minter & Carsten ten Brink