One of the first self care methods we are taught as children is brushing our teeth. We all remember those days, standing on the toilet lid, or the little 3 step (blue In my case, green in that of my nephews), toothbrush in hand, trying to find the teeth at the back of our mouth inevitably having our parents step in to get them. The taste of strawberry mint, the froth and the bubbles. The feeling of clean.
As we grow, there’s not much that changes in this well honed routine. We get better at it - our parents no longer have to remind us not to swallow the toothpaste - we reach those fiddly back teeth and we upgrade to adult toothpaste. Gone are the berry sweet flavours, in comes the minty, foamy freshness we grow used to.
But why the upgrade? I am the strange adult that likes flavoured toothpaste. Is it really that bad for the kids to use my toothpaste? Read the back of your toothpaste label and you’ll see clear warnings ‘Not for children under the age of 7’. Why is that? Surely we’ve learnt to stop swallowing toothpaste before the age of 7. Is there something in toothpaste harmful to children, if yes, why isn’t it harmful to adults?
The answer is simple. Toothpaste is full of potentially harmful toxins, super harmful to children under 7 year olds, but also harmful to adults. Sure, we no longer swallow the toothpaste, however we do absorb these chemicals into our body when you brush, especially if you suffer from gum disease.
So what am I putting in my mouth?
We all have our habits, and part of those habits are our attachment to beauty and hygiene products. Most of us have been using the same toothpaste, or brand of toothpaste for as long as we can remember. I know I was, but what if you were to find out that one of the topmost commercial toothpaste brands contains a product called Triclosan. Used in toothpaste as an antibacterial, it’s previously been banned by the FDA in the US, and even in the UK now you’ll be hard pressed to find it in most of the newer, chemically conscious brands. Why? Triclosan is a pesticide, which according to a study of 1848 women in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism was found to heighten the risk of Osteoporosis.
It’s made worse that this is just one of 7 toxic ingredients commonly found in top branded liquid toothpastes. The other 6 may not be banned by the FDA but are still fairly harmful. Where a few brands are cutting back on using these products many contain at least 4 and some contain all 7.
These being Fluoride – one of the most common toothpaste ingredients, known as an enamel strengthener, - Saccharin, Carrageenan, Aspartame, Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Propylene Glycol. Separately and in small doses these may be nothing to worry about, but combined, which commonly they are, they become destructive to both our oral health and potentially our physical.
Do some simple research on these chemicals and you’ll discover that some of these ingredients are only found in toothpaste to facilitate some of the brushing habits we’ve come to favour. SLS or sometimes Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) - an ingredient commonly found in household cleaning products – is found purely for the purpose of creating foam; Saccharin and Aspartame -the former being petroleum based, the latter being able to metabolize as formaldehyde – bounce of each other to make our favourite toothpaste’s sweeter.
Considering all 3 ingredients come with a host of potentially harmful side effects – from migraines, to ulcers and even cancer - we should really be asking ourselves… Is it really worth the risk for a foamy mouth and a sugary aftertaste. Considering there is a multitude of new toothpaste brands coming to the market, without the added sugar, without the chemicals for foam, wouldn’t it be worth doing away with our habits and trying something newer, healthier, less chemically induced.
Brushd. Oral Care.
This tablet form toothpaste is also available as a mouthwash, in a range of flavours; making it a great brand to use when transitioning from your old commercial tube based toothpaste, to a more sustainable product.
Available in fluoride-free form and with less chemicals than your old brand, Brushd. refuses to compromise on your physical or oral health.
Handy glass jars, refill packs and bamboo toothbrushes, make for the perfect eco-friendly travelling companion (when the world re-opens), as well as being good for the environment.
Try this UK made, Vegan, Sustainable brand for a new awakening in your oral care journey, and start living an altogether healthier lifestyle.