Holistic health is more than just preventative diet and regular exercise, it includes everything from your nose to your toes! So it should come as no surprise many people overlook their conventional oral hygiene routines. Not only that, we are mass marketed to by only a select few big brands of toothpastes, flosses, brushes and other dental tool companies. This means we’re left with limited options and the belief that the products we use to care for our teeth and gums are safe and aid in our overall health. Yet, what if we told you most of these products contain harmful chemicals, shelf stabilizers, dyes and additives? Maybe then you wouldn’t want to put them in your mouth multiple times a day! We’re putting traditional dental care products under the microscope to find out just how safe and healthy they really are. Don’t worry, we’ll be giving you safe and effective holistic options that will benefit you and the environment.
FLUORIDE; FRIEND OR FOE?
There’s nothing like running the tap and filling up a big glass of clean, crisp water. We should feel so lucky to have pristine, healthy water in Canada, or should we? Have you ever wondered how your water is processed? An estimated 37 per cent of Canadians receive fluoridated water.1
*Check out our article on water quality for more info on how you can best filter your water
The Canadian government claims many studies show fluoridated water is safe and effectively reduces the amount of cavities in children’s teeth.1 If you look into this further, you’ll actually see the same decline in tooth decay occur in all developed countries, and most of them don’t add fluoride to their drinking water.2 Very few developed countries use fluoride to treat water, in fact 97% of western Europe drinks fluoride free water.3 In 2006 the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science published a 450 page review of the toxic affects of fluoride.4 It took 3 years to write. One startling finding was that the standard for safe drinking water with fluoride in it (4 parts per million in America) causes compelling damage to our bodies!5 They provided evidence which showed regular exposure to fluoride causes significant damage to one’s teeth, bones, brain and overall disruption to the thyroid gland and metabolism.6 Some sources say drinking fluoridated water or using safe amounts of fluoride is safe, and the only verified risk link to fluoride is a condition known as fluorosis.7 Fluorosis is an extremely common tooth enamel defect caused by using too much fluoride.8 One of the main symptoms is white streaked teeth, which can be removed through a cosmetic procedure, but the harm to your tooth enamel is permanent.8 Despite conflicting sources and studies, holistic and natural products are always our recommendation. So this means avoiding dental care products with added fluoride, and other chemicals too!
NOT YOUR AVERAGE TOOTHPASTE
- Their toothpastes contain a compound called Colloidal Silver which is a natural antibiotic that helps eradicate bacteria
- Nelson Naturals uses trace minerals to help strengthen the over all remineralization of their products
- They don’t add in any dyes, preservatives or other gross chemicals that are bad for you and the environment
- Nelson Naturals uses glass jars instead of plastic tubes and they’re pastes are organic!
- Everything’s made in Canada! Nelson, BC to be exact 😀
MOUTHWASH; WHY YOU NEED TO SPIT IT OUT FOR GOOD!
Antibacterial mouthwashes destroy all the bacteria in your mouth. Sounds great until you realize ‘all’ the bacteria means even the good stuff that helps your body fight off bad bacteria!8 Many mouthwashes contain alcohol based chemicals which can dry out your mouth and cause irritation. The worst thing about many over the counter mouth washes is they contain acidic shelf stabilizers. The acid in these preservatives is strong enough to eat away at your enamel, leaving your teeth more prone to decay.9 Just in case you’re still not convinced, 2 major brands of mouthwash were analysed and found to contain several harmful dyes.9 Three of these dyes were:
- Green 3 – has been linked to bladder cancer 10
- Yellow 5 – derived from coal tar 11
- Blue 1 – linked to cancer 10
Is convenient minty fresh breath worth the health risks? No way! Before you freak out about having lifelong garlic breath, you can easily make your own mouthwash at home using essential oils of your choice, baking soda, water, activated charcoal or other safe, health promoting ingredients you have on hand. This recipe by Wellness Mama is a great spicy blend. If you don’t have time for homemade stuff, you could always try oil pulling, just be sure to pick a high quality oil for optimum results. We recommend picking a cold processed, organic coconut oil. For optimum results swish the coconut oil in your mouth for 2-5 minutes, and be sure to spit it all out. Don’t swallow it as the purpose of oil pulling is to extract toxins from your mouth, so there will be some pretty yucky stuff in that oil by the end. It’s best to practice oil pulling in the morning as our bodies go through a detox process every night, so many toxins will sit on your tongue; hence morning breath!
PLASTIC BRUSHES ARE A NO-GO
Over 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year.12 It’s safe to say there’s more than enough plastic in the world already, so let’s all agree to ditch the plastic toothbrush. Brush Naked is a company that produces a 100% biodegradable toothbrush. The brush bristles are made from corn and tapioca, and the handles are bamboo. When you order one of their brushes, you can even select the ‘ship without a box’ option which will reduce the use of packaging, this is due to their brushes being sealed in a 100% biodegradable cello made from wood and cotton pulp to keep them sanitary. Plus they offer free shipping in Canada and the US. Also can we talk about how cute the bamboo look is?
FLOSS IT LIKE IT’S HOT
Conventional dental floss is normally made from plastic or contains plastics. (surprise, surprise) so our replacement is sewing thread! It’s stronger than regular floss and it’s biodegradable.
Have a dental hygiene tip you’d like to add? Tell us about it in the comments!
new 8 http://fluoridealert.org/issues/fluorosis/