Should You Use Green Toothpaste?
The reason more and more people are concerned about conventional toothpastes’ safety are the ingredients. We all enjoy the taste, flavor and texture of toothpastes. We all love their flashy ads and promises: who wouldn’t want perfect and instantly whiter smile? Most of them however have several questionable ingredients that raise consumer’s concern.
– Fluoride – which we’ve been told is good for us – is in fact a by-product of aluminum manufacturing. (Aluminum is suspected of causing – or contributing to – the development of Alzheimer’s disease.) Sodium fluoride and / or fluorosalicic acid – both of which are also common in drugstore toothpastes – were considered so poisonous in years past that they were used as a rat poison! Here is the scoop on fluoride: should a child digest a considerable amount of conventional toothpaste, you’ll be well-advised to contact poison control. Adults brushing with fluoride toothpaste regularly (and let’s face it, we don’t always rinse long enough!) are at risk of tooth and bone decay, impaired thyroid function and other health problems.
– Another questionable ingredient of toothpaste is Silica (a harsh abrasive) which may damage tooth enamel.
– Glycerin which makes for toothpaste’s nice texture and by some accounts, shiny teeth, sticks to the teeth’ surface and prevents re-enamelization.
– Hydrogen Peroxide used in whitening toothpastes whitens teeth, some whitening toothpastes do more: they also turn hair grey, regardless of the consumer’s age.
If you consider only these four ingredients and their impact on your teeth and overall health, brushing your teeth takes on a new meaning.
Of course, we need to brush our teeth and not only for the teeth’ sake but for overall good health. With that said, it may be a good idea to explore safer alternatives. There is a selection of green toothpastes to choose from. Their packaging may be less impressive, in some cases their texture or color maybe less appealing in comparison to their chemical-laden mainstream counterparts, but most of them are fluoride-free. Some contain gentler abrasives than Silica so you can brush your teeth without damaging their enamel. Having shiny teeth may be nice, but having healthy tooth enamel is more important which is why many alternative toothpastes are glycerin-free.
In other words, weigh the risk and benefits and make the smarter choice. The short term benefits of conventional toothpaste maybe more appealing; the long term safety of green toothpaste may not satisfy the need for instant gratification but ensures oral and overall health. And health is, after all, your most precious possession.