Why Would Anyone Want To Use Soap To Brush Their Teeth?
Do you remember when, as a kid, the ultimate punishment for speaking out of turn was to have your mouth washed out with soap? Anyone who’s ever experienced this would agree it was pretty unpleasant. Why then, would anyone in this day and age, even consider using soap to brush their teeth instead of traditional toothpaste?
Soap to brush teeth… really? Please be clear – I am not insinuating one should incorporate his or her shower gel or dish soap into their daily oral hygiene routine. Soap, by definition, is merely “A substance which dissolves in water, thus forming lather, and is used as a cleansing agent.” Natural tooth soaps date back to ancient Egypt. The earliest known reference to any mixture for cleaning teeth comes from a 4th century AD Egyptian manuscript. The ingredients included flowers and herbs that would be crushed together and mixed with oils to create “soap.” Similar practices have been documented by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Some manuscripts indicate that tooth soaps from crushed flowers, salts and oils were popular in 18th and 19th century America, as well. It wasn’t until the 1900’s that hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals started to be used in the U.S. to manufacture what we now call toothpaste.
The Pitfalls of Traditional Toothpaste
One might wonder why an alternative for toothpaste is necessary. After all, we have been using dentist recommended, fluoride toothpastes since the 1950’s, when Proctor and Gamble introduced the first such product to the marketplace. Recent research, however, now indicates that the fluoride and other chemicals used in modern day toothpastes are toxic and may be detrimental to our health. Many holistic dentists have stopped recommending chemically laden toothpastes in favor of those with natural ingredients.
Natural and Effective Alternatives for Toothpaste
Sometimes the old remedies truly are the best option. Oral hygiene products are no exception. Ingredients such as essential oils, salt and coconut oil are phenomenal cleansers, exfoliators and anti-bacterial agents. The benefits of choosing oral hygiene products with these ingredients are numerous:
1.) They are non-toxic and safe for children and pets.
2.) They are gentle and do not strip the tooth’s enamel.
3.) They fight plaque and tarter by restoring the mouth’s pH.
4.) They help to remineralize the teeth.
5.) They are safe for sensitive teeth.
Back to the Basics
It’s not surprising that many health conscious consumers, like me, are abandoning the so called “traditional” toothpastes and embracing those with the natural ingredients of olden times. We have come to realize that our dental hygiene products to not have to contain harmful chemicals in order to be effective. Rather, we can maintain optimal oral health and feel great about doing so without risking our well being. So, using soap to brush teeth is not a far fetched idea. Here’s to our healthy smiles!