This article was authored by Klaus Ferlow, HMH (Honorary Master Herbalist), innovator, lecturer, researcher, writer, founder Ferlow Botanical Enterprises Ltd, Vancouver, B.C. manufacturing/distributing organic toxin-free medicinal herbal and personal care products to professional health & wellness practitioners in Canada and parts of USA since 1993.
Modern toothpaste is a heavy mix of chemicals and synthetics meant to clean, polish and maintain healthy teeth and gums. But are those ingredients safe, or even necessary?
Many people these days live a healthier lifestyle. They reduce their bad fat intake, reduce refined sugar, replace it with stevia (from a sweet herbal plant from Paraguay), Xylitol, an all natural sweetener, derived from corncobs and birch trees, a proven cavity fighter and safe for use by diabetics and hypoglycemics, or cane sugar.Try to avoid heavily processed foods with artificial colours, sweeteners and chemicals (read the book "Hard To Swallow") such as aspartame, neotame, sodium saccharin, splenda, MSG, (Monosodium glutamate, research shows it is a neurotoxin damaging the nervous system or brain, linked to hormonal imbalances, weight gain, obesity and a variety of other health problems. Eat more certified organic vegetables and fruit grown without herbicide and pesticide spraying or radiation, and even clean your house with non toxic-products.
But have you given any thoughts to what you are swishing around your mouth at least twice a day?
It seems that toothpaste is almost as old as teeth and early populations used abrasives like crushed oyster shells, bone and eggshells mixed with flavouring and powered charcoal. Later essential oils of peppermint, spearmint or cinnamon made brushing more pleasant and helped kill bacteria and germs at the same time.
Most commercial toothpaste have ingredients such as SLS (Sodium lauryl sulphate), fluoride, PVMMA copolymer, sodium laureth sulfate , sodium saccharin, artificial colour etc. Let's find out what the ingredients really are:
An detergent, humectant (moisturizer), emulsifier and foaming agent. Don't get deceived if it says on the label "derived from coconut! It is a combination of lauryl alcohol and mineral sodium sulphate, followed by neutralization with sodium carbonate. Found also in care wash soap, engine degreaser, garage floor cleaners. Degenerates cell membranes and can change genetic information (mutagenic) in cells and damage the immune system. It is reported to cause eye irritation, skin rashes, hair loss, dandruff and allergic reactions. Penetrates your eyes, brain, liver and remains there long term.
A ionic, negatively charged surfactant. A compound which reduces the surface tension in water, between water and another liquid, or between a liquid and a solid, classified as a wetting agent. It has ether added and is therefore irritating and toxic.
Derived from hydroluric, made by reacting sulphuric acid with fluorspar, an ore rich calcium fluoride, a hazardous chemical. Researchers have linked to cancer but no one is listening! Especially dangerous for young children who tend to swallow it after brushing their teeth. Many toothpaste contain enough fluoride in a 120m = 4 oz tube to even kill small child! That's why many toothpaste manufacturers include a warning on their labels "Not to use by children under the age of 6 years." Fluoride can corrode the tooth enamel, when swallowed can lead to Chron's disease. It does not reduce cavities and scientists are linking it to dental deformity, arthritis, allergic reactions and approx. 10.000 death each year from cancer. A report indicated that Fluorosis (fluoride poisoning) can result in darkened or mottled teeth, erosion of enamel, compromised bone structure and a host of other problems including learning disabilities, kidney disease and brain lesions. (see also the article "Hidden Fluoride in our food", January 2002 issue, Alternative Medicine Magazine).
A thickener, dispersing agent and stabilizer. It gives a soapy feel, highly irritating to eyes, skin and mucous membrane.
Artificial sweetener( from the dangerous, hazardous Aspartame family), potential carcinogenic, currently being evaluated by National Toxicology Program, mutagenic, toxic or causes adverse reactions. Tests in the 1980s in rats developed bladder cancer, even the FDA (Federal Drug Administration, USA) list it as a possible carcinogen.
Often used to dye pastes blue, most coal tar derivative are potential carcinogens, cause allergic reactions, teratogen or toxic and has been known to produce malignant tumors at the site of injection and by ingestion in rats.
These are just a few main chemical ingredients you will find in many toothpastes, but there are also other harmful ingredients found in toothpastes that are hazardous to your health. Therefore "READ CAREFULLY ANY INGREDIENTS ON THE LABELS". If you can't pronounce the name of an ingredient, it is mostly a synthetic chemical and don't buy it!
People brush and floss their teeth to remove sticky plaque, food particles and bacteria anywhere from 2 - 3 times a day. There is a widespread concern for two groups of people in particular: young children and those who suffer form chemical sensitivity as a result of chronic exposure to environmental and household chemicals. Consumers have a right if not a responsibility to be aware of the potential hazards that maybe lurking in your personal care products. Buying naturally if concerns such as those mentioned in this article convince you to dump your traditional, commercial toothpaste in favour of a 100% chemical free, natural brand such as our Neem Tree toothpaste from the Ayurvedic medicine in India with a history of close to 6000 years, might be the solution. The Neem Tree from India has been called a miraculous healing herb and people in Asia and Africa have been using Neem tree twigs as tooth brushes for centuries preventing tooth decay and gum disease. The twigs contain ingredients helping with oral hygiene. Give your oral health a lift with Neem Tree toothpaste that comes with Anise and altenatie with Peppermint/Spearmint essential oils flavour.
More information can be obtained from our website: http://www.ferlowbotanicals.com
100.000.000 Guinea Pigs - Dangers in Everyday Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics, by Arthur Kallet & F.J. Schlink
Hard to Swallow - The Truth about food additives, by Doris Sarjeant & Karen Evans
Beauty to Die For - The Cosmetic Consequence, by Judi Vance
Dying To Look Good - The Disturbing Truth about what's really in your cosmetics, toiletries and personal care products, by Christine Hoza Farlow, DC
Cosmetics Ingredients - over 6000 of the harmful and desirable ingredients found in toiletries and cosmetics, by Ruth Winter, M.S.
Drop Dead Gorgeous - A host of dubious ingredients, coal tar colours, phenylenediamine, benzene, formaldehyde and more, by Kim Erickson
It is not our intention to prescribe or make specific claims for any of our products. Any attempt to diagnose and treat illness should come under the direction of your health care practitioner.
This information is offered for its educational value only and should not be used in the diagnose, treatment, or prevention of disease. Any attempt to diagnose and treat illness should come under the direction of your health care practitioner.