In the past few years, there has been a trend for consumer products to be more health- and environmentally-friendly. In dental care, this has led to more natural toothpastes and mouthwashes entering the market. These natural toothpastes are especially popular in cities like Austin, where residents are particularly health-conscious. Did you know: Austin, Texas is the 16th healthiest city in the United States, according to Forbes?
What is Natural Toothpaste?
Natural toothpaste is any toothpaste that is free of artificial flavors and sweeteners, artificial colors, and chemical ingredients. Most natural toothpastes use baking soda as a cleaning agent and peppermint extract as flavoring. Other natural flavors include: cinnamon, orange, and herbal blends.
Why Are People Switching to Natural Toothpaste?
Most arguments against traditional toothpastes have to do with the idea that they contain fluoride, which is “harmful” or “dangerous.” While those arguing against fluoride cite potential health risks, there are just as many studies showing that fluoride is safe to use in toothpaste and other oral care products. Although we won’t go into the details of these studies, we should mention that fluoride is itself a natural mineral. Fluoride is added to toothpaste and mouthwash because it helps strengthen teeth and enamel. Some people, however, prefer to only ingest “all natural” products, and are opting for natural brands instead of the traditional favorites. By doing this, they hope to avoid some of the chemical ingredients present in traditional toothpastes.
Ingredients Excluded From Natural Toothpaste:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
- Propylene Glycol
- Aspartame (Aspartic Acid and Phenylalanine)
If you do decide to make the switch to natural toothpaste, here are some things you should know:
- Not all “natural” toothpastes are all-natural. While some brands are totally chemical-free, others still use sodium lauryl sulfate, a foaming agent. Make sure to read the ingredients carefully.
- Natural toothpaste is not as flavorful as the regular brands. Most of the mintiness in toothpaste comes from artificial flavoring. This level of flavor is not usually found in natural toothpaste, so if you suffer from bad breath, then natural toothpaste might not be the best product for you.
- Most natural toothpastes won’t whiten as well as traditional toothpastes. Whitening toothpaste usually has ingredients added like peroxide that give additional whitening effects.
Should You Switch to Natural Toothpaste?
With any oral health decision, you should first consult with your dentist if you have questions. Your dentist can discuss the pros and cons of natural toothpaste to help you decide what is best for you. Many people enjoy the switch to natural toothpaste, while others prefer the cleaning properties of traditional toothpaste better. Once you try different toothpastes, you might find one that works best for you!