If you’re interested in healthy, alternative living, chances are you know all about the dangers of store bought shampoos and soaps. Parabens, microbeads, and sodium laurel sulfate lurk in the artificially scented goop. That’s why we opt for natural hygiene products. But have you considered the chemicals hiding in your favorite minty-fresh toothpaste?
According to dentist Dr. Steve Lin, the biggest toothpaste no-no is SLS or sodium laurel sulfate. It’s added to toothpaste and other soaps as a foaming agent, but as Dr. Lin says, “There’s no benefit to your oral health.” Now, oral health is all about habits. So there’s no reason to change your dental routine cold turkey! Why not try out a natural alternative each night, keeping the brand name stuff for the morning when you’re short on time? Then, when you’ve picked a favorite natural option, make the full switch over when your regular tube runs out.
Activated charcoal is a substance made of carbon. The key difference between ordinary charcoal, such as the burnt woody stuff you light the barbecue with, and activated charcoal is the surface of the material.
Since activated charcoal is mainly composed of carbon atoms, it has a very fine porous structure on a particle scale. This means that a small amount of activated charcoal has a massive surface area! In chemistry, surface area is one of the factors that affects reactivity. The higher the surface area, the more room there is for chemical interactions to occur.
In layman’s terms, this means that activated charcoal is able to bond with all kinds of substances and molecules that you’ve ingested. It’s great for detoxing your body, like in this charcoal lemonade.
Activated charcoal’s odor-absorbing, stain-removing, and abrasive properties make it a suitable toothpaste alternative. Check out this DIY recipe!
Dr. Steve Lin is a big believer that the food you eat has more of an impact on tooth health than brushing! Avoid processed sugars, and get plenty of dietary fiber from fruits and vegetables. Fibrous foods such as apples and carrots are great for physically rubbing the plaque and stains off your teeth. (Hint: these are excellent for your pooch’s mouth, too!)
If you struggle with gum inflammation, also known as gingivitis, try out turmeric toothpaste!