Why choose natural alternatives to toothpaste?
These days many commercial toothpastes include sodium lauryl sulfate and many other artificial chemicals as well as high levels of artificial sweeteners in their ingredient list. Sodium lauryl sulfate has known irritant effects and can be irritating to sensitive skin, not what you want to put in your mouth!
Some people also prefer to choose a toothpaste that’s free from added fluouride.
Here are our top three suggestions for more natural alternatives:
Baking Soda and Peppermint Oil
The combination of baking soda and peppermint oil can make an excellent 'fresh mouth' feeling perfect for an intense polishing effect on teeth that may be more prone to plaque and staining.
The peppermint essential oil can be diluted in water and added to the baking soda to make a paste. The oil can also be used as a gargle when diluted to freshen breath and promote salivation for removing bacteria from the mouth.
Herbs have traditionally been used in oral health before toothpaste was commonplace. These particular herbs have a traditional use for oral hygiene:
- Thyme is a natural disinfectant and can aid in breath freshening. Preparing a tea out of the dried herb is one way to develop a pre-brushing ritual to help "prepare" the mouth against tooth infections.
- Tea tree oil works well as an antiseptic and can lower bacteria in the mouth. It also reduces inflammation caused by gingivitis.
- Echinacea extract causes a ‘tingling’ sensation in the mouth, and was thought to offer many oral health benefits.
- Chamomile is commonly used in traditional medicine to reduce mouth ulcers.
These days you can buy herbal toothpastes using these herbs as an alternative to traditional toothpaste (and minus the artificial chemicals!).
Coconut oil has a paste-like consistency that feels more like traditional toothpastes. It also has the unique benefit of strengthening tooth enamel over time. Coconut oil can be mixed with diluted peppermint essential oil for its breath freshening and cleansing properties.