After discussing floss, my dentist informed me that I am doing a good job with my brushing. As there are occasional lapses in memory when I just want to get into my bed as quickly as possible after a long day, I was mildly surprised. My guess is that my paste has something to do with this. Soon after I last saw him, before starting university, I stopped using conventional pastes. My primary reason was that I do not know enough about it to be using it. As far as I knew at the time, conventional products were toxic both to our health, and to the environment. Since, I admit I have not learned much about toothpaste, however having read a few links (which you will find below), here are some things I read:
– You may have heard about the controversies linked to fluoride. I am still not knowledgeable enough to be fully decided where I lie in the spectrum of opinions about it, however I do know that my lack of knowledge pushes me to avoid it, and it is in many pastes, including the ones I tend to use in Ghana. While those opposing fluoride agree that there are benefits, they also believe it must be taken in moderation, something I believe about pretty much anything. Further, it can dissolve the mercury in amalgam fillings.
– It seems most pastes have glycerin in them (likely animal-based, not plant-based), so as to improve the texture of their paste. While it seems there is not yet much consensus about this product, some believe that it coats teeth, preventing absorption of essential minerals.
– Also found is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, another health and environmental toxin. Both making it easier for the skin to absorb other toxins and a skin and eye irritant, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate also is known for being an aquatic toxin.
In the end, the above toxins, as well as others – such as artificial sugars, polyethylene glycols, sorbitol, tensides, triclosan and various toxic metals – are detrimental to both our health and the health of the planet, which we are borrowing from our descendants. I can not, in good conscience, continue to use such products. Because of this, I now only use natural pastes (except when I run out in Ghana, although as I stated in my last post, I do use the chewing stick on occasion). Since I made this change – much to the contrary of what a girl in my globalization and post-global studies said she had heard about natural paste – my teeth and breath both feel much cleaner, including after waking up; it is still morning breath, just not as bad.
Not having any preferred brands, I just take the least costly tube and as of yet, I have not had any problems for the most part. Closest to me is Avril, and they have fantastic electronic price tabs that allow for comparison by weight, i.e. what each 100 grams costs. When I finish the tube I am now using, I would very much like to finally attempt making my own paste or powder. I have long wanted to do this, but have been unable to, as my need for new paste has always been when I was lacking time. My mention of powders also alludes to that possibility. In fact, there are a few alternatives to paste, be it natural or conventional. Do check out the links below, and also do your own searches, so as to decide which alternative to conventional paste you would like, be it natural paste, or something else; the only alternative to paste that I have tried is the chewing stick, so I do not have much to say on that matter.
Obibini Bruni – Facebook, YouTube
Additional Links – 3 Reasons to Make the Switch to Natural Toothpaste, Natural or conventional.The best way to clean our teeth, What Are the Benefits of Natural Toothpaste?, What everyone should know about toothpaste