10 Natural toothpaste alternatives
More and more people are ditching commercial toothpaste in favour of natural alternatives and that might lead you to ask: what is wrong with using the commercial brands of toothpaste that we have all become so familiar with over the years? Well, some of the ingredients that are used in many types of toothpaste could actually be harming your health. Even fluoride has had questions marks raised over its use in toothpaste. Fluoride may not be as good at preventing cavities, as it was first thought and it can be toxic to human beings. Another ingredient that is commonly used in commercial toothpastes is glycerine, and that can coat your teeth and prevent remineralisation. If you are concerned about what may be in your brand of toothpaste, there are plenty of other ways to clean your teeth without toothpaste. Here are ten natural alternatives to toothpaste that you can use to clean your teeth.
1. Baking soda
Baking soda is used in some commercial toothpastes and in many recipes for homemade toothpaste. It’s one of the most popular alternatives to commercial toothpaste and it really does work extremely well. You can use it by either dipping your toothbrush straight into some baking soda, or you can make a solution of baking soda and water and use it that way.
2. Sea salt
You can’t get any more natural than sea salt and it too is often used as an alternative to toothpaste. Sea salt will kill bacteria in the mouth and it contains minerals that can help to strengthen your teeth. Use it in the same way as we described for baking soda by dipping your toothbrush in it, or making a saline solution with it.
3. Dry brushing
Some people say that you don’t need to use anything at all when you brush your teeth and, in some parts of the world, people clean their teeth with nothing more than a stick. Dry brushing will certainly remove food particles and plaque from your teeth, but it won’t give you the minty fresh taste that commercial toothpaste does.
4. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is another great natural ingredient you can use to clean your teeth, either on its own, or mixed with baking soda, or sea salt. Coconut oil has both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, so it will help to keep bacteria in the mouth under control.
5. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a common ingredient in teeth whitening toothpastes and it can be used at home for the same purpose. You can use it in conjunction with other ingredients, like sea salt and baking soda, and then you will get the whitening effect of the hydrogen peroxide and the anti-bacterial effect of the other ingredients. Just dip your toothbrush in some food grade hydrogen peroxide and then into the salt, or the baking soda. But avoid using hydrogen peroxide every day.
6. Oil pulling
Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurvedic method used for treating bad breath and preventing tooth decay. It involves swishing oil, like sesame seed oil or coconut oil, round in your mouth for about ten to fifteen minutes. The practice is said to kill bacteria in the mouth, strength teeth and help to stop cavities forming.
7. Plain water
You can just brush your teeth with plain water and nothing else. You won’t, of course, get any flavour, and it won’t cover up any odours, but the brushing will remove food particles and plaque from your teeth in just the same way as if you were using toothpaste.
8. Natural soap
If you use a natural, unscented soap, then that will clean your teeth too. It’s not everyone’s taste, but some people have claimed that soap cleans your teeth better than toothpaste and you don’t get any of the chemicals that we mentioned. Avoid using scented, big brand bar soaps, because they do contain chemicals that are not meant to be used in the mouth. There are some brands of soap on the market that are designed specifically for cleaning teeth.
9. Essential oils
You can use essential oils to give some more flavour to the other natural ingredients, or you can use some, like peppermint oil, on their own. Many essential oils have strong antibacterial properties, but do be sure that the essential oil that you use is safe to use orally.
10. Herbal tooth powders
There are also herbal tooth powders available that will effectively clean your teeth and protect you against cavities and which only contain natural ingredients. They use mixtures of herbs, such as organic peppermint, aloe vera resin, organic clove buds, and goldenseal root. They do a fantastic job of cleaning your teeth and they can also help with issues like inflammation of the gums and mouth ulcers. The other advantage that herbal tooth powders have over some other natural toothpaste alternatives is that they taste good too.
Stay happy and healthy!