There are an enormous number of options for toothpaste out there. Each of them boasts its benefits that set them apart from the crowd. Recently there’s been a rising interest in those brands that call themselves “natural” toothpaste. This has led to patients wondering whether these are safe and effective for their oral health. Further, they want to know what to look for in these toothpaste tubes to ensure they get ones that work.
What Does It Mean For Toothpaste To Be Natural?
The general idea is that natural toothpaste use substances that aren’t manufactured in a laboratory. They lack any preservatives, dyes, artificial flavoring, and SLS found in mass-market toothpaste. However, many of these options also lack fluoride’s critically important component. While many kinds of natural toothpaste retain this ingredient, others leave it out. The reasons range from the conspiratorial to the scientific, but it’s essential to be making an informed choice when buying fluoride-free toothpaste.
Regardless of the presence or lack of fluoride, natural toothpaste uses a broad range of ingredients. More so than with traditional toothpaste, understanding the ingredients in your natural toothpaste is important.
- Aloe Vera – This ingredient has numerous beneficial effects. It’s known to be both antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, making it a powerful weapon against gingivitis.
- Coconut Oil – Often used to provide a better texture, coconut oil has been shown to battle bacteria, reduce plaque, and even prevent gingivitis. Additional studies are needed to back these claims.
- Xylitol – Despite its artificial-sounding name, xylitol is a natural substance. It’s often used in sugar-free gum and toothpaste due to its proven ability to kill streptococcus mutans.
- Citrus and Herbs – There are numerous herbs and citrus fruit that are used in natural toothpaste. Citrus oils, such as those from oranges and lemons, are known to have a whitening effect on enamel. Fennel and anise are used both to add flavor to the toothpaste and as a proven breath freshener. The result is a mouth that feels and smells cleaner.
One ingredient that you may find in natural toothpaste is one you should avoid. Charcoal is often added as an abrasive to certain natural toothpaste. This is done due to the abrasive qualities that make it excellent at cleaning away plaque and tartar from your teeth. When overused, however, it can wear away enamel and cause irreparable harm to your dental health. As a result, you should avoid these toothpaste to protect your oral health. Alternately, use them only sparingly to achieve the desired effect.
Which Natural Toothpaste Is Right For Me?
Determining which of these toothpaste suits your oral health is a big decision. It’s often wise to include your dentist in decisions like this. They understand the implications of using natural toothpaste and can inform you what pitfalls to watch out for. Reach out to them for your next dental visit, and make sure to bring a list of questions about the products you’ve been using. They’ll go over them with you and help you make an educated decision about your natural toothpaste choices.