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What’s Really In Your Toothpaste?

DIY Homemade Natural Toothpaste by Grace Van Berkum

As I dive deeper into holistic beauty care and the detriments of using commercial beauty & health products on our hormonal health, metabolism, and the environment, I discovered how toxic mainstream toothpaste can be. Read on my curious friends.

Thanks for publishing Sweat Equity Magazine Jan 2014, page 25.

DIY Homemade Natural Toothpaste by Grace Van Berkum

Is your immune system constantly low? Do you suffer from allergies, acne around the mouth, cold sores, thyroid issues? You might want to consider the toothpaste you are using.

As the world is starting to become more aware of the toxins and chemicals in our food, and how they are affecting the health and vibrancy of our bodies, it is also imperative we start examining our beauty regime and the products we use. This includes the creams, soaps, scrubs, shampoos, and dental hygiene products we use. Toxic products found in everyday beauty and hygiene products get absorbed into our blood stream wreaking havoc on our internal organs and hormones over time, in just the same way that toxins from our environment and food do.  Most dental hygiene products in everyday use contain toxins that have been associated with allergic, neurological and other illnesses. Have you ever checked out the ingredients in your toothpaste or mouthwash?  A typical commercial toothpaste contains ingredients which are made up of very small molecules which penetrate through the skin of the mouth, enter the blood stream, and build up in the nervous system, organs and tissues.

Hygiene clearly has very important benefits for protecting ourselves from infection. But some of the chemicals in our hygiene products (and cleaning products) may have more risks than benefits. Read the labels, even on natural toothpastes.  Question what things are and where they come from.  Everything you put in your mouth and on your skin affects your health.

Toothpaste composition is dependent on the type of toothpaste and the manufacturer.  Here are some of the major offenders in popular commercial toothpaste:

Sodium lauryl sulfate: A foaming agent linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity.  It can also cause mouth ulcer, cold sores, and skin and eye irritation.

Triclosan: A preservative and cosmetic biocide (chemical agent), also known as a pesticide, that has been linked to allergies, endocrine disruption, hormonal inbalance, and organ system toxicity.

FD&C Blue 1, D&C Yellow #10 and D&C Red #30:  Synthetic dyes and artificial coloring produced from petroleum or coal tar sources and linked to tumour growth. Artificial colours have also been linked to ADD and ADHD type symptoms.

Fluoride: Fluoride is one of the more controversial ingredients in toothpaste. Many people concerned with their health and that live a natural lifestyle opt not to use toothpastes that contain it.  If you do use it, make sure to rinse well and spit it all out as fluoride can be toxic if swallowed.

Hydrated silica: An anti-caking agent that bioaccumulates in people and wildlife.

Polyethylene: Is the most common ingredient in plastic but is often found in toothpaste.

Saccharin: an artificial sweetener and petroleum-based sugar substitute that is carcinogenic.

Propylene Glycol: is used to clean up oil spills and in anti-freeze. It is a skin irritant and has been linked to hives.

Titanium dioxide:  is an inorganic compound used as a colorant in a range of body care products such as sunscreens and makeup, and also found in paint. It has been described as a possible human carcinogen.

Xanthan Gum: is a thickener derived from a bacteria that grows on corn and wheat which can affect people with food sensitivities.

Do-It-Yourself Easy Toothpaste Recipe

This easy recipe for dental health takes just a couple of minutes to make and will last for months. While this toothpaste is mildly abrasive and suitable for most, it’s not recommended for those with sensitive teeth.

1)  1/2 cup aluminum-free baking soda 2)  1/2 cup organic coconut oil (liquid, not solid) 3)  3-5 drops PURE peppermint or spearmint essential oil (Make sure the oil is pure enough to ingest. Do not ingest oils that are not marked GRAS (generally regarded as safe) or are not labeled for supplement use.) 4)  1 packet stevia powder

Combine all ingredients in bowl and whisk vigorously to thoroughly combine. Transfer into an airtight lidded jar.  Scoop it on to your toothbrush and brush as usual.  Homemade toothpaste will store 6 months or longer without refrigeration.

Gracious Living with Grace Van Berkum

You are what you eat. You are what you think. ~Gracious Living Lifestyle


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