Ten things you really should know about natural dental care

Beautiful natural smileIt’s a truth universally acknowledged by beauty editors that the best way to stay young looking and beautiful is to look after your teeth. Yes, serums and face creams will go some way to helping skin appear youthful, but a giveaway sign that the years are advancing is the condition of your smile.

Yellowing teeth, gum disease, and the build up of plaque and tartar, and subsequent bad breath, can add years to your face. How many of us, though, get to spend time reviewing our dental hygiene? For most, it’s a case of throwing whichever brand of toothpaste is on offer into the shopping trolley, and turning a blind eye to the sorry-looking toothbrush that’s older than the dog.

One simple way to update your dental routine is to consider using natural toothpaste, natural toothbrushes, and other complementary products, some of which are so advanced they’re even using similar health and beauty-boosting natural ingredients as natural skincare.

The chances are you’ve already switched to other natural products for you and your home, such as non-toxic cleaning products, organic veggies and meat, and beauty products without chemical nasties in them. But perhaps you’ve yet to register that you can do the same for your smile. Well, you can, and here are 10 other things you really should know about natural dental care:

1. Natural dental products contain natural ingredients

No prizes for guessing that natural dental products do, infact, contain natural ingredients! It depends on which product, but most will include silica, a natural mineral which helps keep teeth clean. After this staple ingredient, different brands will use different accent ingredients.

Examples are aloe vera, calendula and arnica for their healing properties, tea tree oil for antiseptic qualities, sea salt for cleaning, peppermint, spearmint, strawberries and raspberries for taste.

What’s more, there are plenty of options on the market if you want to buy toothpaste or mouthwashes that use organically-derived ingredients. Really, if you’re spending that bit extra on organic food, why put non-organic dental stuffs in your mouth?

2. Natural toothpaste works hard

Essentially, the job they do is to remove plaque, neutralise acid, dissolve stains, freshen breath and maintain a healthy oral flora. In short, it’s all the stuff that mainstream dental products will do. Pretty handy, really!

3. Natural dental care doesn’t include nasties

As with natural skincare products, natural dental products don’t include some or all of the following: parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, man-made surfactants (foaming agents), harsh abrasives or colourants. Some will also omit sweeteners, natural or otherwise.

Because they include natural ingredients and omit potentially harmful ones, natural toothpaste is kinder to you and to the environment too, both in the manufacturing and disposal; using natural toothpaste cuts down on pollutants down the plughole. Crucially, they won’t be tested on animals.

4. Many natural toothpastes are fluoride-free

Perhaps the most hotly debated topic here is about fluoride; natural toothpastes, on the whole (though not in all cases) don’t include it. The effects of fluoride on dental health, general health and the environment are still questioned.

For example, some US lobbying groups claim that fluoride is a contaminant that has no proven health benefit and in fact can exacerbate some conditions, and even cause cancer.

Fluoride is definitely not recommended for children, but as for adult use, we recommend you read around the topic and judge for yourself what is right for you and your family. If you would like to try fluoride-free toothpaste we sell lots of varieties, including Kingfisher Fennel Fluoride-Free toothpaste, which has been approved by the British Dental Health Foundation.

5. Natural toothpaste is great for kids

Natural toothpastes, and brushes, are especially good for children, because they don’t contain some of the chemical ingredients that can cause irritation if swallowed, such as fluorides, aluminium traces and hydrocarbons.

They are also often less “zingy” in the mouth, and have softer, more palatable flavourings.
It’s possible to buy kids versions, such as Lavera’s Kids Toothpaste Gel. It’s still the case that children should be supervised when cleaning their teeth with natural toothpastes, and only a small amount should be used.

6. Natural toothpaste and mouthwash can beat mouth ulcers

If you suffer from persistent mouth ulcers it’s a good idea to try switching to a natural toothpaste that has something like aloe vera or arnica in it. The natural healing and soothing properties of these extract has been acknowledged by sufferers to help speed recovery and keep painful mouth ulcers at bay.

They have also been shown to be good for conditions such as bleeding gums, and are recommended for adults and children undergoing homeopathic treatments, as they are free of ingredients that might interfere.

7. Natural toothpaste works for teeth whitening

Yeah, yeah, we all want healthy teeth, but it’s hard to deny the allure of sparkly white teeth too! The good news is that it doesn’t take a barrel-load of chemicals to get a Princess Katherine mega-watt smile; you can go natural and still get that whitening effect. Try something like AloeDent Whitening Toothpaste, Jason Powersmile toothpaste or Dead Sea Spa Magik Fresh ‘n’ White Toothpaste.

8. CoQ10 - not just for skin!

CoQ10 has been a real hottie in skincare in recent years, and now it’s available in dental products too. CoQ10 is a natural anti-oxidant that can be found in every cell in our bodies. Anti-oxidants work by neutralising or repairing free radicals (broken-down skin molecules) that can cause cells to die. CoQ10 toothpaste and soothing gels are especially good for fighting gum disease.

9. Ancient teeth cleaning solutions still work

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and salt are age-old methods for cleaning teeth, and they are still going strong today as ingredients in natural products. Apparently, says a source of celebrity tittle-tattle, Julia Roberts cleans her teeth with baking soda. I bet you’re convinced now you know that, right? After all, that smile is worth a trillion dollars.

10. It's not just toothpaste, it's natural mouthwash and brushes too

Your first step might be switching to natural toothpaste, but once that’s under your belt, why not try a more environmentally-friendly mouthwash and toothbrush too? We especially love Radius toothbrushes, because the handle is made from 100% cellulose from sustainable forests, and is not petroleum-based. And, did you know that you can buy vegan dental floss that avoids the beeswax that coats many standard flosses? Happy bees; what’s not to love?