HUGE step for sure. We don’t need that stuff on our skin all day, every day.
Another big step since rubbing that stuff into our very porous scalp EVERY day just seems like a really bad idea.
Today is about another daily routine but involves replacing things that we put INSIDE our body everyday (and most of us twice a day at that).
And that would be toothpaste and mouthwash.
Whenever you put any toxic substance into your mouth there are two ways it can get into your body. Certainly you (or your children!) might swallow it. But even if you don’t swallow it, the membranes in your mouth are very permeable, and toxic substances can easily pass right into your bloodstream and move quickly to every part of your body.
Toothpaste has a few culprits that we really just shouldn’t be putting in our mouths. Especially since there is little to back up that their absence has any detrimental effect on the health of our teeth (more on that in a moment).
The primary chemical of concern is fluoride.
Fluoride is bad. Which is why most toothpastes have warnings like this on them…
WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more toothpaste than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison-control center immediately.
Obviously, the amount in toothpaste is low and if used properly, shouldn’t cause in SHORT term problems. But clearly the stuff is bad enough and there is enough in a tube of paste that if you (or really a child is what we are talking about) were to consume too much, it could be bad in the short term.
The FDA began requiring the warning in the late 90’s when it became clear that small children could be seriously injured–or even killed–by fluoride poisoning.
And if it’s so bad that it requires a warning like that, it can’t be good over time. Especially when combined with other sources of fluoride in our life–like TAP WATER and mouthwash (which I’ll get to in a moment).
Fluoride is an endocrine disrupter that calcifies the penile gland, and can reduce thyroid and adrenal gland function. Fluoride increases cancer risk, causes damage to DNA, inactivates enzymes within the body, accelerates aging, disrupts the immune system, and should be avoided both in toothpaste and in water.
We talked about this in a previous post but many toothpastes contain SLS and SLES. I won’t go over them again but suffice to say that these can interfere with the functioning of your taste buds by breaking up the phospholipids on your tongue. Not to mention that SLS is also registered as an insecticide and may have toxic effects to marine life, including fish, insects, and crustaceans. The manufacturers of SLS actually tried to get approval to market SLS as a pesticide for organic farmers, but the application was denied because of its potential for environmental damage.
- Triclosan – A chemical with powerful antibacterial and anti fungal properties. It’s also been linked to numerous health problems like cancer, developmental defects, and liver and inhalation toxicity. Read this research article about all the adverse effects of Tricolsan, it’s shocking and depressing.
- Aspartame – This is an artificial sweetener that is often an ingredient in toothpaste formulas and many sugar free foods. Here is an FDA.gov report listing the man toxic effects of Aspartame and as you’ll see it’s a long list (everything from eye problems to headaches to “severe depression”).
- Propylene Glycol – A form of mineral oil. Studies are contradictory but many have shown issues ranging from allergic reactions to skin, liver, and kidney damage.
- Diethanolamine – Although it’s an organic compound, the NIH reports it can cause liver damage.
- Microbeads – This is plastic. Plastic that is put in toothpaste to help with the cleaning effects of the product. This is bad in a few ways. But mainly it’s just bad for the environment so yeah, we shouldn’t use toothpaste with this crap in it.
OK, enough about toothpaste. Now on to mouthwash.
Have you ever noticed the warning on most mouthwash products? It goes something like this…
WARNING: Do not administer to children under 12 years of age. KEEP THIS AND ALL DRUGS OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. This product contains alcohol. Do not swallow. In case of accidental overdose, seek professional assistance or contact a poison-control center immediately.
In this case, the main culprit is alcohol. Daily use of mouthwash has been linked to increased incidence of oral cancer, erosion of tooth enamel, increased tooth sensitivity, and higher levels of bad breath. If that weren’t enough, research has just revealed that mouthwash is toxic to cells and damages DNA. Read more about that in this NIH article.
What can you do to remove these from your life?
The best thing is to use an essential oil-based toothpaste (like doTERRA’s On Guard toothpaste).
Make sure it’s fluoride free and uses Xylitol as a sweetener which is safe to humans and numerous studies show that xylitol has powerful benefits for dental health and prevention of tooth decay.
You can then use a mouthwash of 1 drop of dōTERRA On Guard essential oil blend mixed in 8 oz. of water. Swish vigorously in mouth for 1 minute and rinse. Another option is 1 drop of Melalueca and 1 drop of Peppermint.
And that my friends, is how you get these two toxic offenders OUT OF YOUR LIFE. 🙂
If you’d like to get started using essential oils, contact me today for a free consultation.