Are natural toothpastes just as effective as traditional?
And the thing is that yes, some natural toothpastes may be just as effective as traditional toothpastes. However, most are not.
“Natural” = Fluiride Free
This is because most natural toothpastes are generally advertised as natural when they don’t contain fluoride. Fluoride is the key ingredient contributing to effectiveness of toothpaste. The point of toothpaste is to prevent cavities and strengthen enamel and it does this by remineralizing weak areas of the teeth. Without fluoride, you are more prone to cavities and tooth decay. However, there is one promising natural ingredient called hydroxyapatite.
It might be just as good as fluoride research is still ongoing, but it seems as if hydroxyapatite may successfully remineralize teeth as equally as fluoride does. However, studies also suggest that fluoride may still have stronger resistance to acids.
It is very important to note that fluoride toothpastes are currently the only toothpastes with the American Dental associations seal of acceptance.
If you’re looking to switch to a natural toothpaste, it is highly recommended you discuss your concerns with your individual dental provider beforehand.
What’s in your toothpaste? A look at common ingredients
Now let’s talk about some of the common ingredients found in natural toothpaste. The main general concept of natural toothpaste is that they don’t contain fluoride. However, there are some toothpastes advertises natural that do contain fluoride, which are the ones that many dental professionals are comfortable recommending since they are approved by the ADA.
These toothpastes that are natural and still contain fluoride are usually free of SLS, sulfates, peroxides, dyes, and gluten in addition, some are also cruelty-free and they all include fluoride. But for the ones that do not contain fluoride, the common ingredients are like we said hydroxyapatite.
Pro tip: if you are going to use a nonfluoride toothpaste it is recommended to be sure you are using one with hydroxyapatite for it limits bacteria lowers plaque buildup reduces sensitivity and restores enamel which strengthens teeth against cavities.
Again I can’t say it enough but if you are going to use a natural toothpaste for whatever reason you are not doing fluoride make sure it at least has this ingredient.
Some other ingredients that may be found a natural toothpastes are xylitol. Xylitol is known to prevent the growth of bacteria in your mouth possibly helping prevent plaque buildup.
This is known to prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth, possibly helps prevent cavities
Green Tea Extract.
This is known to remove oral bacteria. Possibly helping prevent bad breath.
Papaya Plant Extract.
This is known to possibly reduce gum inflammation and redness
This polishes teeth and helps remove stain.
This may help the teeth appear whiter.
Charcoal and Baking Soda
And are there any ingredients that we should watch out for in natural toothpaste we should be very cautious about charcoal and baking soda? Although charcoal has been advertised as the trendy way to whiten teeth, it is definitely not the safe way. Charcoal toothpaste may be damaging to the enamel because of their highly abrasive qualities. This can lead to loss of tooth enamel. Over time when the enamel layer of the tooth is lost the dentin layer of the tooth is exposed and ironically the dentin layer of the tooth is yellow so it can make your teeth appear even less white than when you started
For baking soda also known as sodium bicarbonate. The amount is not regulated and most natural toothpastes like it is for toothpastes with the ADA seal of acceptance. And when something isn’t regulated, it makes it much easier to accidentally overdo it which will lead to the same negative results as with charcoal.
Why Go Natural?
So what are the reasons for people wanting to use natural toothpaste? Some people feel fluoride is not natural, although fluoride does occur naturally in the body as calcium fluoride found in both your bones and your teeth. In addition, some patients argue that fluoride is linked to many side effects if overexposed to it such as acne and tooth discoloration. However, no negative side effects have been recorded without evidence of an overdose.
And that’s with anything right you can drink too much orange juice and get stomach ulcers or eat too many doughnuts and get a sugar headache. So, unfortunately, for some reason, fluoride tends to be a controversial subject because of overdoses but regardless, research shows that fluoride does reduce tooth decay. But if a patient is not comfortable with it, for whatever reason, there may be an alternative: hydroxyapatite. That both patients and dental professionals will soon be able to agree upon. We’re still waiting for more research but so far, this is what I’ve been recommending to mine on fluoride patients.
Natural Toothpastes with fluoride.
Now for natural toothpastes with fluoride. That’s another story. Dental professionals are generally across the board on board with these. So these are the fluoride toothpastes with all natural ingredients and lately more and more patients are looking for a cleaner, healthier lifestyle with their food choices, house cleaning supplies and toiletries including toothpaste. So choosing these toothpastes without ingredients that aren’t necessary for effectiveness such as dyes for color and gluten for flavor have been a lifestyle choice for many millennials, Gen Z and all generations alike.
In addition, some patients have had sensitivity or irritation with SLS and sulfates. Another reason to look for clean toothpaste. And all the most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a natural tooth base is to always talk with your dental provider beforehand. If you are someone who is prone to cavities are prone to gum disease, your dentist or dental hygienists will gear you in the right direction when choosing a toothpaste and other dental homecare products to best benefit the health of your individual mouth.