Hello again and a warm welcome to today’s episode number nineteen of Elmar´s Tooth Talk. The missing link to total health. I am Dr Elmar Jung.
So, before we start, let me tell you What’s in it for you in this episode:
We talk about:
- WHY avoid conventional toothpastes
- HOW to identify toxic ingredients in your toothpastes
- WHY parents must read the packaging information
- WHAT about Fluorides in toothpaste
- HOW to make your own toothpaste
Nowadays there is an incredibly large range of different toothpastes with great advertising messages and marketing concepts. The choice is often difficult.
This episode aims to make the choice easier for you next time you shop.
What’s in toothpaste?
What ingredients are in toothpaste?
What do they do, are they necessary, what benefits, what risks do they pose?
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients.
The main components of most toothpastes are cleaning agents, moisturising agents and water,
There are also binders, dyes, foaming agents and preservatives. Not to forget sweeteners and flavourings so that the paste tastes good and gives the feeling of cleanliness and freshness.
The entire cocoction is supplemented by various active ingredients, such as fluorides to prevent tooth decay or bleach to whiten teeth. Sometimes there are also herbal extracts for healthy gums.
Ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium alkyloxy-sulphuricum, sodium dodecyl poly-oxyethylene, ether sulphate, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl ether sulphate and so on serve as foaming agents and cleaning components, but they can be irritating to the skin and trigger allergies.
In addition, these substances can dry out the oral mucosa, making it even more susceptible to other irritants, to tooth decay and bacterial infection.
None of this sound great and none of the ingredients are natural.
Let’s have a closer look at them.
Preservatives are needed so that the toothpaste does not rot on the shelf or in the warm bathroom but lasts for a long time. And to make sure that no bacteria survive, the manufacturers, to put it bluntly, resort to bomb-proof solutions like Triclosan. Triclosan is a chemical disinfectant and preservative that destroys all types of bacteria and is also used in dishwashing detergents, soaps or deodorants.
Unfortunately, Triclosan also kills healthy bacteria that are part of the natural defence in your mouth.
With the constant use of Triclosan, the “bad” bacteria become resistant over time and the fundament is then laid for the “superbugs” against which antibiotics are no longer effective.
Other synthetic preservatives are parabens, which can be found under a wide variety of names such as benzyl paraben, butyl paraben, methyl or ethyl paraben.
Sometimes the word “paraben” does not appear at all, then pay attention to the addition “benzo” as in para-hydro-benzoate or “esther” as in PHB ester.
What else do parabens do?
Now they have, absorbed through the oral mucosa, the ability to derail the hormonal balance, which particularly affects young men, since parabens have a similar effect to oestrogen and have a feminizing effect. Parabens can also trigger allergies.
What makes your mouth feel really fresh and clean in the morning and the bad breath disappear after you cleaned your teeth?
These are the flavourings. In particular, children’s toothpastes contain aromatic substances.
To make it taste even better, sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame, sodium cyclamate or sorbitol are added. These artificial sweeteners are not beneficial to health quite the opposite is true, but unfortunately the sweet taste tempts the children to swallow the toothpaste.
The most harmless sweeteners are natural xylitol or stevia, while aspartame and sodium cyclamate are very questionable and are even suspected of being carcinogenic.
Of course, one might wonder what sugar is doing in a toothpaste that is supposed to prevent tooth decay in the first place.
Cleaning materials or abrasives are added to whiten teeth or to prevent tartar. How strong their abrasive force is, however, remains a secret of the manufacturer, as this is not noted on the packaging.
Titanium dioxide is used as a colouring agent for whitening or food colouring for the bright blue or red stripes.
Humectants such as glycerine or propylene glycol prevent the toothpaste from drying out and make it easy to squeeze the paste out of the tube.
So that all ingredients stick together nicely and flow evenly out of the tube, emulsifiers are required. Emulsifiers are binders that prevent the ingredients from separating and float like vinegar on oil.
Polyethylene glycols (PEG) are such an emulsifier. Of course, this ingredient is not without side effects. PEGs are also responsible for making the oral mucous membrane more permeable so that parabens, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulphate and fluoride can be absorbed even better.
PEGs are what make an already unhealthy mixture really dangerous.
Important information on the packaging
Perhaps you have already taken a closer look at what is written on the toothpaste or its packaging.
On some toothpaste tubes you will find the warning: “Warning, keep out of the reach of children under 6 years! If more than the amount needed for normal cleaning is swallowed, contact your doctor or the nearest poison control centre immediately.
”Why do you think they write that on it?
The reference is made to toothpastes containing fluoride, because children died after swallowing the contents of a tube of toothpaste containing fluoride. Half a tube of toothpaste is fatal to a 2-year-old, and three-quarters of a tube to a 6-year-old
Facts about fluorides in toothpaste
Here are a few quick facts why fluoride has no place in toothpastes.
Fluoride is often touted as the most important ingredient in toothpaste. Fluoride is said to protect the teeth from decaying. However, this claim is very controversial.
Research shows this could only work if the tooth is dry when fluoride is applied and stays dry for a while after the application which never happens with toothpaste.
It has never been proven that fluoride does no harm when mixed into toothpaste. But we know from many horrible side effects.
If you want to know more about fluoride, listen to episode 005 of Elmar’s Tooth Talk.
What about Safe toothpastes?
The manufacturers of natural cosmetics who work without synthetic ingredients and instead use natural active components show how it can be done differently.
In these natural cosmetic products, for example, silica or sea salt serve as the cleaning agent, while agar agar (E 406) or glycerine (E422) obtained from red algae serve as a humectant.
If you want to completely avoid genetically modified products or foods with animal ingredients, you should avoid glycerine.
Grapefruit extract or vitamin E are used as preservatives, while foaming agents are usually not used at all.
Many natural cosmetics manufacturers do not use sweeteners at all. Others use liquorice root or xylitol.
These manufacturers avoid the use of synthetic ingredients and instead use herbal compounds, essential oils or herbal extracts such as propolis, arnica or calendula.
Tea tree oil, echinacea, rosemary, sage or yarrow are used as active ingredients against tooth decay and plaque.
Despite the natural ingredients, you should always remember that the most important thing is regular and correct cleaning of the teeth, gums, tongue and all oral mucous membranes.
Toothpaste only supports the cleaning effect.
Cleaning your teeth without toothpaste?
Is this even possible?
Yes it is. You can clean your teeth completely without toothpaste.
How to do that?
Listen to episode 14
In this episode I introduce you to an ingenious tooth cleaning method that works completely without toothpaste, yes, where toothpaste is downright counterproductive.
The blotting toothbrush.
However, if you don’t want to go without your toothpaste, but only want what is harmless natural ingredients and want to save money, why not mix it yourself
Here is a recipe for you on how you can make your own toothpaste.
Mix your own toothpaste
The ingredients for your toothpaste you probably already use in your household anyway.
The first ingredient is baking soda or sodium bicarbonate.
Next you need unrefined table salt, such as Himalayan salt, Celtic sea salt or similar.
In other words, good table salt that has not been stripped of all of its minerals through chemical processes like normal table salt.
The third ingredient is hydrogen peroxide solution in a dilution of 3%, which you can get in the pharmacy.
Why these ingredients
Baking soda is alkaline and therefore supports a healthy oral flora. Bacteria that contribute to tooth decay and gum disease love an acidic environment. This makes life difficult for them.
Salt has three advantages. On the one hand, it is very weakly abrasive and therefore good for removing plaque. When mixed with water, it becomes hypertonic and thus supports the production of saliva. And thirdly, salt has a firming effect on the gums.
Hydrogen peroxide brings oxygen into the mix and thus ensures that bacteria that prefer to live in an oxygen-free or oxygen-poor environment, which is what most unpleasant bacteria do, are reduced. Hydrogen peroxide should only be used up to a maximum of 3% solution. Anything above is too strong for internal use.
However you can use a 6% solution to clean your toothbrush after every use.
How do you mix your toothpaste?
Mix two teaspoons of baking soda and a pinch of salt with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in a cup to form a thick paste and you’re good to go. Press the moistened toothbrush into the paste and…. Brush your teeth.
If you want, you can add vitamin C powder, essential oils or anything else you deem beneficial.
And if all this mixing is too much work for you, you can just use cold-pressed organic coconut oil.
Or, as mentioned earlier, use the blotting toothbrush and you don’t need any toothpaste at all.
And even better, the Blotting Brushes are now available in our web-shop at dr-elmar-jung.com
Okay, That’s it for today. Great to have you here and thanks for listening.
Until next time this is Elmar’s Tooth Talk – The Missing Link To Total Health.
Bye for now.