Why Toothpaste is Bad for Your Teeth

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The importance of good dental hygiene has never really been questioned, but in recent years some dental specialists have highlighted the potential repercussions of brushing out teeth with toothpaste. Whilst we have always associated good dental health with a toothpaste-floss-mouthwash routine, there is now evidence to support that actually, brushing with toothpaste can have a detrimental effect on our teeth.

So why could toothpaste be bad for your teeth? The answer is in the abrasive ingredients which are found in toothpaste, added to rid your teeth or stains and discolouration. The damaging effects of the abrasive fluorides found in toothpaste (stronger quantities are found in whitening toothpastes) are believed by many specialists to become even more harmful as those brushing their teeth brush harder to further rid their teeth of stains. Instead of making their teeth brighter, vigorous brushing instead damages their tooth enamel, which over time leads to discolouration and heightened sensitivity.

The research which suggests that toothpaste is bad for your teeth has been challenged by others who believe other factors should be taken into consideration when discussing the wearing away of the enamel, and general wear of the teeth. Other factors such as grinding, an acidic diet, bulimia and excessive brushing could contribute to the erosion of our teeth, but for some dentists, the fact remains that toothpastes contain abrasive fluorides which they believe are undeniably linked to tooth damage.

Some dentists, including the Boston-based dentist Dr. Valdemar Welz who has been converted after reading a published dental study by a leading clinical researcher, Dr. Thomas Abrahamsen, have decided to ditch the toothpaste and to brush instead with just a toothbrush and water, followed by flossing, to avoid the abrasive ingredients found in everyday toothpaste.

Some dentists, however, remain un-deterred by this study, instead believing that the benefits of fighting cavities and tooth-decay far outweigh the potential general wearing away of the teeth caused by toothpaste.

What do you think?

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10 replies
  1. Silvia
    Silvia says:

    I have suddenly started questioning ‘Colgate’ one day out of nowhere, I asked myself ‘How do I know this thing is actually useful?’ and here I see it is not 100% useful, which is a relief, because it makes me be a little right while being too lazy to brush my teeth as a little kid :P. I will just use toothpase when I feel like it, because sometimes it feels like a bother for my mouth. But sometimes, it feels beneficial 🙂

  2. JoeM
    JoeM says:

    ALL toothpaste is bad. If it isn’t the flouride, its something else. Mostly because we don’t need toothpaste to begin with.

    I use one simple ingredient to keep my teeth clean. BAKING SODA.

    Stick your brush in the box to fill the bristles. Dampen it with a touch of water. Coat your teeth. Then brush and rinse as usual.

    I guarantee this will make your teeth cleaner than any toothpaste. But won’t make them feel stripped of enamel. I brush twice a day. But I have been known to brush once a day as a test. My teeth stay cleaner for longer than they ever did with Crest or any other.

    So there is no doubt in my mind that toothpastes are a scam, just like most commercial products in America.

  3. Dr.S.G.A.Rao
    Dr.S.G.A.Rao says:

    Not only tooth paste; but also the brush.Brush keeps reinfecting teeth, evry time it is reused.
    Best way to clean,I quote the American Dental Association, is to wrap a piece of clean soft cloth around your finger and rub your teeth clean.

  4. JoeM
    JoeM says:

    I made a previous comment in 2013 (above). And nearly two years after that, I am still using baking soda. Nothing else. And I only brush once a day most of the time. As that has proven itself over time. Toothpaste used to keep my mouth acidic in pH. I got cavities. Had some teeth pulled because of it. But once I used baking soda, all that stopped. I have two cavities that were eating away my teeth. But they stopped completely two years ago. They never worsen. And I never get buildup on my teeth. Baking soda dissolves rapidly and cannot affect enamel. What makes it work is that its basically changing your mouth pH to alkaline. This creates an environment that prevent decay and diseases. Cancer cannot live in that environment either. Thats why baking soda can cure it too. If our bodies were alkaline like they are supposed to be, we wouldnt be getting diseases near as much. And our teeth wouldnt need more than water to clean them. I am living proof that brushing with baking soda is all we need.

  5. Joseph
    Joseph says:

    I think the benefits outweigh the risk. Besides, one can still buy non-whitening toothpaste with fluoride, or otherwise.

  6. Tracy J
    Tracy J says:

    Totally agree with Joe M – I use sodium bicarbonate/baking soda to clean my teeth, I also use a small amount of fluoride free toothpaste to make it taste better. Baking soda is also amazing for cleaning the tongue as well as getting teeth and breath super clean.
    Julia Roberts uses baking soda.

  7. Anthony Rogers
    Anthony Rogers says:

    Try rinsing your mouth with very warm salt water, completely dissolved salt, and then brush and floss, then rinse one more time with very warm salt water, after that rinse with water until you don’t taste salt, then rinse with warm salt water mixed with baking soda, after that rinse with warm salt water once more to remove that baking soda taste and lastly rinse with water until you taste nothing at all, I’ve been trying this for a few weeks and it made a huge difference, this got rid of a life threatening, giant boil under a broken tooth I have that’s causing the boil, I do this every day once a day, and rinse with very warm sakt water after every meal, the last thing that enters my mouth is always water in the end.. but then again my teeth were pretty bad to begin with but now they’re looking so much better and even feel better, I actually had many abscesses in a few teeth which are all gone now including the boil, still gotta get that tooth extracted though, but it’s the only think stopping the boil from forming under that tooth. There’s probably a better way to do this but it’s working great, haven’t touched toothpaste for a month and my teeth look better than they have in years, all but that broken one of course… It’s a life saver try it for a like 4 or 5 days and you’ll see a huge difference. Don’t forget to brush your tongue too.

  8. Tim
    Tim says:

    I use only baking soda twice a day as well, but I also use Xylitol/saliva solution 3-4 times a day (for 5-10 minutes and 1/4 tsp each time) which got rid of tooth pain and ‘may’ save me having to pull them – I was told I needed to pull 4 teeth but for the past year pretty much only one hurts just a little bit. If I forget to use xylitol, my teeth will start hurting again, but nothing hurts immediatly – Xylitol kills the bad oral bacteria that creates gum/teeth killing acids. I use the walmart Birch with only one ingredient: xylitol — Search Dr Bruhn Xylitol study. He put himself out of business and had to move to another EU country to practice Dentistry — Toothpastes purposely contains SUGAR — Who likes sugars? Bacteria’s and Dentists! Is xylitol a sugar? yep, but it’s the good for your mouth kind: Alcohol sugars


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