Most people who have known me for more than 5 minutes know that I am one of “those people” who think that Coconut Oil is essentially good for everything and can pretty much bring about world peace. I have so many reasons for using it that I will share in another post…probably “C is for Coconut Oil”, but yesterday I learned something new that totally blew my mind.
I have mentioned the Food Heals Nation Podcast in another post (Z is for Zinc, actually) and I really recommend you check it out. If you’re reading this, you will love that. I discovered it just a few weeks ago and I have been binging on it lately as I catch up on all their episodes. So, I was listening to an episode – I have listened to so many so I kind of forget which one it was, but I’m pretty sure it was episode 9: How to live a “No Tox Life” with Sandee Ferman – and they started talking about toothpaste.
They mentioned so many things I didn’t know so I had to look some things up, of course. Apparently, toothpaste is actually pretty bad for your body and your teeth. Who knew? Not me! But here is why:
- Unless you’re using organic toothpaste, you’re getting all sorts of preservatives and unpronouncable ingredients that – I hope we can all agree – are not natural or compatible for your body
- Most toothpastes get their bubbly nature because of Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laurel Ether Sulfate (SLES) which are both surfactants that is commonly used in soaps. This may sound like that would be good for cleaning your teeth, but in reality studies have shown that it can actually irritate skin and eyes, is linked to organ toxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular change as well as possible mutations and cancer (Ref: Deadly and Dangerous Shampoos, Toothpastes, and Detergents: Could 16,000 Studies Be Wrong About SLS?)
- Fluoride…it is a controversial topic, but many doctors believe that it is actually toxic and creates a toxic environment where bacteria can flourish. Like this doc: Alkalinity and Your Oral Health
Now, I have known for a long time that Baking Soda is a good thing to have added to your toothpaste because it is a powerful natural cleaning agent, and also I was pretty sure that it was good for keeping your teeth nice and white. So I usually buy Arm & Hammer toothpaste and I thought that I was doing pretty good. I’ve actually been lucky enough that I have never had any problems with my teeth beyond some staining which was definitely brought on my my own bad coffee and wine drinking ways. But then I learned all that about toothpaste which made SO MUCH SENSE!
So, just today, I changed my habits. This morning I tried brushing with just Baking Soda. It was a bit much, I’ll be honest. Just a few minutes ago I tried brushing with just Coconut Oil. Much more pleasant, but tomorrow I am going to try a combination of the two and I will report back. I think that will be the winner. So, here are some reasons why those two ingredients are GREAT for your oral health:
- straight up organic baking soda and / or coconut oil will have nothing in them but themselves…which is naturally great
- baking soda is a mild abrasive that will actually polish your teeth without harming the enamel, helping to remove stains and keep your pearly whites pearly white. At the same time, it is able to remove plaque! That being said, because it is mildly abrasive, you don’t want to over brush or really try to devastate your teeth…brush well, but not aggressively! In fact, according to the documentary-making author of the blog post “Is Baking Soda a Good Alternative to Toothpaste” has found, it is actually less abrasive that all toothpastes, so you should be just fine and dandy.
- both baking soda and coconut oil are alkaline and will create an alkaline environment which makes it difficult for bacteria to survive, which should help prevent cavities and other oral issues from ever starting
Unfortunately, scientific studies based on coconut oil and baking soda are harder to find, but I am going to continue looking out for factual reasoning. In the meantime, I am very happy to eliminate definite toxins immediately, in favour of natural ingredients that have been reported to work. And I’ll keep you posted on my journey!
If you have an experience using Baking Soda or Coconut Oil as your toothpaste – or if you have hard evidence that supports or defeats this theory – please share it with the world in the comments section below!
If you are wondering, the exact Coconut Oil I use is the Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. I get it in the 1.6L tubs and I go through about one a month. I really, really like this stuff! If you want to give it a try, the affiliate link below is the best price I’ve been able to find and I can’t recommend it highly enough!