You’ve likely heard that it is crucial to brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time. And you’ve likely used traditional toothpaste.
Toothpaste has become the teeth cleaning norm, yet, despite its touted benefits, it has many drawbacks that can but the health of your mouth and your overall health at risk.
Traditional toothpastes contain artificial ingredients and chemicals that are toxic to the body. These include: fluoride, glycerin, titanium dioxide, artificial sweeteners and sodium lauryl sulfate.
More patients and dentists are recognizing the health risks of traditional toothpastes and are prescribing and preferring toothpaste alternatives. These alternatives to toothpaste don’t have the dangerous ingredients and they are all-natural, being better for your body and health.
If you’re new to alternative toothpastes, you may be overwhelmed by all the options. Many patients experiment with different ones before settling on the one that works best for them. Here are some of the more popular toothpaste alternative options:
1. Sea Salt
What’s easier than brushing with some salt? While you may gargle with salt water when you have a sore throat, the antiseptic and healing properties of sea salt can also work in cleaning food particles and debris from the surface of your teeth.
For this method of brushing, dissolve some sea salt into warm water and periodically dip your toothbrush into the salt water solution.
Note: Use sea salt, not table salt. Table salt has most of its natural, beneficial components stripped away and replaced with chemicals and artificial ingredients.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda was used as toothpaste in the beginning of the 20th century before modern-day toothpaste was mass-produced. Even after the introduction of traditional toothpaste, baking soda remained a popular toothpaste alternative.
Like the sea salt, one simply dissolves a small amount of baking soda in warm water and dip your toothbrush into the solution.
With the great popularity of this toothpaste alternative, some patients have concocted their own homemade baking soda toothpaste, mixing in essential oils, such as peppermint. Some even add in a small amount of stevia to enhance the flavor.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide has also been an effective way to clean and whiten teeth.
Simply dip your toothbrush in the hydrogen peroxide, then into a 50/50 solution of sea salt and baking soda.
This toothpaste alternative option, however, isn’t recommended for patients with amalgam fillings as the mercury can leach into the mouth.
4. Herbal Tooth Powders
Herbal tooth powders provide a good teeth cleaning as well as an effective pain reliever and antiseptic for inflammation and infections in the mouth.
5. Dry Brushing
What is easier than putting some salt water onto your toothbrush? How about nothing at all. That’s right. Some patients believe you don’t need any toothpaste. Just some water on a toothbrush.
The only downside to this toothpaste alternative is the lack of a fresh, clean feeling.
6. Brush With Pure Water
If dry brushing doesn’t quite cut it for you, try brushing with pure water.
This also works surprisingly well for clearing debris from the teeth, but you still don’t get that minty mouth feel.
Yes, you can use soap to brush your teeth. After all soap cleans the body, why not your teeth?
The soap does clean the teeth, but it leaves an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
Be selective about what soap you use as many soaps contain harsh chemicals. Look for all-natural castile soap.
For those who want a clean mouth, but don’t want the awful soapy taste and harmful chemicals, there are not tooth soaps available. These specially designed mouth soaps don’t have the same negative effects of regular body soaps.
8. Oral Irrigation (Waterpik)
A Waterpik is a system that uses pressurized water to clean teeth along the gum line to prevent the accumulation of plaque build-up. The system has its own water reservoir from which the water comes out of the pick.
For optimal results, it is recommended to use sea salt water instead of plain water.
9. Essential Oils
With the rise of online essential oil brands such as DoTerra, Mountain Rose and the like and the increased inventory of essential oils at health food grocery stores, it is easier than ever to grab a bottle of your favorite essential oil.
Once you get the desired flavor of essential oil, simply add a drop or two onto your damp toothbrush and brush. Peppermint and spearmint are the most popular essential oils to use for teeth brushing.
10. Oil Pulling
While some people see oil pulling as a hip fad, others swear by its effectiveness in cleaning their teeth and mouths.
Oil pulling is a great pre-toothbrushing rinse. Coconut oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties that get rid of germs and leave the mouth feeling fresh and clean.