In a world that’s obsessed with “natural” and “chemical free” products (although everything, including you, are made of chemicals, but we’ll let that one slide) you’ve probably noticed these labels sneaking into every facet of your shopping experience. Not even the world of toothpaste and mouthwash have escaped this craze, so today we’re striving to answer the question “Is it worth it?”.
The answer may seem easy to come by at first. You’re not eating the stuff (hopefully) so there shouldn’t be anything to worry about, right? Let’s find out.
What Makes Toothpaste “Natural”
Natural toothpaste is one made without synthetically created or filtered chemicals. They’re instead made from natural herbs and sweeteners that are extracted right from the source. These can be herbs like mint or ginger, and natural sugar alcohol used to sweeten and fight bacteria like xylitol or stevia.
More importantly, natural toothpaste does not contain any of the following:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Artificial flavoring
- Sodium Laurel Sulfate
- Artificial coloring
The Fluoride Debate
Most people who choose to go natural with their toothpaste cite fluoride as their choice for switching over. Fluoride is a strong chemical used to fight bacteria in your mouth and is found not only in toothpastes and mouthwashes, but in most municipal water supplies.
The big question is “Is fluoride harmful?”, to which the answer is “In large doses”. If you look on any brand synthetic toothpaste you’ll find a small warning, usually along the lines of “Keep out of reach of children under the age of 6, call poison control is accidentally swallowed”. Ouch, this is something we’re putting in out mouths every day?
The truth is that fluoride in toothpaste is often times not enough to harm you unless you swallow large quantities of it. This is like having any other sort of helpful medicine in your house. Most people know not to down a whole bottle of ibuprofen or benadril, yet the same warnings are present on them.
It can be argued that there is enough fluoride already provided for the average adult in drinking water which may well be true. Over exposure to fluoride has been linked to damaged teeth as well ass slowed brain development, so if you’re worried then the switch might be for you.
Should I Switch?
Honestly this is a tough call to make. There is scarce information out there as far as official reports go, and most information readily available seems to be anecdotal. If you want to make the switch then you should do your best to dig through whatever information is at your finger tips. On the whole it’s a personal decision, and until some hard, scientific evidence comes out we’re going to advise our patients to take a little time to study this area a bit more before making a final decision.
We bet you didn’t think toothpaste could be so exciting. If you have any more questions then feel free to reach out to our highly qualified dentists at http://www.hospitaldentalgroup.com.