Ignorance is bliss.
What you don’t know won’t hurt you.
Not so fast. Whoever coined those phrases was not thinking about the dangers of not paying attention to what goes in your body. Knowledge is power. It can change your health. If we all had a full understanding of the chemicals in our food, our cleaning products, our beauty products, and even in our toothpaste, we’d drastically reduce the levels of harmful chemicals we absorb and ingest. Chemicals, really? Yes, as in formaldehyde and pesticides - these are some of the things that can be in your toothpaste, if you aren’t buying the right kind.
To do a deep dive into ALL the chemicals in your toothpaste, we would be here a while. So let’s cover the big ones - the ‘there’s no way that’s allowed in toothpaste’ category. But don’t worry, we won’t leave you in the woods with no guide. We’ll guide you to some safe options for tasty, effective toothpaste.
THERE’S NO WAY THAT’S IN MY TOOTHPASTE!
You might be surprised what ingredients are in many toothpastes. So, let’s fix that.
Don’t be surprised - be informed!
Pesticides do not belong on your teeth. They have a purpose, and it’s to control pests. It’s not hard to imagine some of the reactions when humans ingest pesticides, like rashes, dizziness, nausea, rashes, blisters, diarrhea, blindness and more.
An antifungal and antibacterial agent called triclosan is added to many consumer products. Again, this is great in theory, but not when you understand the possible health risks when humans are exposed to it. Cancer, endocrine issues, dermatitis, allergic reactions, bone deformation, and it can interfere with the body’s thyroid hormone metabolism.
The good news is that the FDA banned it from soaps when they couldn’t prove it was safe for long-term use, and almost all (okay, all but one) toothpaste brands have ceased using it.
It goes without saying, but we’re saying it - steer clear of antifreeze-type chemicals in your mouth. Propylene Glycol is a mineral oil used in antifreeze, paints, enamels, and airplane de-icers. None of those things sound like a clean mouth or healthy teeth - not even close. So, keep the Propylene glycol in the paints and antifreeze, not in your toothpaste. Healthwise, it could cause cancer, reproductive issues, and skin irritation.
When you think formaldehyde, you might think of biology class. But you don’t think of brushing your teeth with it. When your body processes Aspartame, it breaks down as methanol and free methanol, which then breaks down into formaldehyde. That’s a known carcinogen and neurotoxin possibly in your body. Gross. Plus, the list of aspartame’s possible side effects and illnesses is long, including dizziness, seizures, rashes, insomnia, vision problems, vertigo, brain tumors, joint pain, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Lymphoma, Alzheimer’s and more.
Fluoride doesn’t sound quite as daunting as some of these other chemicals. It’s commonly found in our own water supply, which actually is enough to suffice for our dental health. When we get too much exposure to fluoride skin rashes, thyroid and metabolism issues, fertility issues and even enamel loss and discolored teeth can happen. While it’s allowed and in 95% of toothpastes sold in America, the FDA does warn against it right there on the tube.
Some of these chemicals are in toothpaste to give it certain characteristics that consumers think they need in their toothpaste, like foamy textures and a certain thick consistency. Carrageenan is used to thicken some toothpastes. Intestinal inflammation and colon tumors are potential dangers of carrageenan. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is used to give many toothpastes a foaming effect. Things like ulcers and canker sores can be a side effect of sodium lauryl sulfate.
Another ingredient you likely already avoid in other beauty products is parabens. Many toothpastes have parabens, which have been known to cause reproductive issues and increase the risk of cancer.
DOES ORGANIC MEAN CHEMICAL FREE?
There IS a way to buy products without harmful ingredients in them - hooray for health! Certified organic toothpastes cannot contain harmful ingredients. Rest assured that when you see that label, like on RADIUS USDA Organic Toothpaste, it’s gone through a strict approval process to earn that distinction before it gets into your hands (or mouth). Here’s a snippet about RADIUS ingredients:
Our USDA certified organic toothpaste is made 100% free of trace of chemicals, pesticides, GMOs, glutens, fluoride, saccharin, SLS, SLES, carrageenan, parabens, detergents, or synthetics of any kind. Just clean, natural, and safe ingredients.
It’s really important to note that when we talk about that list of all the harmful chemicals in many toothpastes, none of them are required for effective cleaning and brushing. You don’t need the pesticides and synthetics. RADIUS has formulated a way to use pure, safe ingredients that naturally have the power to fight cavities and plaque.
Now we know what’s not in RADIUS Organic Toothpaste, but what IS in it? It’s a unique blend of plaque-fighting organic erythritol, nutrient-rich coconut water, calming chamomile flower, and a light, natural foam that gives you a clean, fresh feel like you’ve just left the dentist. You don’t have to sacrifice a clean mouth when you choose Organic toothpaste. Clean AND chemical-free is just one click away!
DOES NATURAL TOOTHPASTE MEAN CHEMICAL FREE?
It does not. Natural means a lot of good things, like that it’s free of synthetic materials or preservatives. But natural toothpastes can still contain or be processed with pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or even hormones. We see that many products are labeled as natural so it’s good to understand there is a difference.
Charcoal is a natural toothpaste trend, for example. Activated charcoal typically comes from or is made from bone char, peat, petroleum coke, coal and sawdust. The idea is that those items draw out toxins, like a magnet. Dentists say that everyday use of charcoal on your teeth is too much. You could actually be removing the enamel. Besides that, long-term use and ingestion of charcoal, because of the possible carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons, puts us at risk for cancer.
Think of Certified Organic as one giant step further forward than natural toothpaste. RADIUS Organic Toothpaste is 100% free of any synthetics, chemicals, artificial preservatives, parabens, detergents, or harmful ingredients of any kind. It’s good for your body, your smile, and good for the earth.
See, ignorance is not the way to go here. Now that you know what can be in your toothpaste, you have the control to choose wisely and choose well. Here’s to healthy brushing!