Most of you are probably already aware of the problems with medicating our municipal water supply with fluoride, and likewise with other sources we can bring into our own homes, such as fluoridated toothpaste. If you aren’t yet aware of this, please go and research the dangers of fluoride before you read the rest of today’s blog post, and before you buy another tube of fluoridated toothpaste!
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’d like to point out the next health issue worth considering for your dental health. The reasons we brush our teeth include hygiene, as well as the prevention of tooth decay or cavities. Leaving aside the dietary factors contributing to greater or lesser health of our teeth, the issue of what we put on our toothbrush can also be a contributing factor to cavitation.
A common ingredient in just about every brand of toothpaste, natural, or non, is glycerine. In itself, it is not toxic, and otherwise not worthy of our attention regarding our general health. However, when glycerine is spread over the surface of our teeth, it leaves a film or residue which does not easily come off — it can take somewhere between two and three dozen rinsings of the mouth to completely remove it. I think it would be a safe bet to say that everyone reading this blog does not rinse their mouth that many times after brushing their teeth.
So, what is the concern with having this glycerine film on our teeth? The thing is, that our teeth are neither static or solid, as we tend to imagine them, and they are continually in a process of flux of demineralization and remineralization. Elements such as calcium and phosphorous, amongst others, are continually flowing out of our teeth, through the bloodstream to other parts of the body, while a new influx is continuously flowing back into the teeth. Imagining this very living process certainly adds more weight to the role of proper nutrition, as our whole body is constantly in a state of rebuilding or repairing one thing, or another.
The film of glycerine residue from toothpaste which coats our teeth blocks this natural demineralization / remineralization process, and therefore creates the conditions of accelerated tooth decay or cavitation in our mouths. Even when someone’s diet and oral hygiene habits are “perfect” for having healthy teeth, this issue with the glycerine-based toothpastes can be enough to create very undesirable and unexpected results in the mouth.
There are a variety of commercial alternatives to toothpaste available, such as tooth soap (your mother always threatened to wash your mouth out with soap!), or tooth powders, such as “Theraneem Naturals” which was recently stocked at The Feel Good Store here in Saint John. These are all glycerine and fluoride free, and you can explore the variety of textures and flavours as suit your taste the best.