Greetings, everyone..As we are in the exciting stages of releasing our Bohemian Collection, I am thrilled about sharing so much information regarding tooth powder and it's therapeutic, healing and simply amazing properties. It's true, I haven't used toothpaste for some time now and I honestly cannot see myself going back to it. Of course, there are many natural paste brands on the market,but I could never find that satisfaction of squeaky clean that I have found with using tooth powder. And, though natural, there are still a few brands who include ingredients such as: flouride, Sodium Laurel Sulfate (also known as: sodium dodecyl sulfate, lauryl sodium sulfate, sodium n-dodecyl sulfate, laurel sulphate sodium salt), Sorbitol, Artificial Coloring and flavoring and Titanium Dioxide, to name a few..none of which I want in my mouth nor my family's. And, if you have been following my former blog, All Things O'Natural, you may remember a post that I wrote almost 3 years ago regarding toothpaste and the importance of being mindful of what we include in our oral health regimen.
The use of Tooth Powders have shown to be credited with several dental health and healing benefits. A study by 'Prevention Magazine' (Sept 2007) performed on 128 test persons over a sixth month period found that by the use of tooth powder or 'dry brushing', bacterial plaque buildup on their teeth dropped by a whopping 67%. They also showed a 50% drop in bleeding gums.
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS A TOOTH POWDER?
Once reigned as the tooth cleanser du jour, tooth powders is a remineralizing cleanser that contains 3 key ingredients: a mild abrasive, a detergent, and a sweetener or flavoring agent. It's usually applied with a dampened brush, using only a pinch to cleanse teeth and gums.
ARE TOOTH POWDERS A NEW THING?
Absolutely not! Before we were slathering our brushes with the latest greatest pasty cleanser, tooth powders were used by Ancient Egyptians as well as those in Ancient Greece and Rome. The Egyptians used a combination of ox hooves' ashes and burnt eggshells mixed with pumice. The Greeks and Romans preferred a bit of a sparkle and opted for a glitter powder made of a combination of oyster shells and crushed bones. The Romans furthered theirs adding a bit of charcoal and bark, hoping to aid in prevention of bad breath. And the Chinese added ginseng, herbs and salt to help improve the cleansing and taste.
SO..WHAT'S THE HARM WITH INGREDIENTS LISTED IN REGULAR PASTES?
Let's have a look at some of the ingredients, shall we..
FLUORIDE: a highly toxic chemical, which rather than helping teeth, seems to actually damage teeth by making them too hard and thus brittle. Fluoride, in its chemical form, as used in water fluoridation, has been implicated as a carcinogen and can actually 'ruin teeth'. In 1993, the Environmentals Studies and Toxicology Board of the National Research Council reported that fluoridation of drinking water supplies may result in dental fluorosis in about 10% of the population.
TRICLOSAN: An antibacterial agent and preservative, shown to be a endocrine disruptor, a skin irritant, and can cause allergic reaction in some cases.
SORBITOL: a liquid that keeps toothpaste from drying out, has laxative effects that can cause diarrhea if too much is swallowed.
SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE: a foaming agent and detergent that can be dangerous due to during the manufacturing process SLS is contaminated with dioxane, a carcinogenic by product. Yea, suds are cool, but not at the expense of my family or my own health.
BUT..AREN'T TOOTH POWDERS ABRASIVE?
Ingredients used in tooth powders pale in comparison to ingredients used in commercial brand toothpastes. Even with baking soda being one of the key ingredients, it is largely lower in abrasiveness than many of the ingredients found in many pastes. Check out the abrasive chart below to shed some light on the abrasiveness of ingredients. And notice the RDA value of 'baking soda'.
Abrasiveness Index of Common Toothpastes
|Arm&Hammer Tooth Powder||8|
|Arm&Hammer Dental Care||35|
|Pronamel for Kids||35|
|Colgate Sensitive Max Strength||83|
|Sensodyne Extra Whitening||104|
|Arm&Hammer Tarter Control||117|
|Arm&Hammer Advance White Gel||117|
|Crest MultiCare Whitening||144|
|Colgate Baking Soda Whitening||145|
|Colgate Tarter Control||165|
|Colgate 2-in-1 Tarter Control/White||200|
|The RDA table|
|0-70 = Low Abrasive|
|70-100 = Medium Abrasive|
|100-150 = Highly Abrasive|
|150-250 = Harmful Limit|
|FDA Recommended Limit is 200|
|ADA Recommended Limit is 250|
Portions of this table provided by Dr. David L. Duke
Natty Naturals Herbal Tooth Powder
To end, there are a plethora of amazing tooth powder combinations. The ingredients listed in our Herbal Tooth Powder are ones that I felt best for me and my family's oral health. So, here's a list of our yummy ingredients and their 'rawsome' benefits.
Kosher Baking Soda (aluminum free) : a mild abrasive and pH stabilizing tooth polish that aids in removing stains and freshening breath.
White Kaolin Clay: a gentle clay, rich in minerals, which support tooth remineralization. It's one of the mildest clays used to draw toxins from the mouth, helps to whiten teeth.
Xylitol (Non GMO): a natural sugar alcohol found in fruits and vegetables. Because it is non fermentable and does not feed acid forming oral bacteria, it helps prevent tooth decay and is perfect for adding sweetness to natural products. Regular use of xylitol causes cavity forming bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) to starve and die off, decreasing the levels of acidic by products formed when bacteria ferment sugars.
Anise: Due to it's natural antiseptic properties, it's licorice like flavor helps to freshen breath, making it a wonderful addition to our tooth powder.
Echinacea: Excellent at fighting off tooth infections.
Licorice Root: aids in effectively eliminating bacteria responsible for cavities, gum disease and oral infections.
Clove: Contains antibacterial properties as well as aids in soothing painful toothe aches and sore gums. Combined with cinnamon, clove has been known to aid in healing teeth sensitivity.
Stevia Leaf: A natural sweetener that is a natural anti bacterial and anti fungal that aids in prevention of tooth decay and bleeding gums.
Dead Sea Salt: The wonderful natural minerals found in sea salt aid in strengthening gums, protecting against tarter buildup and preventing bad breath. High in iodine, dead sea salt has antibacterial and helps to neutralize the acids in the mouth. Salt enhances saliva production and saliva creates an antibacterial barrier that protects enamel.
Essential Oils of: Spearmint, Peppermint, Lavender, Myrrh, Anise and Eucalyptus combined contribute to the anti bacterial properties, healing bad breath and the awesomely stimulating flavor.
And...Kids love it too!!