"I'm Going to Wash Your Mouth Out With Soap!"
Did your mom ever say that to you? I hope not, but if she did, she was actually onto something. In fact, after extensive research, I no longer use toothpaste. Instead, I brush my teeth with tooth soap!
I was interested, in fact I was thrilled. But what toothpaste should I use? And where could I find toothpaste without SLS, one that was safe to use? My research continued.
SLS stands for sodium lauryl sulfate which is used in many products from toothpaste to industrial cleaners. Why? Because SLS causes a reaction in those products that makes them foamy or sudsy when they're used. But get this. It's also used as a skin irritant in testing of products made to heal skin conditions.
What about other potentially harmful ingredients in toothpaste? Did you ever wonder about the “Do Not Swallow” warning on the label or why many toothpastes say they are not to be used by children under six-years of age?
Many of the ingredients in toothpaste can be dangerous. For instance, there's silica. Medicinenet.com defines silica this way: “The chief component of sand and a substance responsible for lung disease and cancer.” Read the label on your own toothpaste and I’m guessing you’re going to think twice before you squeeze that tube tonight on your way to bed!
But back to SLS-free toothpaste and why I brush with tooth soap.
My research eventually led me to tooth soap which at that time was expensive and somewhat hard to find. Since then, I make an effort to put fewer ingredients that I can't pronounce into my body. A few of the "natural" alternatives for brushing that I've tried are these (prices are subject to change):
* The Tooth Soap brand is what originally sold me on tooth soap. Get a 4-ounce jar of peppermint shreds for $23.86 with Amazon Prime.
* Squigle Tooth Builder, Sensitive, 4.4 oz Toothpaste, $9.50 with Prime. Ingredients: 36% Natural Xylitol, water, calcite, glycerin, poloxamer, cellulose gum, Methocel, calcium propionate, lactoferrin. I like this, but it doesn't make my teeth feel as smooth as they get with tooth soap. And it's expensive.
* Xyli-White Toothpaste 6.4 oz $3.99 add-on item. Ingredients: Water, xylitol, hydrated silica, glycerin, sorbitol, sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate, sodium coco-sulfate, carrageenan, tea tree leaf oil, peppermint oil, spearmint oil, papain, potassium sorbate. I've tried this and it's actually pretty good (discounting the silica on the ingredient list) and it's cheaper than most on this list but, again, it doesn't clean as well as tooth soap.
* Tom's Toothpaste. Tom's has a reputation for using natural ingredients in its products. Unfortunately for me, they use sodium lauryl sulfate as a dispersing agent, so I have to eliminate this product from my "recommended" list. Apparently there is a low-sudsing variety without SLS, so look for that and give it a try.
* Coconut Oil Toothpaste. I have tried brushing my teeth with coconut oil, fresh from the kitchen, and that wasn't a very satisfying experience, though your results may vary. Additionally, I tried a coconut oil toothpaste in a tube and had mixed results. Why mixed? Because since coconut oil is responsive to temperature, during cold weather it became partially solid and was nearly impossible to squeeze out of the tube, so I became very frustrated and quit using it until summer.
* Today's winner and my overall recommendation: Uncle Harry's Tooth Soap (peppermint) $8.99 for a 2-ounce jar, free shipping. This is something I found recently, started using it a few weeks ago, and I really like it! The price is right (those 2 ounces will last a long time), I love that it's a whipped formula and not a shred like the original Tooth Soap brand, and my teeth are getting much cleaner than they did with the xylitol toothpaste I previously used. Recommended!
You might be asking yourself, does tooth soap taste like soap? Well yes, it actually does. The Uncle Harry's tooth soap that I've been using contains organic peppermint essential oil so when I open the jar, it's the minty fresh smell that I notice. It doesn't take much soap to brush, just a dab on the tip of my toothbrush, so my mouth doesn't fill with suds and spread the soap taste to my taste buds. Plus, by now I've gotten used to brushing with soap and it doesn't bother me a bit. You'll get used to it, too.
Bottom line, I brush my teeth with tooth soap, always SLS-free, and my mouth ulcer problem has disappeared. I no longer wake up with an icky mouth and a coating on my teeth. Instead, my teeth feel smooth and clean after I brush. And, (did I mention?) no more mouth ulcers with SLS-free tooth soap! It worked for me and I hope it will work for you.
(To learn more about SLS, visit this page at Mercola.com. It's a very interesting topic to research.)
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