Teeth cleaning products include pastes, powders, liquids, or other preparations as toothpastes intended for cleaning the teeth, used in combination of a toothbrush to help remove daily food debris and dental plaque.
1- Some Current Main Components Used:
- Glycerin: Also known as glycerol, glycerin is a sugar alcohol that can be easily obtained from natural sources. It plays the role of a humectant: meaning it retains moisture in the upper layer of the skin and prevents premature moist from cosmetics. Glycerin has great moisturizing properties as well as it contains cleansing agents. It can be found in personal care products such as soaps, toothpastes, and hair conditioners.
- Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil: This a natural essential oil is obtained from peppermint plant. Regarding scientific data, it is safe to used in cosmetics and personal care products with a concentration of pulegone that should not exceed 1%. Pulegone is a natural component contained in peppermint oil.
- Menthol: Menthol is an alcohol obtained from peppermint oil or other mint oils and can also be made synthetically. It has a peppermint taste and odor. Menthol has anesthetic properties and is widely used to relieve minor sore throat irritation.
- Sodium Bicarbonate: Also known as Baking soda, it look like a grayish-white crystalline powder. In cosmetics and personal care products, Sodium Bicarbonate has as properties a deodorant and an oral care benefits.
- Xanthan Gum: Derived from glucose or corn syrup, Xanthan Gum is safe regarding the CIR Expert Panel.
- Stannous Fluoride: Also known as “Tin Difluoride”, it appears as a white crystalline solid. and is often used in the formulation of oral care products. It has a teeth polish agent, helps to reduce oral odor, and cleanse or deodorize the teeth and mouth. It is stated that Stannous Fluoride may be used in oral hygiene products marketed at a maximum concentration of 0.15% and same quantity when mixed with other fluorine compounds. Also, products containing Stannous Fluoride must be labeled “contains Stannous Fluoride”.
- Titanium dioxide: This ingredient is an inert earth mineral that is used for its thickening, lubricating, and sunscreen properties. It is referenced in FDA’s lists of safe acceptable active ingredients in toothpastes products as a colour additive.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate: This ingredient is an anionic detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products. It is a surface-active agent that has the properties of being partly water-soluble and partly oil soluble in order to cleanse dirt and oils away.
2- Some Current Hazardous Components to Avoid:
- Artificial color: Synthetic colors are derived from coal tar. Only seven colors remain on the FDA’s approved list; all others have been banned. Yellow #5 is under review due to links to hyperactivity, anxiety, migraines and cancer. If your toothpaste don’t contains these, you can keep shopping.
3- Natural Alternatives:
- Siwak roop: Siwak roop is the zero waste solution to brush your teeth. It comes from the root of the shrub Salvadora persica, harvest in the Middle East. To use it, remove about 2 cm of bark from the top of the stem. Then chew it until the filaments are soft enough and look like a brush. You can soak it in water and then brush your teeth before to rinse. After a few days, cut the sorn filaments for next use.
- Baking Soda: You can use ⅔ cup of baking soda added to 1 tablespoon of fine sea salt (in option) if the salty taste is bearable. Direct application of the minerals in sea salt is very good for teeth. For the homemade toothpaste version, you can also add 1-2 tablespoons peppermint extract or 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil. To finish, mix the paste with a little bit of filtered water by stirring after each addition until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Homemade Toothpaste – Marseille soap: Take a real Marseille soap added to a few drops of organic peppermint essential oil. Then, rub a knife against the surface of the soap to crumble it as finely as possible. Put the soap crumbs in a bowl with a few drops of water and mix. Let stand for an hour then add 3 drops of essential oil for a small recipient and mix again. It can be kept in the fridge for at least 3 months.