What is “natural toothpaste”? Natural toothpaste is made with natural and naturally derived ingredients that are beneficial for oral health. They are formulated with herbal, mineral, and plant-based alternatives to some of the controversial and potentially nasty ingredients that are common in conventional toothpastes. This blog provides a breakdown of some of these controversial ingredients and why you might like to avoid them. We also provide some answers to common questions for those considering a shift to natural toothpastes.
3 Controversial ingredients found in conventional toothpaste:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (commonly known as SLS) is a detergent and surfactant widely used in many mainstream personal hygiene products such as shampoos, toothpaste, mouthwashes, body wash, and soaps – used to make products foam. SLS has been found to be irritating to the skin.
Triclosan is an ingredient added to many personal care products including toothpaste, mouthwashes, and soaps as an ‘antimicrobial’ to kill off bacteria and other microbes. Triclosan has been shown to be very irritating to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. It is slow to biodegrade and is also toxic to and can bio-accumulate in aquatic organisms. There is concern about many chronic health effects that are linked with triclosan, including hormone disruptance, immune system effects, and developmental and fertility effects. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned its use in antibacterial soaps in the US. It is still used in many products available for sale across the counter in NZ. We do not use triclosan in any of our products.
Parabens are a category of preservative chemicals very commonly used in cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, and foods. Parabens can interfere with the production of hormones. In 2017, the U.N. Environment Programme identified parabens as endocrine-disrupting chemicals or potential endocrine-disrupting chemicals. They also carry an allergy/toxicity risk. Look for names like methylparaben, propylparaben, etc.
FAQs about natural toothpaste
At ecostore, our oral care range is SLS, Triclosan, and Paraben free. Our oral care products are plant and mineral based and contain natural ingredients to keep both you and the environment healthy. So, you’re considering switching to a natural toothpaste? Here are some answers to common questions:
1. Is fluoride the only way to prevent tooth decay and cavities?
There are multiple ways to protect teeth from decay and cavities. At ecostore, we make a range of natural toothpaste – with fluoride-free, and fluoride products. Fluoride protects teeth against plaque acids and helps to remineralize weak spots of enamel.
Our natural fluoride-free toothpaste works on reducing the possibility of tooth decay and cavities with ingredients like Kanuka Oil and Magnolia Bark Extract. Kanuka is a medicinal plant native to New Zealand, known for its antibacterial and healing properties, and Magnolia Bark Extract has been shown to support oral health.
2. Are the ingredients in natural toothpaste too gentle and ineffective?
Natural toothpaste emphasises the use of safe and effective natural ingredients such as antibacterial Kanuka Oil, instead of potentially synthetic chemicals, which we may want to avoid being exposed to excessive amounts or multiple sources.
3. Can natural toothpaste achieve a whitening effect?
Safer whitening alternatives such as baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) can help neutralise acid and gently whiten teeth. Natural whitening toothpaste performs just as well as regular whitening products, and without causing tooth sensitivity.
We recommend doing your own research on the right toothpaste for you and your family. Look out for and make the switch to a natural toothpaste that has the same effectiveness, with safer ingredients – it’s a decision your health and the environment will thank you for!
Our oral care products contain the following 3 natural ingredients that support overall oral health:
Magnolia Bark Extract
Magnolia bark was widely used in ancient China and Japan to treat digestive problems, asthma, depression, headaches, and muscle pain. Magnolia bark extract improves gum health and has anti-cavity properties. It also reduces plaque and gingivitis by preventing the colonization of bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease.
New Zealand native plant Kanuka oil
For centuries, it has been certified by the Maori people of New Zealand that kanuka has antibacterial properties. Manuka and Kanuka are used as remedies in teas, poultices, infusions, and inhalants to reduce pain and inflammation, heal wounds, and treat abdominal discomfort and skin irritation from fevers and bone fractures. Using Kanuka oil in oral care can help protect and strengthen our gums.
Propolis (only in Pure Propolis Toothpaste)
Propolis is a natural, non-toxic, resinous, viscous substance made by bees when mixing their secretions of the hypopharyngeal glands with the digested resin of leaves, flowers, trees, and certain barks of plants. It is used as a sealant in bee hives and disinfectant. Traditionally, this ingredient has been widely used for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties. It also gives our toothpaste its unique taste.