Let’s face it. Our food is not the only victim of misleading advertising. The world of commercial toothpaste is another perfect example of how labeling can be very deceiving and harmful to human health. Do you or any of your friends, family and co-workers use commercial toothpaste such as Colgate or Crest? If so, keep reading. When you see what these products look like naked, you may be shocked. 


Commercial toothpaste companies are heavy spenders when it comes to marketing their products.

They claim on their packaging that the toothpaste is clinically proven to strengthen your teeth by repairing weak spots before cavities start. Sounds convincing right? Well, we all know that words sell.

Truthfully, although they do contain some ingredients that may be helpful for cavity prevention, they also contain harmful chemicals, artificial colours, and sweeteners. These items are not good for our health and some are actually harmful to dental health. Lets undress some of these ingredients to find out just what kind of harm they can impose.

Undressing the ingredients of commercial toothpaste:

Sodium Fluoride: This can affect the function of the endocrine system, which can reduce the activity of the thyroid glands. It can lead to fatigue, depression, weight gain, hair loss, muscle pains and heart disease. Also allergic symptoms can occur such as skin rashes, mouth lesions, headache, weakness, joint pain, gastric distress and vision problems. Fluoride should be limited to professional application in the dental office and should not be used in toothpaste or drinking water. In fact, if a child were to swallow a significant portion of a tube of toothpaste that contains fluoride, they would need to be rushed to the hospital immediately for poison control. Holy smokes!!!

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: This is a strong and harsh detergent that started off as an industrial degreaser and garage floor cleaner. Yuck! And this is what we brush our teeth with! It is also a powerful wetting and foaming agent, which is what gives the toothpaste its foaming property so it feels like the toothpaste is working. Unfortunately, it also attacks the mucus membranes in the mouth, which can alter the structure of the skin. Some researchers believe that it allows more chemicals and toxins to enter the body by modifying skin structure. This can lead to elevated levels of toxins in the bloodstream, compromising the health of the person.

Blue No. 1: This is an artificial food colour used in toothpaste for appearance sake. It is known to cause allergic reactions in some people and hyperactivity in children. Some of the behaviors that occur in children due to sensitivity to food colouring include confusion, disorientation, violently striking and extreme anger outbursts. For more information on this you can visit the Centre for Science in the Public Interest at cspi.info/fooddyes or click here to be directed to the pdf report on artificial food colouring.

Sodium Carbonate: This is actually a chemical used in household cleaning products and industrial products. It gives the toothpaste the foaming effect. However, picture this, sodium carbonate is also used in cleaning soaps, glass products, some bleaches, bubble bath solutions and even in taxidermy to remove the skin from the bones/skull of the animal! Yes, I would want to stop brushing my teeth with this stuff too.

Sodium Saccharin: This is a petroleum-based sugar substitute used as a sweetener in toothpaste and is 350 times sweeter than sugar.

Flavour: This is an incredibly unhelpful term, as it doesn’t actually indicate the ingredients. Manufacturers use this broad term to describe the substances or combination of substances that are used to give the toothpaste a flavour and to cover up the awful taste that it would otherwise have. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate for example, tastes wretched! Chances are if they were spending the money on using healthy flavour ingredients like essential oils, they would be bragging about it and not trying to cover it up with this misleading term.

How do these chemicals get easily ingested in our mouth when brushing?

The mucous lining in our mouth is thin and is more permeable to absorption. Since brushing and flossing can tear our skin because of its thin lining, this can increase exposure to these toxic chemicals, as they get absorbed into our bloodstream. It is also connected to our digestive tract; therefore if the remnants of the toothpaste are not properly rinsed out or accidently swallowed it can also be ingested into the body through the digestive system.

What you can do to make a simple lifestyle change and reduce your exposure to these unhealthy ingredients?

The purpose of toothpaste is to clean, not to cause harm to our health. Switching from a commercial toothpaste brand to something free of chemicals can be easy but requires some work on your part.

First you should check if your toothpaste has any of the ingredients listed above. If yes, I would suggest you get rid of it fast.

Next, figure out which natural brand will work for you. The good news is that I am here to save you some time since I did some of my own research by trying out some natural brands of toothpaste. Here are a couple of my favourites:

1. GREEN BEAVER: If you have grown accustomed to the foaming effect of the commercial toothpaste, like myself, then you may like this one. More importantly it contains NO fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial sweeteners, food colouring, chemical preservatives, parabens, chemical whiteners or animal products. It is safe to swallow in case of accidental swallowing which makes it perfect for kids too. It is priced reasonably compared to other natural toothpaste brands out there. The fun part is, it comes in a variety of different flavours including Frosty Mint (my favourite), Green Apple, Zesty Orange and Star Anise. You should be able to find it at your local health food store. If they don’t have it, Click Here to visit Green Beaver for more information on their toothpaste products.

2. TOM’S: Another brand you can look out for is Tom’s Fluoride Free toothpaste that also contains NO animal products, artificial colour, sweetener or preservatives. If you don’t mind toothpaste that doesn’t foam, this one is a good option.

3. MAKE YOUR OWN: Additionally, you can make your own toothpaste! How exciting is that!

I would love to hear what you think, so leave a comment below and share with us what you did to make that positive change in your personal oral health. Also, if you know of any other awesome natural toothpaste brands, please let us know.

If any of your friends, family or co-workers use commercial toothpaste such as Colgate or Crest, share this information with them on Facebook and Twitter!

Happy brushing!