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Your Toothpaste is JUNK

If you are employing a conventional toothpaste as part of your oral care routine then I’m here to advise you that you are doing yourself (and your family) a disservice in using it.

Frankly, the stuff is made of cheap chemicals utilizing expensive marketing in hopes that you believe brushing your teeth with it will provide great benefits to your oral health.

You are being duped – the stuff is junk. There are many other options out there for you and your family to use, please consider exploring them. But first, let’s understand what this junk is.
(Oh, wait – Before anyone attempts to use the ol’ “I used it all my life and I turned out fine” excuse – pa-leeeeease. Know better. Do better. Live Better. That’s what this life is about or didn’t anyone fill you in yet?)

Now let’s get on with it.

Ingredients in Conventional (Cheap) Toothpaste

If you ever happened to find yourself curious as to what those “inactive ingredients” are in the stuff you are putting in your (and your children’s) mouth (at least) twice a day, then read on.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

If you think you’ve seen this stuff before you are probably right. SLS is nearly incorporated in all bath and body products on the market today. It’s cheap and it provides that sudsy feeling we all have learned to equate with feeling so fresh and so clean; from baby shampoo to shower gel to lotion to toothpaste. However, SLS is known to be quite corrosive and harmful to skin (I’m not just saying that either – this is according to the American College of Toxicity).

sometimes, no matter howmany suds you have you're still
dirty as hell.

Think about it, the mouth is a very sensitive part of the human body. Take in to consideration that SLS has been shown to cause damage to oral tissue and reactions to SLS include gingivitis, receding gums and canker sores. [1][2][3][4]

In fact, using SLS-Free toothpaste has been clinically shown to reduce canker sores by 60%.[3] 

Who the heck thought of adding this junk in an item we use in our mouths many times throughout a given day?? Ugh.


Oh, you thought SLS was bad – it gets better.

This particular chemical pesticide is utilized for its antibacterial properties. You see, our mouths are full of bacteria, mostly harmless – when we eat, especially sugary drinks or food, the bacteria levels in our mouths skyrocket. The by-product of bacteria in the mouth is acid, which any dentist will tell ya isn’t good. 

However, using triclosan in our mouth is overkill – it’s like using a lawn mower to open a piece of mail. (I heart metaphors)

lawnmower accidents are serious

In fact, triclosan has been scrutinized in regard to human health for years. Currently, the EPA has accelerated the schedule assessing the toxicity of this pesticide – pushing up the review process to start next year, that’s 10 years earlier then it was originally scheduled. This was done intentionally and specifically due to concerns on endocrine-related effects.[5]

Oh, and because the US EPA admits that it is not sure what level of human exposure is safe. [5]

Hello?! Some days the more I read, the more discouraged I get.

Hydrated Silica

This ingredient is used in toothpaste as an abrasive and whitener.

If you are curious what hydrated silica is, consider that if you dried it out you would be left with the common silica gel found in those tiny packets found in electronics and such – you know those little packets that coincidentally read “Do not eat”.

Putting silica in toothpaste makes sense, not.

You might also find silica under furry butts in the basement used to absorb urine. Fun times – definitely something I would enjoy in my mouth. Not.

But seriously, to understand why hydrated silica is not an ideal choice for good oral health you have to learn a bit about tooth enamel.

Oh, bare with me here. You see, your enamel re-mineralizes daily from calcium and
phosphorus in your saliva. Neat, huh? Scratching the surface of a tooth with such an abrasive measure causes severe wear and limits this re-mineralization. In fact, it causes sensitivity and receding gums.

I think I know someone who looks similar to this guy

While hydrated silica may do an excellent job at removing tartar and making teeth whiter (in appearance only) it also does an amazing job at damaging your teeth and gums, making them super sensitive – which also makes it hard to eat ice cream. No thanks.


When I bought my daughter her first toothpaste, I thought I did a good job by opting for fluoride-free. But then I read what the main ingredient was.

Why is sorbitol a main ingredient in children’s toothpaste (and adult’s as well)? That’s easy – it’s because sorbitol is sugar and makes toothpaste taste like candy. (a simile this time, not a metaphor… in case you were counting)

Sorbitol actually was the sole ingredient that encouraged me to look into toothpaste a bit further. When I read that ingredient in my daughter’s toothpaste I was a bit disappointed and confused. I remember seeing sorbitol in the ingredients of soft drinks and junk food. Why was I having my child brush her teeth with sugar? 

cupcake toothpaste, seriously?

That doesn’t make much sense. Of course, toothpaste manufacturers aren’t in the business of making sense, they are in the business of making cheap toothpaste, duh Amanda.

Sodium Flouride

Ahh, the big question – should you use fluoride throughout the day in your teeth cleaning regime?

If you do, that’s fine – if you don’t, then that tells me that you may have read a thing or two about fluoride. I’m not going to go into the specifics of highly toxic fluoride is to the human body, but in short it’s not good. In fact, every toothpaste container is required by the FDA to post instructions on how to contact poison control if you happen to be so unlucky as to ingest the stuff. [6]

“If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed,
get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.”

How much is a pea size-, you ask, well it comes out to be approximately 0.3 mg of fluoride.[6]
pea size

  • Early symptoms of acute fluoride toxicity (e.g. gastrointestinal pain, nausea, vomiting, headaches) can be produced at doses as low as 0.1 to 0.3 mg/kg. [7]
  • Swallowing fluoride at the amount 5 mg can be fatal.[7]
  • Ingestion of as little as 1 percent of a tube of flavored children's toothpaste can produce acute fluoride toxicity in a young child. [7]

Not to mention if you lather your toothbrush up with  too much fluorinated toothpaste – then you increase you risk of getting flourosis. Why use it all? Oh wait, I know - because studies have illustrated topical use of fluoride to aid in the prevention of cavities.

I have two issues with this statement.

Firstly, I have a problem with the word topical when used in terms of brushing teeth. When you brush your teeth, the toothpaste is not placed on the teeth alone (think of those funky fluoride treatments dentist do when you’re a kid) – it’s everywhere in the mouth – the gums, tongue (hopefully you’re brushing your tongue), the roof of your mouth, maybe some on your lips too.

who the heck thought of this?!

What I don’t get is how scientists don’t consider oral mucosa absorption – which interestingly enough is greater then an intra-muscular injection.[8]


People act like the only way to prevent cavities is to use fluoride. There are many, many, many ways to prevent cavities and promote oral care…which are even more efficient and safer then fluoride!

In brief – maintaining a proper diet ranks in at number one at affecting the health of your teeth (and its roots), gums and tongue. Interestingly, getting enough sleep ranks up there as well – also choosing not to smoke. Who knew staying healthy could be so easy?[9] 

I think it would be wise to begin to question the long standing use of fluoride in toothpaste (not to mention in our water as well).


This is not an exhaustive list in any case, there are many other weird ingredients that are questionable and cheap in your average toothpaste. There are many other options available. For me and my family – I’ve been using Dessert Essence Toothpaste for about a year now.

love this stuff

I just recently let myself run out by accident and had to use to regular stuff until my package arrives from Amazon. This is what prompted me to write this post – it tastes soo sweet and cheap, I can’t believe the majority of people depend on this stuff for their oral health their entire lifetime.

Consider an alternative.


[1]Herlosfson BB, Barkvoll P. Sodium lauryl sulfate and recurrent aphthous ulcers. A preliminary trial. Acta Odontol Scand 1994;52:257-59.

[2]Herlosfson BB, Barkvoll P. The effect of two toothpaste detergents on the frequency of recurrent aphthous ulcers. Acta Odontol Scand 1996;54:150-53.

[3]Chahine L Sempson N, Wagoner C. The effect of sodium lauryl sulfate on recurrent aphthous ulcers: a clinical study. Compend Contin Educ Dent 1997;18:1238-40.

[4]Healy CM, Paterson M, Joyston-Bechal S, Williams DM, Thornhill MH. The effect of a sodium lauryl sulfate-free dentifrice on patients with recurrent oral ulceration. Oral Dis. 1999 Jan;5(1):39-43.

[5]Pesticides: Reregistration – Triclosan Fact. US EPA Website. Current as of Mar 2010 
[6]“How much toothpaste is too much?” The Chicago Dental Society
[7] Dying from toothpaste ingestion. SoftDental: The Houston Laser, Cosmetic and Family Dentist.
[8]Physician's Desk Reference
    (You should totally read more oral mucosa absorption.)

[9]Miyuki Kibayashi, Muneo Tanaka, Nobuko Nishida, Masae Kuboniwa, Kosuke Kataoka, Hideki Nagata, Kunio Nakayama, Kanehisa Morimoto, Satoshi Shizukuishi. Longitudinal Study of the Association Between Smoking as a Periodontitis Risk and Salivary Biomarkers Related to Periodontitis. Journal of Periodontology. Vol 78, No 5; 859-867. May 2007


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