(NaturalNews) In our modern world the message to brush, floss and gargle is drummed into us by media and dentists alike, delivering the message that although our lives may not depend on our commitment to oral hygiene, our teeth definitely do. So for many of us the dental routine is performed religiously, often several times a day without thought for the efficacy or safety of the products we are using. But what many don't realize is that in our attempts to fight off tooth decay and bad breath we may actually be using dental products that not only don't live up to their promises for healthier teeth, but that may also be hazardous to our health.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is a foaming agent known to irritate tissues. SLS increases skin permeability allowing other chemicals to be absorbed more readily into the body.
Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) is commonly contaminated with dioxin and reacts with other ingredients to form nitrosamines. Triclosan was originally registered as a pesticide and is linked to cancer, disrupts thyroid hormones and affects heart function. Fluoride is linked to cancer, it is a systemic poison and damages the thyroid.
There may also be other potentially harmful ingredients lurking inside your toothpaste tube such as artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners.
The problem doesn't end with your toothpaste, however, as dental care products such as mouth wash and dental floss are also potentially hazardous to your health. Mouth wash has been linked to oral cancers and dental floss is coated with carcinogenic wax.
Aren't there better ways to look after your teeth?
Dental products such as toothpaste and mouthwash are used by most people at least once each day (often several times) and ingredients in these products are readily transported into the body through mucous membranes, so it is advisable to ensure the products we use are safe. However in some countries there is no requirement for full disclosure of the ingredients in dental products because they are classified as drugs rather than cosmetics. This makes it difficult if not impossible for those who care about what they use on their mouths, and the mouths of their children, to avoid unsafe ingredients.
The good news is that there are safe options available for cleaning teeth: safe and healthy products that do list their ingredients are being manufactured by ethical companies. Increasingly there are more all natural and even organic toothpastes and mouth washes being made available to increasingly health conscious consumers.
And finally if we take into consideration studies done by the Weston A Price Foundation on the dental health of people eating traditional diets of whole, unprocessed foods, then it becomes clear that there is strong evidence that brushing, flossing and gargling may in fact be a total waste of time.
About the author: Sue Woledge is a natural therapist, writer and owner of Love, light & lessons: Living well in the 21st century. Sue is passionate about living well, eating REAL food and choosing safe, environmentally friendly products. Sue believes that living as naturally as possible and being mindful our thoughts and actions can reduce the impact we have on others and the planet and is key to good health and a brighter future for all. A number of books written by Sue Woledge including her latest raw food recipe book are available here.