What Did We Do Before…Toothpaste

by Josée

Granted, the idea of toothpaste is very old. Egyptians are said to have used a toothpaste to clean their teeth as well as the ancient Romans, Greeks, Chinese and Indian. That being said their toothpaste was much different than the kind we use today. Check out the ingredients found in a tube of toothpaste and you’d be hard pressed to find things like powder of ox hooves’ ashes, burnt eggshells, pumice, crushed bones, oyster shells, powdered charcoal, and bark. No, in modern toothpaste you are more likely to see ingredients like sodium fluoride, triclosan, PEG-12 (a solvent), cocamidopropyl betaine, flavour, colour, titanium dioxide, sodium lauryl sulfate…. Do we really need all these ingredients, many of which are toxic, to help prevent plaque and cavities?

Good dental hygiene is important at preventing tooth decay. But there are alternatives to our toxic modern toothpastes. In the early 1900s people used baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to clean teeth. Have you every cleaned your teeth with baking soda? It’s gross. The Cosmetic Database has a list of best toothpaste picks. We use Weleda Children’s Tooth Gel for Monkey, and for ourselves… we are still using up the many tubes of Colgate and Crest that I have stashed away 🙂

What’s your favorite toothpaste? Would you consider switching your toothpaste for a less toxic alternative?


Chelsea Rae July 14, 2010 - 8:25 pm

Have you ever tried natural toothpaste? It's not much better than using baking soda. It is h.a.r.d. to find a good one.

I wish making healthier choices wasn't so frustrating. Everything from finding natural cleaners that work to natural shampoo that doesn't make your hair feel greasy seems so hard!

It's not cheap either, so trying new shampoo only to find you don't like it leaves you stuck for months with a shampoo you don't like. Grr.

Liz July 15, 2010 - 3:53 am

I've just switched to a toothpaste (Burt's Bees) containing xylitol, but I may switch back to Crest and use a xylitol rinse and mints once I finish this tube. I'm definitely going to keep xylitol in he mix somehow, though, now that I've discovered how helpful it is in cavity prevention.

Prudence Arcadia July 15, 2010 - 6:16 pm

My DD Momo (4) also uses Weleda and she likes that one. She also likes "Jason Natural Kids Only Strawberry Toothpaste." We use Tom's of Maine Cinnamon-Clove and I rather like it, but my brother, forgetting his travel toothpaste, used ours and said "It has a bad aftertaste, like schnapps." (!?)

thegraciouswife July 16, 2010 - 4:28 am

I just heard in my microbiology class that the everyday use of the antibacterial triclosan (in toothpaste for instance) is contributing to the incidence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Not cool. But we have certainly been conditioned as a society to believe that we cannot maintain personal hygiene without loads of chemicals and antibacterials.

And even though I KNOW all this, I'm still reluctant to let my triclosan-laced toothpaste go. Are teeth as smooth and slick-feeling with the natural toothpastes?

Thomas November 11, 2010 - 12:48 pm

I second the motion!

Daren November 11, 2010 - 2:44 pm

Well, just for me, whether you're a cosmetic and commercial user, or a baking soda/ natural one, the most important thing is still regular dental check-ups. I am not saying that we do not have to brush are teeth, but the importance of how our mouth is going is a very beneficial thing for us. My dentist in Cookeville is a different one. Being friends for more than a decade, he does the phone call a week before our appointment. He is really concerned of taking care of his friends' oral hygiene. And being that as a "generosity act", forgetting or refusing to pay for a visit on my dentist in Cookeville TN would be a perfect form of friendship debauchery. : ) and that's over-reacting, yet, that's realistically true!

James Cagney November 25, 2014 - 6:37 pm

I am using Tom’s of Maine Simply White Natural Toothpaste. Really, it's working good i have ever seen. Are you interested to know, How Does Whitening Toothpaste Work? If you want to know about this then you can visit our best whitening toothpaste website.


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