Toothpaste helps clean our teeth and protects us from tooth decay, particularly if accompanied by good oral hygiene. But unfortunately, like most commercial products, toothpaste comes with dubious ingredients, such as:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
The good news is that there are alternatives out there that are free from dyes and chemicals that may pose harm to our health:
1. Baking Soda
Some commercial toothpastes use baking soda in their ingredients and for a good reason: it is effective. You can just dip your toothbrush into baking soda and start brushing. Another way is to make a paste by combining baking soda and water.
Aside from promoting good health, turmeric can help whiten and even strengthen teeth because of its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-plaque properties. To use turmeric, you can mix ¼ teaspoon of the powder with a few drops of mustard oil. You can also use it as mouthwash by adding a teaspoon to a glass of water.
3. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Another great toothpaste alternative is this type of coconut oil. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help with cleaning the mouth. It can help fight toothaches, gum disease, bad breath, and other oral problems. If you haven’t heard of oil pulling, try it instead of regular brushing. You’ll just swish a tablespoon of the oil around your mouth like you would with your mouthwash and spit it out after 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Sea Salt
It’s as simple as using baking soda. Just dip your toothbrush into sea salt and start brushing. If you’re worried about abrasion, you can dissolve the salt first in water before you brush.
5. Activated Charcoal
Although this isn’t as popular as the other options above, activated charcoal is really effective despite seeming counterintuitive because it’s black. It can actually reduce plaque and stains on your teeth as it absorbs substances that cause teeth discoloration. Just the same, dip your toothbrush into powdered activated charcoal then brush your teeth.
You can also try dry brushing where you simply use your toothbrush to clean your teeth. Some of its advocates swear to its efficiency. If it feels too strange for you, use pure water as you brush. You don’t have to add anything else and you won’t get a minty aftertaste. Another option is to use herbal tooth powders. There are plenty of these around and they can help reduce pain and inflammation if you have such problems.