As we grow ever more conscious of food sources and ingredients, it’s quite surprising that very few people are overly concerned about the ingredients of toothpaste. It would seem like common sense to be very careful when choosing a product that you put in your mouth two or three times a day, but more often than not, a toothpaste is chosen because it promises brilliant white teeth or the removal of ugly stains. As for children’s toothpaste, why worry about the harm it can do your kid’s teeth when it’s cherry flavor?

Many toothpastes contain questionable ingredients that are often mistakenly thought of as the best possible choice in the prevention of cavities or gum disease. Fluoride, Titanium dioxide, Glycerin, Sodium lauryl sulfate,and Artificial sweeteners are all common ingredients whose health benefits have been questioned with some justification. So for those of you that prefer a safer, more trusted approach, here are some natural alternatives to regular toothpastes.

Sea Salt

This is a brushing method as old as time, a method handed down from generation to generation. Sea salt has always been used as a remedy for gum disease and inflamed gums but it is also commonly used for cleaning teeth. A simple solution of sea salt dissolved in water will keep your teeth clean and your gums healthy by helping to kill off bacteria that lurk in your mouth.

Brush with Pure Water

It might seem a little strange to suggest water as an alternative to toothpaste but brushing with pure water is a very simple but effective way to clean your teeth. If you floss regularly and eat a healthy diet that is low in acidic and sugary foods, then brushing with pure water might just be the thing for you. Of course you will miss out on the minty fresh breath but let’s face it, it’s getting our teeth clean that we are really concerned about.

Baking Soda

There are many toothpastes on the market now that claim baking soda as their active ingredient, so why not just bypass the toothpaste and head straight for the source. Baking soda is perhaps one of the most common alternatives to regular toothpaste and can be dissolved in water in the same way as sea salt. You can also just dip your brush in it and brush your teeth as normal. Many people that use it regularly will put a few drops of peppermint oil in it to get that fresh breath feel.

Oral Irrigation

This method of teeth cleaning is quite simple and extremely invigorating. Basically a water jet system is used to blast all the dinner debris from around your teeth and gums. It may sound a bit extreme and the initial financial outlay a bit much but once you get used to it, there is no going back. Manufacturers claim that it is a much deeper cleaning method than flossing and some users have even recommended using a sea salt solution rather than pure water for added cleaning power.

Oil Pulling

Don’t be scared, while the word “pulling” isn’t the most welcome in an article on dental health, this is probably one of the best ways to get your teeth totally clean. A tablespoon of oil is swirled or swished around in your mouth for about a minute, and then your teeth are brushed with water or even one of the above methods. Coconut oil is a favorite for users of this method as it boasts antifungal and antibacterial properties that are excellent for maintaining a healthy smile.

If none of the above methods suit you then it’s worth bearing in mind the next time you choose your toothpaste, to have a look at the active ingredients and be fully aware of the effects, good or bad, these ingredients will have on you or your child’s health.