Non-toxic Tooth Care

I’ve known for a while to avoid amalgam (metal) fillings because of possible mercury exposure, but recently while flipping through Smart Mama’s Green Guide I found out that the white fillings may be a source of BPA.  Great.  Bottom line: for these reasons and more, I would like to avoid cavities and fillings.  Here is what tooth care looks like at my house.

Toothpaste.  We use Tom’s of Maine at my house.  My husband switched years ago when I first bought it.  I only made the switch a few months ago, because change is hard for me in the teeth department.  To my surprise, I like Tom’s much better than the Colgate I was using (which, as you might imagine, has many not-so-natural ingredients).  It’s not so sacchariny sweet, which I find I prefer.   Some folks just use baking soda, but I don’t think that will be my M.O. anytime soon.

Mouthwash.  I’m too lazy to use mouthwash, but until I found a viable alternative, my husband was using fluorescent green no name brand mouthwash with alcohol, parabens, and who knows what else.  Now he uses Jason’s Peppermint Power Smile.  It’s concentrated, so it lasts a long time.

Floss.  After all the pain and suffering I went through to eliminate nonstick cookware and bakeware from my life, imagine my shock when my husband mentioned in passing that my beloved Glide floss that slid oh-so-easily between my teeth was coated with Teflon.  It seemed pretty ridiculous to be rubbing Teflon around in my mouth every day when I had put so much effort (and some money too) into not preparing my food with it.  So we switched to Tom’s of Maine floss (coated with natural wax).  The first few times I used it, the difference was very noticeable.  I had to work quite a bit harder to get it between my teeth and my gums may have even bled a little.  But after a brief adjustment period of a few days, all was well.  I am completely satisfied with the switch. 

Toothbrush.  No, I am not using a wooden toothbrush or recycled plastic toothbrush.  I use a Sonicare.

How do you keep your teeth clean and green?

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  1. I too use Tom's of Maine floss - I'm not sure if I love it, I also have the difficultly getting it between my teeth and occasional bleeding gums. I may try a different one when I use it up (plus Im not thrilled with the whole plastic container, there has to be a better alternative). I use Nature's Gate toothpaste - I've liked it, and I chose it partially because it is fluoride free (I figure with the fluoride in our tap water I don't need to be smearing even more in my mouth). What do you think about the whole fluoride thing? I am fairly new to nontoxic tooth care, and I was wondering if you have had any problems? All smooth sailing?

  2. Thanks, Betsy! Do you buy your Tom's of Maine products on amazon?

  3. Sarah, I have not had trouble switching, nor my husband -- except that he won't give up the Glide floss either. I had a little bleeding with Tom's floss for a week or so and now no problems. It is hard to find plastic-free (incl. packaging) floss -- check out My Plastic-Free Life for suggestions.

    Yes, Erica, on Amazon or at Whole Foods. Target carries Tom's deodorant, they might have Tom's toothpaste too, I've never checked. I think I once got a multi-pack at Costco too.

  4. I just use the floss my dentist gives me for free... I should check the ingredients!

    I started making my own tooth powder--1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon xylitol (available on Amazon; I buy small quantities from the bulk section of my food co-op), 6 or so drops of peppermint essential oil and a dash of stevia powder to sweeten it. I keep it in an empty baby food jar.

    Hubby and son haven't bought into that, though, so they share the Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry kids toothpaste. :)

  5. I've been sensitive to fluoride for some time now and use plain ol' baking soda often! I've also used Tom's toothpaste before. Helpful article!

  6. Regarding fluoride: from what I've read, fluoride in toothpaste (applied directly to your teeth) is far more effective and a better idea than ingesting fluoride through your water (so that it affects you systemically). Some problems have begun to crop up with kids getting too much fluoride. I actually have some sensitivity and my dentist recommended a prescription toothpaste (with extra fluoride), but I told him I was a greenie-type and he said Tom's with fluoride was fine. I'm thinking of trying Tom's for Sensitive teeth.

    If you floss is really smooth and glides easily, it's probably made with Teflon.

  7. I had no idea floss had Teflon in it! I use a blend of essential oils like clove and tea tree oil mixed with water to swish as a mouthwash alternative. Plus they are both great for mouth health. :)

  8. We make and market a product that is called Tooth Chips - Soap for Teeth. It's safe, effective and not full of chemicals or harsh abrasives. We even have a children's line now:

  9. These are great and very interesting tips. Dental fillings may indeed cause several problems because of the materials used. However, it's not that high risk at all. The amount of mercury in the material is not high enough to cause severe diseases. Anyway, taking care of the mouth, teeth and gums is the best option to avoid those fillings and other dental procedures that may hurt yourself and even your pocket.

  10. Choosing the right toothpaste is really important if you'd want healthy teeth. Thanks.

  11. Glide floss that slid oh-so-easily between my teeth was coated with Teflon. It seemed pretty ridiculous to be rubbing Teflon around in my mouth but it really does help me clean my teeth.
    All-on-Four by NewAlbanyImplants

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  14. I've been sensitive to fluoride for some time now and use plain ol' baking soda often! We make and market a product that is called Tooth Chips - Soap for Teeth. dentaldeal

  15. These are great and very interesting tips. I had no idea floss had Teflon in it!
    D├ętartreur dentaire


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