A visit to your nearest drugstore will show you that the natural health care market is huge. From washing your hair to treating your cold, store shelves boast a wide array of products claiming to contain natural ingredients. This holds true for dental care products as well. Toothpastes, mouthwashes, toothbrushes, and dental floss come in all-natural or mostly-natural varieties and consumers who want to live a more natural or environmentally friendly often have a difficult time picking the good products from the questionable ones. Your Wynnewood dentist, Dr. Thomas DeFinnis, offers a few tips on making informed choices when you shop for natural dental products.
Common Features of Natural Toothpaste
Some of the general attributes of natural toothpastes include:
- No dyes or artificial coloring.
- Flavored with a blend of one or more essential oils, including peppermint oil, orange oil, cinnamon oil, and others.
- Sweetened with xylitol, a natural, corn-derived sweetener that actually strengthens tooth enamel. Many natural toothpastes contain no sweeteners whatsoever.
- Naturally derived abrasive agents such as silica or baking powder provide scrubbing action and help remove stains.
- Many natural toothpastes also contain no fluoride. While fluoride has been proven to effectively prevent tooth decay, some people choose to avoid using fluoridated products because fluoride can be toxic in high doses. That said, your dentist will probably recommend you use an ADA-approved natural toothpaste that does contain fluoride.
Common Features of Natural Mouthwashes
Like natural toothpaste, natural mouthwashes generally contain no artificial colors, are flavored with essential oils, sweetened with xylitol, and, for the most part, contain no fluoride. Many natural mouthwashes (and toothpastes) include aloe vera for its ability to sooth the gums. For the most part, natural mouthwashes will not include alcohol, a controversial ingredient in conventional mouthwashes that can actually worsen dry mouth and increase the amount of bacteria present in your mouth.
Natural Toothbrushes and Dental Floss
People who choose natural toothbrushes and floss usually do so more out of concern for the environment rather than for any specific health purposes. Manufacturers of natural toothbrushes tend to avoid the use of petroleum-based materials and are free from BPA, a potentially dangerous plastic additive. Natural dental flosses utilize nylon string coated in a variety of natural waxes such as beeswax, carnauba wax, or jojoba wax.
Talk to Your Dentist About Natural Dental Care Products
Your family dentist can make informed, professional recommendations for your at-home oral care routine. Please call our Wynnewood dentist office at (610) 228-4452 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Thomas DeFinnis. Our office is near Center City in Philadelphia and we serve patients in the 19096 area.