This is the ingredient, that usually is recommended to avoid when we talk about healthy or organic products. Why is that? What could possibly be wrong with the nice scent?
The term ‘fragrance‘, or parfume can hide up to 100 different chemicals, from about 3000 chemicals list. In ONE product. Think of how many products we use everyday.. That’s a number, isn’t it?
Almost 1/3 of fragrance ingredients are linked to various health problems, such as skin, eye irritations, allergies, hormone imbalance and increased risk of cancer. The problem is that manufacturers do not have to disclose an ingredient list of a fragrance – it is claimed as a business secret. This means that consumers are unable to avoid certain chemicals even if they desired to do so.
The only current solution to reducing exposure to chemicals of concern is to avoid fragranced products all together, and this is simply an unfair choice. It’s like knowing you have an allergy for food, but would’t know for what exactly, and the only option would be to stop eating..
You may wonder now – why is it still alloud to use unsafe ingredients, hide them in labels, why no institutions ban this? Well.. everybody knows, that smoking is harmful too, but no institution in a world has prohibited smoking either.. The safety of fragrance chemicals is not determined, monitored or safe-guarded by any governmental agency globally in any comprehensive fashion. Think of this – there are no restrictions in place for the use of the following:
Known carcinogens: styrene, pyridine, or benzophenone
Phthalates, of any kind
Synthetic musks, including Galaxolide or Tonalide.
Regulation is complicated to say at least, as it is kind of self-regulating system, lacking transparancy. Second, it is still claimed that hiding a composition of fragrance means keeping business secrets. But then again. It’s 2019, manufacturers can use technologies of reverse engineering, and analyze their and competitors products quite precisly. So business secret is not a real motive anymore.
It would be a great option if manufacturers would have to disclose a full ingredient list without hiding anything in between, then people would be able to choose, if they want to use a product or not. Especially, when fragrance comes close to the beginning of ingredient list. In a mean time, the only recommended way to avoid dangerous chemicals that might hide under word fragrance, is to skip this ingredient at all, whenever it is possible.
But hey.. It does not mean products have to be boring! There are PLENTY of natural aromas available, coming from essential oils for example. And it is so better when you think – you can have an orange scent derived from orange, not synthetic copy created from cancerogens.
Sometimes a genuine smile can fix it all – it is so simple yet so powerful at the same time, it definately deserves to be taken care of! Therefore we need to clarify some facts about the natural/organic toothpastes and the regular ones.
We know we should be cleaning our teeth twice a day, using dental floss, reducing sugar consumption, eating healthy food and visiting your doctor regularly. But what if we told you, there is more you can do for your healthy teeth, smile, body and environment – by choosing natural/organic toothpaste?
Some people have doubts about the effectiveness of natural/organic products, thinking they try to mimic non organic products and fail, but it is actually in opposite! It’s the artificial mint flavour trying to mimic real mint, it’s synthetic mineral oils trying to mimic real oils delivered from plants. For a simple reason, it is much cheapier and easier for manufacturers. And for you? Let’s put some arguments to the table, that will help you to decide.
To begin with, it’s a toothbrush that gets the biggest role in the cleaning play. That’s right. The action of brushing removes the leftover food particles from your teeth and gums (and using a dental floss). Even if you don’t use any toothpaste at all. The reason why we are using toothpaste – is to fight and prevent the bacteria. Which is very important, as the bacteria in your mouth are the kinds that cause halitosis and gingivitis. Therefore, you need to use a toothpaste that can effectively stop the bacteria. Both, natural/organic and regular toothpastes can do that, but you should know, that mouth is one of the most absorbent places in your entire body (that is why some medications are used sublingualy or under your tongue). Not to mention that you actually swallow some of toothpaste in the end.. Especially kids. So whatever you put in your mouth, it counts. Twice a day, everyday!
There are plenty miracles of the nature, that performs super well in the toothpastes. Such as:
Aloe vera – it will destroy harmful bacteria and fight infection. The Aloe promotes fresh breath by disinfecting the mouth and prevents tooth decay by stopping the plaque from building up. Its anti-inflammatory properties help it prevent gingivitis.
Coconut oil – organic coconut oil has been used for centuries in the age-old practice of oil pulling which naturally cleans and detoxifies the mouth. Coconut oil has been shown to whiten teeth, prevent bacteria, and can help reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, the natural way.
Tea tree oil – Its superb healing properties are used for three main health dangers – virus, bacteria, and fungus. As part of a toothpaste, tea tree oil helps fight oral infections and reduces the risk of receding gums and tartar deposits. Also, it freshens your breath by suppressing odour-causing bacteria.
Salt – Teamed with baking soda, it can break down plaque, combat bad breath and help make teeth and gums more resilient.
Baking soda – the same stuff that raises your bread can also polish and whiten teeth, combat bad breath, and aid in plaque removal.
Rosemary – rosemary oil can disinfect germs in your mouth, contributing to fresher breath and lowering the risk of gingivitis, cavities, and plaque build-up.
Mint – that popular herb works wonders for your oral health. Not only does it alkalize the body and return the mouth to its normal PH levels, but it also has strong naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
These are just few, there are so many more great ingredients, that will help you keep your teeth clean and healthy! Moreover, organic toothpastes are not tested on animals. So if you are a good person.. Think about it!
Now you see there is no reason to doubt in the effectiveness of natural/organic toothpastes, you just need to try some and pick your favorites. If you are still not feeling convinced, please take a look at the other list below.
Here are some ingredients, that are common in regular toothpastes, that are not something you would choose to enter your body on purpose:
TRICLOSAN – it might help to prevent gingivitis, but there’s a price to pay. This chemical is linked to antibiotic ressistance and endocrine disruption. Which is a serious problem, as they can promote a wide variety of health problems, including breast, ovarian, prostate, and testicular cancer, preterm and low birth weight babies, precocious puberty in girls, and undescended testicles in boys.
SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE (SLS) – surfactant responsible for the foaming. The truth is you don’t really need your toothpaste to foam, as this has absolutely no positive effect for your brushing experience. This is just another marketing trick, installed in our brains to make us feel the toothpaste is “working“. SLS may linger within the body for up to five days, accumulating in the heart, liver, lungs, and brain. When combined with certain other chemicals, it becomes nitrosamines, a class of powerful carcinogens that provoke the body to absorb harmful nitrates. There are also concerns that SLS can lead to damaged eyes, irritated skin and labored breathing. SLS also has a huge negative impact on our environment. The manufacturing process of SLS releases carcinogenic volatile organic compounds into the environment. It is listed as an insecticide and could be toxic to marine life. SLS is also a reason why everything tastes so bad right after you’ve brushed your teeth, as they interfere with the functioning of your taste buds by breaking up the phospholipids on your tongue.
FLUORIDE – a controversial ingredient in a toothpaste. It’s important to realize that while fluoride is indeed a vital mineral for healthy teeth, you don’t need to source it through your toothpaste. Fluoride occurs naturally in many foods and water, so a balanced diet will most likely guarantee sufficient fluoride intake. The reason why you might want to avoid it in your toothpaste is its tendency to accumulate in the body over time, which has been linked to endocrine dysfunction, neurological problems and brain and kidney issues. We still swallow some of toothpaste, that is a fact. Especially kids, that is why fluoride toothpastes might be risky to use for children.
ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS AND DYES – have you ever thought, that your toothpaste tastes sweet and smells nice? For no reason? It is usually packed with chemicals, artificial sweeteners, dyes and tastes, just so you like it better. But then again – toothpaste is not for eating! A sweet taste or colour should not be a priority when choosing a toothpaste, as you understand it does not bring any benefits to your health. Artificial sweeteners have been shown to cause symptoms ranging from headaches and weight gain to more serious conditions like cardiovascular disease. Sorbitol and saccharin are among the most commonly used in toothpaste. Sorbitol has been shown to negatively affect people suffering from various gastrointestinal conditions, often resulting in severe abdominal pain. Other possible symptoms are flatulence and mild to severe diarhea.
DIETHANOLAMINE (DEA) – is another foaming product commonly used in toothpaste. However, it also has well-documented health risks. DEA is linked with stomach cancer, bladder cancer, liver cancer, and organ system toxicity. It is easily absorbed through skin tissue such as your gums and tongue. DEA disrupts hormones and can react with other ingredients to create a potential carcinogen. I guess it is more than enough for you to avoid this ingredient in a list..
PROPYLENE GLYCOL – a type of mineral oil that, in the industrial grade, is used in antifreeze, paints, enamels, and airplane de-icers. The pharmaceutical-grade form is used in many personal care products, including toothpaste, as a surfactant. The Material Safety Data Sheets for propylene glycol warn that the chemical can be rapidly absorbed through the skin, with prolonged contact leading to brain, liver and kidney abnormalities. The EPA forbids its workers to handle propylene glycol without wearing rubber gloves, yet humans have direct contact with it through common health care and cosmetic products.
To sum up – natural/organic toothpastes are full of natural, useful, organic ingredients that are effective, it will do the job and will not make you harm. Whereas regular toothpastes will do the job, but they are full of nasties, that enters your body twice a day.