It’s time we had a serious discussion about your mouth and what you’re doing to promote its health.
Are you harming you body without even realizing it?
While many of us are fanatical about brushing and flossing, if you’re using a toxin-packed toothpaste and an alcohol-soaked mouthwash, you may be doing more harm than good.
Here are a few thoughts on how to keep your mouth healthy without harming the rest of your body.
Read Dr. Frank Lipman’s A New Approach to Chronic Illness
Toxins in Toothpaste
Toothpaste. If you take a moment to consider the ingredients commonly found in the average tube, it’s hard to ignore that toothpaste ingredients – and what they do to the body — are extremely alarming.
In fact many of the chemicals found in toothpaste have been linked to skin disorders, rashes, sores, hormonal changes and even breast cancer.
Read Dr. Leo Galland’s Why You Need to Detoxify 24 Hours a Day
Among the top ingredients to avoid due to their carcinogenic and/or endocrine disruptive effects: titanium dioxide; parabens, proplybaraben, methylparaben; toxic-to-humans triclosan and sodium lauryl sulfate, also known as SLS or sulfate.
Other ingredients to avoid: dioxane, blue dye 1 and 2, propylene glycol, sodium fluoride and hydroxide, hydrogen peroxide and sodium monofluorophosphate.
And while some may scoff and think, “Well, it’s not like I’m eating the stuff,” the fact of the matter is, in effect, you are by delivering multiple doses of toxins directly into your body every time you brush.
Though it might not seem like much, the cumulative effects can be health destroying, so I say, why take the risk?
Go Natural When You Brush
Here’s a better idea: switch to a toothpaste that’s lower on the biohazard scale. According to the consumer safety advocates and all-around smart scientists over Skin Deep, the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetics safety arm, among the best toothpastes are Cleure, Tom’s of Maine Natural Antiplaque Toothpaste and Arganat All Natural Clay Toothpaste.
Although they are not completely chemical-free, they score highest in terms of safety, meaning they contain the fewest hazardous ingredients. Another interesting health-oriented brand is Retivin, which is infused with antioxidants, including CO-Enzyme Q10, Selenium, Vitamins C and E plus several homeopathic tissue salts to help balance the ecology of the mouth.
Learn How Antioxidants Fight Aging by Dr. David Perlmutter
Kiss the Listerine Goodbye
Now I am all for a clean mouth – as a healthy mouth is essential to reducing inflammation and sustaining good health throughout your body – but for those of you who were raised on the notion of “Listerine clean,” it’s time to let it go. As in stop putting that stuff anywhere near your mouth. Why? Well, aside from the foul taste, Listerine, along with most other mouthwashes, is loaded with alcohol. The alcohol dries out the mouth and all that drying action has been linked to increased risk for oral cancer.
My Take on Mouthwash
For the millions of mouthwash addicts out there, kicking the mouthwash habit can be a challenge. They say their mouths just don’t feel as clean unless they’ve finished with mouthwash – likening it to the icing on their dental care cake. Problem is, most mouthwashes can do more harm than good –they’re more marketing vehicle than an absolute mouth-health must have.
My advice? Save your money, reduce your thrice-daily exposure to toxins (as well as those plastic containers) and just brush, floss and tongue-scrape after every meal to maintain mouth health.
More by Dr. Frank Lipman: Power Naps Boost Performance
Make Your Own Mouthwash
Make your own mouthwash by combining 8 oz. water (preferably filtered or spring, without fluoride) with heaping teaspoon of baking soda plus 4 -6 drops of organic peppermint oil. Swish, spit and enjoy!
About Dr. Lipman:
Frank Lipman, MD, PhD is an internationally recognized expert in the field of integrative medicine. He is the founder and director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City, where for over 20 years his personal brand of healing has helped thousands of people reclaim their vitality and recover their zest for life.
He received his initial medical training in South Africa, qualifying in 1979 and emigrating to the United States in 1984. He became board certified in internal medicine after serving as Chief Medical Resident in his final year of residency at Lincoln Hospital in New York City.
Becoming more and more aware of both the strengths and the weaknesses of his training, he began to study acupuncture, Chinese medicine, functional medicine, nutrition, herbal medicine, biofeedback, meditation and yoga.
Dr. Lipman is the author of Total Renewal: 7 Key Steps to Resilience, Vitality and Long Term Health and Revive: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again.