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There’s no denying the importance of good oral hygiene. It dates back to the earliest history of civilization. In fact, archeologists have found “tooth sticks” in Egyptian tombs. It has been said that Buddha would chew sticks into fluffy-ended scrubbers and that the Roman author, Pliny the Elder, would pick his teeth with a porcupine quill.
Yet, it wasn’t until the late 1400’s that the reigning Chinese Emperor, Hongzhi, designed the toothbrush that resembles what we still use today. The evolution of the toothbrush has spanned centuries, yet the simple design has remained relatively unchanged.
However, in today’s increasingly eco-conscious world, more and more people are looking for sustainable toothpaste options and alternatives to plastic brushes and boxes that are both good for people’s health and the health of the environment.
You may have already gotten the memo on changing your toothbrush, but how do we know what to look for in eco-friendly and sustainable toothpastes?
The main purpose of brushing your teeth is to eliminate harmful bacteria - the primary culprit for cavities, gingivitis, bad breath, and germs that can cause problems with your health. Yet many people don't think much about the ingredients and whether or not those can also cause harmful effects to the body.
In traditional toothpastes, the key ingredients are typically chemical-based. One of the primary and controversial elements found in toothpastes is fluoride. Since this ingredient was introduced in the 1980s, tooth decay rates have fallen by 75 percent, which is a good thing. While this ingredient does not pose a significant health risk, some doctors have linked fluoride to thyroid-related problems.
Other ingredients like sodium laurel sulfate and triclosan can also be found in shampoos and other soaps and detergents, so why are they being used in your mouth? All together, these ingredients have been shown to adversely affect a person’s hormones.
Sustainable toothpastes often are made with naturally occurring ingredients such as coconut oil, tea tree oil, and charcoal. Activated charcoal is a super detoxifier, known for its ability to adsorb more than 100 times its weight in bacteria and trap it for removal. Charcoal is also known for its amazing whitening properties, helping to get rid of stains and unwanted germs all at once.
Tea tree oil is an incredible anti-bacterial fighter known to heal and protect against viruses, bacteria, and fungus. It helps to reduce the risk of receding gums, tartar deposits, and odor-causing elements. Coconut oil, which is half made up of lauric acid, is known to kill oral bacteria that causes tooth decay, along with reducing plaque and fighting gum disease.
Safe for the environment
It is estimated that a single person will throw away nearly 300 toothbrushes in his or her lifetime. This is one of the main reasons people have switched to bamboo and other alternative toothbrushes – allowing us to reduce the amount of plastic and trash found in our ecosystems, from landfills to waterways.
Yet, a tube of toothpaste can have an equal, if not more harmful, impact on the environment.
That’s why you should look for brands with sustainable toothpaste packaging. That means it’s recyclable, BPA-free, and made without toxic chemicals that can leech into the Earth.
Sustainable toothpaste made in the USA
How do you choose the right sustainable toothpaste? Look no further than Terra & Co’s Brilliant Black toothpaste, which contains high-quality, activated charcoal, along with coconut and tea tree oils. This eco friendly toothpaste works to help brighten your smile, remove plaque build-up, combat bacteria, and promote healthy oral care.
This gentle, organic charcoal toothpaste is made in the USA and is great for those with sensitive teeth and gums. It doesn’t contain any fluoride, bleaches, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), peroxides, or Triclosan. It’s also vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free!