So I guess toothpaste is something that I never thought too deeply about in regards to what's in it. All of us are taught from the get-go to NEVER swallow your toothpaste! And there is a very good reason why... It's full of harmful chemicals. The thing is, underneath the tongue is a part of the body where the absorption rate into the blood stream is fairly rapid, so even if you don't swallow your toothpaste, it's likely you'll still get a decent amount of the chemicals into your bloodstream.
What are the nasties to look out for?
Triclosan - It's linked to causing disruption to the Endocrine System (Thyroid) and antibiotic resistance. The EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) lists it as a pesticide and in September this year the FDA banned the use of Triclosan in soap... but it's still allowed to be in toothpaste? Go figure.
Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS) - This is the chemical which makes toothpaste foam up, it's also found in soap, shampoo, bleaching agents, detergents and industrial cleaners! The main problem with SLS is that it strips the mouth completely and makes it super vulnerable to absorbing the other chemicals that are in your toothpaste.
Fluoride - This is a controversial one as it is heavily advertised as preventing tooth decay but, it has been proven that fluoride is redundant in protecting adult teeth and can actually cause tooth damage when exposed to too much. It can cause brittle bones, stomach issues and skin irritation. In the States, all toothpaste containing Fluoride come with a Warning label on the box.
Diethanolamine (DEA) - Is found in foaming products and is a known hormone disrupter! It can react with other ingredients creating a potential carcinogen called NDEA, this has been linked with cancers of the stomach, esophagus, liver and bladder.
Saccharin - An artificial chemical sweetener which is a proven carcinogen, not something you want in your mouth.
So what are the alternatives? Turns out there are quite a few options on the market by Weleda, Lush, Arbonne and Grin. My go-to is the Red Seal SLS Free toothpastes as they also use Stevia as the sweetener as opposed to Saccharin. The Red Seal SLS Free toothpastes are pretty easy to find in New World and Pak n Save stores too. Just remember that because they don't contain SLS they don't foam up as much as what you're probably used to, but persevere because using non-toxic toothpaste is something you really want to adjust to.