Trying to find the impetus for the surge in popularity of natural alternatives to toothpaste is, at first glance, seemingly simple to do. Although discussed briefly, and then dismissed as a non-story by the mainstream media, the issue of fluoride, and its addition to toothpaste and water, is still fertile ground for online debaters. These debates, which are now easier to access to anyone with a computer and an internet connection, seem to be fuelling the popularity in seeking a natural alternative to manufactured toothpastes, and all their additives. As surprising as it may seem, the use of toothpastes dates back as far as the Greeks.
History of Use
References on www.wikipedia.co.uk show that the Greeks used recipes for toothpaste on their teeth, and generally added some kind of abrasive, such as pulverised oyster shells or bones, which enhanced the cleaning effects. The Romans followed suit, and in the 9th century, a famous Persian by the name of Ziryab produced and popularised a kind of toothpaste that was both functional and pleasant to taste. Moving into the 19th century in Britain, we find that powders were popular for additional cleaning of the teeth.
Loosely following the same idea as the Greeks, crushed chalk and even powdered brick was used as an abrasive with a brush, to try to achieve a thorough clean. In 1900 the first paste was released, but powder remained popular until after World War 1. Since then, we find pastes, gels becoming ever more popular, and the preferred way to sell to the public.
Best Natural Alternatives for Tooth Care
Deciding to stop using commercial toothpastes, and looking for alternatives is fairly straightforward, again thanks to the internet. The difficult part is actually educating yourself so you know what is in the pastes that the big supermarkets sell, instead of routinely chucking a recognisable toothpaste brand in your shopping trolley and not giving it another thought. As more and more people have started to look into this, more options have become available to those wishing to do something about it. These include:
- Baking Soda – Probably one of the most popular methods. Simply dip your brush in the powder and brush, alternatively dissolve the powder into water and dip your brush into the resultant liquid, then brush. Peppermint and other essential oils can be added for a pleasant taste.
- Sea Salt – A very natural feeling way to brush your teeth. Dab the brush in sea salt and brush as normal, or if concerned about abrasion, dissolve salt in water and brush from there.
- Tooth Soap – Although it is possible to brush your teeth with soap, many outlets now sell actual teeth soap, specifically for teeth. Of course, avoid ones with any additives, like the normal toothpastes have.
- Pure Water – This way is surprisingly effective, clears debris but fails to leave a fresh or minty aftertaste.
- Herbal Toothpaste – Used instead of normal toothpastes, herbal varieties do a good job of cleaning, and have the added benefit of ingredients that can ease inflammation of the mouth and gums, pain, and infection. Growing in popularity.
It is difficult to find an online dentist advocating the use of alternatives to the standard toothpastes. Even those with medical conditions are advised to use normal pastes, although the use of herbal pastes as an alternative is seen as being of some benefit. The cost of most of the alternative methods of brushing your teeth are almost zero compared to the cost for a tube of paste. Advertisements about toothpaste will always be created and circulated by companies more concerned in profit than the health of their consumers, and it seems that personal choice, and personal motivation, as well as a consciousness loud enough not to be simply ignored, needs to be the keys to drive someone to effect a change in their own brushing choices. As with everything, this comes down to the perception of the individual, and the amount of drive they have.