To quote Captain Jack Sparrow: " I've got a jar of dirt, and guess what's inside it!"
Hint: It's toothpaste.
Let me start by saying a few things. I'm not vegan. I'm not gluten free. I don't follow the Paleo diet. I don't usually consider myself "crunchy," a "hippie," or any iteration of thereof. Not that there is anything wrong with those lifestyles, they just aren't things that I prescribe to.
With that said, what I do think about is how the products that I use affect my health. I switched to a more natural shampoo because I noticed that the sulfates in most shampoos were drying out my scalp. I started eating more vegetables and less meat because I was consuming more fat from those meats than was healthy.
After years of using regular toothpaste, no matter the brand, one thing kept going through my mind: remineralization. You see, my parents just had to get dentures. Full sets of fake teeth. It's been hard for them to have all of their teeth pulled, but the worst part is that it took them years to finally get those dentures. Years of pain, broken teeth, and difficulty eating.
While it's true that they didn't take care of their teeth as well when they were younger, for many years they were using the same kinds of toothpaste that I grew up using. Their issues made me think about the toothpaste in my bathroom cabinet. And I started asking questions.
First, what's in my toothpaste exactly? Second, is it actually benefiting me? And third, is my toothpaste accomplishing what I want it to accomplish?
After some digging, I learned that some of the major ingredients in toothpaste are abrasives. That's well and good, and I know they have been researched extensively, but there is growing evidence that most toothpastes contain materials that are highly abrasive and can wear down the enamel of your teeth.
I also learned that a lot of toothpastes contain glycerin, which coats your teeth and also makes toothpaste taste sweeter. Again, there isn't a lot of hard evidence about whether glycerin negatively impacts teeth, as the only study was completed under dubious settings with partial teeth, not teeth in vivo. However, there is some evidence to be found that glycerin (which draws in moisture) could prevent teeth from remineralizing by decreasing the amount of saliva in the mouth. This could also be a factor for dry mouth and bad breath.
So while the jury is still out on whether toothpaste is ruining our mouths, I figured that trying something new would be worth a shot. After all, the toothpastes I was using weren't whitening my teeth at all (despite all of the claims and commercials of pearly whites), and I found that I had awful breath halfway through the day. After looking around a bit, I heard about The Dirt. The premise is interesting: powdered toothpaste. I decided to give it a shot, and after about a month of using it, the results are in!
The ingredients in The Dirt Tooth Brushing Powder are, quite simply, great. Bentonite clay is a mild abrasive, softer than the abrasives found in most commercial toothpastes. Baking soda is another abrasive that also helps removes surface stains and has been used for years to clean teeth. Cinnamon is an excellent antibacterial component. The other ingredients (myrrh, cardamom, orange oil, and nutmeg) are there primarily for flavor, although there is anecdotal evidence of their beneficial mouth-cleaning powers.
Using the tooth powder is a bit of a challenge at first, but after a few tries, I can do it even when I'm sleep deprived and running on fumes. Wet toothbrush, tap off excess water. Dip toothbrush into powder, tap of excess powder. Brush. My toothbrush may look horrifying (and so does my mouth), but after a bit of an adjustment period, I don't mind it at all.
And now that I've been using it for a month? Well, honestly, I'm never going back to regular toothpaste. I've discovered that the benefits of using this tooth powder far outweigh the weirdness of having brown spit after brushing and having to wash the sink more regularly.
First and foremost, my teeth feel cleaner for longer. I don't have that gross film on my teeth at the end of the day, and they still seem clean even when I brush my teeth before bed. This could be because without the foam that regular toothpaste creates, I'm brushing more thoroughly, but I've always been good about brushing my teeth intensely every day.
My breath has gotten significantly better. I don't have to chew gum in the middle of the day (unless I eat onions or garlic), and I've noticed a significant reduction in the amount of tonsil stones that I develop.
But the best part? My teeth are actually whiter! I didn't notice at first, but I looked up a picture I took before I started this experiment, and I can actually tell a difference in my teeth, even after compensating for light levels.
Overall, I feel that this was a really great experience for me, and it's definitely a product I'm going to stick with for the long haul. Even my husband enjoys this tooth powder now that he's adjusted to it.
If you would like to try it yourself, follow this link to get 15% off of your purchase! And for full transparency, it is a referral link, although this post isn't even remotely sponsored. I just like the product a whole hell of a lot.
Tell me, what health product do you swear by?
Writer, Photographer, Dream-Seeker