Archived Articles - September 2016

Make your teeth whiter and shiny naturally, without using chemicals

Who doesn't love to have a wonderful smile highlighted by shining, white teeth? But everyone is not in favour of using harmful chemicals to whiten their teeth or have a pearly smile. However, we are fortunate that nature has bestowed us with several natural as well as safe alternatives to make your teeth whiter and brighten up your smile.

In fact, if you really desire to have sparkling white teeth that will help to enhance your smile, there are several reasons why you ought to go keep away from the conventional toothpastes as well as teeth whitening products and opt for natural alternatives. Conventional tooth whitening products often use very harsh chemicals, while nearly all toothpastes use fluoride as an active ingredient. It has already been established that fluoride is a neurotoxic substance and it is actually harmful for your teeth. Using excessive fluoride may potentially damage your teeth and make them brittle. In addition, people in the United States are increasingly suffering from a condition called dental fluorosis. According to a report in the journal Collective Evolution in 2013, at least one in three children there was being diagnosed with dental fluorosis.

In addition to fluoride, some other unpleasant ingredients present in usual toothpastes include triclosan, strontium, benzene and tin. In fact, only a few ingredients found in the regular toothpastes available at the typical grocery stores will contain any substance that may be called natural. Hence, you can easily understand why natural toothpastes prepared from ingredients that are safe as well as healthy should always be preferred to conventional toothpaste products.

Usually, people do not consider using turmeric as an element for whitening their teeth, despite the fact that this natural product with a rich yellowish-orange pigment that imparts its colors to everything it comes in contact with. However, it is really surprising to know the benefits offered by this plant product in keeping your teeth healthy and clean. Actually, blending turmeric with baking soda and coconut oil makes this herb an excellent cleansing paste that not only helps to make your teeth brighter, but also put off formation of cavities.

The method used to prepare this entirely natural toothpaste involves combining four tablespoons of turmeric powder, coconut oil (two to three tablespoons) and two teaspoons of baking soda. After you have blended all these ingredients into a thick, but smooth paste, you can use it to brush your teeth. You need to take this paste only in measures that can fill your toothbrush and begin brushing your teeth and subsequently rinse normally. You can save the remaining paste in an air-tight glass container and use it for many days whenever required.

People usually frown when advised to use baking soda for cleaning their teeth. This is because they consider it to be very harsh for cleaning their teeth. Nevertheless, a study undertaken by Collective Evolution has shown that baking soda is much less abrasive compared to any regular or conventional toothpaste. The RDA or the relative dentin abrasivity of baking soda is just 7. On the other hand, the RDA of the regular toothpaste Colgate Total toothpaste from the popular Colgate brand is 70! This information was shared by Collective Evolution in a chart published by the organization. In other words, this suggests that the abrasivity of Colgate toothpaste is more than 10 times higher compared to baking soda. So if you use baking soda on your teeth, it will certainly be beneficial.

The toothpaste prepared with baking soda also contains other ingredients like coconut oil, which has been used for several decades by the ancient Indian medicine system Ayurveda for cleansing teeth. In fact, oil pulling is a common and simple practice and its results are really amazing. Many people generally prefer coconut oil for this practice. In order to pull oil, you just require taking few spoonfuls of superior quality, unprocessed oil and whoosh the oil around inside your mouth. You can do this for any duration between 5 and 20 minutes.

Oil pulling offers a number of benefits, including elimination of toxins and bacteria hiding inside your mouth. It is also believed that oil pulling can also aid in ending congestion and loosening up sinuses. In addition, this practice is also supposed to promote remineralization and make the tooth enamel stronger, in addition to aiding in supporting the health of the gums.

Most people prefer using coconut oil for oil pulling as it possesses antimicrobial as well as anti-bacterial properties. Moreover, it also offers various benefits in your homemade toothpaste. When you combine coconut oil with turmeric powder, which possesses antioxidant properties, and baking soda's cleansing power, it turns out to be super toothpaste that is very healthy for your teeth and gums.

FDA admits antibacterial soap components are hazardous

Eventually, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has acknowledged that the constituents that make up anti-bacterial soaps are not only hazardous, but also not effective.

In fact, FDA has studied the issue for many years and finally said that as far as preventing ailments and killing pathogens are concerned, there is a lack of sufficient evidence to attest that anti-bacterial soaps and similar products are superior and more effective compared to the traditional soap and water. Especially, it has not been proved that chemicals like triclosan and triclocarban are safe for continual use. Almost 93 percent products that claim to be "anti-bacterial" use triclosan, which is said to smash the cell walls of bacteria over many hours.

Henceforth, the FDA will stop companies from marketing antiseptic soaps containing any of the 19 chemicals, including triclosan, whose effectiveness and safety have been questioned. Every product containing these chemicals will either be taken off the market or formulated again within a year for commercial sale. Currently, the FDA is examining three more chemicals and they may also find place in the banned product list.

As of now, hand sanitizers and hand wipes have been exempted from the ban. However, in June FDA told the firms manufacturing them that they ought to prove that the ingredients in these products are safe as well as useful.

According to Theresa M. Michele, a representative of the Division of Non-prescription Drug Products of FDA, there is no data showing that the banned drugs provide additional protection from infections and diseases. People might just get an artificial sense of security while using these products.

People who are really concerned about pathogens usually buy anti-bacterial soaps ignorant of the fact that the FDA never approved the safety of these products.

Using such products may potentially cause a number of health problems including development of several types of cancer, hormone disruption and also brain damage. In addition, triclosan has been related to poor levels of thyroid hormone and testosterone, which may result in learning disabilities as well as infertility.

Moreover, triclosan can also pollute the environment. It is among the most widely identified chemicals found in waterways in America. Worse still, it has been found that triclosan and triclocarban encourage the growth of super bugs that are resistant to drugs. Hence, it seems that washing your hands with just soap and water is less hazardous.

Safer anti-bacterial elements offered by nature

For many years, regular soap and water are just sufficient for washing your hands every day. They are tried and time-tested, as they have kept people quite safe from germs. Nevertheless, some people still believe they need some additional protection. We are fortunate that nature has bestowed us with many natural substitutes to the horrifying chemicals said to have anti-bacterial properties. For instance, there are numerous essential oils containing organisms capable of effectively combating bacteria. Some of them even possess anti-fungal attributes. You can use lavender essential oil for eliminating bacteria. However, essential oils should be diluted with suitable carrier oils before use as they are extremely potent.

Unsafe chemicals still found in many other products

The ban imposed by FDA is welcome news for everyone who is concerned about their wellbeing. However, you need to bear in mind the fact that the banned chemicals can still be found in several other products like toothpastes, cosmetics, detergents and deodorants.

You would be surprised to learn that Colgate Total toothpaste is currently getting lot of negative publicity for containing triclosan. Ironically, this toothpaste is being advertised as "the sole FDA approved toothpaste to help combat plaque and gingivitis".

On the other hand, as Colgate Total comes in contact with chlorine in water, it releases chloroform. Even rinsing your mouth will not help much, as studies have shown that chloroform released from the toothpaste remains in your mouth for about 12 hours! Although the levels of chloroform are low, they can build up with passage of time. As of now, it is not sure whether or not the FDA will amend its standpoint on this toothpaste.

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