But hear me out. You just might go for this one.
I don’t know about you, but I have always HATED toothpaste. Hated. it. The overly-minty-fakeness of it, the soapy weird feeling in my mouth, the slimy residue left over… disgusting. I used to rinse my mouth an excessive amount after brushing to get every last trace of paste out of there, probably bordering on a level of obsessive compulsion. Ask my mother, or any ex-boyfriend of mine and they will tell you — I cannot stand the taste, smell, feeling, or any other presence of toothpaste.
Pre-Hubs‘ll even tell you that I especially can’t stand even looking at someone who’s brushing their teeth AND THEN TRYING TO SIMULTANEOUSLY TALK — because they might swallow a bit of paste which GROSSES ME THE FREAK OUT. (He knows not to do this.)
I’m starting to find it amazing that I actually found a man to marry my weirdness.
So for as long as I can remember, I’ve been using the least-chemically-fake type of toothpaste I can find. For the past couple years, that’s been this brand of natural paste. I… liked it as much as I could possibly like a toothpaste. Which is, as you’ve probably gathered, not a whole lot. But it was flavored with natural peppermint oil, and had minimal ingredients (no fluoride, of course, more on that later), and didn’t foam up in my mouth very much — BARF! UGHH! Sorry. That’s a bad mental image for me, the paste foam.
But I stopped using even the natural toothpaste.
Well… we just ran out of it.
So I went without — and to my surprise, my teeth felt just as clean as they did with the paste.
It’s been proven that brushing with no toothpaste is just as effective — and actually, may be even more effective — than brushing with toothpaste. So, I see no problem with my new paste-less oral hygiene regimen. And I think everyone should try it.
Um, what if you’re not a complete weirdo and actually enjoy toothpaste?
Well then, you might want to know what’s actually in that stuff you’re scrubbing all up in your grill multiple times a day. Most toothpaste is filled with awful things like sodium laurel sulphate and artificial sweeteners — both carcinogenic — and all kinds of petrochemicals and other nasty stuff.
Even “natural” toothpastes often contain glycerin, which is really not good for your teeth because it creates a filmy barrier that prevents minerals from strengthening teeth and could actually promote cavities — and it takes up to 27 rinses to get it off! (says Rami Nagel, author of Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition.)
And most toothpaste contains fluoride, a toxic industrial waste product that actually does not inhibit dental cavities, but does poison you slowly. Fluoride can give you all kinds of fun things like cystic acne, infertility, bone disease, and cancer, to name a few. Good thing they’re dumping that into our water supply, huh?
But what if your mouth is smelly?
Well, my mouth/breath doesn’t generally smell. Why? Because I don’t eat a bunch of crap that rots in there.
Seriously. If you read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by my main man, Wes, you’ll see that populations of indigenous people who did not consume a modern western diet of processed foods were shown to have virtually no dental caries, or cavities. And those native peoples weren’t even brushing their teeth, much less using toothpaste.
I’m also pretty sure their breath didn’t smell that bad. I’ve noticed that since eating a traditional diet and avoiding processed foods, I don’t feel any sort of need to resort to the “minty freshness” of toothpaste or mints. My mouth just doesn’t get rank halfway through the day the way it used to. I don’t even have morning breath — and neither does Pre-Husband.
Yeah, well, if you’ve been chowing down cloves of garlic or something and are really stinking up the place, I doubt paste-less brushing is gonna cut it.
Maybe true. For those times when I’ve eaten something that is really lingering in my mouth, I just sprinkle a little good-ol’-fashioned aluminum-free baking soda onto my brush, and scrub away the smell.
And no, that stuff actually isn’t bad for your teeth. Even my totally mainstream dentist advises using it, and dispels the myth that baking soda causes enamel erosion:
For years the dental profession thought that baking soda was abrasive and shouldn’t be used, but research has now shown that this was incorrect because baking soda dissolves rapidly in the mouth and has only beneficial effects on the teeth. Turns out Grandma was right after all on using baking soda to clean your teeth.
-My dentist’s email newsletter. Nice work advocating natural dental care, Doc.
It’s salty-tasting, but it’s way, way more preferable to me than nasty, expensive toothpaste. And you get used to it — really.
So there you have it, friends. There’s really no need for the paste. It’s gross, pricey, usually filled with things that are bad, and your teeth will get cleaner and healthier without it.
What do you think?
Would you consider going pasteless? Share your thoughts below!