Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Toothpaste is a lie? Or at least so far, so good?

I’ve been taking a few baby steps toward more natural living, but nothing high stakes—I mean, if your shampoo experimentation goes terribly wrong, what's the worst that can happen? A bad hair day? Hey, if you’re lucky, you won’t even notice because your all-natural cleaning products left the bathroom mirror all streaky. (Just kidding: All-natural cleaning products are AWESOME.)

I have to admit, though: Oral care is scarier territory. It really didn’t seem so when I bought a bunch of natural toothpaste back in December, but when the time for my six-month checkup rolled around, I started getting nervous and imagining worst-case scenarios:


Imaginary hygienist: “The staining on your teeth is much worse than before. Have you been doing anything differently?”
Imaginary me: “I still brush and floss daily, but now I brush with dirt.”
Imaginary hygienist: “What? Why?”
Imaginary me: “Um, foaming agents, fluoride, remineralizing, glycerin, something, something?”


Imaginary dentist: “You have six new cavities and your gum line is receding. Have you been flossing regularly?”
Imaginary me: “Yes, and also brushing my teeth with dirt.”
Imaginary dentist: “What? Why?”
Imaginary me: “I DO know it was something to do with my health.”


To avoid the shame of the above scenarios, I figured I could play dumb and pretend not to know the ingredients of the natural toothpaste (Redmond clay, salt, and essential oils), but could I get away with pretending to not know the name of it (“Earthpaste”)?

I was nervous through the whole visit. Did I detect more scraping than usual? Was the exam taking a little longer? But the stress was for nothing. I had the normal amount of staining from drinking so much tea, my X-rays looked great, my gum line (and I QUOTE) “looks fantastic,” and everything was fine.

Thanks … [looks around, lowers voice] … “Earthpaste.”


  1. I do an oral rinse of hydrogen peroxide and then rinse really, really well before I brush my teeth and my I was a bit nervous about my last appointment, but... less scraping that both the hygienist and I noticed and everything looks great. However, I do have to sign a waiver not to take antibiotics before my appointment in the rare case that my teeth cleaning will release bacteria into my fake knee.

  2. I do an oral rinse with hydrogen peroxide (1½%) and then rinse really, really well with water before I brush my teeth. (Still have to use my prescription toothpaste). I was nervous at my last dental appointment that things would be worse but there was so much less scraping that my hygienist even commented on it. And all looked good.