Category Archives: Toothpaste

We all have our neuroses

Posted by: Jordan

 

My top phobias in order of least anxiety-inducing to most terrifying:

#3: Waiting for my baggage to come down the baggage carousel and fearing that all 180 people around me will see all of my underwear spilling out of an open pocket of the luggage, and then, being too embarrassed to scoop it all up off the carousel, I just watch it go round and round.

#2: Overflowing toilets.

#1: Like 98% of all New Yorkers – bed bugs.

Thanks to my completely unoriginal phobia of these fang-y pests, at least once a month I’ll wake up having a horrible nightmare about having bed bugs, and often I’ll have a scalp scratched raw from subconsciously scratching myself in my horrible nightmare.  This recurring nightmare was made even more real to my subconscious this past week when we were in Puerto Rico.  In addition to the abundant sunshine, they also have an abundance of mosquitos, or some similar insect that leaves me with itchy bug bites.  Because of these pesky bites I woke up from my bed bug nightmare itching very real bug bites all over my body (thankfully, not from bed bugs).

As soon as I got home I reached for the yet-to-be-tested sample of Anti-Itch Formula from Neem Tree Farms.  I had received a sample of this soothing oil from the company’s owner after she related to my post about my first experience with the exceptionally stinky neem oil.  She sent me a couple samples of her products along with the promise that they smelled much better!  And she’s right!!  The Anti-Itch Formula mostly smells of lemongrass and lavender, and only faintly of neem (I think because my nose is now trained to sniff out straight neem, it’s easily detectable for me, but for a “neem virgin”, I don’t think you’d detect it at all in the Anti-Itch Formula).  Immediately after applying the oil, my mosquito bites stopped itching and became less inflamed and red.  I have a feeling this oil will be a staple in our house this summer!

I also tried out the Neem Bark Toothpowder, which I really loved.  Thank god, it tastes nothing like neem; rather it tastes like a winter dessert full of cinnamon and cloves.  It’s kind of fun to use too–you just dip your toothbrush loaded with toothpaste into the powder to get a light coating on top of your toothpaste.

Thank you, Neem Tree Farms, for showing me that neem oil can be beneficial, while not making me stink like a garlicky everything bagel!

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Burt’s Bees Natural Toothpaste

Posted by:  Jordan

I’m approaching yet another birthday, and with another birthday comes another thing to dislike about aging.  Today’s aging gripe:  Where the heck did my bright, naturally white smile go???  It seems to be getting  more beige by the day.  I don’t even drink coffee!  (Let’s just forget about those 2 glasses of red wine last night for the time being, ok?  That has nothing to do with anything.)   And let’s not talk about those scary, harsh whitening treatments that can strip your enamel…I like having a strong enamel.  So recently I’ve been on the search for 100% natural toothpastes that have gentle whitening capabilities, and are also flouride-free.  Why flouride-free when all your life you hear about how we need tons of flouride or we’ll get a mouth full of cavities?  Well, because more and more studies are showing that flouride has been linked to cancer, altering DNA, and reproductive toxicity.  But your toothpaste has such a minimal amount of flouride, so it can’t possible do that much damage, right? Perhaps, but I happen to not want to risk altering my DNA or getting cancer.  Especially when you’re putting it on your gums, which are super absorbent, thereby getting all those unnatural chemicals into your bloodstream quickly.  Remember the “cool guys” in high school who thought it was so manly to put “chaw” (that’s what we called chewing tobacco in Indiana when I was in high school) under their lips because it got the nicotine into their bloodstream quickly?  Same goes with your toothpaste–whatever is in it, is also going in your body.  It’s just a personal choice for me to limit my daily intake of flouride, as well as unnatural preservatives, colors and flavors found in most toothpastes on the market.

Recently I’ve tried  Burt’s Bees Natural Toothpaste which is whitening, flouride-free, and 100% natural: fits the bill for everything on my toothpaste checklist.  Plus, it leaves my teeth fresher than other natural toothpastes I’ve tried, yet isn’t at all overpowering.  It’s funny–use natural toothpaste for about a month or so and then go back to your standard toothpaste and tell me how you feel using it again.  For me, my old conventional Crest is so strong and powerful that it almost burns now.  The tube of Crest in our medicine cabinet (my husband’s, which he refuses to let go of) looks so strange to me all of the sudden.  Whoever thought making toothpaste bright teal with silver sparkles in it would make people think it’s good for you?  It kind of scares me when I really think about what’s in it.  Again, this is just my personal choice and you have to do your own research and consider what you’re ok with in something you put in your mouth twice a day, every day (hopefully!)

This toothpaste is the best natural one I’ve tried.  It has cranberry extract, which is shown to naturally protect against plaque, and is also SLS-free, which means–keep this in mind–it won’t foam up like standard brands.  That doesn’t mean it’s not doing its job; it’s just something to get used to.  But even without SLS, I think it foams better than most natural toothpastes I’ve tried.  My only complaint with this toothpaste has nothing to do with the actual toothpaste;  it’s that the snap-shut lid is sometimes a little hard to open, especially when you’ve just put lotion on your hands.

If, like me, you are looking for a natural toothpaste that fits the above criteria, give this one a try.  They also have a flouride version if that’s important to you.  (And go here to print a $1 off coupon!)

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Natural Toothpastes: Jason and Weleda

Posted by:  Jordan 

Remember that day in Kindergarten when your school nurse came around and demonstrated how to properly brush your teeth?  If your school nurse was anything like mine, that same day she also introduced you to the power of the American Dental Association’s seal of approval.  My husband really took that day to heart.  Decades later, he still has an adamant aversion towards any toothpaste that doesn’t have the ADA seal of approval.  Therefore we have “his and hers” toothpastes in our tiny bathroom medicine cabinet.  Can we please come to an agreement on one toothpaste so that I can have more room for my growing collection of natural deodorants? 

According to this ADA list of approved products, as of 6/1/10, Tom’s of Maine (owned by Colgate-Palmolive) is currently the only natural toothpaste brand that is ADA approved (there are only certain Tom’s of Maine toothpastes that are ADA approved, so be sure to look for that seal!).  So, I thought–FANTASTIC!  I’ll buy this Tom’s of Maine toothpaste that has the silly seal of approval!  When I told him my bright idea of how to solve our medicine cabinet space issue, he changed his argument claiming that he has been using his beloved Crest since he was a child and has never had a cavity, so why would he switch now?  He didn’t think my answer was sufficient when I whined, “because our bathroom is tiny and I’m trying to only use natural products, so the fact that we have to have two tubes of toothpaste is driving me insane!”  Dr. Cliff Whall, director of the ADA Acceptance Program, said that just because a product has been granted a seal doesn’t mean it has been officially endorsed. “It means the product is effective and does what it says it will do.”  Here’s hoping that the ADA will grant more seals of approval to natural toothpastes so I can hopefully one day convince my husband that we can survive being a one toothpaste family. 

Enough of our marital headaches, let’s get on with the product reviews…
 
 
Jason Natural Products Toothpaste – Oral Comfort Non-Fluoride CoQ10 Gel
 

This toothpaste, which I bought at Whole Foods, is recommended for people who have sensitive teeth, which is why I decided to try it out.  It is lightly fruit flavored, which I enjoy, but it does leave a slight sour baking soda aftertaste.  It’s not a terrible aftertaste, but is worth mentioning.  I like that the formula is very foamy–it leaves my mouth feeling clean.  Overall a great natural toothpaste!
 
 
Weleda Salt Toothpaste
 
  
You know my undying love of Weleda products, so I had to try out this toothpaste because I also have an undying love for salt.  I wasn’t expecting it to be as salty as it is, but as a huge fan of salt, i’m not complaining. It also has a hint of mint, which is refreshing, and not overpowering where you’d feel like if you took a drink of water 5 minutes later it would taste like you just swallowed mouthwash.  It doesn’t leave that baking soda aftertaste that the Jason toothpaste does.  In fact, it doesn’t leave much of any aftertaste at all, which is really nice!  Another thing I like about this toothpaste is that it’s pink!  Isn’t a pink toothpaste just fun?  One minor drawback is that this toothpaste is not at all foamy.  I can look past that since it still leaves my teeth feeling clean, but it’s an adjustment when you’re accustomed to the super foamy traditional toothpastes.  One concern I do have is with the graininess of this particular Weleda toothpaste (they do have 4 other types).  Since I have some issues with enamel deterioration, I wonder if this toothpaste is too abrasive for my teeth?  Any dentist out there care to weigh in?

 

I like both of these natural toothpastes so I can’t say which one I like better.  The Jason brand toothpaste probably has more of a universal appeal, but there’s something unique in Weleda’s Salt Toothpaste that I love too!  Has anyone else gone natural with their toothpaste and cares to recommend a favorite?

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