While a stunning array of oral hygiene products exist the majority of these are unnecessary, expensive and may even be harmful. Consider the following warning I copied off a tube of Crest Tartar Protection Fluoride Anticavity Toothpaste: "Keep out of reach of children under 6 yrs. of age. If more than is used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away." Companies that have entered the lucrative mainstream oral care market from the natural products side include both Burt's Bees and Tom's of Maine, formerly I had more respect for the entrepreneurs that oversaw the production of these respective tooth care lines however Tom's of Maine is now partially owned by Colgate-Palmolive and Burt's Bees was sold to Clorox in October of 2007 for the cool sum of $925 million.

When I first encountered tooth soap at a small health food store I went home to do some research. $15 seemed like an awful lot to be spending on a product that was nothing more than saponified oils with peppermint flavoring. The list of ingredients was incredibly short. I've grown so accustomed to seeing a long list of scientific words that their absence seemed conspicuous. Tooth soap, sold as a liquid or small strips you place on your brush, does a decent job of cleaning your teeth however it remains ridiculously overpriced. Unlike conventional toothpaste there is no fluoride and no warning since even very small children are unlikely to swallow a substantial amount of mint flavored soap. I bought my bottle because I was curious. It makes a great cleanser for my dental appliances and I liked the idea of a cobalt blue glass bottle I could reuse.

Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap could easily be substituted for the tooth soap touted in health food stores. The taste, while not unpleasant, takes some getting used to as does the consistency. My bottle calls for four or five drops however I've found that one or two is usually sufficient. Some people miss the foam traditional toothpastes generate, that didn't bother me and I now prefer the way my mouth feels after brushing. Brushing your teeth removes superficial dirt, it is an important part of good oral hygiene and a reminder that what you put into your mouth matters. I believe that you are what you eat and your oral cavity is an excellent indicator of your overall health. Ads for whitening are ubiquitous, toothpaste companies have responded to consumer claims for brighter teeth however these products can adversely affect tooth sensitivity.

Putting things with a poison control warning in your mouth does not seem like a good idea to me so I avoid commercial toothpastes. The internet has many good recipes that use simple ingredients like baking soda and salt to clean your teeth. How tightly your teeth cling to their sockets is indicative of how healthy your teeth and gums are so make sure you are routinely working floss up and around each tooth you have. Dental enamel is one of the hardest structure your body manufactures, maintaining it is an incredible amount of work given the constant barrage of worthless food products the every day North American views. While I can't stop giant corporations like Colgate or Clorox I can choose to vote with my dollars which is why I support less dangerous alternatives when it comes to cleaning my teeth.

Last November I discovered I had a disease that often leads to dental problems, this past May I was diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome which is a condition where a person fails to produce adequate saliva among other things. Periodically my dentist tells me that I have beautiful teeth despite a defect in my enamel and a decalcified spot. Tartar is not a problem for my hygienist although I will typically have some plaque that needs removal. I am not a dentist nor do I profit from the sales of any oral hygiene product on the market. I do not want anyone to take my experiences and turn them into advice they found on the internet. What I would like is for people who are frustrated with corporate giants to know how far their arms extend and start questioning what else is in their tubes of fluoridated toothpaste that isn't listed as an active ingredient.

Maybe there is a benefit to some of these buy-outs as more natural and organic products are absorbed by conscientious consumers who would like to do right by their mouth and the planet however I can't help but notice that while quite a few people have sparkling white teeth the rest of their mouth seems suspiciously unhealthy. Natural teeth treat light in a way that artificial structures can't compete with. Truly beautiful teeth have a sheen that reflects a good digestive system. Healthy gums hold tightly to the teeth above and below them, your teeth are composed of micro-tubules that can be advantageously rearranged by your body and your visits to the dentist will be much less painful if your mouth is in good working order.

Acidic foods can dissolve dental enamel, dark foods such as chocolate, red wine and coffee may stain your teeth so if you are going to indulge please remember to rinse your mouth afterward. Many teeth are being brushed and worn away, your teeth take an incredible amount of abuse, brushing gently allows the effective removal of dirt without damaging delicate oral structures. Scraping your tongue removes bacteria. Proper hydration helps the normal mouth produce adequate amounts of saliva that is used to bathe and clean your oral cavity. The human jaw can exert up to two hundred pounds of force. Studies suggest that if your jaw is relaxed the rest of your body is as well. Exercise can be a great stress reliever. Yoga, meditation, massage, and certain breathing techniques are also tools you can use to help all the parts of your body work together harmoniously.

A healthy mouth can not be achieved by brushing alone. While tooth soap is probably not going to break the average budget I think there are other less expensive products available that clean your mouth just as well as tooth soap. If you are ever curious about what unidentified ingredients may be lurking in your toothpaste I would encourage you to do some investigative research as corporate profits may be giving executives something to smile about at your expense.

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