The Apothecary relies on the wisdom of nature to provide good, clean wholesome toothpaste that won’t harm you or the planet, will clean your teeth brilliantly, and has several benefits for oral hygiene and general health.
We brush our teeth twice daily, applying toothpaste inside our mouths where it comes into contact with the delicate membranes of our mouth, gums and tongue, rich in blood vessels and neurons, as well as our precious pearly whites. Unavoidably, some toothpaste gets swallowed, especially by children. We should think very carefully about what we put into our mouths.
“Ordinary” toothpastes are awash with dubious and downright dangerous ingredients, such as SLS and other detergents, harsh abrasives such as silica, toxic propylene glycol, and hazardous sodium fluoride, among others.
There are natural alternatives, although many still contain a few questionable ingredients and you should always read the label carefully. The Apothecary Toothpaste has been developed over years of trial and research and brings you an all-natural, completely benign, delicious toothpaste that:
• cleans teeth beautifully,
• promotes tooth remineralisation,
• fights cavities,
• inhibits the build-up of plaque,
• banishes bad breath and helps heal mouth sores,
• contains a safe and natural form of fluoride,
• has benefits for overall health and well-being,
• is truly good enough to eat,
• and comes in a range of tasty flavours.
Ingredients: organic coconut oil, xylitol, food grade baking soda, food grade vegetable glycerine, calcium and magnesium complex with trace elements, selected essential oils
Ingredients and their benefits
Each and every ingredient that The Apothecary uses is chosen to do only good. Several are antimicrobial and inhibit the bacteria that cause tooth decay, sore gums and bad breath; some promote the repair of tooth enamel and provide the minerals needed for teeth to do this, others give the toothpaste a delicious flavour and rich texture, while also contributing wholesome health benefits. None are harmful, to you or the rest of the Earth.
Organic coconut oil
Coconut oil is anti-bacterial and antifungal. It also absorbs bacteria and impurities from the mouth when swished around and through the teeth. The ancient technique of oil pulling, recently being rediscovered, uses coconut oil in this way, to rid the mouth and body of numerous ills.
You can read more about coconut oil here and about oil pulling here.
Apart from adding a tasty sweetness at the same time as inhibiting the growth of bacteria, xylitol promotes tooth repair and makes it difficult for plaque to adhere to teeth. It is a win-win ingredient for toothpaste. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that spells death to the harmful oral bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) responsible for plaque and tooth decay. They cannot metabolise it but still ingest it, meaning they become clogged and die. It also reduces the acidity of saliva, and promotes the uptake of calcium throughout the digestive system. Xylitol stimulates the production of saliva containing calcium and phosphate, which the teeth use for remineralisation. It is soluble in water so it dissolves as you brush and won’t scratch tooth enamel.
Food grade sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
Sodium bicarbonate is a gentle abrasive cleaner that effectively neutralises odours and is also antibacterial. It is a cornerstone ingredient of natural and homemade toothpastes. Baking soda is soluble in water, and soft relative to tooth enamel (unlike the hard, insoluble silicates and other abrasives used in most toothpaste – see below). This means that it cleans teeth efficiently, yet gently.
You can read more about bicarbonate of soda here.
Food grade vegetable glycerin
Glycerin assists healing, promotes absorption, strengthens the skin barrier and is antimicrobial. Using too much can result in a dry mouth feeling, but the right amount helps to lock in moisture. It adds a creamy texture and sweetness, in a form that cannot be metabolised by bacteria. Glycerin stops bacteria from reproducing, helping to preserve the integrity of the toothpaste while still in the jar, as well as inhibiting bacterial growth in the mouth.
Calcium and magnesium complex with trace elements
This complex of tooth building minerals such as calcium and magnesium, and trace elements such as boron and zinc, makes the ingredients for tooth repair available to your teeth every time you brush. Your teeth are constantly repairing themselves from superficial wear and tear, and these provide the raw materials they need to do this, in a form your body can absorb and use straight away. The complex of minerals we use includes the vitamins that aid absorption and homeopathic tissue salts to support and assist in repairing weakened areas.
Fluoride has been consistently shown to help strengthen tooth enamel – yet the form of fluoride used in most toothpaste, sodium fluoride, is undeniably toxic. Calcium fluoride, on the other hand, is the gentlest, safest form of fluoride and is naturally present in mineral water. It is perfectly safe to ingest (see below).
Each essential oil has been chosen to add its own distinctive properties of flavour, antiseptic and healing qualities and other aroma therapeutic benefits to mood and well-being.
What’s wrong with “ordinary” toothpaste?
Packaging and disposal
Claim: A tube is best
Toothpaste tubes are made of plastic laminate known by environmentalists as a “monstrous hybrid”. Their production, like that of most plastic, is a polluting process, but perhaps even worse is the fact that they cannot be recycled. At best, toothpaste tubes end up buried in landfills, but many are littered and swept into waterways. In the marine environment, they break down into indigestible particles that marine life mistake for food. Plastics absorb toxins such as polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins from water or sediment and transfer them to the marine food web and potentially to human diets. Many studies of fish have found plastic chemicals in a range of fish species and locations.
You can read more about these issues here, and here .
The Apothecary Toothpaste comes in a strong 100ml glass jar that can be reused, returned or recycled. As well as avoiding toxic plastic production and pollution, using a jar means you can be sure to use up every last bit of toothpaste. Just scoop up a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with the head of your toothbrush and you are good to go.
Claim: A tingly feeling and weird taste sensations after brushing mean your teeth are clean
After brushing your teeth with The Apothecary Toothpaste, you will experience no tingling sensations or weird food tastes. You can drink a glass of orange juice straight away! Tingling and a messed up sense of taste are both symptoms of having put detergents in your mouth (see below), which irritate the taste buds and delicate mucous membranes. Many of us have grown so used to these feelings that we don’t believe our teeth are clean without them. Don’t be fooled! The association between a tingling mouth and cleanliness is a purely mental link.
Claim: Sodium fluoride is necessary to reap the benefits of fluoride for teeth
It has been firmly established that fluoride assists in the take up of minerals needed to build tooth enamel. It is also firmly established that fluoride is a toxin and sodium fluoride is its most dangerous form. This cheap, toxic ingredient is a by-product of fertiliser production classified as hazardous waste. It is the only “active” ingredient in toothpaste, and is also used as an insecticide and in chemical and biological weapons. The lethal dose for an adult is about four to ten grams.
The Apothecary Toothpaste includes the homeopathic tissue salt calcium fluoride along with other minerals and trace elements. Calcium fluoride is the naturally-occurring form of fluoride found in natural, untreated waters. It is slightly less toxic than table salt. Calcium fluoride is the safest form of fluoride because of its extreme insolubility and because calcium is an antidote to fluoride poisoning.
Claim: Abrasives such as silicates gently scrub away plaque.
Toothpastes include various abrasives, most commonly hydrated silica. This is a hard, insoluble mineral found in sand and flint. The best way to measure a mineral’s abrasiveness is to test its ability to scratch another substance, or be scratched by it. The Moh’s scale of mineral hardness is a scale of exactly this. Diamonds, the hardest known mineral when the scale was invented, score 10 on the Moh’s scale, and talc scores 1. Silica’s hardness scores about 7, and tooth enamel (apatite) scores 5, meaning that silica will scratch teeth. Being insoluble, it will scratch for as long as you continue brushing.
Bicarb (baking soda) is the abrasive that The Apothecary Toothpaste uses. Some people worry that it is too hard and will scratch tooth enamel. Rest assured – it scores 2.5 on the Moh’s scale, meaning it will clean your teeth gently, without scratching them. It is also completely water soluble, meaning it dissolves while you brush so that the abrasive action is limited.
Claim: The rest of the ingredients in toothpaste serve useful purposes
Let’s look more closely at some of these “other ingredients”:
• SLS and other detergents (foaming agents)
Sodium lauryl (or laureth) sulphate is a known irritant that degenerates cell membranes. Have you ever considered why we need toothpaste to lather up? We don’t – we have just come to associate foam with cleaning action. SLS promotes mouth ulcers and compromises the delicate, super absorbent mucous membranes of the mouth. Brushing with The Apothecary Toothpaste produces no foam. That’s because you don’t need foam. You need strong, healthy teeth.
• Propylene glycol
This is a cheap ingredient included in most toothpaste to increase foaminess. It has no other purpose and has no benefits for your teeth.
• Flavourants, colourants, and artificial sweeteners
The most common sweetener in toothpaste is sodium saccharine, a suspected carcinogen with no benefits for teeth. Xylitol , which sweetens the Apothecary Toothpaste toothpastes, is a natural sweetener that is excellent for teeth for a number of reasons. It inhibits plaque and promotes the re-mineralisation of teeth.
Instead of artificial flavours and colours, The Apothecary Toothpaste has carefully selected useful essential oils with healing and antiseptic properties along with delicious flavours and aromas.
• Pesticides such as Triclosan (normally present in anti-bacterial toothpastes)
Apart from the questionable sense of putting pesticide in your mouth, we really should not be releasing extra pesticides into our water systems. The environment is already suffering from an overload of these from agricultural sources. The Apothecary Toothpaste inhibits bacterial action effectively, in ways that won’t harm you or the wider environment.
• Plastic microbeads
These tiny plastic beads, added for texture, flow, and colour, are too small to be filtered out of waste water and so end up in the sea. As mentioned under packaging and disposal, plastic pollution is a scourge on our environment and bodies. We should be outraged to find plastic in our toothpaste, but it is in fact a common ingredient.
There are no “other ingredients” in the Apothecary Toothpastes. Everything added is there for a good and wholesome purpose. If you or your child accidentally (or on purpose) eats the whole jar at a sitting, there is no cause for concern. All the ingredients are edible.
The Apothecary Toothpaste Range
- Rosemary and Peppermint, for classic freshness
- Orange and Clove, soothing and popular with children
- Grapefruit, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree, for an extra deep clean
- Scoop a pea-sized amount onto the head of your toothbrush and brush as normal.
- Swish around in your mouth for a few minutes before rinsing for added benefit.
- For an extra remineralising treatment, smear some toothpaste around your teeth and gums after brushing and don’t rinse.
What people say about The Apothecary Toothpaste
- “my kids have eaten all our stock! They LOVE it!”
- “my girls are addicted to your toothpaste. they ate half my tub before i came to check on the silence! but teeth cleaning is very easy (if not overly efficient as they REFUSE to let me brush their teeth. they insist on doing it themselves. Really!)”
- “Really love it. It makes me want to brush my teeth.”