Toothpaste: Misleading and Confusing

Toothpaste: Misleading and Confusing
by: Dr. Al Danenberg 

The first commercially produced toothpaste was launched in 1873 by Colgate and was sold in a jar. Today, there are over 1400 different types of toothpastes available online and in stores. But, is toothpaste even necessary?

As with most things, there is controversy about toothpaste. Toothpaste companies frequently advertise their products in misleading and confusing ways. The general public becomes the victim of this misinformation.

Here are my thoughts:


First of all, you do not need toothpaste to clean your teeth. Removal of unhealthy dental plaque using a toothbrush, floss, and tiny brushes that clean between teeth are all that are necessary. Mechanically removing dental plaque is the goal. Toothpaste is not necessary to remove unhealthy clumps of bacteria and food debris.

Secondly, eating a nutrient-dense diet that is anti-inflammatory helps prevent unhealthy bacteria from growing around the teeth. A peer-reviewed research paper written in 2016,  showed that a healthy diet would decrease the signs and symptoms of active gum disease without the rigors of cleaning between the teeth. [1]

However, don’t get me wrong. It is important to remove unhealthy dental plaque from around the tooth. Brushing and flossing will help. And, toothpaste can offer a pleasant way to clean your teeth. Unfortunately, marketing claims as well as ingredients used in toothpastes can be misleading, confusing, and downright false.


Most conventional toothpastes in the marketplace include chemicals that are harsh to the teeth and gums and will damage the healthy bacteria in the gut. These chemicals may make toothpaste “feel smooth”, “taste good”, “help to whiten teeth”, or “coat the teeth to prevent decay”. However, these chemicals are unhealthy for the overall body. Toothpaste companies will not share the truth of these potentially harmful chemicals with you.

Here are some of these harmful ingredients, that I suggest you avoid,  that are commonly found in toothpaste:

  • Aluminum hydroxide
  • Aspartame
  • Carrageenan
  • DEA (diethanolamine)
  • Flavorings
  • Fluoride
  • Food coloring
  • Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
  • Parabens
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Propylene glycol
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Sodium saccharin
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Triclosan


You could dip your toothbrush in a little coconut oil, and then dip it into a little baking soda. Then, brush as usual. The baking soda will help neutralize the acid in your mouth and will help remove stains. The coconut oil will hold the baking soda on the brush and will act as a mild disinfecting agent.


Toothpaste is not necessary to clean your teeth. Mechanically cleaning with dental floss and various sized dental brushes will adequately clean your teeth. But more importantly, your mouth would be healthier if you ate foods that were nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory.


dr alvin danenberg, danenberg, dr dan, crazy good living

Dr. Alvin Danenberg, is a periodondist, Certified Medical Practitioner, Primal Health Coach, and ADAPT-trained Health Professional. His first book, Crazy Good Living, is based on ancestral nutrition and lifestyle. He offers a 12 week body coaching program for people interested in transforming the way they think about themselves and the food they ingest. He shares his knowledge and thoughts at:  He would be happy to engage face to face or virtually!

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