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Natural Awakenings Coastal Carolinas

My Apathy About Toothpaste

Dec 31, 2021 12:24PM ● By Jessica Shireman
One of the questions that patients ask me the most is “What type of toothpaste should I use?” After 12-plus years in practice, seven as a “holistic” dentist, I had no great answer. I see people who care more about their teeth than any dental patient population and my experience and education is important. My job is to look at products and science—unfortunately, I was not able to guide them. Until last month, I flagged off the question. In fact, I believed that if you weren’t using fluoride, it didn’t matter what you used.  “It just makes it taste good” is what I told patients about toothpaste.

I was apathetic about toothpaste—which is a ridiculous position to be in as a dentist—as patients
traditionally brush twice daily and what to use to brush their teeth is perhaps one of the most important details. My apathy didn’t stem from a lack of knowledge; in my earlier years, I called patent attorneys, one day believing that I would make the best toothpaste, but my day hadn’t come.  And as I learned last month, the ship already sailed. I was in Charleston last month at an International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine conference and a saw multiple speakers whose ideas sung to me.

Why would you kill your oral microflora twice daily? Let’s ask that question again: Why would you kill your oral microflora twice daily?

Let’s say you’re a person that eats healthfully, perhaps has spent time on gut health. Did you know your mouth and your gut are connected? Does it go one way or both ways? This is a matter of discussion. Whether you use Colgate Total with carcinogen triclosan or essential oil toothpaste with tea tree oil, you are essentially doing the same thing: killing your oral microflora twice daily.

If you invest all of this time for your health with diet, exercise, etc., is this a healthy practice? Most people have atrophic bacteria (think hand sanitizer), i.e., they kill so much bacteria that there just isn’t enough. I found toothpaste that has probiotics, contains COQ10, trace minerals, my go- to natural remineralizing agent dicalcium phosphate. And I’m hooked. I don’t work for the company,
I have no financial investment in them, but I encourage you to not kill off your oral microflora twice daily like most of the American population.

Dr. Jessica Shireman, DMD, AIOMT, is the owner/practitioner of Wilmington Holistic Dentistry located at 6200 Oleander Dr., Wilmington. For more information on the toothpaste mentioned, visit See ad, page 2.