FOOD INTOLERANCE NETWORK FACTSHEET
Teeth and toothpastes
Keywords: toothpaste, dental, floride, fluoride, sensitive teeth, teeth
Many toothpastes contain artificial colours and/or mint/fruit/herbal flavouring (salicylates and/or amines). These are not permitted on the elimination diet.
Instead, we recommend:
Alfree Plain Toothpaste available from pharmacies. This toothpaste is non-fluoride, which may be what you want if you live in an area with fluoridated water, see more below http://www.alfree.com.au
Pharmacy Health Plain Toothpaste* (formerly Soul Pattinson's Plain toothpaste) contains fluoride, from Soul Pattinson pharmacies or online from www.greataussiefood.com.au
Plain Toothpaste* from Oral Hygiene Solutions, contains fluoride, by mail order www.oralhygienesolutions.com or some Priceline pharmacies. In 2013 OHS also launched a failsafe whitening toothpaste.
We have heard from a failsafe dentist that your local pharmacy will stock this brand on request. (in the Newcastle area at Charlestown and Belmont but not Kotara, $3 a tube), thanks to Nat
Salt and soda bicarb as a toothpaste substitute
* Warning both brands above contain benzoate preservative, otherwise they get a 'serious furry mould' within 6 months. Minimise the risk by using only small amounts. Both contain fluoride at 0.76% - thanks to Jenni. These brands are suitable for both adults and children.
USA Failsafers have recommended the following toothpastes:
Cleure Original (no flavour) http://www.cleure.com/Best-Sensitive-Teeth-Toothpaste-p/den01.htm - thanks to Emma
Xlear Spry Tooth Gel with Xylitol, Original Flavor - Ingredients: Purified water, Xylitol, Calcium glycerophosphate, Cellulose gum (thickening agent), and Grapefruit seed extract (as a preservative). http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00181EXL2?tag=p3rsnlcrprdcts-20 - thanks to Elise
The current medical recommendation for children under six in Australia is to use only a pea size amount of low fluoride toothpaste or a smear of regular fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
Children shouldn't swallow fluoride toothpaste because too much fluoride can affect the formation of permanent teeth and possibly other health problem. In Jan 2011, US authorities took the unprecedented step of lowering the amount of fluoride permitted in water supplies, due to signs of fluorosis (too much fluoride) in 40% of American teenagers. A big advantage of plain toothpaste - other than lack of salicylates - is that children aren't tempted to eat it. Normal toothpastes contains about 1 mg of fluoride per gram of toothpaste and low fluoride toothpaste contains about half that.
Since the introduction of fluoride toothpaste in the 1970s, there have been large declines in tooth decay in most countries. This trend has occurred regardless of the concentration of fluoride in water or the use of fluoridated salt, and it probably reflects use of fluoridated toothpastes and other factors, including perhaps aspects of nutrition, whether fluoridated water is used or not. Fluoridated water schemes have been withdrawn in Germany, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland, apparently because of the effectiveness of other measures such as fluoridated toothpaste - although in some places fluoridated table salt is used.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2001050/?tool=pubmed In 2011, US authorities took the unprecedented step of lowering the amount of fluoride permitted in water supplies, due to signs of fluorosis (too much fluoride) in 40% of American teenagers: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110107/ap_on_he_me/us_med_fluoride_levels
All brands of toothpastes for sensitive teeth contain artificial colours and the active ingredient in some is potassium nitrate (preservative 252: NOT failsafe). In recent years, studies have suggested a link between nitrates and cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimers - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090705215239.htm It is safer to prevent sensitive teeth by brushing/massaging your gums with an electric toothbrush, see http://www.saveyoursmile.com/healtharticles/sensitiveteeth.html but if you must, try the sensitive toothpastes to find out which one works, then minimise your exposure to it.
Oral Hygiene Solutions have launched in 2013 a new plain toothpaste for sensitive teeth that contains strontium acetate as the active ingredient, which is failsafe.
 Runny nose due to salicylates including mint flavoured toothpaste (July 2009)
Three years ago I started the RPAH elimination diet and discovered I was suffering intolerance (to dairy as well as other food chemicals. Although other symptoms cleared up) there were a few niggling things, particularly the blocked and running nose, always having my sleeve or back pocket loaded with tissues, ready for the inevitable moment. I had always suffered this morning and evening ritual of a running nose so 'just lived with it'. (Trying the diet again 3 years later) after a week of full elimination, the runny nose persisted. I read and re-read through your checklist of common mistakes and decided to try plain toothpaste which I never did 3 years ago as my dietician at the time said, 'oh you don't have to give up toothpaste if you don't want to - everything else though' and I never really considered it could cause me such suffering. Well well well. A truly amazing change has occurred for me. No more nose blowing at breakfast time or when I'm settling into bed at night. The tap has officially been turned off!
Reader report: Well I have tried the "plain" GC Tooth Mousse [with benzoates, you have to leave it on for a few minutes] 3 times and have reacted each time. It appears to stay in my system for 2 days. I react with insomnia, then my body gets the "jumps". I have even gone back to having the jumps in my legs and arms during the day (2 days after taking the tooth mousse)!
Q. My 2 year old daughter is addicted to salicylates - she loves breaking into the bathroom and sucking on her minty Wiggles baby paste. Is there a low fluoride plain toothpaste for kids?
A. Young children shouldn't swallow fluoride toothpaste, because too much fluoride can affect the formation of permanent teeth and possibly other health problems. An advantage of plain toothpaste - other than lack of salicylates - is that children aren't tempted to eat it. Normal toothpastes contains about 1 mg of fluoride per gram of toothpaste and low fluoride toothpaste contains about half that. I don't know of any low fluoride children's toothpastes that are free of both flavours and artificial colours but you can use small amounts of plain adult toothpaste. Or if living in an area with fluoridated water, you may want to choose plain non-fluoridated toothpaste. Ask your dentist.
See also teeth grinding (bruxism)
© Sue Dengate February 2013