Artisan-Made By the Batch Oral Care Products Offer a Healthier Alternative to Mass-Market Products
With growing consumer awareness of the hazards of the ingredients commonly used in personal and oral care products, more and more mass-marketed "natural" oral care products are appearing on store shelves. It, however, remains a buyer's beware situation as some so called "natural" mass-marketed products still contain hazardous ingredients.
Mass-Marketed Oral Care Products Can Contain Hazardous Ingredients
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is used in toothpastes and other products where foaming action or lather is sought. At the time of this writing, one of the mass-marketed "natural" lines of toothpastes even contains SLS. SLS, however, can cause drying and irritation. Individuals that experience frequent chapped lips, cold sores or other mouth and gum irritations may want to consider avoiding dental products that contain SLS.
Studies seem to indicate that mouthwashes and rinses that contain more than 25-30% alcohol can pose a significantly higher rate in the incidence of mouth, throat and tongue cancers. Concern also exists regarding the safety of the additives that are used to denature the type of alcohol that is sometimes used in oral care products. Although some commercial brands of mouth washes and rinses include alcohol, more alcohol-free alternatives are becoming available by artisans and commercial producers. Refer to Beauty By the Batch's Alcohol in Oral Care and Cosmetic Products article for additional information about the pros and cons of personal care products that contain alcohol.
Mass-market manufactures of liquid oral care products like mouthwash often add artificial colors to improve the color and visual appeal of the product, much like what is done to create colorful soft drinks, juice blends and other consumable products. Artificial colors have been reported to cause cancer. I have also read reports that artificial additives including colorants may promote male impotency and hyperactivity in young children.
Oral care products are often sweetened with artificial/reduced calorie sweeteners to improve the flavor of the product. Artificial sweeteners are reported to pose particular health risks, depending on the sweetener type. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is commonly used in oral care products, gums and breath fresheners. It's often promoted as a more natural sweetener because it's derived from the wood of the birch tree. Xylitol has been reported to cause low blood sugar and liver failure in dogs. Although most reports indicate that the affected dogs consumed large quantities of Xylitol, many veterinarians advise avoiding giving any Xylitol products to your pets. For that reason, be sure that you use brush your dog's teeth with only dental products specially formulated for canines.
Products that are produced in enormous quantities may not be purchased by consumers until months have gone by since the product was manufactured. It takes time for products to be transported, distributed across store locations and stocked onto store shelves. The products may have been shipped or stored in extremely frigid or hot conditions. Once purchased, the product may then not be used up by the consumer for many more months after that. Mass-market manufacturers typically need to heavily preserve their product so that it doesn't spoil or become a breeding ground for bacteria and other microbes. Most preservatives are synthetic and can be capable of causing irritation, sensitivity and can be carcinogenic.
Because products purchased from "by the batch" artisans are generally made very close to the date of direct purchase by the customer, artisan-made products are generally much fresher and do not need to be preserved as heavily. Some natural oral care products like dental soap don't need special preservation. Product preservation is a challenge for artisans because there are few natural preservatives available that can preserve natural products for long periods of time. Tea tree essential oil and grapefruit seed extract are commonly used by artisans for this purpose.
Artisan-Made By the Batch Oral Care Products Offer an Alternative to Mass-Marketed Products
A growing number of artisans are developing oral care products that use higher quality ingredients and primarily safer ingredients than mass-marketed products. Mass-marketed products that are labeled as being "made with" natural ingredients can still also include other harmful ingredients.
The array of oral care products now being made increasingly available by artisans include the following products:
- Tooth Powders
- Tooth Soaps
- Mouth Washes and Gargles
- Gum Packs
- Oral Sore Remedies
- Throat Sprays
- Breath Fresheners
- Mints and Lozenges
- Breath Sprays
Natural Ingredients Frequently Used in Natural Oral Care Products
Aloe Vera Products
Natural aloe vera extracts and gels help to promote healing and can soothe gum and mouth irritations.
Essential Oils and CO2 Extracts
Essential oils act as natural flavorings and breath fresheners (namely anise seed, cinnamon bark, fennel, peppermint, sage, spearmint and vanilla CO2). Particular oils like tea tree, cinnamon, clove and sage help fight and kill bacteria. Clove essential oil is a powerful analgesic that helps to deaden toothache pain and relieve the discomfort of sore throats. Myrrh essential oil is said to be especially good for helping to fight gum disease.
Herbs and Botanical Extracts
Herbs and botanical extracts add an array of anti-bacterial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, gentle abrasion, breath freshening and natural flavor to toothpastes/polishes and other oral care formulations.
Cosmetic Grade Clays
Cosmetic grade clays, namely powdered kaolin clay, helps to gently clean and polish the teeth while giving substance to toothpowders and toothpastes.
Coral Calcium Powder
Coral Calcium Powder contains at least 35% calcium carbonate and also contains 74 other major and trace minerals. Many of the minerals that are contained in Coral Calcium operate synergistically with each other in a natural balance that cannot be reduplicated within man-made formulations. Coral Calcium Powder has been used internally within nutrition and medicinal applications for nearly 2,000 years and is now becoming recognized in Western cultures for its ability to contribute to strong teeth and healthy skin, hair and nails when incorporated into cosmeceutical and dental formulations.
Menthol crystals are obtained from steam distilled peppermint oil. They possess a much stronger flavor and aroma than peppermint oil.
Vegetable Based Glycerin
Glycerin is naturally derived humectant that draws moisture to itself. It helps to moisturize the mouth, is used to sweeten dental care products, and helps to sooth gum irritations and mouth sores.
Shop Confidently for Oral and Dental Care Products With Beauty By the Batch
Beauty By the Batch is a practical resource for assisting you in finding artisans that provide natural and nearly all-natural dental and oral care products. Begin your search by visiting the Oral Care Products category of Beauty By the Batch's Artisan Directory. Not only do the artisans that appear within the Artisan Directory support the efforts of Beauty By the Batch, but they have all agreed to adhere to Beauty By the Batch's Artisan Code of Conduct. By agreeing to our Artisan Code of Conduct, artisans promise to abide by truthful and accurate marketing and a number of other practices that are in the best interest of consumers.