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What are we really cleaning our teeth with?

What are we really cleaning our teeth with? By Therese Kerr, Divine By Therese Kerr & --------- Last week, we heard Therese Kerr give the most passionate and he...

What are we really cleaning our teeth with?

What are we really cleaning our teeth with?
By Therese Kerr, Divine By Therese Kerr &


Last week, we heard Therese Kerr give the most passionate and heartfelt presentation at Prahran Health Foods, all about her role as an ambassador for healthy home living and spreading the word as far and as wide as she possibly can. We were so impressed by Therese's passion and purpose, and asked if we could share one of Therese's informative pieces about chemical laden products. Toothpaste is just one. We'll be talking about a whole lot more day-to-day household products that can be harming your health, at our Detox Your Home event on 20 September. Find out more here.

(See the end of the article for our tooth paste recommendations, along with Therese's 'tooth mousse'.)


To put it simply, I believe that the conventional versions of toothpaste are amongst the most toxic products available in the market today. Another reason is due to the fact we put toothpaste in our mouth, which means these chemicals are going under our tongue where the mucous membranes then allow the chemicals to be absorbed directly into our blood stream and organs.

Did you know that in toothpaste, there are numerous chemicals that are extremely toxic and detrimental to our health? Most toothpastes contain abrasives (designed to remove plague) as well as chemicals like Fluoride, Triclosan, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, and remineralisers such as Hydroxyapatitie nanocrystals and calcium phosphate. Some toothpastes even contain glycerol, sorbitol, polyethyleneglycol, Strontium chloride or potassium nitrate, just to name a few. If you aren’t familiar with the chemical industry, then all of that will just be jibberish! But don’t worry, I’m going to break all these chemicals down for you – what they are, what they do and what we can do to avoid putting them into our bodies.

Here are some of the main (and what I believe to be most alarming) chemicals found in conventional toothpastes.

Polyethyleneglycol – (PEG-7, Glycols, Polyethylene, Petroleum Derived)

Functions: Humectant, Solvent.
Potential Effects: May contain trace amounts of ethylene oxide or dioxane. It is NOT assessed for safety in cosmetics by CIR. It is NOT safe for injured or damaged skin. Suspected kidney, skin and sense organ toxicity.
It is found in: Facial Cleansers, Hair Spray, Personal Lubricants, Toner and Toothpaste.

Potassium Nitrate – (Made from Potassium Chloride and Nitric Acid)

Function: Oral Care.
Potential Effects: Masks pain with may lead to undiagnosed dental problems. NOT assessed for safety in cosmetics in CIR. Suspected environmental toxicity.
It is found in: Teeth Whitener and Toothpaste. It is also found in some food products.

Triclosan – (Chlorinated Aromatic Compound, Petroleum Derived, restricted in cosmetics Japan and Canada)

Function: Preservative.
Potential Effects: Allergic reactions. May be contaminated with chloroform and dioxin. Safe for use in cosmetics in the present practices for use and concentration (CIR), skin, eye and lung irritation. Suspected skin, sense organ and immunotoxicity, wildlife and environmental toxicity.
It is found in: Deodorant, Facial Cleanser, Liquid Hand Soap, Toothpaste and more.

Fluoride – (Banned in Oral Care products in Canada, may be manufactured by reacting Hydrofluoric Acid with Sodium Carbonate)

Functions: Anti-plaque, Oral Care.
Potential Effects: NOT assessed for safety in cosmetics by CIR, Suspected cardiovascular, respiratory, developmental, liver, musculoskeletal and neurotoxicity (scorecard).
It is found in: Breath Freshener, Mouth Wash, Tooth Whitener and Toothpaste.

Shocking, isn’t it?

Source: All of the above information I have extracted from 'The Chemical Maze' – my bible when it comes to knowing what ingredients/chemicals are in our foods and everyday personal care products. I carry this little book with me or use the app on my phone and I personally recommend that you get yourself a copy, and have this on you at all times. 

For more information about chemicals in oral care product, I would love for you to watch my video below.

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Hopefully you are now saying bye-bye to your current everyday toothpaste.

Once I personally educated myself on the chemicals found in conventional toothpastes, I became so passionate about spreading the message so people are aware as to what they are putting in their body. I then decided to go one step further and create my very own certified organic Tooth Mousse, completely free from the nasty chemicals commonly found in traditional toothpastes.


You can find out more about Therese's wonderful products at

Want to find Therese's products in person, including her 'tooth mousse'? Click here for to search for stockists in Melbourne. We love to buy ours from Prahran Health Foods. Nourish Melbourne Members, you'll receive 10% off when you shop the range at Prahran Health Foods.

Other toothpaste brands to look out for in your local health food store, or online, are Phyto-Shield (we buy ours from The Staple Store as well as Prahran Health Foods), and Grants toothpaste (which we've been told, has appeared in supermarkets) also in most health food stores.