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Tooth Powder vs. Toothpaste: Which Is Better?

by Izabela Kokoszka on May 14, 2024

Tooth Powder vs. Toothpaste: Which Is Better?

Did you know that the first form toothpaste came in was a dry powder? Thousands of years ago people used ingredients such as myrrh, burnt eggshells, crushed animal bone ash, pumice, and oyster shells that they ground into a fine powder to clean their teeth.

For a long time those methods were lost and people instead used a rag dipped in water to wash their teeth or chewed on thin twigs to act as a brush and remove plaque. Homemade variations of toothpaste started to appear in the 1700’s, using ingredients such as burnt bread, soot, or salt to scrape against their teeth.

Starting in the 1800’s dentist Peabody came up with the idea of toothpaste by adding soap to dental paste, and then chalk being added a few years later by another dentist.

In the 1870’s Colgate was the first brand to start mass producing it, selling it in jars. Seeing the success of toothpaste caused Dr. Sheffield to realize it was unsanitary for multiple people to dip their toothbrushes into a jar of paste and made the tube version available, being inspired by paint tubes for the design. Ever since then toothpaste being to catch on and people began to realize the importance of oral health.

Benefits of tooth powder

  • Tooth powder is said to be better at cleaning stains and plaque than toothpaste, as found in studies
  • Can be made at home if run out of toothpaste
  • Chemical and preservative free as it has a long and stable shelf life by being made without
  • Made of natural ingredients
  • Clean to use, won’t make a mess on surfaces


Consuming how many chemicals?

Modern toothpaste contains three main ingredients: abrasives, fluoride, and detergents, along with water to activate the paste. We’ll see just what kind of substances are used to make up these three categories and how safe they are for our bodies.

Many chemicals are found in major brands of toothpaste such as sodium lauryl sulfate, cocamidopropyl betaine, aluminum hydroxide, and calcium carbonate and fluoride.  

Fluoride and Sodium lauryl sulfate are common chemicals found in nearly every toothpaste that some like to avoid. We’ll go over why they’re in most toothpastes and their effects.

Fluoride. This is the ingredient that comes to mind when we think of toothpaste. Fluoride is a mineral that’s known for its great properties of preventing tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel by replacing the lost minerals of the tooth. Thanks to rebuilding the tooth its now stronger and can wear and tera along with being able to protect itself from the bacteria living on the tooth’s surface. It also has antimicrobial properties which allow it to kill bacteria living on the teeth and gums. With all the good it does for the teeth it’s easy to see why its commonly used in dental products. However, even in small amounts fluoride is considered toxic to the body. In the small doses adults use it doesn’t cause harm, although swallowing a significant amount would. Over time the accumulation of fluoride can be harmful.

It’s primarily unsafe for kids as even small doses can causes sickness and damage in all parts of the body, even in the skeletal system. You can tell if a child ingested too much fluoride by stomach pain.

There are fluoride free ways to clean your teeth, Dencle’s Tooth Powder line being one of the options. 

Sodium lauryl sulfate. An inexpensive cleaning and foaming addition in many personal care products. Nearly all toothpastes use this as an ingredient, one of the reasons being SLS has a foaming action which help the product be perceived as cleaning. Inside the SLS is meant to kill off oral bacteria and it does the job well.

Sodium lauryl sulfate is not meant to sit on the skin for long as it can cause irritation, it should be washed off as soon as possible. Individuals with sensitive skin will have harsh reactions and shouldn’t be using it. The amount of SLS that can be found in products going on the body is 1% as it’s a powerful agent, often used in cleaning products. When using a toothpaste with SLS it removes the protective mucin layer present in the soft tissues of the mouth, which can causes ulcers by eating away at the soft tissue. Some people might find other side effects such as altered taste perception, burning sensation in mouth, and a change of thickness in oral mucosa.


What are the natural ingredients in Dencle tooth powder?

Some of the active ingredients include

Benefits of the ingredients

  • Eucalyptus- antiseptic
  • Chamomile- anti inflammatory
  • Green tea- antibacterial
  • Grapefruit- anti inflammatory

Along with other ingredients such as raspberry, grapefruit, mugwort, apple and menthol. Menthol is found in each of the toothpowder varieties.


How to use tooth powder

Tooth powder is very simple to use and can be used in two ways.

Method 1:

Use the included small spoon to scoop tooth powder and pour into mouth. It’ll dissolve on its own and no further water besides a damp toothbrush is necessary.

Method 2:

Dip a lightly damp toothbrush into the jar. Be careful not too have the toothbrush too wet as it will ruin the rest of the product in the jar and be messy to brush with.


Why is tooth powder convenient?

  • Unlike a tube of toothpaste dry tooth powder can be taken in your bag, purse or pocket and not
  • It can be measured out in small amounts and poured into a small travel container, reducing the need to buy small travel size toothpaste tubes. This saves money and the amount of plastic waste created by small travel size products
  • It won’t fall off your toothbrush, unlike toothpaste that sometimes slips off after application
  • Save and hassle time squeezing out small amounts of products from a messy tube
  • Won’t make a mess since no water is needed, only dampen toothbrush slightly before use

Many people haven’t heard of a toothpowder as they’re not often available in stores. Toothpowders are picking up in popularity online and many are starting to switch to toothpowder after seeing the cleaning results, enjoying the refreshed feeling of their teeth and mouth, being chemical free, and enjoying the variety of tastes toothpowder have to offer.


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