I have always been a nighttime teeth grinder, but physical side effects of it never manifested until two years ago. Then, out of nowhere, I couldn’t chew on my right side without repeated zingers. My dentist recommended using Sensodyne toothpaste twice a day. It was a miracle: twice-a-day use literally made my pain disappear. If I used a non-sensitive formula for even just one brushing a day, I’d immediately feel the zingers again. So, for the past two years, it’s all I’ve used. Until I found Davids toothpaste.Naturally, I wasn’t excited to find that conventional toothpaste, sensitive formula or not, is full of synthetic and some toxic ingredients; nor was I looking forward to going without my trusty sensitive formula. So it was one of the very last products I swapped for an all-natural alternative, mainly out of good-old-fashioned fear. And boy do I feel silly I waited so long!
How Do Sensitive Formulas Work?
Let's back up a little bit and review why teeth experience sensitivity. Sensitivity is usually the result of grinding (hello
), excessive brushing, plaque build-up, or gum diseases like gingivitis. Typically, the soft, porous dentin (which is the inner part of the tooth and gum
) is exposed due to wear. Triggers such as pressure/warmth/chill then stimulate the nerves inside the tooth, resulting in the characteristic short, sharp pain of tooth sensitivity.Sensitive toothpaste formulas combat triggers with additives that either numb the nerves of the teeth, or plug up the pores in the dentin. Both result in reduced sensitivity.So what’s in conventional toothpaste formulas, you might want to avoid?
- Poloxamer 407, a hydrophilic copolymer used to dissolve oily ingredients in water that's linked to organ system toxicity.
- Sodium Methylparaben, a preservative that can mimic estrogen in the body and may cause healthy cells to grow and survive like cancer cells, interfering with cancer drugs.
- Fluoride, a chemical that can be more toxic than lead and only slightly less poisonous than arsenic that's said to protect tooth enamel. Too much fluoride over time can result in dental fluorosis, permanent discoloration of the teeth, and can make them appear spotted or streaked. Too much fluoride in a single dose can be potentially fatal. You can read more about the dangers of fluoride here.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), a soap that gives toothpaste its foaming action. It's a known irritant to the skin and oral mucosa, which can lead to an increased incidence of canker sores. Swallowing it can cause nausea.
All of these harsh ingredients can actually exacerbate
sensitivity, which is exactly why I experienced none
when I finally switched to Davids toothpaste, an all-natural formula. I’ve been using it for weeks now and, despite my painful experience experimenting with non-sensitive conventional formulas, I haven’t experienced a single zinger!Based on this experience, I can safely say:
- My enamel is thin from 29 years of grinding.
- Chemicals in conventional toothpaste are harsh and, if not accompanied by something to numb the nerve of my teeth and/or fill the pores in my dentin, I will experience sensitivity when I use them.
- Remove the harsh chemicals by using a brand like Davids toothpaste and, while my teeth will still be prone to sensitivity, my toothpaste won’t be exacerbating it nor will it need to combat it.
Why Davids Toothpaste
Davids toothpaste is made in California and is full of natural, non-GMO, premium ingredients—98% of which are sourced in the US—that do the same thing as conventional formulas: whiten teeth, fight plaque, and freshen breath. But what’s likely more important than what’s in
Davids toothpaste, is what’s not
: fluoride, SLS, artificial colors/sweeteners, or animal byproducts.Another cool feature of this toothpaste is the tube! It’s 100% metal, which is recyclable and helps maintain the natural mint flavor. And the paper box it comes in is FSC Certified, meaning it comes from only sustainably-raised forests protected by the Forest Stewardship Council, whose suppliers create the boxes from 100% wind energy!The first thing I like about Davids toothpaste is the smell. It smells like mint, but not just plain mint—like mint gum! I can’t put my finger on why, but there’s something that makes it distinctly gum-like. It’s fluffier and not as dense or thick as conventional toothpastes, so I do feel like I have to use a bit more (especially because it’s formulated without any strong foaming agents like SLS
), but I don’t mind.The second thing I like about it is that the tube holds 5.25 ounces of paste for less than $8. My conventional Sensodyne was $5 for 4 ounces. For just 25 cents more per ounce, I’m getting a high-performance toothpaste without the added chemicals, from a company whose mission I believe in—that's a good buy if you ask me!But the thing I like most about it (other than the surprising lack of sensitivity I experience while using it
) is that there isn't any drastic difference between the experience of using a conventional toothpaste versus an all-natural formulation. Sometimes when you make an all-natural swap, you feel like you're losing performance, lasting power, etc. There's no let-down, or perceived sacrifice made for the sake of being "green" with Davids toothpaste. Sure, it has a bit of a different mouth-feel than the thick, artificially-dense conventional versions. But it’s not something you’ll think about after one or two times using it. And once you get past that, you’ll feel better for choosing an environmentally conscious brand, and making a healthy choice.To make this simple swap yourself, shop Davids toothpaste here
!I hope this all-natural alternative works for you the way it did for me!