Revealed: The Best Way to Brush Your Teeth (and Simple Mistakes Millions Make Every Day)

A surprising revelation in The Telegraph reports that 3 in 10 people brush their teeth only once a day, rather than an appropriate two times. But even when you do brush twice, you may not be doing it correctly — which means the plaque is still there. The Telegraph offers some advice on how to brush your teeth properly. From switching to an electric toothbrush to making sure to brush your tongue, to saying “no” to mouthwash, there are at least three good ideas in this news article. However, I disagree with a couple other recommendations, and it all has to do with fluoride.

The referenced article, written by two dentists, not only stresses that you need toothpaste with fluoride in it, but actually suggests not washing out your mouth after you’ve brushed with that fluoridated toothpaste. And that just leaves me shaking my head. No matter how many dentists say otherwise, fluoride does NOT belong in your mouth. Fluoride is a toxic ingredient, just like some of the other things these dentists advise you not to ingest, such as triclosan, propylene glycol, diethanolamine (DEA) and more.

It’s bad enough that so many municipalities pollute our drinking water with fluoride to the point that 57 percent of U.S. youth between the ages of 6 and 19 years have dental fluorosis. But advising you to keep that toxin in your mouth if you use a fluoridated toothpaste is unconscionable. If you do choose this type of toothpaste, you should always rinse it out. Always.

Fortunately, there are healthier and safer alternatives. The Cornucopia Institute's top picks include Dr. Bronner's All-One Toothpaste, Green People Toothpaste, Happy Teeth Organic Toothpaste and Miessence Toothpaste. You can also make your own toothpaste with just a few basic ingredients. For example, you can mix together coconut oil, baking soda and a few drops of peppermint essential oil, adding enough baking soda to form a smooth consistency. Store in a glass jar.

Swishing with coconut oil — aka oil pulling — may also help inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans, an acid-producing bacterium that is a major cause of tooth decay, and peppermint oil extract has been shown to be superior to the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine in inhibiting the formation of biofilm formations linked to dental cavities.