Tag Archives: alternative

Periodontist: remove plaque by brushing, toothpaste doesn’t help – only adds sweetener

The more I research toothpaste the scarier it becomes. Not only does it contain sweetener and chemicals, but it may not even help our teeth:

As a Periodontist, I get asked about recommendations for toothpaste all the time. What most people don’t know is that plaque is removed by the mechanical action of the toothbrush bristles against the teeth and gum whether toothpaste is used or not. Much to the toothpaste manufacturers chagrin they have never been able to prove that using toothpaste increases plaque removal, it simply makes for a better experience by adding some flavor, thus the title.

Which is Toothpaste is just a spoon full of sugar.

If we could only get more dentists and periodontists to go on record and offer support for alternatives, like this mom received when she took her family off toothpaste.

 

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Is there sugar in toothpaste?

There can’t be sugar in toothpaste. The dentists wouldn’t allow it. Indeed, the American Dental Association (ADA) says:

No ADA-Accepted toothpaste contains sugar or any other ingredient that would promote tooth decay.

But notice the qualification, “or any other ingredient.” This refers to sweeteners and toothpaste does contain sweeteners. From the preceding sentence, toothpaste includes:

Flavoring agents, such as saccharin and other sweeteners to provide taste.

The other sweeteners are sorbitol, aspartame, cyclamates, and glycerin. And, yes, they are the sweeteners linked to cancer in rats, aspartame and saccharin.

For further reference, from the ingredient list of the toothpaste in my home:

  • Colgate – glycerin, sodium saccharin
  • Burt’s Bees – glycerin, stevia extract

There’s the answer, toothpaste does not contain sugar, but it does contain sweetener.

And if sugar is horrible for our teeth what about sweeteners. If they perform the same function can they cause the same problems? No direct answer was found, but two alternate explanations are available.

First, tooth decay comes from plaque which is the build-up of bacteria on teeth. Any food item promotes this build-up, sweetener included. Therefore, sweetener does cause tooth decay. But it is added for some purpose?

Second, sweetener does nothing for our teeth it is only added for flavoring. From a periodontist:

What most people dont know is that plaque is removed by the mechanical action of the toothbrush bristles against the teeth and gum whether toothpaste is used or not. Much to the toothpaste manufacturers chagrin they have never been able to prove that using toothpaste increases plaque removal, it simply makes for a better experience by adding some flavor.

He then goes on to recommend using baking soda with fluoride, or “use whatever you like” since toothpaste does nothing for your teeth.

An interesting thought, is toothpaste really useless? Here is an article from a mother who, with her dentists approval, stopped using toothpaste - No toothpaste, No cavities. It said her family has greatly improved teeth and fewer cavities.

Another article challenges the other toxins in toothpaste, the abrasives and detergents. Saying they are products pulled from “engine degreasers” and other industrial products. But that is written with the hope of selling you an herbal toothpaste.

In conclusion, there is sweetener is toothpaste but only in small amounts. Most articles say it is less than 2% of the product and maybe that’s why it causes no harm? Either way it is only a flavoring and does nothing to help our teeth. Indeed there is some doubt about the value of toothpaste altogether. So be wary the next time you buy a toothpaste for its cavity fighting protection or sensitive relief technology. And if you’re feeling adventurous consult your dentist, quit toothpaste, and enjoy trying the alternatives.

 

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Low-tech ways to make ice cream

Here are a few of our favorite alternative ice cream-making apparatuses, ranging from low — to even lower — tech:

 

#1

plastic Ziploc bag inside a larger bag filled with ice and rock salt applies the standard equation — freezing temperature plus agitation for 5 minutes — and wins the prize for the most elegantly simple solution of all.

 

 

#2

It doesn’t get more basic than a coffee can filled with an ice cream base that’s placed inside a larger can filled with ice and rock salt. Close both cans with plastic lids, shake for 25 minutes and, voilà, ice cream.

 

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How a college campus in the middle of Los Angeles is lowering traffic

The rest of Los Angeles may seem as congested as ever, but traffic at UCLA is the lightest it’s ever been since the university began measuring more than 20 years ago.

The 2011 commuting report marks the eighth consecutive year that UCLA’s vehicle count dropped. With an average of 102,000 trips daily, the number of vehicle trips into and out of UCLA in 2011 was more than 3 percent lower than in 2010 and almost 20 percent lower than the campus’s peak in 2003.

“Vehicle counts are lower now than they were in 1990, when the cordon count first began,” according to UCLA Transportation’s newly released State of the Commute annual report.

UCLA Transportation offers incentives to encourage UCLA’s approximately 41,000 students and 26,000 employees to use alternative transportation, including a 50 percent subsidy for transit passes, discounted parking for carpoolers and a partially subsidized vanpool. The department also offers a variety of other benefits through the Bruin Commuter Club, which is open to all alternative-mode commuters, from bikers and walkers to bus-riders and carpoolers.

UCLA is approaching its goal of convincing half of its employees to switch to alternative transit, and only 52.9 percent currently drive to work alone, compared with nearly 72 percent of Los Angeles County drivers. Only 25 percent of students drive alone.

UCLA’s 50 percent goal is part of the campus’s Climate Action Plan.

via UCLA Newsroom

 

 

//Photo - UCLA on Facebook