It doesn’t get more natural than clay from the earth. Bentonite clay toothpaste has become popular among people seeking natural alternatives to their oral care products. Bentonite clay toothpaste is so simple that some people even opt to make it themselves in reusable tins or jars, rather than purchasing preformulated variants in plastic packaging.
On the surface, it all sounds great. Many people swear by the healing properties of bentonite clay, and its texture and consistency seem to make it a perfect replacement for toothpaste.
But does it work as well for your teeth as it does for the rest of your body?
What is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay is volcanic ash. Volcanic ash, rich with natural calcium, sits and ages. It draws in moisture and becomes thicker. This is the base for all bentonite clay products.
Since there are volcanoes all over the world, bentonite clay can be found all over the world. Its largest deposit is located in Fort Benton, Montana, which is where the clay got its name.
How Does Bentonite Clay Work?
The benefits of bentonite clay come not from what it puts in, but from what it takes out. Most toothpastes and skincare products boast their ability to deliver necessary vitamins and nutrients. Bentonite clay is the exact opposite.
Bentonite’s claim to fame is its absorbency. Volcanic ash clay can remove almost anything. People commonly use bentonite clay as a mask to soothe acne prone skin. The bentonite absorbs the oil and bacteria responsible for causing breakouts on the skin.
Bentonite can also help to protect the body from a whole host of toxins. Calcium clay’s nature is to absorb and retain the toxins and pesticides it comes into contact with. Studies have shown that animals or people who have ingested toxic materials and were treated with bentonite have the same or better outcomes than those treated with charcoal, which is the most popular method of toxin extraction.
The bentonite clay binds to poisons and toxins in the stomach and holds onto them. The toxins pass through the body in the form of stool, often without causing meaningful negative side effects on the way out.
Bentonite clay has also been used as a remedy for diarrhea. Clay absorbs water in the digestive system. Orally administering bentonite clay can bulk up loose stools, making trips to the bathroom more comfortable and less frequent for people who are experiencing diarrhea from any number of underlying conditions.
Another one of bentonite’s unique superpowers is its ability to bind to toxic metals. Although it is not a perfect substitute for adequate medical care in the event you’re exposed to mercury, it may be an effective supplemental treatment when used in accordance with your doctor’s advice.
Is Bentonite Clay Safe?
The FDA does not directly regulate or restrict the use of bentonite clay, but it is generally recognized as safe. Since bentonite clay is rich in minerals, it may cause contact dermatitis in people who are sensitive to minerals.
The FDA has previously warned of at least one brand of bentonite clay containing high levels of lead. It also contains high levels of cadmium, cadmium, and lithium. That’s just the nature of bentonite clay. All bentonite clay will contain at least a small level of toxic metals, but this doesn’t necessarily impact their safety.
Lettuce, carrots, brussel sprouts, nuts, collard greens, and sweet potatoes also contain elevated levels of lead. Lead naturally occurs in soil, and so do plants. So does bentonite clay. Inadvertently, both substances siphon up some of the substance.
It’s normal to be concerned with using any product that contains lead. Lead poisoning is potentially very serious. Willingly putting lead on or in your body isn’t a decision that you should take lightly. What many people don’t realize is that there is a substantial difference between the kind of lead that poisons you and organically occurring lead.
Organically occurring lead likes to bond to other metals. It’s in a hurry to couple up with something else. Bentonite clay loves absorbing things, bonding them, and trapping them. In fact, that is bentonite’s most beneficial purpose.
When the minerals in the clay form these bonds over the lead, the lead becomes less bioavailable. It’s attached to something else, and your body cannot use it. It passes right through your system.
When lead is used freely and inorganically, it becomes dangerous. This is the kind of lead added to paint. That lead doesn’t have anywhere to go. It isn’t bonded to a familiar metal. It’s still looking to create that bond, and that bond can take place within your body.
Vegetables and fruits contain naturally occurring formaldehyde, arsenic, and cyanide in addition to lead. Because the trace amounts of these contaminants are bound within the fruits and vegetables, the chances of them ever poisoning you are slim to none.
You’d need to eat at least a few hundred peach pits in a single sitting in order to experience cyanide poisoning. You’d need to eat more than your entire body weight in bentonite clay to get lead poisoning.
It’s okay to be hesitant to use bentonite clay if you’re uncomfortable with the trace presence of these heavy metals. Even though chemistry tells us that they aren’t an immediate threat to us and there has never been a documented case of bentonite clay related lead poisoning, you have to do what feels comfortable for you.
If you don’t understand or trust the science, just use another product.
What Products Contain Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay is used to make pet litter, face masks, hair treatments, toothpastes, health supplements, and personal care products. Anything intended to absorb odors, oils, or toxins can be formulated with bentonite clay as the main active ingredient.
How Does Bentonite Clay Toothpaste Work?
The idea behind bentonite toothpaste is that it will infuse the mouth with calcium while drawing toxins out. This is the only area in which bentonite clay products fall short. They’re wonderful for fighting acne and oily hair and just as great at absorbing unwanted gastrointestinal byproducts. Your mouth just doesn’t work quite the same way.
Bentonite clay will undoubtedly absorb some bacteria. It will also absorb your saliva and dry out your mouth. Your saliva is necessary to circulate helpful minerals from your toothpaste and help them to remineralize your teeth. Bentonite clay is bound to itself. Any minerals it contains will not disperse to your teeth. They’ll fold back into the clay, and you will ultimately spit them out.
Bentonite clay toothpaste doesn’t do anything to fortify your enamel. It may not be harmful, but not being harmful isn’t the same thing as being helpful. You aren’t damaging your body when you put bentonite clay in your mouth. You’re simply under-serving it. Bentonite clay toothpaste may be great in a pinch, but it’s not going to supply you with everything you need for a healthy mouth.
Alternatives to Bentonite Clay Toothpaste
Your mouth needs sources of minerals it can use, and ingredients that can make those minerals work most effectively.
Coral calcium is a completely natural eco-friendly sustainable source of readily available minerals that can fortify weakened enamel and prevent cavities. Xylitol, a plant-based sweetener, works in conjunction with these minerals.
The minerals in your saliva mix with the minerals in the toothpaste, washing over your teeth. Then, xylitol develops a bacterial resistant, protective film over your teeth. This film helps to protect the new minerals from bacteria that want to erode them away and prevents plaque from forming.
Ingredients like nano silver are naturally antibacterial. Nano silver works to destroy the bacteria that cause bad breath, plaque, tartar, tooth decay, and gum disease. It works without damaging your body’s natural biofilm. It isn’t interested in breaking down your own natural defenses. It’s seeking bacteria to implode.
Nano silver particles destroy bacteria by stealing electrons from their cell walls. The bacteria cells collapse in on themselves, absorbing silver and imploding other bacteria as it makes the journey through your body.
All of these ingredients are natural, they work in conjunction to promote and maintain a healthy mouth, and you can conveniently find them all in one toothpaste.
Bentonite clay boasts tons of benefits in many health and beauty products. Unfortunately, it misses the mark in toothpaste. Save your bentonite clay to make an acne healing mask or to soothe your sour tummy.
Remember that you’re looking for a toothpaste that’s more than just natural. Its ingredients should be proven to supply your mouth with the minerals it needs to repair your teeth. Look for something with the antibacterial power to ward off the germs that cause gum disease.
Understanding what your ingredients do is the key to choosing a natural toothpaste that will work wonders for you!