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Before technology allowed humanity to achieve some pretty amazing things in the fight against bacteria, people merely used cutlery and dinnerware made of silver to mitigate germs in their food. They put silver coins in their cisterns and used silver dressing for their wounds. Then, colloidal silver came along. This was one of the first products that ever allowed people to use silver as a medicine. 

Colloidal silver is far from perfect. Silver isn’t meant to be directly ingested, but used as a topical treatment to kill bacteria on the skin and in the mouth. Certainly, there had to be a way to use silver on your body without drinking it.

That’s why the invention of silver nanoparticles was so important. Silver nanoparticles serve as a highly effective and completely natural alternative to bacteria killing chemicals. These safe and gentle particles powerfully wipe out masses of bacteria responsible for skin infections, tooth decay, and gum disease.

How Does Silver Kill Bacteria?

Silver’s nature as a particle is what makes it so effective at killing bacteria. Unmodified silver is limited in its potency, but it still works. Every silver particle will steal an electron from the wall of a bacteria cell it comes into contact with. If enough silver particles bombard a bacteria cell, the cell membrane will implode. This leaves the bacteria dead and useless. It cannot infect anything or reproduce.

The only problem with traditional silver is how small the exchange is. Silver particles have to significantly outnumber bacteria cells in order to make a meaningful impact. This means frequently applying silver to the affected area. Results will take much longer to become substantial. 

Silver nanoparticles work differently.

What is a Silver Nanoparticle?

Silver nanoparticles are engineered to be more effective than plain silver. The cores of these particles are coated with a special material called Ag404, a more powerful form of silver. This amps up silver’s ability to steal electrons significantly. 

Rather than robbing one electron from the bacteria’s cell wall, a single silver nanoparticle can steal thousands of electrons from these cell walls.

How Do Silver Nanoparticles Work?

The special core of a silver nanoparticle gives it a unique ability. The supercharged silver oxide coating means that a single silver nanoparticle can destroy (or at least significantly disable) multiple bacteria cells. As these cells rapidly implode from the nearly instantaneous depletion of their cell walls, they will absorb some of the silver they come into contact with. Their lack of a cell wall damages their integrity, repurposing them into silver carriers.

When these porous damaged bacteria cells come into contact with bacteria cells that are still intact, the silver within them will begin to damage those other cells. Silver nanoparticles will continue to work until they’ve stolen every last electron they can steal, where regular silver stops working rather quickly.

Are Silver Nanoparticles Safe?

Silver nanoparticles have been extensively studied over a period of many years, and they’re generally recognized as safe and effective. Studies have been conducted on human toxicity, and they’ve demonstrated that silver nanoparticles are safe.

Silver nanoparticles do not harm any system within the body. They won’t build up in tissues if ingested and will completely pass through the body in about 24 hours. This is what makes silver nanoparticles so different from colloidal silver.

Larger colloidal silver particles ingested on a daily basis can and do build up within the system. Long term use of large amounts of colloidal silver can cause a condition called argyria, where the skin and soft tissues permanently adopt a silvery blue tone due to the retention of silver particles in the body. This has never been shown to occur with silver nanoparticles. 

There are currently 3 published human ingestion studies for silver nanoparticles. The FDA has cleared these studies and allowed products formulated with silver nanoparticles to reach store shelves without caveat or interruption.

Are Silver Nanoparticles Effective?

More than 400 studies conducted by reputable institutions have proven that silver nanoparticles are effective at weakening or destroying infectious bacteria. A dental-specific study conducted by American Biotech Labs concluded that silver nanoparticles are effective as an antibacterial ingredient in oral healthcare products.

More than 87% of participants experienced a major improvement in their dental health within their first week of using silver nanoparticles. An astounding 80% of participants reported a major reduction in residual dental plaque. The results showed that 70% of participants experienced a reduction in inflammation as a result of bacterial management through silver nanoparticles. 

The study was conducted for 7 days, and participants used a nano silver product twice daily. If such a significant improvement was shown in so short of a span of time, it’s reasonable to expect that participants would only continue to experience positive results with continued use. 

Why Are Silver Nanoparticles Better Than Other Antibacterial Ingredients?

Most toothpaste doesn’t contain any ingredient designed to combat bacteria. The few that do are surrounded by controversy. Mouthwash does contain ingredients designed to fight bacteria, but the side effects of using alcohol-based mouthwashes may not be worth the benefits.

Managing bad bacteria in your mouth is important for your overall dental health. Managing that bacteria effectively without causing any harm can be very tricky. 

Silver nanoparticles come up strong where many other popular ingredients fail to deliver. They’re safe, non-toxic, and work perfectly with your body’s natural balance to leave you with a clean, fresh mouth. 

Triclosan

Triclosan toothpastes are hard to come by, and the FDA aims to keep it that way. Some major manufacturers started using triclosan in toothpastes as an antibacterial ingredient with limited benefits. The FDA doesn’t recognize the benefits of triclosan to be significant enough to warrant the risks the ingredient poses to the environment and to human health.

Triclosan does work to kill bacteria, but it accumulates within the body. Every time you put triclosan infused toothpaste on your toothbrush, it’s adding to the remnants of triclosan that are still present from your last use. Triclosan builds up in humans, animals, and even vegetables grown with triclosan in soil.

Triclosan has also made its way into the public water supply. Water and sunlight convert triclosan to a toxic dioxide chemical. Attempting to remove triclosan from the water supply with chlorine can yield even more dangerous results. Once triclosan converts and mixes with chlorine, it creates chloroform. Chloroform is an extremely dangerous and highly potent anesthetic that the body doesn’t easily process, and chloroform intoxication can lead to death. 

The FDA would like to keep triclosan out of our bodies and out of our water supply because of the dangers it poses to human life and wildlife. Triclosan is only minimally effective as an antibacterial ingredient, and it causes more problems that it solves. 

Alcohol

Alcohol is very good at killing bacteria, as well as everything else it comes into contact with. Your alcohol-based mouthwash likely states that it kills the germs responsible for causing bad breath, and that’s true. It also kills the helpful bacteria in your mouth that are responsible for your body’s self-cleaning and self-maintenance processes.

Alcohol throws the baby out with the bathwater. It’s taking away everything you have -- not just the bad stuff. If your oral bacteria are constantly being killed off by alcohol-based mouthwash, you’ll end up dependent on that mouthwash as your main line of defense. Your good bacteria can’t catch up to naturally defend you, and your mouth will always require outside help.

Silver nanoparticles are different. They can damage bad bacteria while safely passing through your mouth’s natural protective biofilm. They won’t undo all of the hard work your body does to protect itself. They’re only focused on eliminating bacterial cell walls. 

Silver nanoparticles will leave behind most of what you need, preventing a significant bacterial imbalance that would otherwise be nearly impossible for your body to correct.

The Takeaway

Silver nanoparticles sound chemistry-heavy and highly scientific, but the way they work is simple. It’s easy to understand how silver nanoparticles are a valuable addition to your oral health products. 

If you’re seeking natural alternatives to your oral hygiene products that will give you a healthy and germ-free mouth without any side effects, nano silver is likely to fit the bill.

Using silver nanoparticles in conjunction with other beneficial ingredients like coral calcium and xylitol will set your mouth up for success. You’ll kill off bad germs, remineralize your teeth, protect your enamel, and keep plaque at bay. 

Sometimes, nature has better answers that any chemical lab could possibly conjure up, and this is definitely a case where nature wins. 

 

Sources:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23811290/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=25137296

https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/argyria-overview


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