Nano silver sounds like something retrofuturistic. It almost seems more like technology from Blade Runner than a modern consumer product. Just the phrase “nano silver” conjures up images of technology and mechanical structures.
In reality, nano silver is something completely natural and totally safe to put in your mouth. Don’t be intimidated by the strong first impression. Nano silver is an antibacterial agent that comes from minerals produced by the earth, and it’s definitely friendly to your body.
What is The Mouth’s Microbiome?
To understand how nano silver works, you have to have a decent grasp of the mouth’s microbiome. Every part of your body has its own microbiome, and the microbiome in your mouth is second only to the microbiome in your gut for the number of microorganisms that it hosts. There are more than 700 kinds of living things in your mouth right now. Some of them are good, and some of them are bad.
The microbiome is the environment that these microorganisms live, breed, and work in. Everyone has a role to play in balancing out the microbiome. Because bacteria are constantly being introduced to the mouth, it’s easy for the oral microbiome to become thrown off.
There are plenty of good bacteria and microorganisms in your oral microbiome that are ready, willing, and able to take on bad bacterial invaders. Problems arise when good stuff becomes outnumbered by the bad stuff. If there are too many bacteria of different types in your mouth, the good bacteria cannot possibly destroy them all.
When bad bacteria wins, there are many consequences. Bad breath, tooth decay, enamel erosion, gum disease, and dental infection all become real possibilities
The point of good oral hygiene is to remove as many bad bacteria as possible while allowing the good bacteria to do their job. Many people think that they’re doing enough to create this balance just by brushing their teeth, but that action alone may not be enough. There is a fundamental misunderstanding about what toothpaste does, and killing bacteria doesn’t fit within its job description.
Toothpaste Was Never Meant to Kill Bacteria
There are almost no toothpastes on the market designed to kill bacteria. Toothpaste is meant to fortify your teeth and remove bacteria by scrubbing it off the teeth and making it easy to spit out. Any bacteria you’ve missed won’t be impacted by the residual toothpaste left in your mouth.
There aren’t many antibacterial toothpastes on the market, and that’s partially due to the FDA’s requirements. The Food and Drug Administration requires that toothpastes with antibacterial ingredients like triclosan undergo rigorous testing before they’re allowed to be stocked on store shelves. Only one triclosan toothpaste has satisfied enough of the criteria, and even still, the FDA isn’t thoroughly convinced that it works any better than other toothpaste.
The only part of the average person’s oral care routine that’s intended to kill bacteria is the mouthwash part. Mouthwash often advertises that it kills the germs that cause bad breath. Mouthwash kills a lot of things, and that’s another problem in and of itself.
Antibacterial Agents Are Often Harmful
Products like mouthwash use alcohol as an antibacterial agent, and they’re incredibly effective. That’s the issue. Alcohol kills everything it touches on contact, wiping the entire microbiome of your mouth clean in the thirty seconds it takes you to swish it between your cheeks.
It’s not only rapidly destroying bad bacteria, but it’s removing all the good bacteria. It’s destroying microorganisms used to keep the interior of your mouth moist and killing off your entire balance. After you use mouthwash, your microbiome is an empty battlefield.
Bad bacteria can be introduced far faster than good microorganisms will respawn. When your microbiome rebuilds, bad bacteria have home court advantage. They’ve already moved in, unpacked, and set up their own little economy. They’re running the show, and your good bacteria are going to have a hard time catching up.
What is Nano Silver and How is It Different?
Nano silver is a different kind of antibacterial agent. It doesn’t kill everything in your mouth - it slowly damages it. Nano silver particles are very very small particles of silver with cores coated in silver oxide. The cores are hungry for electrons, and they can steal them from bacteria cells at a 1 to 1,000 ratio.
Every time a nano silver particle comes into contact with bacteria, it’s pulling away those electrons from its cell wall. The structure of the bacteria becomes weak and ineffective, and it’s unable to execute its functions. It’s a slow damage that disarms bacteria until your body completely flushes them away or spits them out.
Since bacteria are slowly disabled rather than being wiped clean, your body has a little more time to replenish the good stuff as the nano silver is passing through. It won’t damage the protective biofilm in your mouth that protects many of the good bacteria - it can only access the bacteria knocked loose from brushing.
When you use a natural antibacterial agent like nano silver, you’re setting the stage for your body to properly replenish and rebalance your oral microbiome to its ideal state.
Is Nano Silver the Same as Colloidal Silver?
Health food stores often sell something called colloidal silver, a silver based antibacterial solution. Colloidal silver can be ingested or applied topically with the guarantee of modest, but proven results. Some topical wound care applications, especially those for burns or skin infections, are infused with colloidal silver.
Colloidal silver is similar to nano silver, but it’s nowhere near as strong. Colloidal silver products utilize traditional silver molecules with a traditional silver core. This type of silver is only capable of stealing electrons at a one to one ratio. Nano silver’s special silver oxide core can steal electrons at a one to one thousand ratio. You don’t need a calculator to understand why or how that ratio is better.
In order for colloidal silver to be as effective as nano silver, someone would have to use a thousand times the same dosage, or use a traditional dose one thousand times. Colloidal silver is technically effective, but it works much slower and is far less powerful than nano silver.
Is Nano Silver Safe?
Silver is not a metal that poses risks when ingested. It’s not a nutrient like iron, but it isn’t toxic like mercury. After nano silver has done its job, it’s completely expelled from the body within 24 hours. This means silver won’t accumulate in your body or bloodstream every time you brush your teeth. It will remain in stable amounts and gently leave without causing any disturbances.
When it’s full of electrons from the bacteria it destroyed in your mouth, it stops destroying bad cells. It can’t hold anything else in its core. It won’t affect the cells inside of your body, anywhere from your stomach all the way through to your intestines.
It is purely a topical treatment that will only work on your teeth and skin. Since it is incapable of overstepping its boundaries, there’s no risk of harm to your organs if you were to inadvertently swallow small amounts of toothpaste.
Silver Has Always Been Used as an Antibacterial Agent
Nano silver isn’t the first instance of silver being used to kill bacteria. Before antibiotics and other antibacterial ingredients existed, silver and lavender were all people really had. They carried humanity for centuries and centuries, even before most doctors knew it was important to wash their hands.
For more than 6 millennia, people have used silver to keep unwanted bacteria at bay. During plague eras, people who would afford to do so would exclusively use silver dinnerware to keep their meals and drinks more sanitary.
As far back as the 17th century, spanish doctors used coins made of silver to repair cracks, holes, or fractures in the skull. They weren’t sure why, but they knew that silver had the best outcome when used to repair bone before bone grafting procedures officially became an option. They also used silver sutures to hold together wounds, and noted that patients who were treated with silver had significantly better treatment than those who were not.
Silver has been known to be antibacterial for so long that it’s worked its way into legend. Any horror movie fan knows that werewolves can only be killed with silver bullets and vampires can be burned with silver crucifixes. It was such an established fact that the power of silver made its way into ancient legends and bits of folklore.
Nano silver is an invaluable breakthrough that revolutionized traditional methods of antibacterial silver, bringing medicinal silver into the 21st century. Although silver may not be the first thing that comes to mind when most people think about keeping their mouths clean, it’s one of the most safe and effective ingredients for removing oral bacteria.
Source 1 - microbiome
Source 2 - fda / triclosan
Source 3 - colloidal silver