If you are born in 1960’s or 70’s the most famous oral care brand in India was probably Vicco Vajradanti. A senior citizen would crack open an Akhrot (walnut) using his teeth or a young man will remove the outer shell of sugarcane using his teeth. Here is the old advert to jog your memory 🙂
At home Appa insisted on a strict oral care routine that included brushing my teeth, not eating sweets and a weekly dose of bitter young neem leaves. 🙄. I had my first chocolate in 1983, when I was 14. Thankfully I don’t have a sweet tooth. My father’s oral care routine ensured that I have all my teeth intact and my first tiny cavity at 51.
Oral Care and Sugar
Most FMCG brands of toothpaste contain sugar and flouride. Sodium saccharine is the sweetener used in toothpaste commonly. Its about 300 times sweeter than sugar, but unfortunately it also has carcinogenic properties. Ofcourse, toothpaste has several other “good” ingredients that don’t taste nice and sugar is required to mask that taste.
Aspartame is another sugar substitute that’s used widely in toothpaste. Again, its considered to be carcinogenic. In fact all the “chemical” or manmade sugar substitutes are avoidable. Just use good old jaggery or palm sugar or desi khand if you must have a sweetener. Completely avoid using white sugar.
Sugar directly contributes to tooth decay. Foods that contain sugar, help form plaque which in turn leads to dissolving the enamel resulting in cavities.
An age old oral care routine followed by Indians was to rinse your mouth after every meal. Along with the frequent hand washing that’s become a necessity due to the pandemic, we all need to adopt rinsing the mouth as an important oral care routine. An easy and effective way to get rid of the sugars left behind by food.
Tooth Powder or Toothpaste ?
Appa always had a bottle of Vicco Vajradanti tooth powder at home and he would insist on using different brands of toothpaste. Once I got married, Krishnan was and continues to be a Unilever fan. So it was Close-up toothpaste always. I tried introducing Vicco Vajradanti and Patanjali’s Dantkanti toothpastes as alternatives but Krishnan would go back to Close-up after a few days.
Ever since Colgate’s association with ShikshaDaan started Krishnan shifted his loyalties a bit and we have Colgate’s herbal toothpastes at home :):).
For the past one year though, we have all shifted to Kamdhenu Organic Farm’s Dantmanjan (Ayurvedic Tooth powder). Interestingly, Colgate has launched a special toothpaste for diabetics without sugar. Am so glad to see Ayurvedic herbs making a huge comeback even if its through global FMCG giants.
Since we have given up on white sugar completely, this toothpaste has found its way back in our oral care routine. Colgate even has Neem infused toothbrushes.
Ayurvedic Tooth Powder
As I mentioned above, for the past year we have been using Kamdhenu Organic Farm’s toothpowder. The mouth feels fresh as the Dantmanjan has turmeric, neem powder, Gilroy, clove, mustard oil and Himalayan pink salt besides a few more herbs.
I got introduced to Mr. Vishal Dhanowa, the founder of Kamdhenu Organic Farm through the Living Without Medicine group and if you want to get in touch with him, you can Whatsapp @9541050006. They deliver all over India !!!
Save Water !
Switching to tooth powder for oral care has reduced the water usage too. A very welcome side benefit. Also the pictures on toothpaste wrappers are misleading. You don’t need a brush full of toothpaste. Just a tiny quantity would do.
So please use Ayurvedic Dantmanjan (Tooth powder) to keep your teeth intact. Rinse your mouth after every meal and if you use toothpaste, use a tiny quantity ! Save water by not brushing under an open running tap. You can complete your brushing and then open the tap while rinsing your mouth.
Have a great start to the day with a clean mouth and definitely brush your teeth before going to bed.