For the love of your TEETH: zero waste dental care

Neha Kandwal
4 min readJan 21, 2020
Photo by S&B Vonlanthen on Unsplash

Miguel de Cervantes said that “every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond.” And well, because “diamonds are a girl’s best friends”, I intend to take good care of mine. Since childhood, I have been obsessed with keeping my teeth pearly-white and I plan on keeping it that way for the rest of my life.

While growing up, I remember very distinctly how every morning my cousins and I used to walk groggily to our verandah, and stick out our palms to receive our share of toothpowder in our hands to brush our teeth. On days we felt particularly adventurous, we would ditch our usual Colgate white toothpowder for our grandfather’s Ayurvedic blend Dabur Laal Dant Manjan (Dabur Red toothpowder; as it had a blend of herbs and spices). I say adventurous because it didn’t have the most pleasant taste and all good things are not necessarily sweet. It is the bitter truth. But hey, commercial toothpaste makers decided that it would be great to turn this notion upside down and make toothpaste taste like candies and if that wasn’t enough they added toxic chemicals in it too. I flipped my toothpaste tube to see the ingredients and with each name I typed on google, my anger grew more. Check it out for yourself below.

Some common toxins found in commercial toothpaste

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate- Commonly known as SLS, it’s an unnecessary foaming agent that agitates gums and can cause ulcers and canker sores.

Silica- A natural component of sand.

Sodium silicate- Strong irritant to skin, eyes and mucous membranes. May be toxic by ingestion.

Carrageenan- Some evidence suggests that it triggers inflammation, gastrointestinal ulcerations and that it damages your digestive system.

Saccharin- Artificial sweetener which made the Centre for Science in Public’s Interest’s list of additives to avoid.

But this was still not the reason why I gave up toothpaste. It was when I learned that the toothpaste tubes are made of a mix of plastic and aluminum which makes it impossible to recycle and this contributes a significant deal to the already piling plastic heaps. That’s when I decided to make my own non-toxic, less waste toothpowder and contribute my bit…



Neha Kandwal

LordCommander @iamgreenified. Environmentalist.Compulsive traveler. Eco-blogger. Aspiring Captain Planet. Sharing stories, anecdotes, and thoughts.