Sabine Schrör is a freelance writer for the NetDoktor medical editorial team. She studied business administration and public relations in Cologne. As a freelance editor, she has been at home in a wide variety of industries for more than 15 years. Health is one of her favorite topics.
Nature instead of chemicals – the trend towards natural ingredients is also topical when it comes to brushing teeth. In natural medicine, mud chalk is considered a sensible alternative to conventional toothpaste. Read here what mud chalk is, how to use it and whether it is as effective as classic toothpaste in terms of dental health.
What is whiting?
Slaked chalk, also known by the chemical name calcium carbonate, is obtained by grinding limestone very finely. It is used in the food industry, for example as an acid binder or separating agent. It is also used in the cosmetics industry – as a natural cleaning agent, for example, it is contained in many toothpastes.
Toothpastes usually also contain other substances: Natural or artificial flavors provide a fresh taste experience, surfactants make the pasta foam, fluorides harden the tooth enamel. Depending on the product, other ingredients are added.
If you want to avoid chemicals altogether when brushing your teeth, you can find pure mud chalk in stores. Pharmacies and drugstores, as well as major Internet retailers, offer the natural toothpaste in convenient household sizes. Two kilograms cost around twelve euros, and you need about 0.3 grams to brush your teeth.
Advantages of whiting
Naturopaths emphasize the following advantages of natural whiting:
It contains all minerals, especially natural lime.
It cleans and strengthens teeth.
It helps to reduce periodontitis.
It supports the natural oral flora (all microorganisms in the oral cavity).
It helps to strengthen the defense of the lymphatic organs of the mouth.
It helps to activate the enzymes and nerve receptors of the mouth.
How to use mud chalk
To brush your teeth, wet your toothbrush and then dip it briefly into the mud chalk so that it is lightly covered with it. Then brush your teeth as usual and rinse thoroughly afterwards – done.
If you swallow some slurry chalk while cleaning your teeth, this is not a problem – the substance is not harmful to the body. On the contrary: calcium carbonate has an acid-regulating effect and binds toxins and waste products in the stomach. It is not for nothing that calcium carbonate is approved without restriction as an additive for the food industry.
Slurry chalk as a valuable toothpaste substitute?
Dental institutions such as the German Dental Association and the German Society for Dental, Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine recommend cleaning teeth with fluoride toothpaste. This is because the mechanical removal of bacterial plaque by the cleaning agents in the toothpaste alone is not enough to effectively prevent caries.
Only regular contact of the teeth with fluoride prepares the enamel for the continuous acid attacks of the caries bacteria in the mouth. And mud chalk does not contain fluoride.
Another point of criticism from a dental point of view is that the cleaning agents in conventional toothpaste – with the exception of whitening creams – are dosed in such a way that they abrade the enamel as little as possible. Pure whiting, on the other hand, abrades the teeth more and can thus wear away the enamel over time – especially if you brush your teeth with a lot of pressure.
For these reasons, from a dental point of view, mud chalk is not an equivalent substitute for regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste.
It has been adequately proven that brushing teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste reduces the risk of tooth decay. Read more about the caries-protective effect of fluoride in the article Fluoride in toothpaste.