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Can We Brush Our Teeth with Soap | What are Tooth Suds

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Is there a better alternative to toothpaste or Can we brush our teeth with soap? Find the answer to these questions in the informative article!

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The Egyptians invented the toothpaste around 5000 BC, however it is interesting to note that toothpaste was invented before toothbrushes!!

Toothpaste was formulated with different ingredients primarily to clean teeth and to ensure fresh breath. Historical evidence shows that burnt eggshells, ox hooves ashes with pumice, bark, crushed bones, and oyster shells were used as abrasive particles to clean teeth. The Romans added flavoring to mask bad breath while the Chinese experimented with adding ginseng, herbal mints, and salts to freshen breath.

After the widespread use of toothpowder until 1850, modern toothpaste was thereafter developed in the late 1800s. In 1873, Colgate started mass producing toothpaste in tubes.

Early toothpaste formulations contained soap as one of the ingredients for its cleaning properties. However, the soap was replaced by a compound called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) in later years.

Fluoride containing toothpaste came into vogue in 1914 as it was shown to act against tooth decay. The present century has specially formulated toothpaste varieties to deal with various dental and cosmetic issues of the teeth like teeth whitening, teeth sensitivity, plaque, cavities, gum diseases, and bad breath.

Can We Brush Our Teeth with Soap?

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Some toothpaste makers, in a bid to make their formulations unique, have fallen prey to using ingredients that are dubious in their efficacy and safety in the long term such as

  • Fluoride: Many countries have fluoride in their drinking water, which makes the addition of fluoride in toothpaste excessive.
  • Glycerin: It is added to toothpaste to give it its paste-like consistency and to keep it from drying out. The glycerin forms a film over the teeth after brushing, which prevents minerals from reaching the enamel and thereby hinders the plaque removing efficiency of the toothpaste.

Some people even think that simple brushing without toothpaste and rinsing with water is enough to keep our pearly whites clean and disease-free! Gerard F. Judd is credited with the tooth soap movement in his book publication ‘Good Teeth.’ Using gentle bar soaps to clean teeth is now emerging as a practical option.

Basic Ingredients in Soaps for Brushing

  • Olive oil- For cleansing the teeth
  • Aloe vera- For nourishing the gums
  • Essential oils- lends taste and nourishment.

These soaps are called ‘Tooth suds”, but they have no typical soap taste, and it foams easily, so it is easy to use. You can just wet the bar, run your toothbrush on it and start brushing. You need to brush for 2 minutes and also need to brush your tongue. Some of the advantages of a tooth sud are:

  • It rinses off easily and gives a clean feel to teeth.
  • Your teeth remain cleaner for a longer period, and
  • Bacteria are also cleaned off from your mouth.
  • It is easily available on food stores, of Amazon, and in Etsy.

The demineralization of teeth occurs daily. Bacteria break sugars present in our food and drink, and this process releases acids that attack and erode the tooth enamel. This leads to the formation of cavities and causes tooth decay.

Pure and natural olive oil-based soaps (Castile soaps) clean the teeth and allows saliva to neutralize the acids and naturally remineralize teeth with the phosphates, calcium, and iron present in food. Soaps create an alkaline environment in the mouth, and hence, remineralization occurs.

Benefits Of Using Tooth Suds

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  • It has zero or fewer harmful chemicals that can cause undesirable side effects.
  • Cleans the teeth
  • Freshens breath and removes bacteria
  • Helps teeth get naturally remineralized and protects tooth enamel.
  • Fights decay, cavities, and prevents plaque buildup, thereby keeps your gums healthy.
  • Resists acid attacks and improves gum recession
  • Reduces swelling and irritation in the gums.
  • Soap is more convenient to use while traveling because there is no fear of spillage or wastage, and it is also eco-friendly.

Comparison Between Soap And Toothpaste

1.Fluoride freeMost contain fluorides, which in excess cause fluorosis and can also cause brittle bones and Teeth, neurological dysfunction, and kidney damage.
2.Free of Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)Contain SLS that can cause canker sores.
3.No artificial sweeteners.Contain artificial sweeteners that upset the GI
System and have neurotoxic effects.
4.Triclosan banned in soaps.Many contain Triclosan which can cause
Reduced fertility and certain cancers.
5.No or negligible glycerin.Presence of glycerin which needs 27 rinses
Before it gets washed off. This also forms a film
Over teeth preventing bacteria from getting
washed off and also prevents remineralisation.
6.No abrasive ingredients.Contain abrasive ingredients like silica,
Quartz or aluminium by-products that irritate
7.Do not contain hydrogen peroxide.Does not contain hydrogen peroxide.
8.Teeth remain cleaner, and plaque-free for a longer time. Cleansing effects are milder and short term.
9.Less expensive and lasts longer.Comparatively not cost effective.
10.No after taste.Has a distinctive after taste.

Good rules you can follow while using soap for your teeth:

  • Place the soap in a wooden soap dish when not in use.
  • Rinse and dry the toothbrush and the soap thoroughly after using them. This prevents bacterial growth.
  • Always use specially formulated tooth soaps or organic pure olive oil soaps to get the maximum benefit.

Homemade Tooth-Soap Recipe

Homemade Tooth Soap Recipe


  • 2 tbsp boiled water
  • 4 tsp unscented pure olive oil
  • Soap 1/2 cup (melted),
  • Coconut oil- 1 tbsp
  • An artificial sweetener like stevia or xylitol(optional)
  • 30 drops peppermint/spearmint, or tea tree essential oil.

Add all the ingredients in a blender and start mixing the solution until it becomes frothy. Take extra care while blending since you’ve added boiled water into it. Once the solution turns frothy, store it in a dispenser with a nozzle for easy use!

So, Can we brush our teeth with soap? Tooth suds are a great alternative to using a toothpaste that poses more harm to your teeth. Let us know your experience of using tooth suds!

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