What Are the Benefits of Neem Toothpaste?

Neem (Azadirachta indica) is a tropical plant native to Asia. People in India and Africa have been using twigs of the neem tree as toothbrushes for many years and have maintained excellent dental health, even in areas without access to adequate modern dental care. Although more research is needed to understand exactly how neem works, the current research makes it clear that it does.

Toothpastes that contain neem may be green. (Image: akova/iStock/Getty Images)

What's In a Neem?

Neem has antibacterial properties that stop bacteria from sticking to your teeth and turning into plaque. The antibacterial properties of neem also help prevent and reverse gingivitis, stopping both the blood and puss discharges that occur with severe gingival disease. Minimizing the amount of bacteria in the mouth with neem also helps prevent cavities and eliminate bad breath.

Picking the Right Neem

Read labels carefully when buying neem toothpaste. If you are looking for a completely natural product, make certain that is what you are buying – many manufacturers simply add neem to existing toothpastes that contain fluoride and other chemicals. These products are not necessarily bad but are not what you are looking for when going the all-natural route. Buy neem toothpaste from reputable dealers and manufacturers only. Neem's dental benefits are found in its bark and leaves. Never purchase neem dental care products from someone who claims they contain neem oil or attempt to make your own products from neem oil: Neem oil is a toxin used as an insecticide and should not be taken internally.

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