Brushing teeth with tea tree oil- safety nursing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-17-2007, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I always put a drop of tea tree on my toothbrush along with paste to brush my teeth. sometimes I make a rinse of tt and water to gargle after flossing. I just read a bunch of sites proclaiming the potential dangers ( there are just as many proclaiming safety) but most say not proven safe for pregnant or nursing moms. I've been doing it for so long (and thru pregnancy) that it didn't occur to me to check it out. I feel terrible if it could be a risk. I guess the safe thing to do is discontinue, but I was wondering if anyone else knew better?
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#2 of 4 Old 06-17-2007, 02:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MotherofEden View Post
I always put a drop of tea tree on my toothbrush along with paste to brush my teeth. sometimes I make a rinse of tt and water to gargle after flossing. I just read a bunch of sites proclaiming the potential dangers ( there are just as many proclaiming safety) but most say not proven safe for pregnant or nursing moms. I've been doing it for so long (and thru pregnancy) that it didn't occur to me to check it out. I feel terrible if it could be a risk. I guess the safe thing to do is discontinue, but I was wondering if anyone else knew better?
I actually use a toothpaste with TTO already in it. I've used it through two PGs and breastfeeding with no ill effect. I just checked and my mouthwash has it as an ingredient as well.

OT- I have heard that myrhh is not good to use while PG and some natural toothpastes contain myrhh.
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#3 of 4 Old 06-17-2007, 02:57 PM
 
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http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/ref/herbs_t.html

Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Tea tree oil should be fine for external use in nursing moms. Use on or near the nipple area should be minimized.

In concentrated form especially, tea tree oil can be irritating or cause dermatitis. On mucous membranes ( e.g.. mouth, vagina) double caution and considerable dilution is required. Therefore you'd want to be careful of this getting in baby's mouth. This is not for internal use. Duke describes this as lethal in the order of one to a few teaspoons for an adult. It is used in tiny amounts for flavouring in food, but Leong and Foster give the maximal amount allowable/used in food as 10 parts per million - less than 0.001%.

It's recommended that a nursing mom minimize or avoid use of tea tree oil on or near her nipples for three reasons: First, it is a very aromatic oil which might result in baby refusing the breast (it doesn't taste pleasant to many people and the odor is long lasting and would be difficult to wipe off). Second, ingestion of tea tree oil is not recommended for anyone (particularly babies). Third, topical application of herbal preparations to nipples always raises the risk of sensitization/allergic reaction especially in a young baby, and this risk should be considered along with the possible benefits of use.

Hale ("Medications and Mother's Milk") has an entry on tea tree oil: He says that it's an antibacterial and antifungal, noted for it's antimicrobial effects without irritating sensitive tissues. It's antimicrobial when tested against Candida albicans (the usual cause of thrush), E. coli, S. Aureus, Staph. epidermidis and pseudomonas aeruginosa. Although the use of tea tree oil in adults is mostly nontoxic, the safe use in infants is unknown. Use directly on nipple should be minimized. Toxic effects in adults include allergic eczema. Ataxia and drowsiness following oral ingestion of less than 10 cc by a 17 mo old infant. No pediatric concerns have been noted via milk.

More general info can be found at HealthNotes and The Natural Pharmacist.
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#4 of 4 Old 06-17-2007, 09:17 PM
 
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I used tee tree and never had any problems, I really diluted it though.


 
 

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