Why don’t I just buy a tube? Well, for one, the chemicals. The authority we too often grant to big name brands has overshadowed the dangers of toxic and carcinogenic ingredients included in most commercially produced toiletries, cosmetics, cleaning products, clothing and food. As a general rule of thumb, I try to avoid consuming products with tongue-twister ingredients or those which sound synthetic. FD&C Blue No. 1, titanium dioxide, polyethylene glycol 1500, methylparaben and propylparaben are just a few of the poisonous ingredients commonly used to make toothpaste. Personally, I don’t enjoying putting poison in my mouth. Especially not 2 – 3 times a day.
Not So Fun Fact: Virginia Tech researchers have discovered that triclosan, a widely-used synthetic antimicrobial agent found in most hand and dish soaps, toothpastes, lotions, acne treatments, and cosmetics reacts with chlorine in tap water to produce chloroform. So, if you are brushing with triclosan-containing toothpaste and rinsing with chlorinated water, a very deadly chemical reaction is taking place right in your mouth. Chloroform causes cancer, promotes nervous system disorders, damages the liver, kidneys, and heart, and can lead to death. In fact, it was used to make phosgene, a chemical weapon employed during World War I.
Then there is the widely debated issue of fluoride, a byproduct of industrial waste, which has been linked to cancer, bone disease, gastrointestinal ailments, brain damage, kidney disease, and impaired thyroid function. Fluoride is “more acutely toxic than lead,” yet it is still used in commercial toothpastes and mouthrinses, and is added to tap water throughout much of the US. In case you are still not convinced: it’s a common ingredient in rat poison.
The second reason not to purchase chemically-laden toothpaste is to alleviate your impact on the environment. The chemicals present in our toiletries and common household cleaning products get washed down the drain to sully our water supply and pose a toxic threat to plants and animals. Most of those chemicals are non-biodegradable, and so once released into the environment remain infinitely intact to continue polluting the Earth.
The third reason to get crafty with your daily tooth cleaning practice is because it’s way more cost effective than buying typical brand-name pastes. Have you ever noticed how expensive toothpaste has become? A 3.5 ounce tube can run you up to $9! I find that absurd, especially considering that making your own can cost as little as $0.13/ounce.
Easy, Inexpensive & Natural:
Fluoride-Free Homemade Toothpaste Recipe
You will need:
3/8 cup Baking Soda A mild abrasive that gently cleanses teeth and gums. It also sweetens breath while preventing tooth decay.
1/8 cup Peroxide Kills bacteria and whitens teeth.
6 – 12 drops of your favorite Essential Oil Different oils serve different purposes, but generally speaking the oils are used to naturally flavor the paste without using artificial chemicals. Peppermint oil, for instance, also freshens your breath and gives you energy. Cinnamon and lavender are antimicrobial. Rosemary gets rid of halitosis almost immediately. I also recommend clove and fennel.
3 1/2 tablespoons Xylitol A naturally occurring sugar alcohol sweetener. Xylitol is found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, and can be extracted from various berries, oats, and mushrooms. Fibrous material such as corn husks and birch trees are also popular sources of the low-calorie sweetener. The World Health Organization has given xylitol its safest food rating, and doctors around the globe have recommended diabetics use xylitol as a sugar substitute for decades. Xylitol is a perfect ingredient in toothpaste because it sweetens while killing cavity-forming bacteria and preventing tooth decay.
1 teaspoon Sea Salt It’s a natural abrasive and cleanser that reduces tartar and plaque buildup.
What to do: Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid, and stir to combine. Voila- homemade toothpaste!
The mixture doesn’t need to be refrigerated- you simply store the paste in its airtight glass container next to your toothbrush. Then just spoon some out for use or dip your dry toothbrush directly into it. If you are squeemish about double-dipping or sharing the paste, put the mixture into a sandwich bag, squeeze to the bottom, and cut a tiny hole at a corner. You can also use a small squeeze bottle or old honey container.
If you prefer a powder mixture, simply omit the peroxide.
If you have sensitive gums that often bleed when brushing, try adding coconut oil to your paste or simply rub it on your gums to sooth sore areas. It is also naturally antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal, so it helps kill harmful bacteria and treat/prevent gingivitis.
Do you have any tips or suggestions? Share your latest DIY project with us below!
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