Thursday, August 1, 2013

Why you should avoid store-bought toothpaste + Homemade toothpaste recipe!

We're taking baby steps! I know we can't eliminate every single possible harmful substance from our lives. The world we live in is full of potentially harmful things. The best I can do is make little changes here and there in hopes to at least reduce the harmful substances in my home!

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This week I had another science class in my kitchen... throwing things together to see what natural products I can make to replace store-bought products with. Making my own toothpaste has been a desire for quite some time. After a botched attempt at an intricate recipe I gave up and put everything away. I suppose I felt something more involved would be better than something so simple.

Ultimately the recipe I tried likely would not have been a good fit even if I had not botched it. It costs more than simpler toothpaste recipes, had a shelf-life and the overall process of making it was a bit much for me.
After a few months of sulking in failure at my original toothpaste making attempt (and cleaning out the bottles I had put the goop in) I resorted back to ol' faithful - Crest. But you can't put faith in Crest. Or almost any other toothpaste on the supermarket shelves anymore. It's actually quite scary!


I have done a fair amount of research, looking at what is safe, not safe, what ingredients I already have handy, cost etc... I'll be honest, I'm no good at compiling information. I have been trying to hang on to stuff I read for use in posts so hopefully I have done a well enough job here to convince you that what is in your Crest, Colgate, Aquafresh, and even some of your "natural" toothpastes is no good.

DIY Natural & World Dental did great, to-the-point posts with resources about some of those ickies:
- "Triclosan has been shown to be an endocrine disruptor, a skin irritant, and can cause allergic reactions in some cases."

- "...sorbitol has laxative effects that can cause diarrhea if too much is swallowed."

- "Saccharin is only a petroleum based sugar substitute, and other names that mean the same as saccharin include: sucralose, Acesulfame-K, alitame, or tagatose. Cancer and saccharin ingestion have been linked many times in the past." 

HERE is more information on sweeteners, the good (Stevia, for example) and the bad!
- "...the production of SLS (sodium laurel sulfate) results in contamination with a carcinogenic by-product."

FD&C blue dyes... "The Center for Science in the Public Interest recommends avoiding these artificial dyes in personal care products because of the adverse impact they can have, including hyperactivity in children, allergic reactions, and even cancer (in animal studies)."

- Just like the post says... Flouride is BAD! It's toxic, and prompts a poison warning label on our toothpastes. It even has been linked to thyroid problems. Are you hypothyroid?? I am. And while I can't quite commit to a completely changed diet to help promote thyroid healing, I can definitely avoid flouride as a baby step!

Glycerin is another "hot topic" with toothpastes. From what I gather it's very 50/50 as to whether you should use it or not. I have decided not to use glycerin in my toothpastes although I do have it on hand for other natural products. I found this post that details and sources glycerin use for toothpastes. Make your own choice :)

Is that not enough to make you at least consider an alternative? If so, please continue to the recipe...

Going for it:

I felt confident, gathered the ingredients, and made my own toothpaste!
I take no credit for this recipe. Ultimately it is based upon Family Sponge's post. Truthfully, there are a ton of blogs that use a very similar recipe so I strongly suggest you do your research and pick what variation you feel most comfortable using.

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6 TBSP Coconut Oil
6 TBSP Baking Soda
Stevia to taste (optional)
25 drops of essential oils (optional)
(I used Sweet Orange with a few drops of Eucalyptus)

I didn't do enough research early on with my essential oils and have recently learned that Eucalyptus can be poisonous if ingested, especially for children. I only used a few drops but I will be experimenting with a new recipe soon in order to replace the mix I made for my daughter which I added pure vanilla extract to as well. In mine and my husband's mixture I added some pure peppermint extract and peppermint oil.

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- Recruit your children to help mix all of your ingredients in a bowl then pour in to a glass container. I used a little mason jar I had handy.

- Scoop the paste out on to your toothbrush and brush away! It absolutely makes your teeth feel wonderful.

I currently have a craft stick on top of the jar to use for scooping out the paste. Family Sponge said she sometimes uses her toothbrush. I personally don't want my funky toothbrush mixed around with everybody elses so I'll stick with the stick :p

This jar maayybe cost me $2.

If you have all of these ingredients in a high grade organic form, yay! I don't. I do the best I can without spending more than is truly necessary. The only thing I had to purchase was stevia. I settled on stevia after I had initially wanted xylitol. I thought it was necessary and there were no alternatives but I was wrong. I just couldn't find it in stores locally and didn't feel like waiting to order it online. I had to use a ton of it because I can not stand the salty baking soda taste. I have to make it as sweet as possible in order to make it more marketable to my 5yr old... and my husband.

I really want this to last. I recently started oil pulling and want to hold off on my long over-due dental exam for a couple of months until I brush with the natural toothpaste and get a good oil pulling routine down. I don't know if I'll have a better check-up than I have had in the past but it's worth a shot to try!

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