For years I was reluctant to use homemade toothpaste.
Oral hygiene is something I don’t mess around with. I’ve always had great luck in the cavity department and didn’t want any of my actions to negatively effect that.
Plus, let’s get real, dental work is expensive!
However, the desire to use store bought toothpaste came to a screeching halt when I was living in Alaska.
The town I lived in was the most AMAZING place, and was conveniently located in the middle of nowhere.
As you can imagine the prices of everyday items were exorbitant.
I decided to save a few bucks on toothpaste (because the cheapest one I could find was $9.00) and forgo my favored brand (which was all natural and fluoride free) for a typical toothpaste.
After using the blue colored, extra foamy paste, I decided to do a little reading about the ingredients I was scrubbing into my teeth and gums.
Yikes yikes and yikes.
I learned that many of the ingredients in store bought toothpastes (even in natural products) could cause more harm than good.
This is a product we put in our mouthes several times a day! No doubt some of it finds its way into our system. I would personally prefer a product used this frequently and intimately to be free of any synthetic ingredients and as basic and healthy as possible.
A lot of claims have been made about ingredients in store bought products causing serious health concerns – however science doesn’t yet back these claims.
Which of course doesn’t mean these concerns aren’t valid.
I make most of my own products at home, here’s why…
We don’t need to put all these chemicals and synthetic ingredients found in store bought products on/in our bodies. Our bodies will simply function better without all that crap!
The logic is simple, if it wasn’t created in nature then why are we using it?
Like I said before, the science simply hasn’t proven that store bought products are harmful to our health. Many try to promote the use of their homemade products with dubious claims.
That being said, I would like to share a few of the ingredients that are under scrutiny and why!
Tricolsan: is added to many products as a preservative that prevents the growth of bacteria in a product.
According to the FDA “Several scientific studies have come out since the last time FDA reviewed this ingredient that merit further review. Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation… Other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics” (source).
However, tricolsan has the added benefit of results found in this study:
“In 1997, FDA reviewed extensive effectiveness data on triclosan in Colgate Total toothpaste. The evidence showed that triclosan in this product was effective in preventing gingivitis” (source).
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: is added as a foaming agent.
Despite an email campaign, sent out about this ingredient, there is no scientific evidence backing claims that this ingredients is seriously harmful.
However, according to Dr. Weil, this ingredient is a known lip irritant that may cause canker sores (source).
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in soil.
This mineral is not only found in our drinking water, but has been added to drinking water in many communities since the 40’s, when it was discovered that water with a certain level of fluoride helped prevent tooth decay.
In fact, water fluoridation alone is said to contribute a 25% decreased in teeth decay for both children and adults!
“Because of its contribution to the dramatic decline in tooth decay over the past 70 years, CDC named community water fluoridation as 1 of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
In 2012, more than 210 million people, or 75% of the US population, were served by community water systems that contain enough fluoride to protect their teeth.” (source).
Go us! Seems like adding fluoride to water has significantly improved America’s dental health!
Now that we’ve seen these fantastic results, manufactures are adding fluoride to toothpaste and mouth rinses.
Can we get too much fluoride in our diets?
Why yes we can! It’s “known as fluorosis, this spotting occurs only in children eight years old and younger as a result of too much fluoride intake while permanent teeth are developing under the gums” (source)
According to Dr. Weil:
“In very large amounts, fluoride is toxic and can cause gastrointestinal symptoms and sometimes even death. Signs of fluoride overdose include excessive salivation, tremors, weakness, convulsion and a soapy or salty taste in the mouth. In addition, high amounts of fluoride over several years can cause brittle bones, but this is extremely rare” (source)
Ok fine. Most of us aren’t intentionally eating toothpaste when we brush our teeth, however I completely agree with Dr. Mercola’s statement that…
“If it kills you in large doses, doesn’t it stand to reason that in smaller doses it probably is not a wise choice?” (source)
It seems as though fluoride in water is beneficial, while fluoride added to dental products needs to be further researched.
I suggest doing more research about the ingredients above, and talking to your dentist before making the switch to homemade toothpaste!
I absolutely love this homemade toothpaste recipe, however it tastes and acts very differently from store bought products. For example:
Baking Soda is salty!
To balance this out, I add stevia, however the toothpaste will not be as sugary and sweet as your store bought brand.
This toothpaste doesn’t foam.
You know how your store bought toothpaste typically leads you to spit mid-brush because so much foam has accumulated in your mouth?
It won’t happen with this toothpaste –foaming agents have not been added.
Funny taste in your mouth after brushing.
I talked to my friend on the phone yesterday who uses this same toothpaste recipe.
I have been noticing a funny taste in my mouth when I rinse my mouth with water after brushing (the taste doesn’t seem to last after that initial mouth rinse).
She didn’t have the same experience, however her boyfriend (who uses the same toothpaste recipe) notice the taste!
Do you notice a taste? Let us know!
No added preservatives.
I’ve studied many toothbrush recipes before landing on this one, and never noticed a warning about bacteria growth in your homemade toothpaste container.
However, I would like to note that we haven’t added any ingredients to prevent the accumulation of bacteria.
Because of this, I don’t dip my toothbrush directly in the toothpaste jar, rather I add it to my toothbrush with a popsicle stick.
Again GET YOUR DENTIST’S INPUT!
My favorite natural toothbrush
Have you seen these bamboo toothbrushes around? (they’re in our photos for this recipe)
Well, I absolutely love mine, for a few reasons:
First, because most toothbrushes are made completely of plastic and rubber, which isn’t recyclable or something you can use again.
This toothbrush is made of bamboo, and recyclable nylon! Did you know bamboo grows over three feet everyday?!
Second, because “Almost 50 million pounds of plastic toothbrushes make it to our landfills every year. All that plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose and can even leak pollutants into the surrounding soil and water” (source).
These toothbrushes are awesome to up-cycle. Check out some ideas on their website!
Let us know in the comments below what you think of this homemade toothpaste recipe!
Again, we suggest talking to your dentist before trying this recipe as we are not medical professionals. Happy brushing <3
- Soften the coconut oil.
- Place all these in the desired container and combine, make sure everything gets incorporated!
- To use: dip a small spoon or popsicle stick into the toothpaste and place on your toothbrush.