Natural Homemade Toothpaste

This lovely remineralizing toothpaste I found here was so easy to make and my teeth felt great both during and after brushing. My research into all things natural has led me to a daunting realization that our toiletry products expose us to way too many chemicals. On average people are exposed to approximately 5 pounds of chemicals per year just following their normal routine of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and other beauty products used both on and in our bodies. This does not include things like pesticides.

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Typical toothpaste warning: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately.

Typical mouthwash caution: In case of accidental ingestion, seek professional assistance or contact a poison control center immediately. Do not use in children under six years of age. Supervise children over six.

There is a reason there are warnings about swallowing your toothpaste, in fact they mention it 3 times… and how often have we ourselves or our kids accidentally swallowed our toothpaste?

Toxic or abrasive mouthwash and toothpaste ingredients:

You can find detailed information about many of these ingredients HERE.
An article at mercola.com had this to say about just one of these ingredients:

Real Dangers of SLS—Rumors Aside

  • A number of studies report SLS being damaging to oral mucosa and skin. This is not at all surprising since SLS is actually used as a skin irritant during studies where medical treatments for skin irritation require an intentionally irritating agent.
  • A study at the Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University in New York in 1997 examined SLS in mouthwash. They found that SLS in mouth rinses caused desquamation of oral epithelium and a burning sensation in human volunteers.
  • A study appearing in Exogenous Dermatology confirmed SLS to be a very “corrosive irritant” to the skin—irritation which persisted in research subjects for 3 weeks.
  • SLS exerts its damage by stripping your skin of protective oils and moisture.
  • SLS is associated with increased aphthous ulcers (canker sores) due to the denaturing effect and irritation of the oral mucosa.
  • Swallowing SLS will likely lead to nausea and diarrhea and is even used as a laxative in enemas. So be careful not to swallow much of your toothpaste if it contains SLS.
  • According to Judi Vance, author of Beauty to Die For, SLS can cause cellular DNA damage. In an article for ConsumerHealth.org, she states that a dental association in Japan tested the effects of SLS on bacteria, finding it to be mutagenic. She also states that hair follicles are significant transporters of harmful chemicals into your body.

Links Between SLS, Ethylene Oxide, 1,4 Dioxane, and Cancer
The evidence linking SLS to cancer is a bit challenging due to the paucity of scientific studies. However, carcinogenic effects are quite possible when you consider that SLS/SLES is often contaminated by two known carcinogens:

  1. Ethylene oxide (which is what the “E” in SLES represents). A return to the Skin Deep website for ethylene oxide reveals a rating of “high hazard,” which appears as an impurity in thousands of personal care products. It is used to “ethoxylate” SLS and other chemicals, to make them less harsh.
  2. 1,4 dioxane, a byproduct of ethylene oxide, also receives a “high hazard” rating from Skin Deep and is associated with an even longer list of common personal care products. On the CDC site, 1,4 dioxane is described as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” toxic to the brain and central nervous system, kidneys, and liver. It is also a leading groundwater contaminant.

To avoid 1,4 dioxane, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) recommends avoiding products with indications of ethoxylation. To do this, look for the following suffixes in the ingredient list: “myreth,” “oleth,” “laureth,” “ceteareth,” any other “eth,” “PEG,” “polyethylene,” “polyethylene glycol,” “polyoxyethylene,” or “oxynol.” For example—sodium laureth sulfate. Both polysorbate 60 and polysorbate 80 are also often contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, according to Dr. Samuel Epstein.

 

With all the chemicals in toothpaste you might think maybe we can just do without it, but science has shown a connection between oral health and full body health. The Mayo Clinic website had this to say:

What conditions may be linked to oral health?Your oral health might affect, be affected by, or contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:

  • Endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart (endocardium). Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart.
  • Cardiovascular disease. Some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
  • Pregnancy and birth. Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
  • Diabetes. Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection — putting the gums at risk. Gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. Research shows that people who have gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels.
  • HIV/AIDS. Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.
  • Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis — which causes bones to become weak and brittle — might be linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss.
  • Alzheimer’s disease. Tooth loss before age 35 might be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Other conditions. Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include Sjogren’s syndrome — an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth — and eating disorders.

Remineralizing toothpaste comes under different names and packaging. What they seem to have in common is that they contain essential “bioavailable” calcium and phosphorus ions required for the natural recalcification (self-repair process) of the tooth enamel and dentin3. By furnishing tooth-repairing minerals during tooth brushing, smaller lesions in the enamel from acidic foods (fruit juices etc.), bacterial acids and/or over brushing (i.e. tooth erosion and abrasion) and the possibly resultant sensitivity have been observed to fill in and thus reverse.”

But why buy some when you can make your own…All that information, and if you managed to get this far, or if you just skipped to the end…without further ado – the recipe!! 🙂

Ingredients:

Directions:
Combine all powdered ingredients together first, then add coconut oil to desired consistency. Add in essential oil for flavor. (my favorite is cinnamon) Recipe easily multiplies if you want to make a larger batch, but I recommend starting small and seeing if you need to manipulate any of the ingredients to suit your tastes and preferences.
And there you have it!

Now for why these ingredients work as toothpaste:

  • Baking Soda – “Chemically speaking, baking soda is a weak base that is amphoteric, which essentially means it can react with both acids and bases [source: American Chemical Society]. This quality makes it perfect for neutralizing acids produced by bacteria in plaque, which could potentially destroy tooth enamel if left unchecked.Additionally, baking soda crystals are softer than enamel and dentine (a tooth’s outer layers) and therefore can mechanically scrub off stains without scratching those parts of your smile.”
  • Coconut Oil – “Mixed with baking soda, coconut oil can replace your regular toothpaste. The baking soda will gently cleanse while the coconut oil’s antibacterial action may help keep harmful bacteria in check.”
  • Xylitol – “enhances the remineralization of teeth, particularly in small decay spots just developing in the tooth enamel. Bacteria are unable to produce acid in the presence of xylitol and as a result the plaque pH does not decrease. The stable pH prevents demineralization, and hardens the lining of the cavities making untreated cavities less sensitive. This was clearly demonstrated in the study done in Belize on school children.”
  • Diatomaceous Earth – “The strong negative charge of diatomaceous earth means that it naturally attaches to and removes from the body things like: chemicals, viruses, bacteria, heavy metals and even radiation.”

Please leave a comment below and let me know if you have a recipe you love, or if you try this one, let me know what YOU think of it. 🙂

References:

 

 

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