Why do I make toothpaste?
I started brushing my teeth with oily dirt.
Well, bentonite clay, to be exact. Which comes from the ground. Dirt.
I had been using my daughter’s homemade concoction, which seemed to stop the minor toothache. She was trying to make a home business work out, and I started buying some of those things she made that I could use for my family (which now consists of u
- Graphics Fairy
s two old codgers). The first couple of little jars came in 1/2 pint mason jars and were a little expensive, but I will do things like that to help out family as much as possible. About every third month we would order two more jars, one for each of us. I can’t stand sharing germs and you have to dip your brush into the paste, so simple solution is to provide individual personal jars. We go through the exact same amount, so why not?
It had a gritty feel to it, not at all like commercial toothpaste, and it didn’t foam in the mouth. It also was flavoured with orange essential oil, which didn’t taste right. But, I reasoned to myself, my toothbrushing palate had been trained by years (and years and years and years if I’m to be honest) of commercial, white, heavy minty chemical-laden versions. I really liked that her ingredients lable was only two lines long. She said she could see that my teeth looked whiter after a few weeks of using the stuff. Life was going great. Mostly, though, I kept buying it because my minor toothache went away.
But then my dealer stopped supplying my habit. My stash dried up. Well, was used up, actually. In point of fact, I had started using that commercial stuff again. It felt like old home, even comforting in a way. Oh, I worried about the chemical factory ingredients, but at least I was doing something, right? wrong. My minor toothache came back after about three months of withdrawal. I had to learn how to make my own product, to start my own laboratory, to become my own cooker, dealer, supplier. I was hooked, and I had to get my fix. But, I am also (sometimes) cheap and I couldn’t see myself paying those outrageous prices to anybody other than my family. So I did some research, found lots of recipes out there in WebLand.
Now, I have to say that you do not NEED toothpaste of any kind for dental health. Brushing your teeth with a soft brush and water on a regular basis, and flossing regularly and as needed gets the job done quite nicely.
And your saliva “helps buffer the pH…” — The Things We’ll Make (Ariza, 2013-2017). But, homemade toothpaste has some remineralizing benefits that you may want. This is the primary reason I started myself.
In fact, if you’re using toothpaste mainly as a mean of removing plaque, you may be surprised to find that a review study done last year found that using a toothpaste when brushing didn’t provide any extra plaque removing abilities (Valkenburg C, 2016). — The Things We’ll Make (Ariza, 2013-2017).
I will include here a description of the proper method of brushing and flossing, with or without paste.
While it is normally suggested that you brush your teeth multiple times a day, I think the most important thing is to have at least one thorough brushing session each day, preferably right before you go to bed. … I have a hard time going to sleep without getting in that all important thorough brushing session at night.
When doing a thorough brushing session, you want to make sure that you brush each tooth surface completely. You want to brush with small, circular motions following the contour of your gums, or guide an electric toothbrush to gently massage your teeth and gums at the gum line.
Use a toothbrush with soft bristles. You should be brushing for at least 2 minutes, which is normally the programmed time for an “alarm” of sorts on electric toothbrushes.
After that thorough brushing session, it’s the ideal moment to floss between all teeth, and behind the last teeth in your mouth. You want to gently bring the floss down along the side of each tooth, gently pushing down past the gum line, and pulling up any trapped food debris and leftover plaque accumulation on your way back up. — The Things We’ll Make (Ariza, 2013-2017).
DISCLAIMER: This post is meant to be informative only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition. While I use this homemade toothpaste recipe myself, I also recognize that there are many dentists who will only approve of fluoridated toothpastes with the ADA seal. (The ADA will only place their seal on toothpastes with fluoride in them.) Keep that in mind when choosing what toothpaste to use. — adapted from The Things We’ll Make (Ariza, 2013-2017).
HOMEMADE TOOTHPASTE RECIPE | REMINERALIZING
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My recipe is adapted from Weed em and reap blog (Wolford, 2018). Her toothpaste uses filtered water, but I used my unaltered well water. She also added baking soda which I left out for reasons listed above. I didn’t have trace minerals so I left that out. And I changed up the sweetener. Other than that, it is exactly the same!
Heat water to hot.
Put all other ingredients in the food processor, add the hot water and pulse until smooth (no more bumps).
Store in a glass mason jar or a silicone squeeze tube for up to 3 months.
My experience with this is that the taste is okay. The texture is smooth with no lumpy chunks, slightly gritty, and pasty like commercial stuff, but it is grey.
And gritty. As long as I don’t chomp down my teeth together for about five minutes or so, I can live with it.
I think I will add about another 5-10 drops of OnGuard and another 5 d
rops Peppermint in my next batch. It isn’t as oily as I originally thought. I’d heard of oil pulling and couldn’t actually do it. I don’t like overly greasy stuff in my mouth. But this is not oily feeling. I’ve been watching for that.
The first impression is grit and OnGuard. It is not hard even in the dead of winter, because of the water and the clay worked up in the food processor into an emulsion, the same way the hand lotion is. After about 30 seconds of gently brushing and another surprising feel developed. It is a squeaky feel, somewhat astringent. I like it as it feels clean. I only use a pea-sized glob, and I spit excess down the drain. I run hot water as I spit, and I don’t see it getting oily in the water, either.
With the next post, I will provide some rationale for each ingredient in toothpastes, the Good, the Bad, the Ugly.
UPDATE 26 July 2018 — I just made up another batch. This was in the summer, when the coconut oil at room temperature is liquid. I still used hot water, and instead of a food processor, I used my metal bowl and beaters. Yes, I am aware of that argument about Bentonite Clay is to never touch metal, but I work with what I have, ok? I doubled the batch, and whipped it into a frenzy, almost looking like whipped cream when it cooled down. Then I divided it into two pint wide-mouth mason jars. That should take me to the next year, actually.
Ariza, T. (2013-2017). Natural Homemade Toothpaste Recipes & Tips from a Dentist. Retrieved from Oh, the Things We’ll Make: https://thethingswellmake.com/natural-homemade-toothpaste-recipes-tips-dentist/
Watson, K. (2010). Thursday is Request Day — Apple, Fountain, Teeth, Bulldog. Retrieved from Graphics Fairy: https://thegraphicsfairy.com/thursday-is-request-day-apple-fountain-teeth-bulldog/
Wolford, D. (2018). Homemade Remineralizing & Whitening Toothpaste Recipe. Retrieved from Weed ’em & Reap: Urban Farming, Healthy Living: https://www.weedemandreap.com/diy-toothpaste-recipe/