All of my family had a favorite toothpaste. Colgate, Crest, Aim, etc. Mine was Arm & Hammer. I didn’t feel as clean with any of the others. I felt the baking soda scraping and I thought that meant clean and healthy. Scrubbing = Healthy, right?
Not when it gets to be too much.
My teeth were already pretty sensitive, and brushing with Arm & Hammer twice a day made it significantly worse. Cold food hurt more than ever and I had to make a conscious effort not to touch my teeth with my hands or anything hard (toothbrush and silverware, too). So, what did my dentist say?
Sensodyne! Of course! Colgate for sensitive teeth! Yes! Crest Pro-Health! What else?
Next visit I saw an x-ray of the first cavity I have ever had in my life.
I had given up on going to that dentist and just resigned myself to a life of Arm & Hammer and sensitive teeth.
But after learning some more about what my conventional personal care products were doing to me, I decided to take a closer look.
The Ingredients in Arm & Hammer Advance White Toothpaste
- Sodium fluoride. The number one ingredient in my toothpaste! The big bad fluoride accumulates in our bones (teeth, anyone?) and makes them brittle and more prone to fracture, can seriously damage tooth enamel (dental fluorosis) in children, and accumulates in our pineal gland in our brain potentially lowering the production of melatonin. Fluoride in water is a whole different story.
- Sodium Bicarbonate, or Baking Soda. That’s something I can get behind, provided it’s not the second ingredient. My teeth are sensitive. Back off a bit on the abrasive and we’ll add in some more of that after a bit of healing.
- PEG-8, or Polyethylene Glycol. The basis for many laxatives, polyethylene glycol is derived from ethylene glycol, the main component of many antifreezes.
- Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate. On the CDC’s list of Chemical Hazards.
- Sodium Carbonate Peroxide, or Sodium Percarbonate. The second ingredient in OxiClean’s Versatile Stain Remover.
- The dreaded Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Can cause allergic sensitivity reactions, dry skin, irritation, etc. On the skin, it’s just an irritant. However, it is “toxic by ingestion.”
- There are six more ingredients, but I’m stopping there. That’s enough for me.
I mean, seriously! Considering we ingest 33% of the toothpaste we use as we brush our teeth, I don’t think I’m okay with this.
So, I looked for natural toothpaste recipes. Almost all of them contained coconut oil! Coconut oil is great and has many many health benefits…
Assuming you aren’t allergic to coconut (like my boyfriend). Sigh. There goes any chance of coconut oil in the house.
Based on what I had available to me, tooth powder seemed to be the best option.
Let’s see what we can put in this tooth powder…
- Bentonite Clay. ( I use Redmond Clay) Super fantastic, in case you haven’t already experienced it. You’ve probably heard of it used as a great facial (which, I can testify, is very true. That was my first exposure to bentonite clay), but bentonite clay can actually be used in a whole ton of different ways to help pull toxins out of the body. When you mix bentonite clay with water, it puffs up into a spongy clay that absorbs particles and nasty toxins. It’s also great to consume as help with body detox.
- Calcium Phosphate and Magnesium Powder. Adding in the Calcium and Phosphorus depleted by a Western phytic acid – rich diet can help with bone strength and prevention of tooth decay, and Magnesium (which does basically everything), is the top banana when it comes to healthy bones and also helps make the calcium in your body bioavailable. There are also testimonies of Magnesium Oil reversing gingivitis.
- Cinnamon. Described as “antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, and slightly anesthetic,” which is a good sign for sensitivity. (However! If you find gum irritation using ground cinnamon, feel free to remove it. I have never had a bad reaction with this, but there are testimonies of people reacting poorly to cinnamon in tooth powder. You can have a bad reaction to anything, and if you do, listen to your body and quit using it no matter what blog posts or friends tell you!)
- Baking Soda. I do want an abrasive. I will change the amount if I find I need more or less. I may even switch it out entirely for a pinch of Himalayan Salt or Real Salt.
- Thieves Essential Oil. Full of beneficial Clove and Cinnamon. Young Living has many oral care products starring Thieves.
- Peppermint Essential Oil. On the Young Living Oral Care list, peppermint is great for supporting gum health.
I make a small amount each time (only enough to halfway fill a small fruit cup) because I know I’m clumsy and I know my boyfriend is clumsy so instead of wasting 3 months’ worth of tooth powder all over the bathroom floor, I only make a little batch each time. Feel free to double, triple, etc. the recipe if you trust yourself enough to make it in bulk. 🙂
All Natural Tooth Powder
Measuring Spoons, a Bowl, and a Spoon ALL of a non-metal composition. Plastic, glass, or wood are ideal.
1 1/2 Tbsp. Bentonite Clay (like this)
1/2 tsp. – 1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Organic Ground Cinnamon
1 heaping tsp. Calcium and Magnesium Powder (like this)
3-5 drops Thieves Essential Oil (where to buy)
5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil (where to buy)
1. Mix all of the ingredients in a non-metal bowl.
2. Dip a toothbrush wet with hot water into the powder and brush!
3. If halfway through brushing your mouth becomes very dry, wet your toothbrush in hot water again real quick and continue.
Do you make your own oral care products?