For some time, I’ve been working on detoxing my bathroom. Slowly culling chemical-laden products and searching for natural alternatives that are effective and inexpensive. A few months ago, I ditched conventional toothpaste.
I find it a little alarming that toothpaste comes with a warning not to swallow it. I’m not going to go on a hippy-green rant on you here about the chemical ingredients in toothpaste. If you Google it, the ‘articles’ you’ll find will largely fall into two categories: the standard commercial line in which all the ingredients are listed as safe; and the opposite line in which all the ingredients are toxic. It’s relatively easy to inform yourself on both sides of the story – trying to find proof though is a bit trickier.
For me, I don’t feel at all comfortable about putting sodium lauryl sulphate, silica and fluoride, just to name a few, in my mouth. I struggle with blind faith in commercial science; the statistics and testing that are used to assure consumers of product safety. My problem with it in regards to the widespread use of chemicals is that the real impact on our health is largely unknown because we’ve only been subjected in great quantities to them over the past 50-75 years or so. Long-term impacts of many chemicals are not tested, because the long-term hasn’t been here until now. It’s like a giant experiment and the human race is the lab rat. There is increasing evidence and opinion emerging though that perhaps we’ve been a bit heavy-handed on the chemical front.
But, back to the toothpaste … I swapped to natural alternatives and my teeth are cleaner and whiter and my gums stopped bleeding. There’s been no morning breath either. I’ve taken up oil pulling every morning and use either a natural toothpaste from the health food store (the kids are using a MiEssence one at the moment without complaint) or make my own with bi-carb soda and coconut oil.
It’s a bit different to what you’re used to. It tastes like salt and it doesn’t foam, so it might put you off (hubby was most uncomplimentary), but after a day or so I adjusted (he will too!). It’s also made me go lighter on the brushing, much to my gums’ delight as I’ve been a bit hard on them over the years, scrubbing up a storm in my efforts to get a good clean, which turns out to be one of the worst things I could have been doing.
The basic recipe I’ve been using is equal quantities of bi-carb and coconut oil. You can also add some stevia for sweetness and edible grade peppermint oil if you can’t live without the minty taste. There are many different versions of homemade toothpaste recipes online, and I might tweak the one I use as I come across more information, but I can’t see me ever going back to the supermarket versions.
Have you tried homemade toothpaste? Or an alternative brand you like?