This information is meant for educational purposes only. This is not intended as medical advice.
Toothpaste is one of those things we kind of take for granted. We assume that the companies that manufacture it are looking out for our health because why else would they be making a health care product.
I don’t mean to pop your bubble, but they’re only looking out for themselves. Many (and yes I do mean many) of the ingredients in most brands of commercial toothpaste (even the ones that claim to be better for you) can actually be harmful to your health.
Today I want to show you just how easy it is to make your own homemade toothpaste.
Toxins In Toothpaste
First let’s talk about a few of the nasty chemicals in toothpaste. I’ve been working to reduce the chemical load on our bodies and toothpaste has loads of chemicals so it’s going at the top of my “things to change” list.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
SLS is in most toothpastes and many household products. The International Journal of Toxicology reported research that states:
Both Sodium and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate appear to be safe in formulations designed for discontinuous, brief use followed by thorough rinsing from the surface of the skin. In products intended for prolonged contact with skin, concentrations should not exceed 1%.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t consider brushing my teeth twice a day every day of my life to be “brief use”. AND….my kids certainly don’t do a good job of “thorough rinsing”. It’s hard enough to get them to brush at all let alone rinse.
Even Tom’s of Maine admits to using SLS in the less than 1% amount.
While in isolation SLS may not be that bad, when combined with other chemicals it can become a carcinogen (read this article for more information).
Many studies I read while researching this touted the benefits of triclosan in toothpaste and reducing cavities. But there are just as many articles out there saying the opposite. Triclosan was developed as a pesticide and has a similar chemical make up to agent orange.
Triclosan has antibacterial properties and while that has it’s uses, I don’t feel those uses are in my mouth.
I’ve been doing a lot of research on the gut microbiome and have discovered that there is an oral microbiome too. So what does this mean?
There are specific bacteria that are in our mouths that are necessary to our health. Actually oral health has been linked to overall health and even heart attack (do your gums bleed?). We have this mindset that bacteria is bad, but really there is good bacteria that we need.
By wiping out all bacteria with antibacterial agents, we are killing not just the bad guys, but the good ones too. You can read more information on the oral microbiome here.
We all believe that flouride is THE ingredient needed to keep our teeth healthy…it’s NOT true! Flouride is actually a poison which is why your tube of toothpaste says to only use a small amount and to not let children under a certain age use it.
Flouride has been linked to brain damage, lower IQ, thyroid disease, bone cancer, hyperactivity and infertility…just to name a few. (go here for more). Admittedly, flouride can have some benefit to teeth when applied topically (so we don’t need it in our water too), but with it’s overuse, it’s causing more harm than good and can actually cause your teeth (and bones) to become more brittle.
After learning all that I have about toothpaste lately, I decided to go looking for a homemade toothpaste recipe that would reduce our exposure to these toxins.
Wellness Mama has a recipe for a natural toothpaste and another one for a remineralizing toothpaste. The remineralizing one really interested me since two of my kids have cavities between their teeth that they haven’t been able to fill.
I did add one extra ingredient to her recipe – trace minerals. I read an article on Ask the Dentist that recommended adding trace mineral drops. He also recommends using cacao nibs!
I’ve been using this recipe for about a month now. My teeth are whiter. My gums NEVER bleed when I floss now. And I just flat out feel better about my oral care.
I will admit, getting my kids to use it has been a struggle. I wish I’d started them on it from the beginning. But once the tubes of toothpaste run out…I just won’t buy more! LOL
I’ll update this post next time I go to the dentist and let you know if they notice any differences.
Are you going to give homemade toothpaste a try?