Natural Toothpaste Alternatives
Most people like to take care of their oral hygiene, and having grown up with toothpaste available in a tube it was a pretty simple procedure. Load my brush up from the tube and brush away. Unfortunately, finding a toothpaste nowadays, that’s clean and not full of chemicals, is easier said than done. From sodium fluoride to sodium lauryl sulphate and a bunch of artificial sweeteners thrown in for good measure, I’d really rather not put this chemical concoction into my mouth.
Before we discuss some recipes and how you can throw your own ingredients together to make your own recipes, we have to touch on diet. Your diet is paramount to the health of your teeth. Diets high in sugar will obviously have negative effects on oral health – sugar feeds organisms in the mouth that create acids and biofilms, causing tooth decay and that nasty yellow film that builds up on your teeth. Unfortunately it’s more that just the surface level of damage. Sugar metabolism requires magnesium and consuming too much sugar, particularly refined sugar will deplete magnesium stores. Magnesium, along with calcium and phosphorus are the primarily minerals that give the bones and teeth strength and durability. These minerals reinforce a living collagen framework, so they, along with collagen are important to consume in your diet. Best sources are greens and meat – particularly animal skin or broths. It’s important to include these elements into your diet, but we can’t forget about vitamin D and vitamin K2. These vitamins are responsible for telling above mentioned minerals to exit the bloodstream and enter the bone tissue . The best foods for these vitamins are animal products, particularly if they’re fatty and grass fed (pastured egg yolks and butter) wild fish is great, think salmon, mackerel and sardines – fish eggs are amazing too! I have a whole post explaining the importance of fat soluble nutrients here! Of course the best source of vitamin D is the sun, make sure you get some sun exposure whenever you can.
I’m going to design this recipe format a little differently. There are a few ingredients you can add, replace, or remove depending on what you want to achieve with your toothpaste, so you can mix and match to find what’s right for you.
For the most part, oil based toothpastes are going to work the best. For starters you’ll likely be including a breath freshener in the form of essential oils so an oily base will allow for easy distribution. Secondly, an oily base will draw fat soluble toxins from your gums and mouth. Oil pulling is a traditional way to care for your teeth and oral hygiene, and is traditionally performed with cold pressed sesame seed oil. If you can find it this oil works excellently, but you can substitute it for olive oil or coconut oil – the only downside to coconut oil is that it goes solid, and can be frustrating to use. A great advantage of any toothpaste you make using this base is that you can absolutely use it for oil pulling. Either take one tablespoon and swish and swirl in your mouth, or drench your toothbrush in the oil and get brushing. It’s important to not swallow the oil after you’re finished, as the toxins and bacteria you’ve extracted and displaced can be reabsorbed, and this will make you feel REALLY nauseous.
Whiteners and Deodorants (Optional)
Once you’ve decided on your base, if you choose you can add a deodorant and/or a whitener. Here I would recommend activated charcoal or bicarbonate of soda, because both of them can whiten and deodorise. You really don’t need a lot of either, one heaped tablespoon per cup of base should be plenty.
You can add some flavour and some scent to your toothpaste with essential oils. These essential oil also provide a biofilm disruptive ability along with antibiotic properties, to kill the bacteria living in your mouth and remove their homes as well. You can go with the classics like mint or peppermint or you can try something a little more unique. Clove essential oil is great and effective, my dad makes his toothpaste from olive oil and oil of oregano and he swears by its efficacy.
Extras (also optional)
If you want to improve the taste some, you could add some natural sweeteners, like stevia or xylitol. Both have shown antimicrobial properties   and they shouldn’t provide and food for the bug, but will provide you with a sweeter, pleasant taste.
If you use this guide to create some toothpaste, please, share it with me in the comments! I’d love to hear what you tried and how it came out!