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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Make Your Own Toothpaste

When I was growing up my mom mixed her own recipe of toothpaste. I thought it was just because we were poor, but now I know about the potential poisoning effect of fluoride and prefer my kids not use it (especially since we have one who eats anything that goes into her mouth, including toothpaste and mouthwash). There are companies that make non-fluoride toothpaste, but it is very expensive (which makes no sense to me if they are NOT putting in the expensive fluoride!?!)

To start, mix 3/4 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup course salt in a large bowl. Mix it well. Add about 1/4 cup water and mix, adding more until it is your desired thickness. Then I break it down into kid portions by putting it in small bowls with lids. This way, they each have their own so as not to share germs, and when this batch is done, I can wash and sterilize the containers and re-use them (Wal-Mart has little bowls with lids in the baby section that are pretty inexpensive). Then each kid gets a drop or two of their chosen flavoring. We have peppermint, spearmint, vanilla (all organic from Frontier) and there are also many artificial flavors if you just can't sell your kids on the natural stuff (banana, strawberry, rootbeer, etc.) And my position would be that two drops of artificial flavoring are less of a danger than fluoride!

If you want a really pasty kind of paste, you can add a tablespoon of glycerin at a time to your big bowl to the desired consistency, but I don't use it only because I have found that when they get a lot of 'foam', they brush less effectively. The importance of brushing is doing it properly, not the stuff you put on the brush. If you think about it, people lived for thousands of years without fluoridated toothpaste, and they had great teeth (I am not talking about the 1800s in our country necessarily, because the advent and use of processed sugars and white flour were rotting people's teeth like crazy). One Egyptian queen had many cosmetic recipes in her tomb, including a tooth cleaner made with dried, crushed violets. It probably worked like the salt, a mild abrasive. But the importance was in the cleaning, not what she used.

To use, just scoop some up on the brush and have at it!

Thanks mom! ;)


Kelly said...

Have you ever read The Tightwad Gazette? Amy Dacyczyn says that you don't have to use toothpaste at all, as long as you brush for 2 minutes. She also recommends just using straight baking soda.

Does the flavoring really do anything to cover up the taste of this, though? I think salt + baking soda must taste terrible!

a soldier's wife said...

Very interesting reading. I've never heard of this, I'd always thought that no flouride was a bad thing. I'm going to have to read about this even more now because you've definitely got me thinking:)I'm going to ask what I'm sure is a no-brainer question, so here goes....When you all go for your 6 month check-ups at the dentist, do you just tell them upfont no floride treatments?