In the past year or so Michael and I have made drastic changes to our lifestyle. Part of these changes has included educating ourselves on what we put IN and ON our bodies. For the most part, we have eliminated processed foods from our diet, begun eating more whole and, when appropriate organic, foods, and tried to pay attention to the daily-care products that we ingest and use on our skin.
After researching some of the toxins, chemicals, and carcinogens found in our skin-care products,we realized we needed to get rid of a ton of the things we used daily. One of those things was our toothpaste. Two main ingredients in toothpaste stood out to me: sodium fluoride and glycerin.
Fluoride has been thought to prevent cavities for years and is often prescribed for children and even added to our public water systems (including bottled water). Since, studies have shown that IF fluoride has any kind of anti-cavity effect, the dose required for that effect would be toxic. I won't go into a spiel, but if you're curious, here are a few resources:Another main ingredient in many toothpastes is Glycerin, a substance that is supposed to coat the teeth and give toothpaste a creamy texture. However, glycerin prevents remineralisation, our body's ability when fed a healthy, pH-balanced diet, to essentially heal our teeth and reverse tooth decay.
All of that to say, we wanted to make changes. After finding out about the amazing benefits of coconut oil, and talking to several people we knew who use it and love it, we decided to introduce it to our lives in all kinds of forms. One of the first ways we have used it is as a substitute for our regular toothpaste. Coconut Oil helps our body absorb Calcium and contributes to remineralisation. There are several recipes I've found to make toothpaste, but the one I ended up using worked out really well!
5 TBS Calcium Magnesium Powder(or Calcium Carbonate)(we didn't have any o this on hand so my current batch, and the one pictured above, doesn't include it)
5 TBS Coconut Oil: Depending on the texture you like, you can add more or less coconut oil. I bought this jar of Dr. Bronner's brand at Whole Foods for $10. I think most Krogers, as well as Amazon.com, sells some kind of coconut oil.
6 TBS Baking Soda
~25 Drops of Essential Oil: I chose peppermint for obvious reasons, but I have seen where some people choose Eucalyptus oil, as well. You can also add more or less of this according to your desired taste.
Directions: 1) Combine ingredients in a container of your choice. This one was the only clean one available, but I plan to buy some smaller sized mason jars and store our future batches in one of them. 2) Mix it all up really, really well. Other people use a mixer, but I made half a batch just to try it out and didn't find a mixer necessary. 3) Apply desired amount to brush and "brush-a, brush-a, brush-a" (a big thumbs-up to anyone who gets that movie reference).
*Some people add Xylitol to help with the bitterness as well, but we didn't find that it was necessary.
THE RESULTS? WE LOVE IT!
Michael and I tried it at the same time and after getting used to it, we really like it. I actually look forward to brushing my teeth because I like the way my teeth feel after using it. We both agree our teeth feel really smooth and our mouths cleaner than normal. This toothpaste is truly more of a paste-like texture and does not have the suds-ing effect of normal toothpaste. It's been advised not to dip your toothbrush in the paste because bacteria could build up, but rather use a clean finger or a wooden, flat stick to apply it to your brush.
Skeptical? Give it a shot! I wasn't sure about the taste, but now I highly doubt I'll ever go back to normal toothpaste in a tube, even if it is fluoride-free and all-natural.
See the Healthy Living title? I've decided to do a series of these posts from now on and plan to include not only more of our uses and experiences with coconut oil, but also healthy, whole food recipes and other "crunchy" discoveries along the way! Stay tuned!