Where does your toothpaste come from?

April 24, 2012

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Homemade scrubbing power!

I am about to admit something rather embarrassing. A few weeks ago I went to the dentist for the first time in over four years  awhile. I was terrified of cavities galore, chastisement from my hygenist and other scary things associated with regular dentist appointments. Instead, I was congratulated, my dentist remarked that I have wonderful teeth and said I must take great care of them. What do I thank? Homemade toothpaste, from a handful of simple pantry items.

Last summer I began on an adventure of eliminating toxics from my life in every place possible. Not only is it important to watch what goes into my body as nutrients, but what I use to clean my house and myself. As the flax seed hair gel already posted about, this toothpaste is a simple way we not only take control of what goes into our bodies, but we take control of who gets our dollars. Not to mention, based on the ingredients pictured above we have clearly taken a side on the fluoride debate.

We’ve been using homemade for almost a year, and whenever I use commercial toothpaste my taste buds are shocked at how sweet it is. Once I did some poking around I found out the sweetness comes from saccharin, an artificial sweetener which is petroleum based and, it has been argued since the 1970’s, a carcinogen. Making your own will allow you to choose where your dollars go (even Tom’s Of Maine, the forever heralded natural brand, is now owned by Colgate-Palmolive), what ingredients you do or do not put into your body, and- it costs pennies to make!

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Making toothpaste by the moonlight..

The recipe we use comes from another recipe from Diy Natural (have I mentioned that I love their website?).

Homemade Toothpaste:

You’ll need:

-container for mixing
– approximately 2/3 c. baking soda
-1.5 T salt
– water
-any extracts you may want to add

Step 1: Choose your container. We have found that anything shallow works well, but you’ll need a bit of a lip to be able to stir things up a bit when water separates from the baking soda from time to time. I had the yellow and white containers lying around that are pictured above, and they work well.  You want to make sure it will seal OK, as it is going to be hanging out in your bathroom. The width isn’t super important, as long as you can get your toothbrush head in there. We just happen to have really wide containers.

Step 2: Add baking soda to half-way fill your container. For us this is a little shy of 2/3 of a cup. This stuff won’t go bad, so if you’ve only got a hefty container-no worries. We go through 2/3 c. between the two of us in about 3-5 weeks, for reference. Once you get in the habit it takes a minute to whip up, and fresher is always better.

Step 3: Slowly add water, stirring as you do. You’ll need about 3/4 as much water as you did baking soda. You want it to be pasty, not liquid. It might dry out eventually, we often have to add more water once or twice, but for starters try to get a thick paste.

Step 4: Add salt to your liking. I think the salt gives more scrubbing power and really makes my teeth feel clean. We add 1.5 T of salt to ours (about 5.5 teaspoons!). If  you’re cautious about the salt, start adding 2-3 teaspoons and, after your first brush, adjust the ratio if you want more or less.

Step 5: We add a touch of peppermint extract when we’re feeling extravagant. I think we’ve gotten used to the flavor without any extract in it, but if  you’re just making the switch from commercial toothpaste you may be surprised by the taste of baking soda and salt! Try adding a little mint or other extract if you need something to cut the bitter baking soda. But be warned- a little extract goes a LONG way. Start with 1/8 of a t and adjust later (yes, 1/8!).

That’s it! We dip our brushes in and scoop some of the paste and scrub away!

Happy brushing.

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3 Responses to “Where does your toothpaste come from?”

  1. informedmama Says:

    Awesome, thanks for sharing your recipe! I am yet to try making my own, although the brand I buy is free from sugar, fluoride, aluminium, SLS and other nasties. Which is reassuring considering I found my 2 year old son hiding behind a towel in the bathroom this morning eating it from the tube! I will give your recipe a shot!

    • walkerjdunn Says:

      What a great image! I love this also because it costs next to nothing to make. I hope you like it- but hope it doesn’t become your son’s cheapest snack!

  2. Curls & Q Says:

    Grandma always made her own toothpaste. Your recipe looks as if it’s the one she used. You can imagine how, as a kid used to sweet toothpaste, I’d balk at using it when I visited! 😎 Love your site!


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