written by: Beth Janicek•edited by: Jacqueline Chinappi•updated: 3/31/2010
Learning how to make organic toothpaste is not only fun and budget-friendly, but makes you less dependent on strong chemicals and unknown ingredients. These simple steps will help you make organic toothpaste in no time.
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Learning how to make organic toothpaste is easy. Whether you’re concerned about getting too much fluoride, tired of buying toothpaste tested on animals, wanting to save a little money, or just like making things from scratch, learning to make organic toothpaste can be a fun and rewarding experiment for you.
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Why Organic Toothpaste
Organic toothpaste is something that many people are interested in. It’s not that hard to make organic toothpaste, and there are many reasons that people turn to this option for their daily dental care.
Some people prefer organic toothpaste because they are concerned about ingesting too much fluoride. Some studies show that an excess of fluoride can cause dental and health problems, but many experts believe we are safe with current exposure. Because almost all public water is treated with fluoride, some people choose to reduce their fluoride exposure in other areas, mainly toothpaste.
Organic toothpaste also saves money when you make it at home, especially because store-bought organic toothpaste is considerably more expensive than other brands. Some people are mistrustful of toothpaste with ingredients they do not recognize; others feel the same way about products that may have been tested on animals.
And for many, choosing to make organic toothpaste at home is simply a fun exercise. You may have tried washing your hair with baking soda and vinegar, or washing your face with baking soda or some other natural ingredient, and wondered what else you can do for at-home body care. Organic toothpaste just may be your next step.
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Recipes abound for at-home organic toothpaste, but most share the same basic elements:
Scrubber: usually baking soda or table salt. These provide a slightly abrasive, scrubbing effect to help polish the teeth and scrub away food particles and germs. (Some people use mostly baking soda with a dash of salt.)
Cleaner: usually hydrogen peroxide. This helps decontaminate the mouth, much like you use it to decontaminate a cut or wound. The peroxide kills germs that lead to bacteria and cavities.
Sweetener: usually glycerin or stevia. This is because the first two ingredients don’t taste so great. Both glycerin and stevia add sweetness without sugar (which would counteract the whole point of toothpaste).
Flavoring: usually a drop of mint oil, but cinnamon, bergamot, vanilla, and any number of flavors will do. This is simply for the taste factor. We’ve grown accustomed to minty toothpaste; choosing to make organic toothpaste at home shouldn’t mean giving up that tingly fresh breath.
Baking soda and table salt are household staples, as is hydrogen peroxide (which, despite being a chemical, is a natural byproduct of oxygen metabolism). Choose sweeteners and flavorings (both optional) that most appeal to you and your buying ethics.
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Step by Step
Place 1/2 cup baking soda in a medium sized bowl (dash of salt optional).
Add 1-2 Tablespoons sweetener of your choice (optional).
Add 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide.
Add 1 drop peppermint oil or other flavoring.
Mix with large spoon until it forms a paste.
Store in a small, clean plastic container or squeeze bottle.
Try half batches to adjust sweetener and flavoring amounts to your liking. Once you’ve settled on what’s right for you, brush and enjoy!
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Enamel: Playing It Safe
Because baking soda is lightly abrasive, some people worry that it can harm the enamel of your teeth. While baking soda has been used for years (and is found in many store-bought toothpastes today), it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution if you have a history of thin enamel.
Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after you consume acidic foods and beverages (such as tomato, lemonade, etc.). But the best thing you can do is talk to your dentist about what toothpaste is best in your specific situation. For most people, choosing to make organic toothpaste at home is great for their oral health, but it’s always smart to consult a dentist before you change your oral hygiene habits.