I just published another article on the New York Daily News about some of the horrors in toothpaste and other dental products. I think many people don’t realize how much of these chemicals and toxins get absorbed through your gums and salivary glands, but it is considerable and something to think about.
If you think about how many meds and supplements are delivered sublingually, you realize that this is a fast and effective route into your bloodstream. When you brush your teeth or use mouthwash, a certain amount of the chemicals in the toothpaste or mouthwash go right into your bloodstream through your gums and salivary glands. This is why might want to be a bit more choosy about what dental products you use and seriously consider natural oral health options instead.
A Healthy Alternative
I’ve been making my own toothpaste for some time now. It’s super easy to do and takes about 5-10 minutes to prepare. It will last you months. And it’s less expensive than buying toothpaste. It tastes great and works better than anything I have ever used. It’s far superior to regular toothpastes and better for your teeth than “all-natural” toothpaste options. It’s made with coconut oil, baking soda, peppermint oil, liquid minerals, and stevia (or xylitol).
Did you know you can remineralize your teeth? The reason teeth can be more prone to cavities is due to the loss over time of vital minerals. Teeth are actually fairly porous. By adding in absorbable minerals, you can re-mineralize and strengthen your teeth. I have been using this homemade toothpaste for several years and have never had a cavity since. You can read more about Remineralising teeth, complete with references to various studies, HERE.
Oil Pulling is another great oral hygiene resource and you can prepare this at the same time as you make your own toothpaste. It is is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that supposedly draws out toxins, as oil is able to cut through plaque and remove toxins without disturbing the teeth or gums.
Each morning when you get up, put a teaspoon of it in your mouth and swish it around for 10-15 minutes while reading the news or showering. I use coconut oil as it tastes the best. I prepare a jar of it, melt the oil, add some tea tree oil, clove oil and peppermint oil along with some stevia and stir it up. A jar lasts a couple of months.
If you are interested in a more natural oral health approach, without all of the toxins and chemicals that most toothpastes and dental products contain, we have some great tips for you.
Ingredients in Commercial Dental-care Products
Many of the more popular commercial brands contain chemicals and ingredients that you really don’t want in your system, such as triclosan which has been linked to antibiotic resistance development as well as endocrine disruption.
Fluoride, although heavily promoted as the way to prevent cavities, is a toxic chemical that accumulates in your tissues and has been clearly linked with neurological and endocrine dysfunction, including thyroid dysfunction. Another such chemical, sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES). SLS is registered as an insecticide and may have toxic effects. Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are often added to commercial toothpastes.
Propylene glycol, industrial grade, is used in antifreeze, paints, enamels, and airplane de-icers. The pharmaceutical-grade form is used in a lot of personal care products, including toothpaste. Research on the safety of propylene glycol in personal care products is lacking, although it is a known skin, eye, and lung irritant and may cause organ system toxicity.
DEA is found in many foaming products such as toothpaste is another known hormone disrupter and can react with other ingredients to form a potential carcinogen called NDEA (N-nitrosodiethanolamine), which is readily absorbed through the skin and has been linked with cancers of the stomach, esophagus, liver, and bladder. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) ranks DEA as a number 10 in its cosmetics database (the most toxic score) due to high concerns of organ system toxicity, contamination concerns and irritation, along with moderate cancer risk. The California Environmental Protection Agency lists DEA as a possible human carcinogen.
For more information on this topic, here is an article br Dr. Mercola on this subject with more details: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/09/toxic-toothpaste-ingredients.aspx
Here’s what I recommend and use myself for good dental health that is non-toxic.
Natural Toothpaste Recipe:
- 1 cup organic, extra virgin coconut oil
- 1/2 cup baking soda (aluminum-free)
- 1 tablespoon xylitol or 1/8 teaspoon stevia (pure stevia, not most commercial brands that are largely sugar alcohol)
- 1 teaspoon organic food-grade peppermint essential oil (or combination of peppermint plus a bit of clove oil)
- 2 tablespoons of liquid minerals that include trace minerals
- I also add Uncle Harry’s Remineralizing Tooth Powder which has more of the minerals specifically for teeth.
To make this, warm up the coconut oil until it is liquid, mix all the ingredients, stir well, and taste a little on your finger. You can always add a bit more sweetener or a bit more peppermint to your taste. Once you are happy with it, put it in a short but wide glass jar. It will then firm up if you put it in the fridge for a bit. It helps if you stir it again after 15 minutes or so in the fridge, as the baking soda sometimes settles more on the bottom.
You will need a small spoon to scoop out a bit each time you use it. Don’t stick your toothbrush in it to scoop some out as toothbrushes can build up some bacteria over time and you don’t want to be putting bacteria into your toothpaste. I use a small wooden popsicle stick (which I replace after a few uses). I use an electric toothbrush that has a small compartment where you can put the toothbrush heads under UV light for a bit, which helps kill any bacteria on your toothbrush daily.
To Brush, don’t wet your toothbrush, just scoop some onto your toothbrush and brush. It tastes great, works great and remineralizes your teeth over time. Rinse with very warm water and rinse your brush and sink with hot water to keep the coconut oil from building up.
If the oil creeps you out, you can make the paste with a bit more baking soda.
For Healthy Gums:
Another aspect of natural oral health is keeping your gums healthy. Gum disease is a huge issue and, if allowed to get out of control, can result in losing your teeth, bone loss and toxins that spread into your gut and bloodstream.
This is something I do once or twice a week. I use a gum irrigator [I use ViaJet which I purchased on Amazon] and put several teaspoons of baking soda in the water. When my gums were bad and I had beginning stages of periodontal disease, I did it daily.
For the Baking Soda solution, add two teaspoons of plain baking soda to a full reservoir of water (this gives you a saturated solution which is the required concentration to kill bacteria). You can also add a little tea tree oil and/or clove oil.
Start with tip behind the last tooth and slide forward along the gumline stopping between teeth for 3-5 seconds in each slot. Gently slide the tip between the tooth and the gums on the side. Use the tip from both the cheek side and tongue side.
This is something that is gaining more popularity. It’s easy to do. Just take a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swish it around for about 20 minutes. If you can’t do 20 minutes, less is still good. The best time to do this is first thing in the morning right after you get up. Immediately afterward, rinse your mouth out with warm water. You can rinse with salt water for added antimicrobial properties.
I recommend using coconut oil as I think it tastes the best. Here’s a recipe: Take a cup of coconut oil, warm it up until it is liquid, then add 10 drops of clove oil, 10 drops of tea tree oil and 20 drops of peppermint oil. Add a little stevia or xylitol and put it in a glass jar. Each morning I take a teaspoon of it. It quickly warms up and becomes liquid in my mouth and I swish it around for 10-15 minutes while I am showering or futzing around or reading the news.
Mouthwash or Water Pick Recipe:
- 10 oz fractionated coconut oil
- 1/4 cup of Tea Tree Oil
- 4 oz. Bayberry Tincture (optional)
- 1/4 tsp of Cayenne Pepper
- 2 1/2 Dropperfuls of Peppermint Oil
- 2 1/2 Dropperfuls of Clove Oil
Stir all ingredients together and use as a mouthwash during the day. Be sure to shake well before each use. Or you can use it with a waterpik by putting in 2-4 dropperful into your filled water reservoir, (but rinse out your waterpik well after use).
For gum disease, there is another remedy that reportedly works well, although I have never tried it. Simply make a garlic & turmeric paste to use like toothpaste, then rinse after it has been in your mouth for several minutes. Both of these naturally-occurring foods are full of antibacterial properties, and turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory agent.
Natural Oral Health is not hard
These are all-natural oral health routines and remedies that are super easy to do. I made all of these concoctions in less than half an hour and have used them for a couple of months. If you don’t have these essential oils, they are all easily available on Amazon and although this may cost a bit to buy them, they will likely last you for years, so this also ends up being pretty inexpensive in the long run.