Until recently, I never paid much attention to the ingredients found in my toothpaste. Crest, Colgate and other household dental hygiene brands are “staples”; they are the brainless purchases at the grocery store. I would go down the dental hygiene aisle and just pick up a tube, usually basing my decision on if I needed more whitening, spearmint or peppermint. Or what was on sale, let’s be honest here.
Now that I’m researching what I have been brushing my teeth with my whole life, I am yet again disturbed.
Can you tell me what is in your favorite toothpaste? Let’s take my old fave Crest 3D White for instance.
Let’s start with the obvious active ingredient: sodium fluoride.
There is an abundant amount of scientific research (not supported by the American Dental Association- go figure) that explain the countless dangers of fluoride. Here are ten fun facts about fluoride.
- 97% of Western Europe has rejected water fluoridation.
- Many children now exceed recommended daily fluoride intake from toothpaste alone.
- Fluoride is not a nutrient.
- 50 studies have linked fluoride with reduced IQ in children due to it being a developmental neurotoxin.
- Excessive fluoride exposure can cause osteoarthritis.
- Fluoride, especially when added to drinking water, nearly doubles the risk of developing hypothyroidism.
- Fluoride leads to tooth discoloration including brown spot, white spots, and white streaks.
- Countries without fluoride have the same rates of tooth decay as the U.S.
- Fluorosis is a defect of tooth enamel caused by too much fluoride intake during the first 8 years of life.
- 40% of American teenagers show visible signs of fluoride overexposure.
The inactive ingredients are water, sorbitol, hydrated silica, disodium pyrophosphate, xylitol, flavor, sodium hydroxide, cellulose gum, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium laureth-2 phosphate, sodium saccharin, xanthan gum, carbomer, sucralose, polyethylene oxide, PEG-20M or PEG-23M, polyethylene, mica, titanium dioxide, blue 1 lake.
Hint, hint. Polyethylene is the fancy scientific word for plastic. The same plastic that makes water bottles and grocery bags is in our toothpaste. But y tho? To give us those tiny blue flecks (that are not soluble in water, acetone nor alcohol) that we attribute to a real deep clean. No other reason. Just to be pretty.
Even if you glaze over after the fifth or sixth ingredients.. it should not take that long to list the ingredients of what you use to clean your teeth. To make things a little easier, most toothpastes contain fluoride, sugar, salt and plastic.
Alright, I think that is enough for now. THE POSITIVE HERE? You can make your own toothpaste for a great price and great piece of mind! Ingredients:
Calcium Bentonite Clay
Real talk. What is calcium bentonite clay? It is great for your skin and for your dental routine. It has the ability to draw-out toxins from the body and the clay itself has a range of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, silica, sodium, copper, iron and potassium.
Real real talk. Not all baking soda is created the same. Arm and Hammer, the one I used to make this toothpaste (unfortunately) is chemically made and is not sodium bicarbonate in its natural state. I am still in the process of ridding toxic chemicals from my food, hygiene and household which is not an easy task. There are hidden chemicals in just about everything and I am learning everyday, one step at a time.
Lastly, if you do try and make this- you will instantly realize how sweet your usual toothpaste is. After a few cleanings, the taste becomes more pleasant. You will have a clean mouth and a clean conscious!
MAKES 2 OZ
- 1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 2.5 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 tbsp calcium bentonite clay
- 2 tbsp water
- 5 drops of peppermint oil*
- glass container
- Mix all ingredients together and store in a glass container. You can add up to 5 more drops of peppermint oil if you are looking for a stronger mint flavor.
* it is important to purchase organic, high quality essential oils. I highly recommend oils from Majestic Pure or Now Essential Oils.