If you haven't heard the news about how Julia Roberts gets her teeth so pearly white, then let me break the news to you... she uses baking soda. That's it. Seriously. If you don't believe me, then check out this article
I have been brushing my teeth without toothpaste for a while now just like Julia. For the longest time I thought that store bought toothpaste was my only option and to be honest, that's not an option I was happy with. I remember purchasing a brand of toothpaste that had what appeared to be tiny flakes of glitter in it. Glitter. In toothpaste. Why on earth would I need glitter in my toothpaste? Was it fairy dust meant to magically heal tooth ailments? Glitter. No thank you!
On top of the unsettling glitter in conventional toothpastes, there are all sorts of other ingredients that just plain aren't good to be putting into our mouths. In fact, the list of bad-for-you ingredients in toothpaste is so extensive, I'll simply provide a link to an article that does a great job of reviewing them all. Click here to read about the bad-for-you ingredients in conventional toothpaste
. Then I tried some of the "natural" toothpastes, and their ingredient list was just as long and just as unnatural as the big name brands. So I put a small dish of baking soda in my medicine cabinet and made the switch (if it's good enough for Julia Roberts, it's good enough for me).
The only problem.... I can't get my husband to switch. He cannot stand the taste and smell of baking soda! Did you know that baking soda has a smell? I did not. But apparently there are people who find the taste and smell of baking soda utterly repulsive. So, I had to find a solution to satisfy both my need for good-for-you ingredients, and my husband's need for minty fresh breath.
When we think of recipes, we often don't think of recipes for toothpaste. Yet, besides food, toothpaste is what we put into our mouths most often, so why not try to find a healthy recipe for this as well? And then I found this recipe
. Perfect... almost.
The original recipe is a bit too long for me, so I narrowed it down to just 5 simple ingredients and have provided links to where you can find them online (the links are in the article posted on my personal blog).
- 4 Tablespoons Bentonite Clay
- 3 Tablespoons Calcium Magnesium Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
- Peppermint essential oil to taste
- Coconut Oil (to desired consistency)
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl until they are well blended.
- Add in a few drops of peppermint oil and a few teaspoons of coconut oil. Mix.
- Keep adding coconut oil and peppermint until you get a consistency and taste you are happy with.
- Put your toothpaste into a squeeze bottle. I like this one.
The bentonite clay is a swelling clay, so you will actually want the mixture to be a little runny at first because once it sits for a few hours it will thicken up. Leaving it a bit runny also helps to get the toothpaste into the tube for easy dispensing on a daily basis. This recipe makes quite a big batch, I actually have some left over paste and powder that didn't fit into the tube, so I think I will buy a bigger tube, or make half the recipe next time. Also, the paste ends up looking grey which was a bit weird for my husband, but its peppermint taste is just like regular toothpaste so he quickly got over the looks of it!
Why it works
Bentonite clay contains trace minerals that can help build strong healthy teeth. It also has antibacterial properties that can help prevent tooth decay in the first place. Finally, bentonite clay is what's known as a swelling clay and has long been used (both internally and externally) to draw out toxins, chemicals, and heavy metals from the body.
Calcium Magnesium Powder
Calcium and magnesium both help to build strong tooth enamel. We're all pretty familiar with calcium being necessary for strong teeth and bones, but magnesium is required for calcium to properly be used to built those strong teeth. It's also been coming to light lately that while most people get enough calcium, most people are not getting enough magnesium in their diets.
You may already be familiar with baking soda's powerful whitening effects, but it packs more than just a whitening punch. Baking soda also helps kill bacteria in your mouth by changing the pH level to kill the bacteria that causes plaque and bad breath.
Peppermint essential oil
Let's face it... the main benefit of peppermint oil is being able to actually get my husband to use this homemade toothpaste instead of conventional toothpaste. But besides that, it is also an antiseptic. So really it's a win-win for this recipe.
Coconut oil has antibacterial properties that can help to eliminate plaque causing bacteria and prevent tooth decay. There's even a whole movement over a process using coconut oil called "oil pulling" which is said to greatly improve tooth health.
Toothbrush and Paste Photo by: William Warby
is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Ingredients Photo by: Salim Fadhley
is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0