Living naturally is a trend that has been gaining steam for years, maybe even decades. More and more people care deeply about what they eat, where they buy it, and how it was grown, raised, or made. These concerns about the healthfulness of what we eat and/or drink have also spread over to other products we use on a daily basis, like shampoo, deodorant, or beauty products. The increased awareness about these things have pushed more people than ever before to use fewer potentially harmful chemicals and seek out more do-it-yourself ways to live.
Consider this: We brush our teeth at least twice a day, using toothpaste up to 1,000 times every year. The plastic tubes and little caps are super-convenient, but they also contribute to our ever-burgeoning waste problem, which has led many people to turn to homemade alternatives.
Homemade toothpaste recipes abound! Check out WellnessMama, DIY Network’s Made + Remade, or DIY Natural. These options are easy to make, relatively inexpensive, and still effective. Most home toothpaste alternatives generally take advantage of the same ingredients, in varying amounts. Here are some of the most common ingredients in homemade toothpaste and why they work.
Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda, is widely renowned for its whitening qualities. This is due to its mild abrasiveness, which allow it to scrub away minor or fresh stains to reveal sparkling white teeth beneath. Baking soda also fights the buildup of plaque and kills the bacterium that leads to gum disease, also known as gingivitis.
Have you ever noticed the way all foods/drinks taste bitter after brushing your teeth? This is because commercial toothpastes contain foaming agents that disrupt the normal function of the taste buds. Homemade toothpaste with coconut oil does not contain any of these chemicals and keep the tongue and taste buds in balance, helping to give your teeth extensive antibacterial protection, without the nasty flavors.
Indigenous communities have long used coconut oil for its bacteria-fighting properties. “Oil pulling” is a traditional Indian folk remedy which uses coconut oil to pull the bad bacteria from your mouth, without destroying the good bacteria like traditional mouthwash. Remember, oil pulling does not replace brushing, flossing, and tongue scraping.
Who knew that a sugar substitute could help fight plaque and dental decay? Stevia inhibits the growth of plaque on the surface of teeth and the bacteria that causes gingivitis.
If you choose to go the DIY toothpaste route, it’s important that you continue brushing and flossing regularly. Your regular six-month dental checkups at Stratman Family Dentistry are also imperative, because we will check in and give valuable feedback to your new DIY toothpaste routine. Contact us today to set up your next dental appointment! For more natural alternatives, check out our other blog post on how to whiten your teeth naturally.