Have you noticed how chemical-free products are all the rage? Hormone-free beef, alcohol-free hair spray, no-freon refrigerating products – all these products and many more in the organic food and alternative medicine movements promote the green theme that natural is better.
Left unsaid is the fact that smallpox, poison ivy and sunburn are all natural too, but the medicines used to treat them are not. But I digress…
Holistic toothpastes using all-natural ingredients have been around for years because some critics claim that standard toothpaste ingredients like fluoride, triclosan and sodium lauryl sulfate are harmful to our health.
Specifically, fluoride has been blamed for everything from bone loss and migraines to acne and arthritis. Triclosan is alleged to alter hormone regulation and is believed to disrupt endocrine glands. Sodium lauryl sulfate, the ingredient that helps toothpaste foam, can irritate gums and is believed by some to be a possible carcinogen.
Millions of commercial toothpaste users either disagree or shrug indifferently at those claims.
Dentists refer to scientific studies noting that the amount of fluoride used in commercial toothpastes is minimal. Commercial toothpaste users who brush regularly and routinely visit their dentists know they are keeping their natural chompers twice as long as ancestors who rarely smiled in those charming 20th century “selfies.”
As previously mentioned on this website, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Dentistry has become more commonplace the past few years but is fraught with problems that often make the initial tooth issue benign by comparison.
One example: people who attempt to fix a broken crown with Super Glue or use chewing gum and rubber bands as temporary fillings. Yikes!
Fortunately, today’s topic on DIY toothpaste is more practical and less dangerous than dental patients treating themselves – although it could be messy. For any Martha Stewart or MacGyver-types, here’s how to make chemical-free toothpaste.
2 tbsp extra-virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp baking soda
10-15 drops of Peppermint extract
2 tsp turmeric powder
Add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil to a bowl
Add two tablespoons of baking soda
Add 10-15 drops of peppermint extract
Add ½ to 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
Mix all the ingredients with a wooden spoon or non-metallic spatula until ingredients form a smooth paste-like texture.
Reported benefits of using the recipe above include healthier gums, whiter teeth, anti-inflammatory ingredients, plaque reduction and fresher breath.
How do the ingredients above help give you a sparkling, healthier smile and fresh breath?
Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, a type of fatty acid which is part of a class of organic compounds known as lipids. This oil helps with oral health because it has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
As mentioned in an earlier article, coconut oil can reduce plaque, maintain healthy gums, help counter toothaches and prevent bad breath.
Baking soda is an excellent abrasive and sparkles at helping to whiten and brighten teeth. This magic powder also neutralizes mouth acids, helping to guard against bad breath.
This ancient spice has been used in multiple ways for centuries and more recently has been acclaimed for its oral health benefits. The curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-plaque properties that can help with gingivitis, toothaches and controlling plaque. For more on turmeric, click here.
Everyone knows that sweet tasting peppermint freshens breath, but it also is believed to help prevent plaque and whiten teeth. For the purposes of this post though, its main purpose is to make the flavor of homemade toothpaste palatable enough that you’ll consider brushing with it more than once.
Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk, and for more interesting and insightful oral health news, we encourage you to DIY and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Sources: thehealthsite.com, usatoday.com, healthline.com, draxe.com
Photo sources: authoritydental.org, pinterest.com
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