I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, from the title of this post, that I am the kind of person who makes their own toothpaste. I’m also sure you’re telling yourself this is another one of those crazy Little House on the Prairie moves from someone with too much time on her hands. Touché. Let me assure you that between a forty-plus hour work week, at least three hours in commuting a day, cooking meals and making smoothies, macrame, oh, and blogging I’m not on the market for miscellaneous activities to fill my day.
Hear me out though, making my own toothpaste is totally worth it. The average person swallows about 1,200 ounces of toothpaste in their lifetime. How much do you know about this substance you’re putting into your mouth on the reg? You too might carve out a couple mins a month to make a fresh batch of your own paste after learning more about some of the not-so-natural ingredients that could be in your store-bought tube.
Tricoslan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent which doesn’t sound like something I would want to be taking in on a regular basis. It’s also a preservative, something I personally stay away from in my foods. It has also been associated with endocrine (hormonal) toxicity. Tricoslan, you’re out!
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate /
This stuff is responsible for making your toothpaste foam. Does toothpaste even need to foam? Nope, but it does so you can think it’s working. This ingredient is a low hazard as far as toxicity is concerned, but completely unnecessary. (Spoiler: my toothpaste doesn’t foam!)
Artificial Sweeteners /
Another unnecessary ingredient that has proven to be pretty unsafe for our systems. Here’s a general rule of mine: if you’ve cut it out of your diet, cut it out of your toothpaste.
Oh, Fluoride, you’re so controversial. Aside from being impossible to spell, Fluoride is good at protecting enamel; but adding it to drinking water has not proven to decrease tooth decay in large quantities, and has been linked to some serious brain and nerve disorders. While it is definitely safer in toothpaste than in drinking water, recent studies have shown that dark chocolate is just as effective in building a protective layer around our teeth, and we’re like already getting a lot of that anyway.
Propylene Glycol /
Propylene glycol is used as a fragrance and has been known to irritate skin if not cause full-blown allergic reactions. Meh, no thanks.
This stuff is the worst. While it is not exactly clear to me what the role of this stuff is in toothpaste, it has been known to irritate skin, eyes, and lungs and contribute to organ system toxicity. DEA scores very high on the Environmental Working Group’s scale for hazard, which translates as toxic, and has been known to lead to cancer.
We all know from the recent face wash controversy that microbeads should not be going down our drains and into our water systems -- they don’t break down and are terrible for sea creatures who accidentally eat it. Which leads me to the question, if it’s not safe for fish, is it safe for us?
These ingredients are gross, but here’s my dealbreaker. It is near impossible to find a toothpaste container that is recyclable. I have impossible standards, I know.
How to Make Toothpaste /
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1.5 tbsp organic baking soda
- 10-20 drops of essential oil Peppermint or orange are refreshing, and clove or tea tree are great for your gums.
Heat coconut oil in the microwave for 5-10 seconds so it is soft but not liquid. Mix all ingredients in a small mason jar. Let the mixture return to room temperature. Scoop toothbrush into jar when you’re ready to use.