Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Homemade Toothpaste

I used the last of my toothpaste yesterday morning. Nooooo!!!!!

Why am I sad? Since toothpaste is only available in plastic tubes, I now have to figure out a way to make my own.

To prevent myself from going to go to bed with a dirty mouth, I scoured the internet last night to find information on the subject. I had a hard time locating a definitive source of recipes, but I came up with the following concoction based on what I found.

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Cinnamon Toothpaste
  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons of vodka
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
To make, simply mix all three ingredients together in a jar. It ends up as sort of a damp powder. To use, just dip your damp toothbrush into the jar to pick up a bit of the paste/powder and brush as normal.

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I brushed with my new toothpaste last night, and it was simply...okay. To be honest, I found it pretty salty, actually, but I think it's something I can get used to.

In terms of whether or not it's good for my teeth, I think I'll ask my dentist what she thinks when I go visit her next month. Heck, maybe she'll have a good recipe.

19 comments:

The Green Cat said...

I've been using a salt/baking soda/spearmint oil mixture for a number of months now. You do get used to the saltiness of the tooth powder. Remember, there are sweeteners in most toothpastes so you are used to having a sweeter flavor when you brush your teeth. I'd say cut out the vodka altogether though--I mean, why waste good vodka? I just wet my toothbrush and then sprinkle on the dry tooth powder.

LifeLessPlastic said...

Hehe! True about the vodka. So far, I'm okay with the cinnamon flavor, but I think I prefer mint. I suppose now I just need to go out and find some peppermint or spearmint oil. Do they carry it at a place like Whole Foods?

Anonymous said...

I think Tom's of Maine toothpaste comes in metal tubes. Plastic caps though....

Reenie Beanie said...

Whole Foods would definitely carry peppermint oil. You should make sure it is food grade though.

LifeLessPlastic said...

Awesome! I'll check it out!

Wildside said...

Warning about the baking soda (from personal experience) -- you might want to go a little lighter on your brushing as enamel may wear off your teeth eventually due to baking soda's abrasive quality.

A Kenyan friend just uses a stick from a bush to rub his teeth (no paste, no brush) and has the most perfect teeth ever... (This authoratively said from a dentist who took a look into his mouth).

Laura said...

I find that flossing and tongue brushing in combo with brushing makes my teeth/mouth feel much cleaner than with just brushing alone no matter what toothpaste I'm using.

I forget the brand (Eco-something? not that that narrows it down.) but there is a floss that comes in a cardboard box.

Also, what species of toothbrush are you using? Plastic or non?

Anonymous said...

There is a new toothbrush called "Preserve" that is made from recycled plastics and I work great!

nico! said...

Modern Dental Hygiene and BPA poisoning

I’m brushing my teeth this morning and my mind turns to your quest to rid your life of plastics and suddenly I realize that I am scrapping and rubbing this soft plastic stick all over the hardest and sharpest part of my body which also happens to be surrounded by highly porous mucus membranes!

What are we suppose to do? Here are some potential options if we look to the history of dental hygiene for our answers:
vulture quill
porcupine quill (Pliny the Younger)
a thin linen towel, which is somewhat rough (Aristotle)
bone and bristles
hand-cut and polished cattle thigh bones made excellent toothbrush handles while long-haired hog bristles
see:
http://www.toothbrushblog.com/toothbrush/on-the-search-of-history-of-the-toothbrush/
for more ideas.

Laura said...

I use baking soda with fluoride added, for toothpaste. I get it from a compounding pharmacy.
It's because of food intolerances. I can't use any of the commercial toothpastes.
It comes in a plastic container. But possibly, you might get them to send it in a tin.
Laura

Layla said...

Ooh, I've been wondering about this these days!! An old toothpaste is coming to an end too!!
I tried 'just salt' yesterday & it was weird, very salty, and odd taste in the morning.. (?) which I usually don't get otherwise..
I was also wondering what a dentist might say...
Also, would that Kenyan bush grow in Northern hemisphere? (Europe)?
Awesome blog, found you via MyZerowaste.com!

Kelly said...

I use baking soda tooth powder as recommended by my dentist. As he explained it the baking soda ensures that the pH of your mouth is not promoting bacteria, the salt is the abrasive, the myrrh is for gum health, the xylitol prevents bacteria from reproducing, and the last three are good for your teeth but mostly are for flavoring.

The recipe he gave me is
1/2 cup baking soda
pinch salt
pinch myrrh
pinch xylitol
pinch sage or cinnamon or mint (for flavoring)

Be sure to mix it in 1/2 cup batches so that everything is distributed evenly. Also, don't put too much cinnamon in the recipe it will make your teeth yellow in larger quantities.

I use the kind of floss that comes in the cardboard containers and a toothbrush from recycline (100% recycled and certified BPA free).

Anonymous said...

try this ...
2 T. coconut oil
3 T. baking soda
5 drops pepermint oil
5 drops spearmint oil
a pinch of stevia powder

Anonymous said...

Layla:
I'm not sure about those specific twigs, but I know that native americans used pine twigs or yucca hearts. If you are in a desert area, yucca root has the added bonus of being a natural soap/shampoo/detergent. Peel off the exterior, rinse off, place in a pantyhose or cheese cloth, and use as normal.

Anonymous said...

Hibiscus used to be used often and as an ornamental may be easily found depending on where you live. You peel the bark off the twig and chew it to get 'bristles' like a very coarse paint brush then use to brush your teeth.
You can use the twigs of any plant that is non-poisonous (do some research) and fairly woody (but soft enough that when you chew it, it will break into 'bristles'). You usually use a new one every day but I guess you can experiment with re-use.

Lee Nading said...

SurvivalCards sez:

Pioneers and Natives both brushed with a cross-section of horsetail (found in marshy places)...it breaks into 'bristles,' and the plant grows in bamboo-like segments.

Anonymous said...

I would definitely consult a dentist before taking a risk with teeth. You only get one set of natural teeth, and when they are gone, you will be left with the option of implants/dentures (which are all manufactured) or missing teeth. I think cutting down plastic usage is great, but I don't think I will risk my teeth (my own personal opinion). The example of the African man with great teeth is nice, but probably not the norm and people are genetically different -- including the resilience of our teeth. I had a Nigerian boyfriend who brushed and flossed religiously. His teeth LOOKED amazing, but he had to have 4 of his molars extracted because he needed root canals and couldn't afford the crowns. My fiance is Chinese and his teeth are soft and chip very easily. My teeth are super sensitive and the enamel wears easy. I will stick to recycling the toothpaste tubes.

LifeLessPlastic said...

Thanks for your comment, Anonymous. I actually am not using this baking soda toothpaste more than once a week now because I found it a bit too abrasive. I have instead moved on to Tom's of Maine.

Michigan teeth whitening dentist said...

Excessive use of baking soda can be abrasive and may damage teeth. Great informative post.