The average American uses around 4 tubes of toothpaste a year. And if it’s a yummy flavor and you have kids (or grown up ‘kids’!) you are bound to be above average.
And who doesn’t accidentally swallow some while brushing? In my opinion, it’s kinda inevitable. Growing up, my (Amberlyn’s) mama (Sheila, the awesome other half of these blog posts!) always told me NOT to swallow my toothpaste and to make sure I spit it out. I don’t know about you, but that was sure easier said than done. Let’s just say I did more swallowing than spitting. Shhhhh… ; )
Anyway, remember what I’ve said about what we put on our skin being just as, if not more, critical than what we consume? Well guess what? Our mouths are lined with skin… thin, absorbent skin. Soooo… we put toothpaste on our ‘skin’ AND we consume it. Double whammy.
Trust me, you want to make sure your tooth scrubbing stuff of choice is puuuure. And I’m betting yours probably isn’t. Just a statistical guess….
So, good ol’ Colgate. An American cavity-fighting classic. What’s in it? As usual, I’ll briefly break it down. (And don’t forget, most toothpastes are fairly similar. I just chose one brand for simplicity!)
COLGATE TOTAL (Which, according to their website is “recommended and used by more dental professionals than any other toothpaste brand.”): Sodium flouride, triclosan, water, hydrated silica, glycerin, sorbitol, PVM/MA copolymer, sodium laurel sulfate, cellulose gum, flavor, sodium hydroxide, carrageenan, propylene glycol, sodium saccharine, titanium dioxide.
Ok, so to be frank with you, I don’t have the time to cover what’s wrong with every ingredient here, and you probably don’t have the time to read it… seriously. It’s that bad. So I’ll hit the high (or should I say, low) lights.
Flouride: Oh-so-controversial. I could write a whole post on it. Suffice to say that it has been linked to hypothyroidism, dental flourosis, iodine deficiencies, accelerated aging, immune system disfunction, cartilage problems, and much more.
The MSDS (material safety data sheet) for Sodium Fluoride states that the potential acute side effects are: “Hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant, corrosive), of ingestion, of inhalation”. And the potential chronic health effects (like, from ingesting it every day in toothpaste, water, etc) are that: “The substance may be toxic to kidneys, lungs, the nervous system, heart, gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, bones, teeth. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.”
Flouride has also been banned in China, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Japan.
There is so much more behind the fluoride issue, but this is just a start!
Triclosan: Contributes to antibiotic resistance, is an endocrine disruptor (think thyroid, adrenals, hormone regulators, etc), and has been linked to breast cancer. It also, when used in hand sanitizers, has been known to cause nerve damage. The state of Minnesota has already banned most uses of Triclosan. Unfortunately, the rest of the U.S. is still catching up.
Sodium Laurel Sulfate: This stuff basically has become a lethal buzzword, even in more mainstream circles. Honestly, I can’t figure how Colgate gets away with keeping it in their toothpaste. (Probably because no one really reads labels…and we should be able to trust such a highly-recommended brand.) Anyway, SLS was originally marketed as a pesticide for organic farmers, but was denied because of potential environmental damage. It is now registered as a insecticide. It is linked to canker sores and skin irritation, and the manufacturing process causes it to be contaminated with carcinogens.
Propylene Glycol: This stuff is used in antifreeze, paints, enamels, etc. Need I say more? Why in the world is this in toothpaste?
And the list could go on and on and on… But if I haven’t convinced you by now that toothpaste is one of the most lethal products in your medicine cabinet, then I might as well give up.
Because of these dangers, there are now ‘natural’ toothpastes on the market, like Tom’s of Maine.
Fortunately, they don’t have antifreeze. Unfortunately, they still have insecticides.
Tom’s may have ditched the Triclosan and propylene glycol. But they still have sodium laurel sulfate and fluoride in their ‘Simply White’ toothpaste. To be fair, they do have some options sans fluoride, but they keep that SLS across the board. Not to mention, they can get pricey.
Of course, all of this led us to our usual solution… homemade ice cream! Wait, that’s my husband’s default solution for anything…haha. What I meant to say was… TOOTHPASTE!
Don’t worry, we’ll share the homemade ice cream recipe yumminess another time! : )
There may be a couple ingredients you need to order for your toothpaste making startup. But don’t let that initial little outlay inhibit you at all. Remember that the recipe below (which will use a small part of what you buy) should last a family of 4 at least 1/2 year! Of course, you could always buy smaller amounts than what we’ve linked to, and halve the recipe if you’re intimidated by bulk! 🙂
EASY HOMEMADE TOOTHPASTE:
1 ½ cups coconut oil
I cup baking soda
I cup xylitol (non-gmo)
½ cup bentonite clay
1/2 cup ground up eggshells (totally optional, but great for remineralization. See note below)
Young Living Essential oils Peppermint 20 drops
Young Living Essential oils Thieves 10 drops
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and add essential oil, then add coconut oil and blend. I use the stick blender to get all the lumps out of the baking soda. When blended, pour into jars for storage. (I use glass as a rule. You will see that there are a couple of plastic ones in my pictures but those are for travel.)
Then, put it in the fridge for about an hour, until it sets up. After that, you can take it out and leave it on the bathroom counter. If you don’t like double dipping, use a spatula to dip it out or buy reusable silicone tubs. This makes enough toothpaste for about 6-8 months for a family of 4. You can see how much it makes in the picture, and I (Sheila!) use a lot of toothpaste each brushing. They call me a toothpaste hog! (Amberlyn’s note: it’s true…she is a toothpaste hog! If you’re like my hubby and I, the recipe could last a year…haha)
***NOTE: If you are trying to remineralize your teeth, adding powdered eggshells is a free, easy option. All you need to do is save your eggshells, rinse them out, bake them on 300 for 15 minutes or so to sterilize, then throw in a coffee grinder or food processor. Voila! Homemade remineralizing calcium powder.
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