Down The Hatch

For my second post I’d like to talk about something we use every single day (some more than others) and we don’t always think about how we treat it. That’s right, our mouths. We use our favorite toothpastes and mouthwashes without really thinking about it. Now, most ingredients in toothpaste are pretty harmless in small doses. However, most do contain some of those bad ingredients that I talked about in my first post (yes there’s formaldehyde in some toothpastes too!), as well as fluoride and various dyes. When I was researching mouthwashes, I was surprised at how many sites showed how some of them can actually stain your teeth with prolonged use. Hmm…I thought mouthwash was supposed to clean your mouth? Here is some info on mouthwash.

Now I’m not saying you need to change your toothpaste. If you’re happy with it then that’s great! I still sometimes use regular toothpaste too, although I do check the ingredients before buying. I’m just going to offer a few alternate choices if you want to try them.

I’ve been thinking a while about making my own toothpaste, but there are so many different recipes out there I had no idea where to start. I I want a toothpaste, tooth powder, or tooth soap? Finally, I decided to start with a tooth soap since I already had all the ingredients on hand. I’ve only used it a few times so far, but I like it. It is foamy and has a great taste! Plus I can put it in a cute little soap dispenser…which is kind of fun. I just got a cheap soap dispenser to start with, in case I didn’t like it. I’ll keep trying it and, if it continues to please, then I’ll get a nicer looking one. My favorite part of this tooth soap is that it contains coconut oil. If you haven’t gathered yet, I love coconut oil! I put it on my face, in my food, and now on my toothbrush!

Here is how to make your own toothsoap20160112_124230[1]

  • 2 Tbsp boiled water
  • 4 teaspoons Dr. Bronner’s unscented or peppermint liquid castile soap (I used peppermint)*
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (make sure to use a double boiler)
  • 1 to 2 tsp Slim Sweet, Xylitol, or Stevia (I used 2 tsp of Stevia because I’d read about some people using less and it not being sweet enough)
  • 20-30 drops peppermint or spearmint essential oils

Directions:

  • In a small saucepan, boil a small amount of water (like 1/4 to 1/2 cup–doesn’t have to be exact, as you only need a couple of tablespoons).  Add 2 tablespoons of the boiled water to a food processor or blender.
  • Measure the coconut oil. Add the coconut oil to the blender. Add the 2 tsp sweetener. Add the 4 tsp castile soap.
  • And lastly, add the essential oil. (Some people mentioned using closer to 30 to have a good, strong flavor)
  • Turn on the blender and blend until frothy.

Now, I read about how abrasives are good for your teeth and I also read about how some people just brush with baking soda so I also added a teaspoon of baking soda in to the mix. Baking soda is a great way to freshen your breath and remove plaque. Also, I’m sure you could make any flavor if you used the unscented soap and used a bit extra essential oil.

You should definitely shake this before using, as the coconut oil can pool at the bottom.

*I love the ingredients in the Dr. Bronner’s soaps. They are all on their website if you want to check them out.

I think that I’d also try this toothpaste recipe too from the same website. This would be more solid than the tooth soap so you’d want to keep it in a jar, rather than a dispenser.

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil ct
  • 5 tablespoons baking soda
  • 10-20 drops peppermint essential oil (or any essential oil you prefer)
  • xylitol powder, optional
  • optional: you can also add Bentonite Clay and Black Walnut hull powder

Directions:

  1. Melt the coconut oil, if necessary.
  2. Add baking soda to the coconut oil and stir with a fork until it forms a paste.
  3. Add the peppermint essential oil and optional xylitol powder. I used closer to 20 drops of essential oil, and about 1/2 tablespoon of xylitol powder (I used granulated xylitol and ground it in the coffee grinder to make a powder.).
  4. Mix all together and store in a covered glass jar.
Notes: I just dip my toothbrush in this (each family member would have their own jar of toothpaste). If you prefer, you could also keep a popsicle stick or a small measuring spoon near the jar and use this to scoop it out. You can also find tubes that might work to make a toothpaste that would squirt. I haven’t tried this yet.

 

Here is a great mouthwash recipe that I use exclusively now:

  • 2 cups distilled water 20160112_124314[1]
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp unrefined sea salt
  • liquid Stevia/Xylitol to taste, about 15 drops
  • your choice of essential
  • a glass bottle

Directions:

  • Mix everything together in your glass bottle and give it a good shake.
  • After brushing, swish around a tablespoon or so for 30 seconds, then spit. Do this twice daily.
  • You might need to give it a shake before each time you use it, as the baking soda will settle to the bottom.

Let’s take a look at those ingredients in the mouthwash.

Baking Soda a.k.a. sodium bicarbonate: Baking soda can help combat halitosis (i.e. dragon breath)! Halitosis can be caused by residue from acidic foods. Baking soda (since it’s a base) helps balance out the acid, thereby preventing the dragon breath! Baking soda can also help prevent gum disease by inhibiting buildup of nasty plaque (source)! And finally, baking soda can also help keep those pearly whites extra white by removing stains from the teeth!

Sea Salt: Due to the high mineral content in unrefined sea salt, it can actually help remineralize your teeth and keep them strong! In addition, if you have any sores or ulcers in your mouth, sea salt is great for taking away the inflammation. It can also aid in reducing inflammation in the gum tissue, such as that seen with gingivitis.

Liquid Stevia/Xylitol: Purely for taste. I don’t know about you, but I like my mouthwash a little sweet.

Essential Oils: Here is where you can get a little creative. If you really love a nice minty fresh mouthwash, then stick with peppermint or spearmint. Or perhaps you’re a bit of a rebel and you love cinnamon. That’s cool too. But if you’re feeling like you want to get really wild and crazy, go for a Thieves blend! The essential oils in Thieves (cinnamon, lemon, clove, eucalyptus and rosemary) are a serious germ-fighting powerhouse to add to your mouthwash.  More info on thieves

20160112_104357

As you can see, you need to shake the mouthwash each time because the baking soda and salt settles to the bottom.

 

I hope that these two recipes work as well for you as they have for me! I’ll let you know how the tooth soap works after prolonged use and we’ll see if I stick to it or try something else. The fun thing about making your own products is you can experiment with it all the time! Plus you can always find cute little containers to put them in. You can see in the picture that I’ve tried a regular pickle jar, as well as a fancy decanter I found at a garage sale last year. Have fun with it!

 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.                                    Psalm 51:10 

 

 

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