How to Have a Healthy Toothpaste for a Cleaner Mouth

Do you want to have a healthy clean mouth? Do you brush your teeth regularly? If so, do you use a commercial toothpaste with various ingredients that could be detrimental to your health?

A lot of commercial toothpastes today contain a variety of substances that are not a healthy choice.

Dollarphotoclub_80090909-brushing
Photo of woman brushing teeth © Stasique / Dollar Photo Club

Here are some of the more common ones:

1. Sodium Fluoride, aka Rat poison. Fluoride is highly toxic if ingested (even though it gets added to water supplies, but that’s another topic) and even a small amount in a tube of toothpaste can be enough to make you ill, and in a small child it could even cause death. If it is used as rat poison, then surely fluoride is not safe for humans? Scientific experts claim that it prevents cavities and is good for our teeth, yet the evidence suggests that the benefits are very minor, and that the toxicity of fluoride is a cause for concern.

2. FD & C Blue Dye # 1 & 2 (from crude oil). These dyes are artificial colourings often found in popular toothpaste brands and a wide variety of other products. Recent studies indicate that FD & C Blue Dyes 1 & 2 can trigger a wide number of behavioural, learning, and health problems. These dyes can also cause cancer. Even if toothpaste is never swallowed, these dyes can be absorbed within seconds through the skin on the lips, or through the mouth’s mucous membrane.

According to the Physician’s Desk Reference, the mucosal lining inside of the mouth has an absorption efficiency of over 90%. Because of this, these carcinogens get into your blood, your brain, and your cells in no time at all especially when you consider most people use dental care products 2 to 3 times a day (from U.S. Food & Drug Administration, “Color Additives Fact Sheet”).

3. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). This is a known skin-irritant, and is only used because of its foaming properties (which is why it is also used in many soaps, shampoos and shower gels). SLS has been found to be quite corrosive and harmful to skin tissue says a report by the American College of Toxicity. In the cleaning industry, SLS is used in products such as garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and carwash soaps.

Commercial toothpaste on toothbrush
Commercial toothpaste on toothbrush (rgbstock.com)

4. Triclosan, a pesticide found in many types of toothpaste. This chemical is used for its antibacterial properties, and is found in numerous detergents and toothpastes. Its formulation and structure of this ingredient are similar to some of the most toxic chemicals on Earth. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered it as a dangerous pesticide and rates triclosan highly as a human health risk and as an environmental risk, yet it is found in toothpastes that you might use multiple times a day.

Long term exposure to repeated use of many pesticide products can damage the liver, kidneys, heart and lungs. It can also suppress the immune system, cause hormonal disruption, paralysis, sterility and brain hemorrhages (from “Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisonings”, Environmental Protection Agency).

5. Hydrated Silica, which is a whitener that damages tooth enamel and is primarily an abrasive ingredient of many toothpastes. It is made from a crystallised compound found in quartz, sand, and flint (from “The Safe Shopper’s Bible”).

Tooth enamel re-mineralises daily from the supply of ionic calcium and phosphorus in the saliva. Scratching the surface of the tooth with an abrasive such as hydrated silica harms the enamel and prevents re-mineralisation, much like using sand to clean glass. Severe wear could eventually occur.

6. Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate. This is a slightly toxic and mildly irritating colourless transparent crystalline chemical compound with the formula Na4P2O7 and CAS number 7722-88-5. Acute exposure to tetrasodium pyrophosphate may cause mild to moderate irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and respiratory passages. No signs or symptoms of chronic exposure to tetrasodium pyrophosphate have been reported in humans. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Phosphates are slowly and incompletely absorbed when ingested, and seldom result in systemic effects. Such effects, however, have occurred.

Symptoms may include vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, blood chemistry effects, heart disturbances and central nervous system effects. The toxicity of phosphates is due to their ability to sequester calcium. Chronic ingestion or inhalation may induce systemic phosphorous poisoning. Liver damage, kidney damage, jaw/tooth abnormalities, blood disorders and cardiovascular effects can result.

So what can you do to clean your teeth if just about every toothpaste you can buy is going to make you ill, damage your teeth or give you cancer? There are some good natural toothpastes available, although we cannot specifically recommend any without doing proper research.

How to Make Natural Toothpaste

Home made toothpaste in a jar
Home made toothpaste in a jar (© David A. King 2015)

The best option for many is to make toothpaste at home, using pure natural ingredients that are safe for use in your mouth.

To make this particular formula described here, you will need the following: bicarbonate of soda, coconut oil, food grade hydrogen peroxide, some essential oils. You will also need a container to put it all in, plus a jug for mixing and some way of measuring each ingredient. A small hand blender will also be needed.

First, let’s look at hydrogen peroxide. This is similar to water but has an extra oxygen molecule. The chemical structure of water is H2O, i.e. 2 hydrogen atoms to 1 oxygen atom. But if you add another oxygen atom you get H2O2, known as hydrogen peroxide. This is a naturally-occurring substance, but it is not to be ingested in anything other than minute quantities. For example it is contained within breast milk, so very small amounts are safe and probably even needed or at least beneficial.

You will need to make a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Do not buy 3% H2O2 as it will probably have other ingredients added. The only food grade H2O2 is at a 35% strength. When you buy this, please handle with care, as at that strength getting it on your skin or in your eyes, or ingesting it, can cause serious burns. To make a 3% solution, you need some distilled water and then add some H2O2, with 11 parts distilled water to 1 part H2O2, e.g. you could make 100 ml of it using 92 ml of distilled water and 8 ml of 35% H2O2, which will give you a 3% solution. The water must be pure, such as distilled water. Tap water is not good enough, the impurities will contaminate the product. If you have a water distiller at home then use that, otherwise buy one or else find a place selling pure distilled water that is safe to drink and buy that. However, the H2O2 part is not absolutely essential in this recipe, its presence here is because it helps to whiten the teeth. You could just use distilled water instead (not tap water).

Ingredients

The ingredients should be prepared in the following amounts: 6 parts bicarbonate of soda (aka baking soda, do not use baking powder as this is different), 1 part coconut oil and 1 part 3% H2O2; plus a few drops of essential oils. The choice of oils is up to you, but spearmint or peppermint is a good choice. I made some with a few drops of spearmint oil, plus I added 1 drop each of frankincense and myrrh essential oils.

So measure out the bicarbonate of soda in a glass jug, add in the coconut oil and H2O2. For example you could use 100 ml of bicarbonate of soda, and then add 17 ml of coconut oil and 17 ml of H2O2, to make 134 ml of toothpaste. Adjust as required for smaller or larger amounts, but when I made this I had a jar that holds 150 ml so I made enough to almost fill the jar.

Use a hand blender to mix the ingredients together so that they form a nice paste-like substance. Add in the essential oils and keep mixing/blending.

Brush your teeth well with your new healthy toothpaste
Brush your teeth well with your new healthy toothpaste (ABSfreepic.com)

When finished, put it all into the jar you prepared earlier, one with a tight lid. You will probably have some wastage, but most of it will end up in the jar, hopefully. Label the jar so you remember what it is.

To use your new natural toothpaste, just dip your clean dry toothbrush into the mix to put a small amount (perhaps the size of a pea) on your brush and brush as normal. Be sure to not put a dirty or wet toothbrush in as you will mess up the toothpaste.

Caution: do not swallow, and keep away from sunlight (as UV rays can affect the H2O2).

 

Nothing in this blog post should be considered as medical advice. If you need medical advice, please consult a qualified medical practitioner. Use of home-made toothpaste is entirely at your own risk, and the authors of this blog post cannot be held responsible for any problems caused by following the instructions here.

 

Sources: oramd.com, earthmamasworld.com

One thought on “How to Have a Healthy Toothpaste for a Cleaner Mouth

  1. David says:

    This is great information, I have made the toothpaste and it is nice to use.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *