This post is in service of two of them.
1. I am trying to gradually eliminate single-use plastics from my life.
2. I am trying to gradually eliminate toxic chemicals from my life.
One of the places that I am working on this is in relation to personal hygiene products because they both tend to have a lot of toxic chemicals that we put on or in our bodies and they also tend to have a lot of plastic packaging etc.
This evening, after my philosophy group let, I made my first tooth powder. I did a fair amount of research and came to several conclusions. The purpose of fluoride in toothpaste has to do with remineralization. However, fluoride is also on the toxic side of life and there is some research suggesting that in the little bit of time it is in contact with teeth through brushing (unlike fluoride treatments you get at the dentist), it doesn't really help as much as it looks like some other ingredients do.
Plus, I have a pretty strong aversion to mint flavored toothpaste which leaves me with either Tom's of Maine Cinnamon/clove toothpaste or my Greek toothpaste.
A lot of the most toxic ingredients we have in our products are preservatives...but the toothpaste you can make at home goes bad. But tooth POWDER doesn't. The way you use tooth powder is that you get your toothbrush wet and then get some of it on your tooth brush and...brush!
Apparently, acid is really hard on teeth and causes the enamel to demineralize, so you want to offset acidity with ingredients that are alkaline. Also, you want the enamel to have access to the minerals it needs in order to strengthen itself.
I settled on the tooth powder recipe by Wellness Mama. https://wellnessmama.com/5252/remineralizing-tooth-powder/
· 1/4 cup bentonite clay (is alkaline and produces an electrical charge in water, removes toxins, and can help remineralize teeth with calcium, magnesium, and silica)
· 3 TAB calcium powder (minerals for enamel and whitens)
· 1 TAB baking soda (minerals, alkaline, removes stains)
· 1 TAB ground cinnamon (anti-bacterial)
· 1 TAB ground cloves (anti-microbial)
· 1 TAB + xylitol powder (keeps bacteria from sticking to teeth, which prevents demineralization)
You can also add powdered mint or some mint oil. I choose not to do so.
You put everything into a mason jar and then shake it really well. Put some aside into a smaller container where it is easy to dip your wet toothbrush into it.
I spent $36 on ingredients and made the recipe three times over. If it lasts me as long as 7 tubes of toothpaste, then I will have broken even on the expense. I have no idea if I will. However, I also have a ton of bentonite clay left over and a bit of the xylitol left over. I could order a bit more of the food grade calcium and make even more. The reason it is expensive is that the smallest bag available of bentonite was $17 and there was a similar situation with the xylitol.
It will take me some time to figure out if I like this, if it is worth it, and if it helps my teeth. But if I do, then this was easy to make and, while there was some plastic in the ingredients packaging, the hope is that it will last long enough to be less plastic than the tubes of toothpaste. It certainly does not have questionably safe ingredients.