Do you put things in your mouth that have warning labels to them, warnings like “For external use only.” or “Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age.”? I’m planning to bet that you do. I’ve, though I may be ending that soon. Where’s the line between external and internal? Why does toothpaste have a warning like these about it anyway?
I have been on edge about warning labels for years, keeping these records in the trunk of my mind. When I first read that sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a known irritant commonly found in personal hygiene products, was especially a problem in toothpaste (where it may actually be worse when compared to a mere irritant), my edginess came to the forefront of my mind. I immediately quit utilising the Crest that I had been using for years and switched to Tom’s of Maine SLS-free toothpaste. I felt better, but didn’t such as the xylitol that Tom’s of Maine used as a sweetener.
Young Living features a SLS-free toothpaste too, but it addittionally wasn’t very satisfying if you ask me, so I stayed with Tom’s of Maine’s toothpaste while looking for other options. Miessence has a highly rated SLS-free toothpaste (according to GoodGuide.com), but I haven’t ordered any yet. I suspect there are others as well that could work well.
For various reasons, I’m thinking about moving from commercial tooth pastes. That interest opened a memory door, one that held the memory of my mother using tooth powder when I was a kid. As I researched the topic, I seen that I had forgotten the existence of tooth powder.
There are always a large amount of toothpaste and tooth powder recipes available online so you’ll find a formula that suits your style citron.ciao.jp. I’ve opted to test the tooth powder first since it’s simpler and a better traveling companion because density and weight (powder goes further than paste/gel for the same space and with less weight). But wow, would be the recipes different!
The ingredients are simple and basic: baking soda and salt. I found wildly different proportions though, ranging from 12 parts of baking soda to 1 part of salt, to equal parts of baking soda and salt. I went with the 12:1 ration, anticipating that would have been a salty enough difference for me, at the least for starters. I was right. Obviously, there are a myriad other recipes with various ingredients, some that caused my eyebrow to cock in question.
My experiment began with a tiny baby food jar. I put in 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt. I stirred it well, then closed the lid and shook it for a minute or two. Then I dispensed the powder into my clean travel toothpaste container — a contact lens case, the sort with the screw on lid — about someone to 1 to 1/2 teaspoons per section. I found that all section lasted me about 10 brushings, though your mileage may vary.
Initially I brushed with my tooth powder, I was struck by how salty it was. After several days of brushing with the powder though, I hardly noticed the saltiness or insufficient sweetness. My technique is to get the brush wet, shake off excess water, place the bristles in to the powder and brush away.
When I mentioned to my husband what I was testing and writing about, his first reaction was that fluoride was imperative for cavity protection. It’s clear that fluoride reduces tooth decay or gum disease by preventing plaque bacteria from creating tooth-weakening acids, and by re-mineralizing tooth enamel. It appears, though, that fluoride is most effective to keep children’s teeth from decaying but has less, if any, affect permanent teeth. Since fluoride is toxic, my question is the reason why use it if benefits are for a small population segment? And while fluoride is touted as being the truly amazing addition to toothpaste because it fights acid in your teeth, here’s another vote for baking soda: it’s alkaline, therefore it neutralizes acids found in your teeth.
I’m focused on cleaning my hygiene habits from chemicals, especially SLS, spending less and getting greener. My baking soda and salt formula will continue being my tooth powder of preference until it’s proven if you ask me that it is a bad idea. Stay tuned, and carry on brushing and flossing daily.