Less Plastic Challenge Day 4: Toothpaste & Toothpowder

I've been using this zero-waste and homemade toothpaste and toothpowder since April 2015, and I'm still hooked and here's why! Over a year ago I was told by my dentist that I needed a root canal asap. I didn't have the money to pay for it at the time, so I put it off. Meanwhile, I stopped using mainstream toothpaste, began making my own, and treated my affected tooth with clove oil. Clove oil has been used forever in India to treat cavities, so I thought I'd give it a try. One year later, I went for a check-up and another x-ray of the tooth in question. To my surprise, I no longer needed a root canal! I also had zero plaque. (What works for my body might not work for your's. I cannot guarantee that making your own toothpaste and toothpowder will cure anything, as I'm not a doctor.) 

Toothpaste tubes are often made of multiple layers of aluminum and plastic, making them difficult to recycle. This means that they are usually landfilled. We can avoid this waste by making our own! If you're not down with this idea, then collect your empty plastic tubes and send them to Tom's of Main in collaboration with Terracycle, to give them a better chance of getting recycled. 

Mainstream toothpaste is toxic because it can contain a slew of harmful chemicals: Fluoride, Carrageenan, Carbomer, Triclosan, Ethanol, Trisodium Phosphate, Artificial sweeteners, Propylene Glycol, Synthetic foaming agents and more. 

No Waste Toothpaste

Ingredients: 

1 glass jar 

4 tablespoons organic coconut oil

2 tablespoons baking soda 

20 drops peppermint oil (food grade or essential) 

The Steps: Combine all the ingredients in your glass jar and stir until smooth and creamy. 

Hot Tip: You can always add more peppermint oil or a dash of xylitol to offset the taste of the baking soda which can take some getting used to. I also avoid spitting the toothpaste in the sink, as coconut oil can clog the drain over time. I spit outside or in the compost. 

No Waste Toothpowder

Ingredients:

1 glass jar

2 tablespoons baking soda

1 teaspoon bentonite clay

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

3-5 drops clove oil

The Steps: Combine the ingredients in your glass jar and stir until the clove oil is well dispersed and any lumps of baking soda have been smoothed out. 

To use, simply dip your toothbrush into the powder. Less is more! 

Baking Soda: People have been brushing their teeth with baking soda well before the introduction of fluoride toothpastes that are filled with synthetic foaming agents. I use baking soda in my toothpaste, toothpowder and mouthwash because it's a mild abrasive and cleans the teeth by removing plaque, as well as polishing, whitening, and freshening breath. Its antibacterial activity also kills bacteria that cause tooth decay. 

Bentonite Clay: It's antibacterial and binds to bad bacteria around your teeth, tongue and gums. It's also used to detoxify the body by removing impurities ( in a heavy metal detox for example). 

Clove Oil: Clove oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiviral. It can be effective against cavities.

Peppermint Oil: Peppermint essential oil has antiseptic properties. It can help teeth and gums ward off unwanted germs, while eliminating bacteria that cause bad breath. 

Cinnamon: It's antibacterial and antimicrobial, and when you put it in toothpaste, it helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease. 

I'm able to purchase most of these ingredients in bulk: coconut oil, baking soda, cinnamon, bentonite clay, and sea salt. If you don't have bulk options, you can most likely purchase these ingredients in paper and glass, with maybe the exception of the bentonite clay. 

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