I asked myself this question when I was 19. It was the first home product I had questioned, standing in the oral health aisle of a grocery store. Others were to follow such as, what is deodorant, Windex, tampons, sunscreen, bug spray, makeup, lotion, Tylenol and the list goes on.
When I realized that there was an alternative and natural form of toothpaste I decided there must be some things in regular toothpaste that were not "natural" and perhaps even toxic? I had an epiphany at this moment: Was it possible that health was not actually a priority of some health product companies? ALL COMPANIES??! Perhaps. But back to toothpaste...
Here are some of the things that are in toothpaste today plus their harmful properties:
Triclosan- Has the same chemical composition as some of the most toxic chemicals. Possible contamination with dioxin, a very strong hormone disrupting substance. Classified as a pesticide.
BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) - Immunotoxic, reproductive toxicity, allergenic.
Fluoride ( Sodium Fluoride)- Developmental-reproductive toxicity. (there is now growing awareness of the necessity of fluoride free toothpaste, but it is one of many chemicals to look out for)
PEG-12 Toxic, potential for contamination with Ethylene Oxide, 1.4 Dioxane)
FD&C Blue - Bioaccumulation, toxic
Sodium Hydroxide- Organ toxic
DEA (diethanolamine)- Foaming agent, disrupts hormones and forms cancer precursors.
Propylene Glycol- Active ingredient in antifreeze. EPA demands workers handle this substance with protective gloves. Quickly absorbed by mucosa.
Ariel's natural toothpaste recipe
8 tbs Coconut oil
3 tbs Baking Soda
5 ml Liquid minerals (http://www.kaimanatraceminerals.com/)
1 tbs Colloidal Silver
25 drops Essential oils (Basil, Orange, Peppermint)
3 packets of Stevia ~ 3 tsp
Coconut oil- used in oil pulling, works great to dissolve and remove bacteria from the teeth. Contains caprylic acid, an antifungal.
Baking soda- removes stains, whitens and polishes teeth, removes plaque.
Liquid minerals- help remineralize teeth and bone.
Colloidal silver- antimicrobial to kill bacteria and keep product stable.
Essential oils- antimicrobial, for taste
Stevia- for taste
Directions: Gently warm coco oil until liquid. Add in all the other ingredients and mix well. Cover. The toothpaste will harden. After it is solid, take a fork and whip it up! Fluffy toothpaste! Store it with the lid on.
Use: Add a glob of toothpaste to toothbrush, rub around your teeth, brush as usual. Spit out!
Note: To keep the product stable for longer. Consider keeping it in a cool place and not putting your finger or toothbrush in the jar to take the paste out, but perhaps a clean spoon or wooden stir stick. You can also just portion out the toothpaste into small containers that you can use up before it goes bad.
My toothpaste tastes great and feels great. My teeth are whiter and shinier than before. So far so good. We will see if it keeps and how my teeth look over time.
Give it a try. And enjoy! Aloha xo
Photo credit: http://www.deardoctor.com/articles/toothpaste-whats-in-it/