Homemade toothpaste and mouthwash
One of the things that got us into the zero waste movement was to switch our plastic toothbrush for a compostable bamboo one and one thing led to another. We started to look into other things related to our dental hygiene because like everything, it isn’t only about changing our toothbrush, the paste, the mouthwash, dental floss, everything comes wrapped in plastic.
We don’t pretend to be fervent followers of the zero waste, not yet at least, we are reducing our plastics and experimenting, but reaching the point of completely eliminating it from our lives is a process that will take time. Nevertheless, every step towards the elimination of plastic is a favour that we do to our selves and the environment.
It is because of that, that we got curious about looking for more natural, eco-friendly, plastic-free and in general, healthier alternatives for our toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental floss.
There are many brands that sell natural and eco-friendly dental hygiene products in both its components and its packaging, but for our taste and after seeing how easy it is to do it ourselves, we find them bit expensive. So we set our mind to look for recipes, experimenting and trying to make our own products.
It is true that they may take some time to get used to because the toothpaste that we do doesn’t make foam, it is more liquid than we were used to once you put it in the mouth and because of its ingredients, the taste can be a bit of a shock the first times that you use it. Nevertheless, after getting used to it we are more than happy and we wouldn’t go back to the toothbrushes that they sell at the supermarket or the pharmacy, which are filled with toxic chemicals for people, they are bad for the environment and they are expensive.
Before starting with the recipes, we’ve looked for some information so you get a better idea of what toothpaste is made of. That is also for the mouthwash.
Let’s get serious:
The toothpaste tube is made of 75% plastic and 25% aluminum, which turns it into a very important environmental problem if everyone is dumping them in the trash (which eventually ends up in landfills and the ocean).
Do you dare to count how many toothpaste tubes and mouthwash have you used throughout your life?
Just some of the toxic components in most toothpastes:
Sodium Fluorida: The main ingredient in toothpaste and rat poison. Ingested in higher quantity by kids younger than 6y/o, can cause them death between 2 to 4 hours.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): The most dangerous ingredient. It’s what makes the foam, but it is very corrosive and harmful to skin tissue. these chemicals interfere with the functioning of your taste buds by breaking up the phospholipids on your tongue. This enhances bitter tastes and is thought to be the reason why everything tastes so bad right after you’ve brushed your teeth.
Triclosan: A pesticide found in many types of toothpaste linked with cancer and abnormal development.
Silica Hidratada: A whitener that damages tooth enamel.
Artificial flavors and colors linked to behavioral problems in children
There are many more harmful ingredients present in our day to day toothpaste, we encourage you to find out more about them.
Do you feel more into trying to make your own toothpaste and mouthwash?
Let’s get to it then.
– A cristal jar
– A tea spoon
– Organic coconut oil
– Baking soda
– Essential oil (We use peppermint)
Let’s get to know this ingredients a bit:
The effects of using this toothpaste recipe based on coconut oil are the natural prevention of cavities, the elimination of bad breath and decrease on the risk of punctured teeth and gingivitis. All these effects are because of the antimicrobial power of the coconut oil.
It is very important that the coconut oil is virgin or natural because if not, it might be lowered by some chemical.
We need to keep in mind that coconut oil solidifies below 24-26 degrees (76 Fahrenheit). If the paste is too hard, put it on the heater or put the jar under the warm water so it melts a bit. During summer, as it may be more liquid you can store it in the fridge.
Very powerful to kill the bacteria and to whiten our teeth. Baking soda eliminates bad breath because as we said before, it kills the bacteria and it also has a deodorant effect on the mouth. That helps you keep a fresh breath for much more time.
If you wish to use baking soda daily to disinfect your mouth to keep a fresher breath, you need to use it in small quantities. Baking soda used in excess of the teeth can weaken and wear away our enamel. Whenever this happens, appears dental sensibility, which means that a severe pain and discomfort may occur whenever drinking or eating something that’s very hot or cold. That’s why it’s very important to use it in small quantities.
If you don’t like the taste of coconut as toothpaste or you dislike the salty sensation that the baking soda leaves, you can always add some drops of essential oil.
The most recommended for your dental hygiene are:
Cinnamon essential oil
For its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, it is very powerful to battle the Streptococcus mutas bacteria, responsible for some gums’ disease.
Mint essential oil
It is a strong antiseptic, it eliminates germs and helps heal wounds more rapidly.
Clove essential oil
Used in Chinese medicine since many years ago to help lower teeth pain, if you have little children it may work very well for them, for its sedative and disinflamatory effects that help cope with the pain. It also inhibits many pathogenic bacteria.
Peppermint essential oil
Very effective to kill anaerobic bacteria that grow in a very low oxygen environment like the mouth and cause gum diseases. It is disinflamatory, perfect for inflamed gums of tooth-pain before going to bed, it also leaves a strong feeling of freshness.
Eucalyptus essential oil
This oil also contains analgesic properties for gum or teeth pain, it is antiseptic, battles bad breath and is anti microbial, as well as it also helps to heal quicker in case you have wounds.
Our favorite for the toothpaste is the peppermint essential oil, for the taste and freshness sensation that leaves in your mouth.
For the essential oils, we bought this pack, it’s worked very well for us to get started because there’s a lot of variety. We use the other essential oils to make other cleaning products, of which we will talk in other ECOVAN posts.
1. Fill 3/4 of the jar with coconut oil. We use two tablespoons.
2. Throw the baking soda in the jar. We fill a teaspoon because we don’t want to abuse it and we find that it is enough for us, coconut oil already is antibacterial.
3. Add the essential oil drops. The number of drops depends on your taste, we like it strong so we add between 20-25 drops.
4. Mix it well inside the glass jar and, we use a chopstick but you can use the spoon directly.
5. Add a little of the toothpaste on your toothbrush and you can wash your teeth!
– A small glass bottle preferably with hermetic closure
– A strainer
– Water, better if it’s distilled
– Baking soda
– Essential oil (we use peppermint)
1. Fill the bottle with water, don’t do it to the top, leave two or three fingers empty.
2. Pour a teaspoon of baking soda with the help of the strainer.
3. Add the essential oil. Like with the toothpaste, we use peppermint. We add between 20 to 25 drops.
4. Shake the bottle to mix it all and it’s ready to use!
You have it! Easy, isn’t it? Now you can brush your teeth naturally and what is also very important, for less money. A jar lasts us a month and a half, two months and the mouthwash for about a month. But one purchase of ingredients serves for many more uses and it is cheaper.
When it comes to dental floss, we still haven’t tried any new one as it isn’t something we regularly use and we still have some at home. We won’t get a new one until we finish it. We’ll buy ones that come in a refillable glass jar and the floss is made of silk. You can find it here.
We hope the recipe that we use works for you. Don’t forget to tell us on the comments how it works for you, which essential oils have you tried and what you think of the change from conventional toothpaste to a more natural one made of coconut oil.