Have you ever read the ingredients list on your toothpaste tube? Most toothpaste from popular companies like Crest and Colgate contain a number of harmful ingredients, including:
- Sodium Flouride – a cumulative poison that is unfortunately added to our city tap water and was once used as an insecticide and rat poison. Contrary to what you might hear in popular media or at the dentist’s office, it does not prevent cavities.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – a detergent and foaming agent that is a known skin irritant and has been linked to mouth ulcers and canker sores.
- Triclosan – a chemical used for its antibacterial properties; however, it is registered by the EPA as a pesticide and is suspected to be carcinogenic.
- Artificial sweeteners – chemical sweeteners like saccharin, sorbitol and aspartame are used to cover up the nasty flavour of all those other chemicals, but they have been linked to a number of chronic illnesses.
- Artificial colours and dyes (FD & C Blue Dyes 1 & 2) – synthesized from petroleum and linked to behaviour/learning problems and may have carcinogenic properties.
- Hydrated silica – used as an abrasive; can harm the enamel and prevent re-mineralization.
- Preservatives – parabens are commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria in toothpaste, but are known carcinogens and irritating to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract.
Fortunately, making your own toothpaste is easy and affordable and can eliminate your exposure to the nasty toxins that are lurking in your toothpaste. I have been making my own for several months now and would like to share the recipe with you. It is taken from the book There’s Lead in Your Lipstick by Gillian Deacon.
6 tbsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 tsp vegetable glycerin
15 drops essential oil of choice (peppermint, orange and cinnamon are all great options!)
Mix all ingredients together well and keep in a small, airtight glass jar.
That’s right, only 4 ingredients!
For my next batch, I am going to experiment with adding Xylitol because it has antibacterial properties, has been shown to protect teeth from decay and repair damaged enamel! Plus, it will add some natural sweetness.
Recently, I was in a bind and used some Colgate toothpaste from my sister’s bathroom. I was horrified at how much it foamed up (thanks SLS!). So don’t worry, you will get used to the lack of foaming action and even come to prefer it.
If you have a great homemade toothpaste recipe I would love to hear about it! I am always on the lookout for easy, homemade and toxin-free versions of our everyday personal care products. Happy brushing 🙂