Teeth Aren’t Cheap

No one enjoys going to the dentist.  Yet no one seems to enjoy flossing, brushing  properly, and basically taking good care of them.  For years I was convinced that every checkup would reveal yet another cavity.  Some dental assistants/hygienists would tell me that I had weak enamel.  I was determined to clean up my act – and my teeth of course.  I wanted the satisfaction of having the hygienist say, “Fantastic, I don’t need to scrape today.”

I started flossing more frequently.  Especially after having a steak/meat that would definitely find it’s way in between my teeth.  I also tried using Listerine more, but it felt like tossing acid in my mouth.  It’s clinically proven to be the best antiseptic for your mouth so I reluctantly complied.

I have a book called Reader’s Digest Homemade.  The selling point was that it had recipes for making HUNDREDS of products you use everyday!  That sounds like a money saver to me.  I also wanted to phase out commercial chemicals that are in products we use everyday.  Not just for cleaning, but for our “health”.  I had discovered the Environmental Working Group Cosmetic Database and was shocked to learn a lot of the skin care products I was using may be causing my allergy sensitivities.  I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone, save money, save my health.

The first recipe that I tried was making my own toothpaste.  It seemed pretty easy.  All you need is:

  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable glycerin
  • 6 drops of tea tree oil
  • 6 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 4 drops of peppermint oil
  • 7 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

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All these ingredients can be found in natural food stores.  After many trials and tribulations I found that trying to get it in a squeezable bottle wasn’t worth the effort.  The ones from the dollar store are practically disposable.  The glycerin and baking soda tends to separate making it challenging to “squeeze”.  So I found a small glass Lock & Lock container, that fits perfectly in my medicine cabinet.  I think it’s the 130mL, but it doesn’t say.

Glycerin, is very viscous.  I tend to mix all the liquids, glycerin, and oils together first.  I add in the salt and stir that in.

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Once that has been stirred in, I start adding the baking soda.  I started off with 7 tablespoons, but now I don’t even bother to measure.  I basically keep adding baking soda till I get a nice thick consistency that I prefer.  If you find that it’s too thick for you, you can add some warm water to make it a little thinner.

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There you have it!  Home made toothpaste!  It takes a bit of getting use to.  I found it super salty, but it’s not like you have to swallow it.  Adding some more peppermint may help.  The glycerin will always end up separating to the top, and the baking soda on the bottom.  I recommend using these cosmetic spatulas for stirring, and applying on your toothbrush.  It will help avoid contaminating your toothpaste full of bacteria by dipping your toothbrush in twice a day.

I have been doing this for a couple of years now.  Along with flossing every night, brushing with this toothpaste and using Listerine Zero twice a day I haven’t had a cavity since!  My hygienist said she wishes all her clients were like me because she hardly has to scrape any plaque off.  I said, “But you’re still scraping!”  She said that she has to go along, scrape a little in order to check each tooth.  She said the little she does scrape, hardly anything comes off which means I’m a good brusher.  I also found that my teeth are less sensitive from sugar, and chewing hot/cold foods.  My lips are also no longer chapped.  I could never live a day without having a stick of lip balm in my pocket.  I carry a different stick in my car, purse, and my desk at work because they were practically necrotic.  I’m convinced that the plaque fighting, teeth whitening chemicals listed on EWG for toothpaste is directly responsible for the dry skin all these years.  I also like the convenience of being able to refill my own tooth paste whenever without having to panic and run to a store.

If I do have to travel anywhere, I do find it more convenient to use Arm & Hammer or Tom’s of Maine toothpaste.  Green Beaver makes an all natural toothpaste as well, but it feels very chalky, but that just maybe me.  They can be quite expensive.  On average, you’d be looking to pay around $5 for natural toothpaste.

Here is a breakdown of how much it costs to make your own:  

INGREDIENTUNIT COSTCOST/AMOUNT USED
Baking Soda$1$0.21
Sea Salt$7.99$0.05
Eucalyptus Oil$8.99$0.09
Tea Tree Oil$8.00$0.08
Vegetable Glycerin$10.99$1.39
TOTAL$1.83

Depending on where you buy your ingredients, it can be made cheaper.

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