Most of us start and end our day with brushing our teeth. But have you ever wondered whether the toothpaste you use every day is actually good for your health?
Commercial toothpastes contain many harmful toxins. The most common ones are fluoride, triclosan and sodium lauryl sulfate.
Triclosan is a well-known endocrine disruptor that alters hormone regulation.
Sodium lauryl sulfate, used as a foaming agent, is a possible carcinogen. It is also a persistent irritant that can irritate your gums and contribute to gum inflammation.
Fluoride can affect your bones and pineal gland, even your brain function.
Looking at the harmful ingredients used in commercial toothpastes, it is more convincing to make your own natural toothpaste at home.
It is very easy to make. Plus, the ingredients used in this DIY recipe are readily available and extremely beneficial for oral health. Also, it will cost you much less than the commercial products.
Let’s have a look at the ingredients and their oral health benefits.
Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
Extra-virgin coconut oil is high in lauric acid that has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. It can help reduce the plaque on your teeth and prevent problems like toothaches, bad breath and gum disease.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of the Indian Society of Periodontology suggests that coconut oil as well as sesame and olive oils can be used as valuable preventive agents in maintaining and improving oral health.
Another study published in the Nigerian Medical Journal suggests that coconut oil, when used for oil pulling, is effective at reducing plaque formation.
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, acts as an abrasive agent and helps whiten and brighten your pearly whites. It neutralizes acids in the mouth, thereby reducing the chance of bad breath.
According to a 2008 study published in The Journal of Clinical Dentistry, baking soda paste or powder more efficiently removes plaque than non-baking soda products. This conclusion was made after analyzing various studies.
The turmeric used in this homemade toothpaste is good for overall oral health. It helps keep dental problems, such as toothaches and gingivitis, at bay due to its anti-plaque, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It also helps whiten your teeth.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology found turmeric mouthwash to be effective in controlling plaque and preventing gingivitis.
This extract is mainly used to give a nice flavor to the homemade toothpaste. Plus, it has therapeutic benefits that can inhibit the formation of biofilm that is linked to cavities.
In fact, in ancient times, people used powdered peppermint leaves to combat halitosis (bad breath) and whiten their teeth.
DIY Homemade Natural Toothpaste to Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy
Things you’ll need:
- Extra-virgin coconut oil
- Baking soda
- Turmeric powder
- Peppermint extract (optional)
1. Put 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil in a bowl.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
3. Optionally, add 10 to 15 drops of peppermint extract to the bowl.
4. Last but not least, add ½ to 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder.
5. Mix the ingredients with a nonmetallic spatula or spoon until you get a smooth paste-like consistency.
- Store this toothpaste in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you need to use it, scoop out a small amount of the paste with a small spatula or spoon. If you have any small ice cream taster spoons, they can come handy here.
- Use the spoon to spread the paste on your toothbrush.
- Brush your teeth as usual, giving equal attention to the front as well as back teeth. Do not expect this homemade toothpaste to foam as it does not contain any soapy ingredient.
- Make sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly with lukewarm water.
- Wash your toothbrush as well as the spoon thoroughly to avoid turmeric stains.
Note: Never dip your toothbrush directly in the toothpaste.
- To improve the taste of this homemade toothpaste, you can add 1 teaspoon of stevia to the mixture.
- You can also add mineral clays like bentonite clay in your homemade toothpaste.
- Do not use peppermint oil instead of the extract as essential oils should not be ingested.
- If you are worried about turmeric staining your teeth, rest assured that it will not do so.
- You can opt to store the toothpaste in a piping bag. You just need to cut the corner a little bit and squeeze it out like any other toothpaste.
- The toothpaste can last for several months.
- If the toothpaste begins to dry out, add a bit more coconut oil and mix well before use.
- Use this toothpaste twice daily to brush your teeth.