After 40 years of twice daily use of store bought conventional toothpastes, mouthwashes, floss, inter dental brushes, gum gels, etc.I found that I’m not even close to the perfect smile shown on the box. Every trip to the dentist, revealed a new cavity or a new tooth infection which translated in fillings, root canal treatments, extractions, crowns and bridges. The biannual visit to the hygienist revealed receding gums, gum pockets and required uncomfortable professional cleans. So, after 40 years, I came to realize that maybe all this paraphernalia of oral care products, aren’t exactly doing what they say on the tin.
I remembered how, as kids, we used to laugh at my very old grandma when she dipped her toothbrush (made of wood and natural pig hair I think) into the ashes from the fireplace and brushed her teeth with that!! Well, if she’d still be around right now, she’d be the one having a good laugh, revealing all her natural teeth, that despite never being touched by a dentist or a hygienist, maintained their integrity, natural color and health till the end of her long natural life (and probably beyond …).
So, I Googled “ash teeth care” and found tons of pages and testimonials saying that brushing teeth with soft wood ashes, along with all sorts of other ready available natural stuff, works wonders in cleaning, whitening, removing tooth stains, without damaging the gums. (I also found claims that the fluoride, glycerin and other foaming agents in toothpaste are detrimental to the gums and tooth health, that Listerine stains teeth and the whitening kits are best avoided – these claims may as well be true, but I’ll not research them further, as I prefer a more constructive approach).
For the constructive side, I also found that there are thousands of others who, like me, want to turn away from the big cosmetic brands and use the free stuff from the garden and kitchen cupboard instead. The possibilities to make your own toothpaste, tooth powders, whitening pastes, inter dental oil blends, mouthwashes, gum massage oils are endless. I tried quite a few recipes for such products but I think that anyone can formulate their own, according to their needs, taste, preferences.
So, today I’ll list a few suggestions for an everyday tooth powder: Simply choose a few of the below ingredients in quantities that you consider fit. Blend them in the coffee blender for as long as it takes to obtain a very fine powder.
- Baking soda (aka sodium bicarbonate) – is a must have non abrasive stain remover, contains alkaline and minerals
- Sea Salt, Himalayan Salt, Kosher Salt, – just a pinch will do normally but if you wish to tackle gum disease, add a lot more of this and consider using saline water to rinse.
- Dry aromatic leaves: rosemary, sage, mint, peppermint, oregano, thyme, bay, salvia
- Dry spices: cinnamon, cloves, anise, turmeric, all spice- antibacterial properties
- Dry citrus peels: lemon, orange, grapefruit – great flavoring
- Ahes: softwood ashes or others ( I’ve seen articles claiming that cigarette ash is the best for removing nicotine stains)
- Clays: Bentonite clay, Caolin, Green Clay – non abrasive, removes toxins, contains calcium, magnesium and silica, nourishing for the teeth
- Activated Charcoal – draws bacteria, removes toxins, polishes tooth surface, and makes your powder dark.
- Epsom Salt, Magnesium flakes – more minerals for the tooth enamel
- Calcium Magnesium Powder, Calcium Carbonate – promotes tooth enamel remineralizing, whitens,
- Xylitol – this one is a miracle for oral care: it adds sweetness to any home made concoction (it tastes just like sugar) while killing the bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease.
- Exotic Tree Ingredients: Miswak Sticks, Dry Neem Leaf – exotic antibacterial stuff from India and Middle East – used successfully for centuries long before the plastic toothbrush and paste came to the “rescue”.
- Essential Oils – Eucalyptus EO is a great addition but the EO entirely your choice. Avoid Oregano EO – as they say that although it fights bacteria, it stains the teeth.
Tip: To turn your tooth powder into a home made tooth paste, add coconut oil and mix until you get the desired consistency and texture, and use. (I tried this and loved it but I found that my toothbrush was rather greasy and difficult to clean afterwards)
My tooth powder recipe at the moment: 1 part baking soda, 1 part Himalayan salt, 1 part Caolin clay, 1 part dry sage leaves, 2 parts Xylitol, pinch of Cinnamon, and a few drops of Clove Essential Oil.
- Not everything sweet is bad for you s don’t be shy on the Xylitol.
- For a kids’ yummy tooth powder, lower the salt amount and raise the Xylitol, and flavors (orange peel and cinnamon is my kids favorite).
- Don’t make too much at a time – a little goes a long way
- Once a week for safe home made teeth whitening treatment, apply a thick paste made of activated charcoal and water on teeth, hold it there for as long as you can, (while having a shower?) then brush. Rinse well and smile: the difference will be noticeable. (here’s an example)
- Baking soda and 3%peroxide mixed into a paste also works wonders for removing stubborn stains on teeth.
- Acids should be avoided when attempting tooth whitening at home. Lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, strawberries may be effective but they may soften the enamel.
Thoughts on my homemade tooth powder:
(1/2 part baking soda, 1/2 part Himalayan salt, 1 part, Calcium Magnesium Powder, 1 part Caolin clay, 1 part dry sage leaves, 2 parts Xylitol, pinch of Cinnamon, and a few drops of Clove Essential Oil. )
Cons: It doesn’t foam, taste or feels as good as the good old Colgate which I ditched 3 weeks ago.
- It cleans, removes tartar, stains and plaque, the teeth feel smooth and look whiter while the gums got healthier after 3 weeks of using.
- The taste can be adjusted by adding more of the sweet and tasty ingredients.
- It’s extremely cheap and
After each use of this toothpowder, it’s best to rinse with a home made soothing mouthwash
Do you make your own toothpaste? What ingredients do you use? What works best for you?