The American Dental Association (ADA) has abundant guidelines to help people with oral health in between regular dental checkups. These guidelines are based on scientific research and years of experimentation and recordkeeping among dental professionals and oral health care manufacturers. The commercial toothpaste that you see on store shelves are a result of this research and can fulfill most people’s needs for oral health.
However, a large contingency of people is interested in making their toothpaste. The reasons for this vary among consumers. Some feel that they don’t want fluoride in their toothpaste, others feel the need to buy fewer goods overall, and others, who have adopted a healthy lifestyle, actively seek ways to avoid introducing excess chemicals in their lives. Whatever the reasons for making your toothpaste at home, it’s important to do it right to maintain the best oral health possible.
The Importance of Hygiene
The overriding rule of thumb when making toothpaste at home is to make hygiene a priority. One of the main causes of oral problems is bacteria. If you make toothpaste at home, you need to be extremely careful that you don’t accidentally introduce bacteria into your mouth.
All the tools and containers that you use to make and store homemade toothpaste need to be not just cleansed but sterilized. Bacteria is invisible to the naked eye, and without implementing this first line of defense, you could compromise your oral health instead of helping it.
You’ll need a collection of ingredients for your homemade toothpaste. Different recipes call for different ingredients in varying amounts, but there are certain ingredients that you’ll want to include for safety and health concerns, as well as taste and texture. They are:
- Tea tree essential oil – Also called melaleuca oil, this essential oil has antibacterial properties that will make your homemade toothpaste effective.
- Wintergreen essential oil – Wintergreen has antibacterial properties, and it imparts a pleasant taste to your homemade toothpaste recipe.
- Peppermint essential oil – Peppermint oil helps to lift the spirit and can make your mouth feel fresh and your breath smell sweet.
- Stevia – Stevia is a natural sweetener, derived from the plant species, Stevia rebaudiana. It is very different than other sugar substitutes such as aspartame because it is not a chemical, which makes it appealing to those who embrace a natural diet.
- Baking soda – This powdery substance is derived from a natural mineral called nahcolite. In homemade toothpaste recipes, baking soda performs the cleansing function, ridding teeth of stains and germs.
- Coconut oil – Coconut oil has natural antibacterial properties, and is a common ingredient in homemade toothpaste recipes, in part because of its texturing properties.
- Distilled water – When mixing homemade toothpaste with any liquid aside from coconut oil, it’s important to use distilled water, not tap water. Distilled water is free from bacteria and other impurities that can compromise the sterility of the homemade toothpaste.
In a small mixing bowl, Put three tablespoons of baking soda into a small mixing bowl. Add five drops of your preference of essential oils. Stir in your choice of one teaspoon of coconut oil or one teaspoon of distilled water. Stir until combined. Add more liquid if necessary to achieve desired consistency. Use as you would ordinary commercial toothpastes. Seal tightly when not in use.
When using homemade toothpaste, it’s important to alternate days with using regular fluoride toothpaste per ADA dental health guidelines.