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Archive for January 2017

make your own toothpaste

How to Make Your Own Toothpaste

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.

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organic dentist

The Perfect Dental Routine for the Organic Patient

In addition to regular dental visits, a solid brushing and flossing routine is vital to good oral hygiene. Most people reach for a tube of minty fresh toothpaste, ready to check off their morning and night duties. However, a closer inspection of the ingredient reveals its not-so-great contents. With ingredients like carrageenan, artificial colors, and sodium lauryl sulfate, an organic patient might wonder how to balance a healthy dental routine without compromising on the ingredient list. Following these tips can ensure the perfect dental routine for the organic patient.


Brushing is more than the product used. The effectiveness of brushing relies heavily on the technique; brush for two to three minutes while making sure to cover all surface areas of the teeth, gums, and tongue. As for the cleaning product, there are two options:

  • Powder: Tooth powder is less common than toothpaste but equally effective. Often made of baking soda, salt, and sometimes essential oils, tooth powders are extremely easy to make as well as inexpensive.
  • Paste: While toothpaste can be homemade, there are many organic and natural toothpastes available to purchase. Look for toothpastes that are all-natural and avoid ingredients such as artificial flavors and dyes.

Avoid products with the following ingredients: sodium laurel sulfate, artificial dyes and flavors, triclosan, propylene glycol, and microbeads.


Healthy gums and fresh breath are dependent upon good flossing. However, not all floss is created equally; conventional flosses may be coated with synthetic waxes and flavored with artificial flavors and sweeteners. When choosing a new floss, opt for floss with:

  • Vegan wax: Flosses, such as TheraNeem floss, are coated with a vegan wax.
  • Neem extract: Also a vegan wax, many flosses also include neem extract in the coating. Why does it matter what ingredients are in the floss? Floss does more than just remove food from hard-to-reach places. Floss removes plaque and debris and helps prevent inflamed gums. In fact, as the floss slides between teeth, neem extract helps to reduce gum inflammation.
  • Tea tree oil: Like neem extract and clove oil, tea tree oil is a powerful ingredient in organic oral care products. Tea tree oil reduces gum bleeding as well as gingivitis.

Rinsing and freshening breath

The grand finale of an oral routine is to rinse, usually with mouthwash. Like toothpaste, many conventional types of mouthwash contain questionable ingredients including artificial flavors and colors. Naturally, derived mouthwash is harder to find, but it is possible. Other options for freshening breath include:

  • Tongue scraping: Tongue scraping freshens breath by removing bacteria and food particles from the surface of the tongue. There are special tongue scrapers available, but some toothbrushes even have a special bristle on the brush head to carry out this task.
  • Oil pulling: While it might seem counterproductive to rinse with oil, oil pulling is an ancient practice that is gaining popularity. Place a piece of coconut oil in your mouth. As the coconut oil melts, swish in for at least 30 seconds. Oil pulling draws toxins out of your mouth, which creates a fresher, cleaner mouth.

No matter what products that fill the medicine cabinet, good oral health depends on a consistent routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing. If, at any time, you have any concerns regarding organic oral care products, speak with your dentist.

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