Chances are, like most people you still use store-bought toothpaste. Maybe you’re informed enough to know that they contain chemicals like fluoride, SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), artificial sugars like aspartame, etc that aren’t good for you. Some even have tiny bits of plastic call ‘microbeads’ that are wreaking havoc on marine ecosystems. If you already avoid brands with these horrible ingredients (like Crest, Colgate, Sensodyne) then good for you! If not, then you really need to read this.
You should also know that certain brands we once thought were safe can also have some of these chemicals in them now. Burt’s Bees is one example. Tom’s of Maine is another, after it was bought out by Colgate and they sneakily started putting chemicals like SLS in their product. That’s why many people are starting to make their own toothpaste at home. And why not? If it’s good for your health then it’s certainly worth it! Here are 6 important reasons why we feel it’s best to make your own toothpaste with coconut oil.
1. No Harmful Chemicals
Of course we had to start with the chemicals. It is, afterall, the main reason we’re avoiding store-bought toothpaste to begin with. Out of all the chemicals in conventional toothpaste, Fluoride is probably the worst. Sodium Fluoride is a toxic industrial waste product from the aluminum and fertilizer industry that is a poison to your body even in trace amounts. It is NOT the same as calcium fluoride which is found in water naturally.
Another dangerous chemical in conventional toothpaste (such as Colgate Total) is an antibacterial chemical called triclosan, which has been linked to concerns over antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are a serious concern, as they can promote a wide variety of health problems, including: breast, ovarian, prostate, and testicular cancer, preterm and low birth weight babies, precocious puberty in girls, and undescended testicles in boys. Some animal studies showed that triclosan caused fetal bone malformations in mice and rats, which may hint at hormonal effects.
2. Powerful Against Bacteria, including Cavity-Causing Bacteria
The antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of the medium chain fatty acids/triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil have been known to researchers since the 1960s. Research has shown that microorganisms that are inactivated include bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses.
Research also shows that massaging coconut oil into your gums for about 10 minutes daily (continued for three weeks) significantly reduces decay-causing Streptococcus mutans as well as plaque. (Google Oil Pulling too!)
3. No Foaming Agents
Okay. This is technically about another common chemical additive. But it’s important to mention as well! Many toothpastes also contain surfactants like sodium laurel sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES). Surfactants are chemicals responsible for the foaming action of the toothpaste, but they also interfere with the functioning of your taste buds by breaking up the phospholipids on your tongue.
This enhances bitter tastes and is thought to be the reason why everything tastes so bad right after you’ve brushed your teeth. This may also be part of why coconut oil works so well for oral hygiene, as it helps maintain a more natural balance of lipids on your tongue, while still having potent antibacterial properties.
Coconut oil is so cheap! Even for the organic stuff you can usually get at least a 6 month supply for under $20. That’s because it only takes a small amount of coconut oil to keep your teeth clean, and one jar can easily last you months, making it a very inexpensive toothpaste.
5. You Can Use It on Your Dog’s Teeth!
While you wouldn’t want to brush your pets’ teeth with ordinary “human” toothpaste, coconut oil is effective and safe for dogs and humans alike. Applying it with a toothbrush would be best, but your pet may even get some oral health benefits just from licking a small amount of oil. However, please note that the recipe below is not recommended for dogs. Some ingredients that are fine for human consumption can be toxic for pets.
6. Simple to Make
Toothpaste made with coconut oil is so simple to make! Here are the basic ingredients, but you can always add or subtract something to make it your own.
–Baking soda, which acts as an abrasive and helps with whitening
–Essential oils to give your toothpaste flavor and add additional therapeutic benefits. Peppermint oil extract, for instance, has been shown to be superior to the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine in inhibiting the formation of biofilm formations linked to dental cavities.
– Erythritol, xylitol, or stevia (optional), which are natural sweeteners. Xylitol, in particular, has been linked to reductions in cavities. However, if you plan to give this toothpaste to your dog, do not include xylitol, as it is toxic to dogs.
-Bentonite clay, which adds a paste-like consistency and may help draw out toxins from your gums and tongue
h/t to Dr Mercola