Tuesday, March 24, 2015

DIY: Earthpaste Toothpaste Recipe


Welcome to the first part of a three part series on dental health! I hope to get you thinking, researching and trying out safer alternatives for your oral hygiene. One of the first things I switched when making the change to more natural beauty and hygiene products was toothpaste. I had always thought toothpaste tasted chemically but did not think much of it because I believed I was doing the right thing for my oral health. Further research into the ingredients and purpose of toothpaste showed me I was being deceived by what the world around me was saying was correct. Toothpaste is merrily a tooth polish and the actual brushing action along with the important addition of flossing helps keep bacteria and plaque at bay. With that being said, I believe this recipe will actually be beneficial for your teeth and gums. Below, after the recipe, I will list the benefits for each ingredient. 

The first natural toothpaste I tried was Earthpaste. I went for the best ingredients I could find and this toothpaste has them. I liked Earthpaste but it did not always make my breath as fresh as it was with conventional toothpaste. I found a recipe for Earthpaste and decide to try it out because it was so much cheaper to make. A bonus was all the ingredients could be used in other product recipes. I ended up liking the DIY recipe even better than the original and have since added a few ingredients to strengthen it's cleaning and breath freshening power!

Before the recipe I want to go over the ingredients from a more recognizable and conventional toothpaste brand. I am going to explain why each ingredient is in the toothpaste.

Sodium Fluoride: Prevents tooth decay and plaque
Inactive ingredients:
Sorbitol: Flavoring Agent and Humectant
Hydrated silica: Abrasive, absorbent and viscosity controlling
PEG-6: Humectant and solvent
Sodium lauryl sulfate: Denaturant, surfactant, cleansing agent, emulsifying, foaming.
Zinc citrate: Biocide
Cellulose gum: Binder, emulsion stabilizer, film former, viscosity increasing agent
Sodium saccharin: Flavoring agent
Carrageenan: Masking agent
Glycerin: Denaturant, humectant, viscosity decreasing agent, solvent
Hydroxyethyl cellulose: Binder, emulsion stabilizer, film former, viscosity increasing agent
Sodium citrate: pH adjuster, buffering, chelating, masking
Stannous chloride: Reducing
Polysorbate 80: Denaturant, surfactant, emulsifying agent, solubilizing agent
Sodium benzoate: Preservative, anticorrosive, masking
Cetylpryidinium chloride: Antiseptic
Benzoic acid: pH Adjuster, preservative, bulking, masking
Polyethylene: Abrasive, adhesive, binder, bulking agent, emulsion stabilizer, film former, viscosity increasing agent
Iron oxides: Colorant
Titanium dioxide: Colorant, opacifying agent, ultraviolet light absorber
Blue 1, Blue 1 lake, Yellow 10 lake and Yellow 5: Colorants

From the ingredient's list I have concluded the Sodium Fluoride, Zinc Citrate and Cetylpryidinium chloride have properties that are actually meant to help keep your teeth safe from decay, plaque and bacteria. The preservatives, ingredients to help the stability, colorants and abrasives are unneeded. This Earthpaste recipe is free from modern day chemicals and only uses natural ingredients used throughout history. This recipe last without a preservative for the entire time it takes to use the toothpaste. The ingredients never have to be mixed after making the recipe. While the color is a light brown and the toothpaste doesn't foam in your mouth, this just takes some getting used to. The ingredients below are antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, prevent tooth decay and plaque all while tasting great! 

Earthpaste Toothpaste Ingredients:
Glass Container. (Jar from Hobby Lobby)
¼ cup Redmond Clay (Bentonite Clay)
¼ tsp. Real Salt or Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
2 tbsp. Xylitol
1-2 tbsp. Coconut Oil (taste dependent)
10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil (I only had Peppermint Extract)
5 drops Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil
3 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
2 drops Clove Bud Essential Oil
3-6 tbsp. Distilled Water (more/less for desired thickness)

Optional ingredients:
1-2 tbsp. Baking Soda 
20-30 drops Trace Minerals (Recommended by Wellness Mama to help with remineralization)
Flavor Options:
Spearmint, Lemon, Lime, Sweet Orange, Mandarin Orange, and Tangerine.
(Recipe based off Earthpaste ingredients and this recipe)
Mix Coconut Oil with all the Essential Oils in the glass container. This acts as a carrier and dilutes the EO's. If the Coconut Oil is hard place the jar in warm water to aid in mixing. Add Clay, Salt, Xylitol and 3 tablespoons water and mix.  Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, until you get the paste consistency you want. If the toothpaste clumps together instead of being smooth you do not have enough water.

*Do not use metal (or plastic if able) when using clay. Mix with a wood utensil (I use a chop stick) and keep the toothpaste in glass.

**Always check the safety of essential oils especially if you are pregnant or using the product on children. Check here, here and here for more information. Unfortunately, websites give conflicting information. The first website does not list any of the ingredients above as ones to avoid while pregnant while the second and third says to avoid cinnamon, clove and peppermint. Personally, I would stay away from most essential oils while pregnant or with children just to be safe. Try using the leaf or extract form instead. Xylitol (even small amounts) and tea tree essential oil are toxic to dogs so always keep these away from your pet family.

Benefits of Ingredients:
Xylitol: non-fermentable making an environment that is inhospitable to bacteria and inhibits plaque formation (keep away from dogs!)
Peppermint Essential Oil: antibacterial, helps with bad breath, gum infections, oral inflammation and prevents gingivitis
Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil: antiseptic and antibacterial
Tea Tree Essential Oil: antibacterial, antiviral and fights gingivitis and plaque (toxic to dogs)
Clove Bud Essential Oil: antibacterial and antiseptic
Coconut Oil: antibacterial
Salt: antibacterial and taste
Bentonite Clay: light abrasive and antibacterial 

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