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From a self-sufficiency perspective it's awesome simply because you made your own toothpaste (how rad are you?). But you also get the bonus of being able to control what goes into your mouth (did you know most toothpastes contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate? Yep. Even at the Co-op).
Oh, and there is one very compelling reasons to stay away from the commercial stuff. Decay.
Lupine had early childhood caries (ECCs). Her teeth were crumbling by 18 months. Modern dentistry blames ECCs on poor brushing habits, poor diet, acidic mouth, genetics, and nighttime-nursing/bottles.
But that story wasn't jiving for us.
We brushed well and regularly, ate wholesome food, and avoided juice, corn syrup processed foods, and most sweets. We did night nurse (and still do), but that seemed evolutionarily normal and to me it didn't make sense that it would contribute to decay of healthy teeth. So I dug deeper. Lots deeper.
The first step? Toss the toothpaste.
A coating of glycerin remains on the teeth for days after brushing with commercial, glycerin-based toothpaste. This film prevents remineralization, something vital for healthy teeth.
While our dentist doesn't buy this theory, he did acknowledge that Lupine's decay ceased within weeks after we made the changes above. It has been over a year and have seen no new decay since our diet and brushing habits changed.
The recipe below is our new standard. It tastes pretty good - sweet and minty, and if you rinse after brushing there is no soapy-taste at all. (Bonus: Our soap-based formula helps prevent swearing!)
LuSa Organics Homemade Toothpaste
2 tsp Natural Liquid Soap (try unscented Dr. Bronner's or similar. We've used our bar soap grated into water but it makes too thick of a toothpaste for my squeeze bottle.)
4 Tb Coconut Oil
1 Tb Water
2 Tb Xylitol (optional)
1/2 tsp Stevia powder (edited in 2014: please use the green stevia powder rather than the highly processed white powder. A half dropper of liquid stevia is another great option.)
10-20 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
5-10 drops Spearmint or Sweet Orange Essential Oil
Boil a small pan of water. Measure out 1 Tb and stir into it Xylitol (optional). Stir to dissolve. Melt coconut oil and add to water mixture. Measure in soap and stevia and blend (a stick blender works well if you have one. Otherwise use your regular blender or whisk by hand like mad). Blend while the formula cools enough to stay combined. Add essential oils and transfer to a clean squeeze or pump bottle. Cool completely, shake well.
Then smile at your self-sufficiency with those squeaky-clean teeth.