Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Okay, so some people have been after us to post here, so I suppose I'll do so. We've given up toothpaste.

Okay, now the initial gasp is over, I'll explain. We've moved from using toothpaste to using tooth powder. I got the idea from my research into early 20th Century life, but found some
natural recipes. It doesn't have that nasty toothpaste taste and my teeth and mouth feel cleaner than they ever did right after brushing.

After messing about with ratios, I finally hit on 4:1 mixture of baking soda and sea salt with several drops of peppermint oil. I mix the baking soda and salt then drip in the oil. Then I stir it up again and mush up the clumps caused by the oil to get an even distribution. I put it in a container that used to hold breath mints and a mixture with 6 tablespoons of baking soda fills it up and it lasts for several weeks.

To use it, I wet my toothbrush, then give it a good shake. This leaves me with damp bristles which I touch to the tooth powder. You only need a small amount and if you leave the tooth brush in too long, the water seeps into the tooth powder and you're left with clumpy tooth powder.


Sara said...

Awesome post! I'm going to try giving up the store bought stuff. One thing I am concerned about- After doing some research on different recipes I read several comments from dental hygienists who warned that undissolved salt will scratch off the enamel from the teeth and that is why people of the past era typically were toothless by their 40's. Maybe wetting the stuff after putting it on the brush would solve (or rather dissolve) the problem.???

Jamie said...

I checked a few sources on google (feel free to do your own searches cuz I'm too lazy to post links and it's really easy anyway) but basically most sources say that salt is good for the teeth.

One dentist said that it can cause a little wear over time if you brush too hard. Another source claims that you should not wet/dissolve the salt before you start brushing.

It seems to be pretty normal in other countries and for the most part I have noted that we Americans seem to be the neediest when it comes to horrid teeth and health. I've met a lot of toothless individuals who aren't even 30 yet and I'm guessing we can blame malnutrition, not salt. Also, it is not unheard of for professionals to give misleading information either due to ignorance or the fear of losing profits. (Fluoride industry, anyone?)

It will be awhile before I use up my Melaleuca stash but thanks for the recipe! Eventually I hope to try it out. Unless, of course, your teeth start dropping out in the meantime. ;)

Sara said...

I made a small amt. of this recipe and added a little xylitol, because I already had it. I just brushed super gently because it felt more abrasive than regular toothpaste. I couldn't believe all the bits of food that came out, it definitely cleans better than toothpaste and the taste isn't bad either with the peppermint oil.
Jamie, I agree that lack of nutrition is the primary cause of dental caries, and I think the salt will not do any harm if we don't scour our teeth like a stainless steel pot, but treat them with a bit of extra tlc.

Scott said...
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Scott said...

The salt is a little more abrasive than regular toothpaste, but that's why I increased the ratio from 3:1 to 4:1. As far as dental hygienists giving advice, I've also read a lengthy tirade from a dental hygienist against using baking soda because that will take the enamel off your teeth. (?) I wondered why there is such thing as baking soda toothpaste, then. It seems to me there is a lot of distrust of anything not highly processed and manufactured in the ranks of the health care providers (due in large part to the influence of the pharmaceutical companies).

Jamie said...

Thanks for the mental picture of a dental hygienist on a tirade, Scott. I now have this image of a masked, scrub-wearing professional pointing at me saying, "Big Pharma wants YOUR teeth!"

I remember as a child being really sensitive to the baking soda/salt flavor. It made me gag and almost get sick. So I've got to ask: How good does it taste? (Good enough to go over well with the munchkin crowd?)

Sara said...

The peppermint oil makes it taste pretty good. But Miriam still says it makes her choke. She uses it anyway, because it's all we have, lol. I think she'll get used to it. The others are fine with it. Start with a nearly microscopic amount, then increase gradually. Although I recently read an article on about a study proving dry brushing was really effective against plaque.

Jamie said...

You guys already used up that Melaleuca stuff I brought you?!! It took us a few months! I guess this is what I get to look forward to when the kids start fixing their own toothbrushes? Lol!

Grace said...

Lacey can't stand the stuff, so we found her some all natural(flouride free, and containing xylitol) toothpaste.