Monday, January 20, 2014

A toothpaste making adventure

We recently ran out of homemade toothpaste at our house and so it was time to get busy and make some new stuff. I did decide it would be good to do things a little differently this time as the younger three kids really didn't like the last batch. I wanted to make some that would be kid approved.

  I visited with a friend who was also working on making some for her family and I got an idea or so and then I started searching online for more recipes. I wanted to make something using what I already had on hand, something that would work and something the kids would like.

  My friend had mentioned using calcium in her toothpaste and that did seem like a good idea but I didn't have any on hand but when searching online I came across the idea of using egg shells in your toothpaste because they are full of calcium. 
You just need to wash them up, cook them at 400 degrees until they are nice and brittle (though I was afraid I left them in to long - as I forgot them for a while- I think in hindsight that they could have been more brittle and that would have been good) and then put them in your blender or food processor and grind them to a powder.

I have also been reading that diatomaceous earth is good for you and your teeth as well and since my parents had bought a bunch (to use on their livestock) and given me some, I had that on hand and wanted to try it. The main benefit of diatomaceous earth is it's silica of which there is a lot! That is good for teeth, hair, nails and such. When combine with calcium (in the egg shells and also in the DE to some degree), silica can work to remineralize teeth. DE also has some abrasiveness (not a lot) that helps with the cleaning of teeth and gums. Here is some more info on it.

I had also read about oak bark being good for teeth and since we had that available for free I decided to throw that in as well.  This is an astringent antiseptic and seems to be especially valuable in fighting against gingivitis but also seems to be beneficial to the teeth.

  When the kids found out I was making toothpaste they were interested (What is Mom going to make us try next!?) and when they found out that three of the ingredients were egg shells, "dirt" and bark they were a little less than thrilled. I went forward however and kept at my work even though I had a bunch of groaners watching me.

Here is what I ended up using:
5 egg shells (powdered)
1 T oak tree bark (ground up fine)
3 T. diatomaceous earth
pinch of salt (for abrasion and taste)
3 T. Truvia (this is for taste and nothing else - I was wanting to make this something the kids would like)
3 T. coconut oil (this is supposed to whiten and will also help pull impurities out of your mouth)
10 drops or so of peppermint oil (antiseptic and good smelling)
1 T. water (in hind sight I think there should have been more water as the oil hardens up quite a bit when sitting - unless you have a very warm house)

I mixed them all very thoroughly together, picking out any big chunks of bark that made their way in.
 It was ready to try. The kids were still groaning about it so I offered to do a demonstration to show that it really wasn't that bad.
 Jonathan took some pictures of the process (and I am sure you always wanted to see a picture of me brushing, didn't you! :-) ).
 Aaron, who was the most vocal at the weirdness of it and questioning the ingredients was the first to also give it a try. It was quite sweet and he decided he liked it - A lot! In fact it might just be better than frosting and he wanted to eat it. No thank- you! That is our toothpaste! Megan also thought it quite good. Mara is also using it but Jonathan hasn't yet been brave enough to give it a try.

  I do think my egg shells could have benefited from being a little more powdery but overall it works good. It did harden up more than I would have liked but it still works.

 I still have tweaking to do and still would like to try some other ideas that I have read about but I am enjoying learning more about tooth care. I am thinking that horsetail (something else that has oodles of silica in it and we have growing right here) might be a good addition too. It is so fun to be able to make something like this using ingredients that we can get right here on our own property!

  Do you ever make your own toothpaste? What do you use?

Disclaimer: I am not a dentist or a doctor and I don't claim to be. I am simply trying to find things that I think will be best for my family's health and I enjoy telling others about it too. Use my ideas at your own risk. :-)

I am linking up to:
The Homestead Barn Hop


Anonymous said...

Hi Abbi,
What an interesting recipe. Does the bark leave any bitter taste? I guess what I'm asking is...would the sweetner be necessary, or could I leave it out?
Also, I made some coconut oil toothpaste a few months ago, and while I loved using the coconut oil I have a word of caution for you. You may want to avoid spitting the majority of coconut oil down your sink drain. Coconut oil will definitely clog up your sink pipes as it hardens below 70 degrees. It was suggested to me that a trashcan be used to spit the majority of the toothpaste out first, then rinse. Just trying to save plumbing costs. :)

Abbi said...

I have not noticed any sort of bitterness from the oak bark. I don't really think the sweetener would be needed. It just makes my kids like it much better. I read an idea later that I think I will try next time and that is to boil the bark in water and then use that "tea" in the toothpaste (strain out the actual bark).

Thanks for the tip as far as spitting. That did cross my mind but since it is such a tiny amount each day and mixed with lots of saliva I wasn't sure that it mattered but it might. I probably should be cautious as stopped up drains would not be fun!


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