More than 3 years ago I saw a documentary on the dangers and side effects of fluoride by the Fluoride Action Network, which, along with my own additional research, made me question the benefits of commercial fluoridated toothpaste. I stopped using commercial toothpaste after that. And have since been using my own homemade toothpaste and the Philips Sonicare toothbrush to brush my teeth. My dentist just gave me a clean bill of health. He even said my gums and teeth have never looked healthier. The recipe I use is easy, quick to make, and very inexpensive.
I just use 3 ingredients:
- baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
- and several drops (8-12) of peppermint extract (I get mine from Phoon Huat)
Total Cost: Just $14 ($4 baking soda – 1000g; $10 peppermint extract – 60mL) will last you and your family for more than a year.
How to make it: I reuse a glass container (that once contained preserved vegetables) and add spoonfuls of baking soda to fill about half the container. Then slowly add water and stir (I use a toothpick). I add enough water until the toothpick can still stand on its own.
Then I add 10-15 drops of peppermint extract. Peppermint extract is usually a lot less expensive than pure 100% peppermint oil.
Variations: I used to use some glycerin in addition to water. But found that the glycerin didn’t really make much of a difference in terms of creating a better texture. Also, it was expensive and only a few places carry glycerin in bulk. Some people will add coconut oil, as it has some anti-bacteria benefits. And occasionally, I will add in calcium carbonate for a remineralising effect.
Other factors to consider: Besides using this homemade toothpaste, the biggest thing that has really helped me with my oral health is not eating too many sweets. It’s the bacteria that feed off of the sugars that eventually will lead to tooth decay. Limiting the amount of sugars, especially refined sugars (that includes the stuff from Bread Talk, as simple carbs convert easily into sugars) will greatly cut down on those cavity-causing strains of bacteria.
A surprising outcome: I was surprised to know that after brushing with this homemade toothpaste over the years, the one sensitive tooth I had is no longer sensitive. I really wish I had watched the documentary earlier in my life. Because prior to that, I was using toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth, and those special toothpastes were much more expensive than the regular toothpastes. Now, after more than 3 years, I haven’t purchased a single tube of toothpaste, and have saved a good amount of money and time, while maintaining better health and limiting my exposure to fluoride…. Now if only Singapore would stop fluoridating the water….
Many dentists strongly believe flouride is necessary. So let me just reiterate that this is just my personal experience, and that you will have to do your own research and come to your own conclusions.