Each of the ingredients mentioned here could have a blog entry all of their own, but I am going to try to keep it simple....Here is a brief description of some of the dangers involved with each ingredient:
Fluoride - Fluoride destroys the brain (accumulates in the pineal gland), the bones, the organs and causes cancer. It is used in rat and cockroach poisoning! Did you know that most popular toothpastes contain enough fluoride in four ounces to kill a small child within 2 to 4 hours? (From “Fluoride Retained From Mouth Rinses and Dentifrices in Preschool Children.”) It is also a little known fact that fluoride compounds were added to the drinking water of prisoners to keep them quiet and to hamper noncompliance with authority, both in Nazi prison camps during World War II and in the Soviet gulags in Siberia. (From The Cold War and the University)
Surprisingly, fluoride has never been approved by the FDA. A 1990 study stated that fluoride has been shown to NOT reduce cavities and scientists are now linking fluoride to dental deformity, arthritis, allergic reactions and about 10,000 unnecessary deaths each year from cancer. (From “Fluoride an equivocal carcinogen. National Cancer Institute)
More on fluoride here.
FD&C Blue Dye # 1 & 2 - Food coloring is neurotoxic. They are made of petroleum, acetone and coal tars that are synthetically engineered, ick! Ironically, food coloring WAS approved by the FDA. In studies in which rats were given doses of artificial food coloring versus a placebo and then placed in a maze, it was found that the rats were hyperactive and had difficulty staying on task and retaining attention (From "Potential Health Hazard", 2011 Kamel & El-lethey). This is interesting because, as a lot of brightly colored snacks have lots of sugar as well as artificial color, so people blame the sugar for hyperactivity. However, the coloring itself may have something to do with this, as well. Some parents have concluded this on their own from observations at home, too. It has even been linked with rashes, asthma and tumors! If your child has problems with phenol foods, it would be wise to steer clear of these ingredients. There are many other food coloring ingredients that are not found in toothpaste, but are harmful, as well.
Sodium lauryl sulfate - One of THE most dangerous ingredients used in personal care products. It's added to toothpaste as a foaming agent. Do you need your toothpaste to foam? Really? It is used around the world for clinical testing as a primary skin irritant. Laboratories use it to irritate the skin on test animals and humans so that they can then test healing agents to see how effective they are on irritated skin. You want that in your kids mouths?? Or on their heads, or on their skin for that matter? Remember that once this stuff enters the bloodstream, it travels throughout the body. A study at the University of Georgia Medical College indicated that SLS penetrated into the eyes, as well as the brain, heart, liver, etc.....and showed long-term retention in the tissues. This study also proved that it penetrated the eyes of young children and prevented them from developing properly as well as causing cataracts to develop as adults.
Here is an MSDS sheet for SLS.
Triclosan - Pesticide!! Do I really even need to go further? Ok, well I will tell you why it is in toothpaste, it's antibacterial. But honestly, with the sheer number of natural antibacterial herbs, foods and oils, this is just ludicrous! It's seen increasingly on many other kid's products too, in an attempt to reduce the spread of germs. If we just took care of ourselves better, washed our hands more, stayed home when we were sick and used natural products to heal ourselves, coating everything with Triclosan wouldn't be necessary. Oh and one little known fact about Triclosan, while these companies claim it's safe, even the EPA has it registered as a dangerous pesticide. In fact, they give Triclosan high scores both as a human health risk and as an environmental risk.
Hydrated silica - A whitener that damages tooth enamel....in your TOOTHpaste? Yup. Hydrated silica is primarily used as an abrasive in toothpaste, is made from a crystallized compound found in quartz, sand, and flint. (From “The Safe Shopper’s Bible”)
Just by looking at those ingredients, not counting the preservatives, sugars and other additives, how do you feel about putting that glob in your mouth tonight or tomorrow morning?
So let's get onto the toothpaste recipe, right?? Because you certainly can't go on using that toxic time bomb waiting in your bathroom cabinet. I'm not sure it even belongs in the trash where it will pollute our world. Maybe you could clean your car engine with it.
Place the first list of ingredients into a small pot on "low" heat until it becomes a thick liquid then turn it off while you go onto the next step, to allow it to cool slightly. ( I don't like putting hot ingredients into my Magic Bullet since I imagine it might have BPA in the plastic)
- 5 generous Tbsp virgin coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp xylitol (be sure it's made from birch, not from corn)
- 2 Tbsp aluminum-free baking soda
- 1 Tbsp sea salt (we use Real Salt, because it is the least heavy metal ridden, per independent testing my biological dentist had done on various sea salts)
- 2 tsp vegetable glycerine
- 1 tsp aloe vera gel
- 1/2 tsp or less of hydrogen peroxide (this is an individual choice, I like it for some whitening and bacteria control)
- any essential oil mixtures you would like to flavor the toothpaste with (I like spicy clean flavors like clove and cinnamon or even a little rosemary, you could do a fruity flavor or even mint if you are making your toothpaste just to be healthier)
When you take it out of the fridge, it should be firm or at least thick with no liquid. Allowing it to cool to room temp will turn it into a squeezable gel. Cut the corner into the size hole you want to dispense it through and store upright in a cup on your sink.
If you would like to know more about the reason I chose the above ingredients, keep reading:
- Virgin coconut oil - coconut oil is antimicrobial and it solidifies at room temp (turns to liquid over 78 degrees, so store it somewhere cool if you are in an exceptionally warm climate).
- Xylitol - balances the PH in the mouth, preventing the growth of bad bacteria and because it's also a sweetener, it naturally sweetens the toothpaste.
- Aluminum-free baking soda - Well, of course we are making our own toothpaste to avoid toxins, so aluminum-free is a must. Baking soda also increases/balances the PH in the mouth, and body, plus it's slightly abrasive naturally and will scrub the teeth.
- Sea salt - in addition to being an abrasive that suits cleaning the teeth, it will re-mineralize the teeth with the trace minerals found in natural unrefined sea salt.
- Aloe vera gel - aloe is a natural antimicrobial, but it is also soothing and reduces inflammation. The "gel" part is nice for the toothpaste consistency too.
- Vegetable glycerine - this is not a necessary part of your toothpaste, but it is naturally sweet and helps firm up the toothpaste. I just like it, but your toothpaste will do just fine without it. I've made it both ways successfully.
- Hydrogen peroxide - Whitening power!! It also fights microbes and fungus, but use very little, because it can be harsh in high amounts. Also, some people don't do well with H2O2, because it is a strong oxidizer, so if you have oxidative stress, consider avoiding this ingredient.
- Essential oils - consider oils that will fight bacteria, neutralize toxins and satisfy your taste, like cloves, lemon, cinnamon, mint, etc.
Happy brushing to you and your family.