Hi. That’s me. In the seventh grade.
Your welcome. Love those teal braces? They match my body suit for picture day. Plus, baby bangs.
I have been hooked on minty, commercial toothpastes ever since my braces and retainers days. When my orthodontist did a great job scaring me with the idea that if I didn’t brush well, I’d have brown stains when my braces came off. I still brush my teeth almost every time I leave the house to go someplace.
How sad was my inner seventh grader I when I found out that all the good, minty toothpastes in the grocery store had tons of chemicals? Even the “natural” brands like Tom’s of Maine contain questionable ingredients. I needed a toothpaste that was free of the following: SLS, propylene-glycol, sodium benzoate, and fluoride.
And so began my toothpaste detox.
First, I decided to try my hand at making some. I did a bunch of research. The toothpaste recipe I used is from Crunchy Betty. Not only is she one of my favorite bloggers, but she is the Internet queen of homemade toiletries and cleaners…aka “Crunchistry.”
This recipe took all of a few minutes to whip up. When I was mixing it together, it smelled divine, just like a York Peppermint Patty! I transferred it to a glass cosmetic jar from Mountain Rose Herbs. So inexpensive and easy! I couldn’t wait to try it.
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil3
- Tbsp baking soda
- 25 drops peppermint essential oil
- 1 packet stevia (I used more to taste)
Put the coconut oil and baking soda in a bowl and mash up with a fork until blended. Add the peppermint essential oil and stevia. Continue to mash and stir until you’ve reached toothpaste consistency. Store in a small glass jar.
I dipped my brush in and got a big chunk, anticipating the York Peppermint Patty sensation. AGH. Two words: minty salt. This was even after adding extra essential oil.
I’ve been using this for over a month, but I can’t get passed the salty taste. I wish I loved it. I wish it gave me the York Peppermint Patty sensation. But no. I DO know that it is very effective, 100% natural, and super affordable. I just miss my super-minty, icy breath feeling.
I decided to check out some other options to see if there was anything that would fulfill all my natural toothpaste dreams.
Trader Joe’s Antiplaque
Right now, I’m trying Trader Joe’s Antiplaque toothpaste with myrrh and propolis. It’s free of all the ingredients I want to avoid. As far as taste goes, it still doesn’t leave me minty-fresh. Actually, it tastes a lot like a black jelly beans. (Not that it’s bad. I mean, it’s better than salt, but in my world black jelly beans generally get left in the bottom of the bag.)
Now this is interesting. And I promise, not as scary as it sounds. I ordered some toothpaste samples from a company called Earthpaste. The ingredients are Redmond clay, salt, and essential oils.
At first I was scared, because when I put some on my toothbrush it was…well, brown. I closed my eyes and started brushing. I was pleasantly surprised! It tasted just like regular toothpaste. It definitely gave me the minty-fresh taste I like. I would NEVER know it is made of dirt. Plus, it’s totally safe for kids to swallow. I tried all of the flavors: Wintergreen, Cinnamon, and Peppermint. After sampling, I wanted to order some. I saw the price: $7.99 a tube! Wow. Way more expensive than regular toothpaste. However, do not dismay. Today, I just discovered I can order it online from places like Vitacost.com for about $4. (Just Google “Earthpaste” and you’ll get results from different online companies that sell it). Now that’s more like it.
Stacey’s Tooth Powder
What about kids? They are picky about taste. My friend Chrissy, owner of Eco Chic Baby and Home, gave me a sample of Stacey Ogden’s Homemade Strawberry tooth powder. It contains organic strawberry flavor, baking soda, salt, and stevia. Slighly salty, but mostly delicious! Though it’s not minty enough for me, I would highly recommend this for kids. I gave some to Michaiah on her toothbrush and she said “mmm!” I was able to help her brush her teeth with something that tasted good, without worrying about what she was swallowing.
The cost is $5.00 for 2 oz, but it lasts forever. Not only that, but I’d definitely pay $5.00 knowing I’m getting a kid-friendly toothpaste and supporting a mom-preneur like Stacey, who makes these products for her own kids.
So what does everyone use for toothpaste? Does anyone have a brand they’d recommend that would fit my criteria?
*Toothpaste Update: as of 3/24/13, the official toothpaste of our home is Trader Joe’s Antiplaque with Myrrh and Propalis. We used up all of our Earthpaste samples, and then finished our tube of Trader Joe’s. When it was time to buy more, my husband mentioned that he had grown accustomed to Trader Joe’s and didn’t mind it at all. I had to agree. I got used to living without the super minty flavor. The finalizing factor was that my husband said he didn’t like the Earthpaste. (Aw.) So there you have it: Trader Joe’s it is. Not a bad conclusion, considering it meets all my criteria, both the hubs and I like it, and I can pick it up for a few dollars when I get my weekly groceries at TJ’s.
Update as of 10/24/13: We ran out of my daughter’s tooth powder a couple months ago, so I gave her a teeny amount of Trader Joe’s. To my surprise, she did not even flinch. I guess the upside of using a less “spicy” toothpaste. So now our whole family officially uses Trader Joes with myrrh and propolis.