If you do some basic research you will find that most toothpastes are made with some fairly toxic ingredients. I don't intend to go into details here because formulas change all the time but there are a couple of things that it is worthwhile being aware of. A lot of toothpastes are marketed as 'natural' but how 'natural' they really are is questionable. To give you a rough indication of degrees though you will actually find details printed on the tube. Around the base you will see a block of colour which will be - Green = ‘Natural’, Blue = Natural plus medicinal compounds, Red = Natural + some form of chemical composition, or Black = pure chemical.
The colour coding is an indication that will help you make an initial choice but if you want to drill down further then one ingredient that is worth looking out for is glycerine. This is added as a hydrator to help the paste glide more smoothly across the teeth. However, in the process it coats and remains on the teeth which blocks the naturally-occurring remineralisation process. Saliva in the mouth naturally strengthens enamel but it can’t do its job when teeth are coated in glycerine.
There are loads of natural toothpaste recipes available. This is my current favourite. I recommend it to clients who are generally in good health. The bicarbonate of soda component is generally well tolerated and is only used in very small amounts that are spat out after brushing. People with heart disease or on long term medication need to check for any contraindications. Our teeth and mouths are constantly under attack by acids thanks to the foods we eat and the bicarb is included to naturally neutralise these and to protect the enamel from decay. Contrary to popular belief it is not too harsh or abrasive as long as brushing remains gentle. A high intake of vegetables and water are also essential for maintaining a proper pH balance in the mouth.
And one more thing, teeth should be brushed before meals while the mouth is in an alkaline state. Acid is produced in the mouth rapidly after eating and brushing spreads it around which increases the likelihood of decay.
Mint Choc Toothpaste Recipe
2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda - 4 tablespoons coconut oil - 3-4 drops peppermint extract - 2 teaspoons cacao powder - unrefined sea salt and a ¼ teaspoon of ground cacao nibs (if desired). Directions 1. Mix the bicarbonate of soda, cacao powder and unrefined sea salt together 2. Add peppermint extract and slightly warmed coconut oil, stirring well 2. Keep in a sealed jar or other sealed container. 3. Scoop a pea-sized amount out with a spoon and place on the bristles of your brush. 4. Brush teeth gently. 5. Spit out excess paste into the bin if you are worried about coconut oil clogging your drains.