DIY: Natural Toothpaste

We’re probably all guilty of not really thinking too much about what is in our toothpaste. We squeeze it onto our toothbrush and 2-3 minutes later we’re done, with minty fresh breath and a set of pearly whites to show for it. However, a lot of ingredients used in conventional toothpaste can be harmful to our bodies and our health.

The Tooth About Conventional Toothpaste

Most conventional toothpaste is filled with artificial colors and sweeteners, like aspartame. Do we really need to have red and blue stripes swirled into our toothpaste? I don’t think we’re getting any marks for patriotism there.

These conventional pastes also contain fluoride, which can cause tooth discoloration and stomach problems. The FDA actually requires a warning label on every tube of toothpaste sold in the US that contains fluoride, true story folks.

So, you know that rich foamy/bubbly lather you get when brushing your teeth? That stuff is made possible by Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), which is a surfactant that is used in a range of products from industrial cleaners to toothpaste, its main purpose is to provide a foaming lather. The problem with SLS however, is that it may cause canker sores, mouth ulcers, stomach issues, and cancer.

Call me crazy, but something that we are putting into our mouths upwards of two times a day, and inevitably ingesting, shouldn’t be dangerous to our health, right? This is why I switched over to natural toothpaste several years ago, and eventually started making my own, because ain’t nobody got money to pay $5 for a tube of toothpaste that you can make for less than $1. Can I get an Amen?

Brush It Off

If DIYing just isn’t for you, here is a list of natural toothpaste recommendations. These toothpastes are all from respected and trusted natural brands. Number 5 on the list is actually the toothpaste I used and loved before I started making my own.

Anyway, I was mindlessly scrolling Instagram just about a year ago now, when I came across a post from SW Basics, where they shared a simple, and boy do I mean simple, toothpaste recipe. When I saw this I thought to myself, shit I can do that, so I did. And I’ve been making a slightly modified version of their toothpaste recipe ever since.

Here is the recipe I found:

  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 20 drops peppermint oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt (optional)

Combine all the ingredients into a paste, store in a sealed container. It will last up to six months.

In my version, I omit the salt altogether as the baking soda has enough of a salty taste to me and I didn’t feel the need to add it in; the taste just wasn’t as appealing to me. I also use around 25 drops of peppermint essential oil, to boost the minty flavor of the paste. I am a huge peppermint fan, but if you aren’t there is no need to add more, 20 drops is sufficient in helping to freshen your breath reduce bacteria and mask the majority of the baking soda taste.

It’s always important to remember too that a simple recipe like this can easily be adjusted and modified to fit the needs of each individual person. Add a little more, or less of each ingredient until it has the consistency and taste you like best. It is your toothpaste after all; you should make it how you want!

I will say it did take me several weeks to fully adjust to the new taste and texture of my new homemade toothpaste. This stuff doesn’t foam and bubble, nor does it have a fake overpowering spear-minty flavor. It may not taste great to you at first, but trust me you will get used to it, and let’s be real for a second, does our toothpaste really need to taste good? As long as it freshens our breath and gets rid of plaque and bacteria we’re all good, and this stuff definitely does that.

So, please guys, let’s get brushing and give this stuff a chance. I promise your teeth, health, wallet and the environment will be thanking you! And the satisfaction you’ll feel from making your own health/body care products is such a great feeling in and of itself.

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Homemade Holiday Gift Guide

I think that homemade gifts are a great idea for Christmas, or really any time you are going to give a gift to someone. Making someone a gift shows that you took the time to think of them and what they might like; you actually spent time thinking about and making something for someone else besides yourself, and that’s always a nice feeling. Another great reason to make homemade gifts is that most of the time they are consumable gifts, meaning something you can eat or use. I love getting gifts that have a practical or good use and you are sure to use and not just let it set in your closet collecting dust and taking up space in your house and your life. I have been trying to live a more minimalistic life, in all aspects as of late, and a nice homemade gift that you can use is a perfect way to enjoy a holiday gift.

Plus homemade gifts are generally cheaper, so obviously, my broke self is going to hop on that train.

This year for Christmas I decided to make mostly food gifts. I am making Chex Mix and cookies for all of my friends and family. I am also making infused apple pie bourbon for the men in my family, instead of the cookies; I just thought they might like that a bit better.Holiday Gift Idea GraphicFood is a great gift for Christmas or birthdays since they are consumable gifts, as I mentioned before, and you can almost be sure the person you are giving it to will use/eat it up. Homemade salsa is an easy and good gift as well. You could include some chips and maybe a small bottle of tequila to make it a fiesta. If you are into making beer or wine that would be a good gift as well and you could customize the flavors, based upon whom you are giving it to and what they like.

But, homemade gifts don’t always have to be food. A body or foot scrub is always a great gift for a hardworking friend or family member that needs to take some time to relax. I have a body scrub recipe on my blog you could check out, it is super simple to make, and you could decorate the container and make a label for it which would make it seem even more personalized and special.

Candles are also a great gift for anyone! My brother makes candles every year for Christmas; here is where he gets his supplies.

A nice homemade oil blend is an amazing gift also. I have a recipe for a calming blend, but you could just take the basics from that and switch up the essential oils you use to make a completely customized and special blend for anyone this holiday season. A nice holiday blend, with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, vanilla, orange and fir, or some combination of those oils, would be a great oil to diffuse this winter season. With the colder weather coming, an oil blend including lavender, tee tree, thyme, peppermint, eucalyptus, or rosemary would be a great defense again the cold and flu season.

If you are artistic or creative, making a painting or some type of home décor would be a wonderful gift as well. You could try to match the existing décor in your friend or family members home and make something that will fit in with what they already own. A photograph that you have taken, a painting, a birdhouse or any other piece they may enjoy and want to display in their home.

While flowers or plants aren’t actually homemade they are still great thoughtful and beautiful gifts. If you know someone who is in to gardening or cooking an herb garden would be an amazing and practical gift for him or her. Along those same lines, someone who is in to holistic health may enjoy an Aloe Vera plant.

No matter what you decide to make or give to your family and friends for the holiday season, as long as you make it with their interests in mind, they are sure to love it, because you made it just for them.

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