Have you ever looked at the ingredients list on a tube of toothpaste? Good grief! Most of the words have 3 to 4 syllables and are synthetically manufactured chemicals. I am not against using toothpaste or Listerine (other mouthwashes are available) , but I am interested to know if I can reduce the amount of those synthetically manufactured chemicals I am taking into my body. I know that most of the world does not use toothpaste for oral hygiene (there are a variety of sticks which do the same job apparently) but I did wonder whether there was any thing I could use that might happen to be in my kitchen already. Cue some researching.
Now, oral hygiene is incredibly important. Not just because you do not want to get cavities and spend lots of time (and money) at the dentist. There is also a link between bad oral health and heart disease. All linked to the plaque apparently. So, I will continue to brush twice a day, but if I can stop putting unnecessary chemicals in my body so much the better.
The first thing my research came up with was that you do not need to use anything other than a toothbrush. Brushing thoroughly for 2 minutes twice a day, will be fine. Flossing is important too, so you need to do that twice a day as well. But no chemicals involved and clean teeth sorted.
I also found a recipe for tooth powder. If you mix half a cup of baking soda and one eighth of a cup of salt in a glass jar, storing in a cool and dark place, it will keep for quite a while. Dipping a dampened brush in this mixture will lighten and brighten your teeth (the baking soda) and get rid of the plaque (the abrasive salt). You might also want to add some drops of peppermint oil to make it taste a little better.
If a powder is not your style, you can make this recipe into a paste by adding 3-4 teaspoons of glycerin and 10-15 drops of essential oil of your choice. Common additions would be peppermint, anise or lemon.
I love the feeling of having a clean mouth – I really feel like I could take on the world when I have fresh breath and clean teeth – but I really do not enjoy using the commercial mouthwashes. They are so strong, it feels like you are eating a hot curry, rather than deodorising your mouth. But, if you take 1 teaspoon each of rosemary, peppermint and lavender and mix the herbs well, then put one teaspoon of the herb mixture in a cup of boiling water, steep it for 15 minutes and strain, letting it cool before using it, you have a fabulous, natural and chemical free, mouthwash.
I am definitely going to make some of the tooth powder (with an option for the tooth paste if I decide I prefer it!) and the mouthwash sounds positively appealing. What about you?