Thursday, April 14, 2011

A closer look at glycerin & whether it's wise to be in toothpaste & a homemade toothpaste recipe

Several months ago I ran across a post on the blog Goofy Momma. Allison shared information about glycerin in toothpaste and how glycerin coats the teeth and keeps them from remineralizing. I had never heard of any negatives for glycerin and actually hadn't realized that it's in nearly every toothpaste, natural or not. I always overlooked it when reading toothpaste labels and yes I ALWAYS read toothpaste labels. I will not buy a toothpaste that has fluoride or if at all possible sodium laurel sulfate in it. I'll share why in another post on another day.


When it comes to our health, there is a whole lot of contradictory information. For every "fact" that exist you can almost always find information that contradicts it. Taking a closer look at glycerin and it's affect on teeth, this is defiantly one of those topics that includes a lot of contradictory information. In the end you will have to use your own judgement and research to decide what is best for your family and you. When searching how glycerin affects the teeth, there are plenty of sites which include information on how glycerin can block the teeth's ability to remineralize. The belief is glycerin leaves a thin coat on the teeth, keeping the teeth from having the natural ability to remineralize, which happens from the saliva in the mouth. I have read in numerous places that it can take anywhere from 20 - 30 times of brushing without glycerin to remove it from the teeth. It seems that the bases for this information comes from the research of Dr. Gerald Judd.  


However, there is also plenty of information that would refute that glycerin can be harmful to the teeth. I have spent several hours trying to find more scientific research on the subject, but to not much avail. Here is one piece of information from PubMed.com:  (http://1.usa.gov/fQO94o)
"This study evaluated the effects of 10% carbamide peroxide, carbopol and glycerin and their associations on microhardness over time on enamel and dentin. Eight treatment agents were evaluated: a commercial bleaching agent containing 10% carbamide peroxide (Opalescence 10% Ultradent), 10% carbamide peroxide, carbopol, glycerin, 10% carbamide peroxide + carbopol, 10% carbamide peroxide + glycerin, carbopol + glycerin and 10% carbamide peroxide + carbopol + glycerin. Three hundred and twenty human dental fragments, 80 sound enamel fragments (SE), 80 demineralized enamel fragments (DE), 80 sound dentin fragments (SD) and 80 demineralized dentin (DD) fragments, were exposed to the treatment agents (n=10). These agents were applied onto the surface of the fragments eight hours a day for 42 days. After eight hours, they were washed from the dental fragment surfaces after five back-and-forth movements with a soft bristle toothbrush under distilled and deionized running water. During the remaining time (16 hours per day), the fragments were kept in individual vials in artificial saliva. After the 42-day treatment period, the specimens were kept individually in artificial saliva for 14 days. Knoop microhardness measurements were performed at baseline, after eight hours, and 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 and 42 days, and 7 and 14 days post-treatment (corresponding to 49 and 56 days after the initial treatment agent applications). The non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis analysis showed significant differences among the agents at each time interval, except at baseline for sound and demineralized enamel and dentin. For SE, SD and DD, there was a decrease in microhardness values during treatment with all agents. There was a tendency towards lower microhardness values after treatment with carbopol and its associations for sound tissues. DD showed low microhardness values during and after treatment with CP and its associations. For DE, there was an increase in microhardness values during treatment with all agents and in the post-treatment phase. The baseline microhardness values were not recovered during the 14-day post-treatment phase. Opalescence 10%, carbamide peroxide, carbopol, glycerin and their associations may change the microhardness of sound and demineralized dental tissues, even in the presence of artificial saliva."
Take from this what you can. In the end what I read is that glycerin does affect dental tissue in some way, but sadly they don't expand on this in the abstract.

To help you make the best decision for whether or not you will want to use glycerin, below is more information on the product itself.

What is glycerin?
It's a sweet, colorless, thick liquid. It dissolves in water and alcohol, but not in oil. However, many things will dissolve in glycerin that wouldn't do so as easily in water and alcohol, which makes it a good solvent. 

Also, "glycerin is highly 'hygroscopic' which means that it absorbs water from the air. Example: if you left a bottle of pure glycerin exposed to air in your kitchen, it would take moisture from the air and eventually, it would become 80 per glycerin and 20 percent water. Because of this hygroscopic quality, pure, 100 percent glycerin placed on the tongue may raise a blister, since it is dehydrating. Diluted with water, however, it will soften your skin." (Pioner Thinking, What is Glycerin? by Kaila Westerman) 
  
How is it made? 
Originally glycerin came to us from the candle making industry. However, post 1889 a more viable way was established to remove glycerin from soap making, where it was a natural byproduct of the process.
"The process of removing the glycerin from the soap is fairly complicated (and of course, there are a lot of variations on the theme). In the most simplest terms: you make soap out of fats and lye. The fats already contain glycerin as part of their chemical makeup (both animal and vegetable fats contain from 7% - 13% glycerine). When the fats and lye interact, soap is formed, and the glycerin is left out as a "byproduct". But, while it's chemically separate, it's still blended into the soap mix."
"While a cold process soapmaker would simply pour into the molds at this stage, a commercial soapmaker will add salt. The salt causes the soap to curdle and float to the top. After skimming off the soap, they are left with glycerin (and lots of "impurities" like partially dissolved soap, extra salt, etc.). They then separate the glycerin out by distilling it. Finally, they de-colorize the glycerin by filtering it through charcoal, or by using some other bleaching method." (Pioner Thinking, What is Glycerin? by Kaila Westerman)
Until recently, soap making has continued to yield the most glycerin. In the last decade though glycerin has also been coming to us as a waste product of the biofuel making process.
"Recent interest in biodiesel fuel from renewable sources of vegetable oil, waste cooking oil and beef tallow has created a market glut of glycerin. Biodiesel is prepared by adding methanol to the oil/fat source. The fatty acid portion of the molecule is esterified to biodiesel, and glycerin is produced as a byproduct. Crude glycerin is distilled and purified to a possible 99.5 percent purity with ion exchange resins. Research today is focused on using lipids from algae or bacteria to produce biodiesel and glycerin." (Live Strong, Types of Glycerin)
Besides natural occurring glycerin, synthetic glycerin is made and used in many of the products we use.
 "When petroleum is distilled, propylene comes off as a top fraction. Glycerin is made by adding chlorine to the molecule and then hydrolyzing the trichloropropane produced. Synthetic glycerin is used in exacting applications in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals because of its 99.7 percent purity. According to the Glycerin Market Analysis Report, prescription and over-the-counter drugs were initially formulated with synthetic glycerin and received FDA approval as such. To change to natural glycerin would entail new FDA approval processes." (Live Strong, Types of Glycerin)
What will you find it in?
There are hundreds, if not thousands of ways glycerin is used. I was actually shocked to see how many places glycerin is used in today's society. It's in processed food, soap, lotions, cosmetics, household cleaners, paint, pharmaceuticals, anti-freeze, mouthwash, shampoo, cough syrup and even in the form of nitroglycerin to make dynamite (this requires extra processing) to name just a few things.

Why is it in toothpaste? 
The primary reasons glycerin is included in most toothpaste formulas is to improve their overall texture (glycerin gives toothpaste the smooth creamy texture we are familiar with), it helps keep toothpaste from drying out and it adds sweetness.

My Conclusion
From all that I've read, I am not going to write that glycerin is bad for us in general, although at this point I personally wouldn't eat it, but I still question whether it's good for the teeth. I have started using my homemade toothpaste (recipe below) and have been amazed at how much cleaner my teeth are, actually I've been more amazed at how much cleaner my 3 year old's teeth are. For as much as I brushed his teeth, he would continually have a little yellow scum on the top top of his teeth near his gum line. Now with the new homemade toothpaste, his teeth are white and much cleaner. There has been no irritation along his gums and overall his teeth look great. One other great benefit of using the homemade toothpaste is it's much, much cheaper.  "All-natural" toothpaste costs between $5-$8 a tube at our co-op. To me, that's extremely expensive, especially if you are trying to cut your budget, which we are. The ingredients I use in my homemade version are all ones I always have on hand.

I should mention that for several months prior to making this toothpaste I was using straight up baking soda with water and that's it. I think this works too, although some argue it's a bit too abrasive for the teeth. Straight up baking soda isn't particularly appealing in texture or flavor and I knew it would be very difficult to get my son to use it, so that's one of the main reasons I opted to make a homemade toothpaste instead of simply using baking soda and water to clean our teeth.


My toothpaste recipe
There are plenty of different homemade toothpaste recipes. After looking through a handful, I made mine from a combination of ingredients that I believed would not only clean the teeth well, but that my son would also find acceptable. To encourage him to switch from the toothpaste he was accustomed to I had him make the toothpaste with me. He was much more excited to try it this way and overall hasn't had any complaints about it. Since he's still pretty young, I love that all but the peroxide are ingredients I use regularly in my cooking, so if he's swallows a bit of the toothpaste there's no worries he could get sick or have a side affect. (Have you ever read the warning labels on toothpaste before and how important it is that children don't swallow it?)

One final note, let me share why I chose the ingredients I did. The baking soda is a natural cleaner and gently removes grime off the teeth. The coconut oil gives the toothpaste its creaminess and overall is simply excellent for our health. The peroxide is a disinfectant, although if your toothpaste isn't used quickly enough it would likely loose some or all of it's effectiveness. I also used the peroxide to thin the paste. The stevia and peppermint extract are for flavor.  

What You'll Need
For about 1/2 cup of toothpaste

1/4 cup baking soda
1/8 cup coconut oil
1/8 cup hydrogen peroxide
1/4 tsp. stevia
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract


Getting Started
Mix everything in a bowl and store in a glass jar or other suitable container. If toothpaste begins to dry out, stir in a bit more peroxide.

Also, it's always a good idea to be cleaning your toothbrush on a regular basis. I'm trying to get in the habit of pouring a little bit of peroxide on my toothbrush before I use it each time. Why we don't clean our toothbrush, but we do clean everything else in our home, really makes no sense. Last time I checked I wouldn't use the same fork and spoon over and over for several months without washing them. Yuck and germ city, especially if there's been any illnesses in the home.









References:
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-glycerin.htmhttp://www.ehow.com/how-does_5467937_glycerine-made.html
http://www.esru.strath.ac.uk/EandE/Web_sites/06-07/Biodiesel/glycerine.htm
http://www.livestrong.com/article/136368-types-glycerin/
http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v10je06.htm
http://www.smartahealth.com/remineralization.html
http://www.scribd.com/doc/451268/Dr-Gerard-F-Judd-Ph-D-s-Good-Teeth-Birth-to-Death-The-Prescription-for-Perfect-Teeth-Originator-of-the-Alcohol-Cure 
http://science.jrank.org/pages/3065/Glycerol.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycerol
http://www.ehow.com/how_2190137_use-coconut-oil-natural-medicine.html 
http://www.ehow.com/facts_5769104_functions-glycerin_.html

Click on the image and check out all the great posts!

99 comments:

  1. What do you use to get the toothpaste on to the toothbrush? I've been using a toothpick, but the rest of my family just sticks there toothbrush right in there. Is there a better option that I'm just not thinking of?

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  2. Hi Allison, ya know, we're kind of doing the same as your husband and kids. I have my own jar and my husband and son share one. I read on one site that the person put their homemade toothpaste into a plastic tube and squeezed it out like regular toothpaste, but personally I'd rather avoid the plastic. So, for the time being I don't know of a better solution. I'm going to keep my eyes open though. If I ever find something I'll update this post. If you find something too, let me know or put it on your blog. I always enjoy what you have to say.

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  3. Great post! This is great! You know, I was thinking that if you had clean hands since you're in the bathroom anyway, you could just stick a finger in the toothpaste and either put it directly in your mouth or on the toothbrush. Just a thought! :)

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    1. Why not put it into a small piping bag and just pipe it out like you would icing....

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    2. Ravi - I bet that would work well

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    3. Re-usable food grade backpacking tubes

      http://www.coghlans.com/products/squeeze-tubes-7605a

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  4. Hi Caroline, a clean finger would be a good solution. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. This was such an interesting post. I have been thinking of making my own toothpaste for a while, but now you have given me another reason to do so.

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  6. Hi, I'm new here. Great post! We will be trying out your recipe today. I was thinking that a clean spoon would also work just as easily, and being at the sink to brush means you could clean the spoon after each use. Clean fingers are great too!

    Using the peroxide to clean the toothbrush daily is a wonderful idea. We replace our toothbrushes every three months, but I am unhappy with how gross they can get between replacements and we rinse very well with very hot water. We will keep a bottle of peroxide with the toothpaste from now on. Thanks for the great tips!
    Crystal

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  7. I am a soapmaker and in learning how to make soap, I learned about glycerin. I use only organic oils in my soap and I learned that there is a big difference between common glycerin and vegetable glycerin. If you look on cosmeticdatabase.com, glycerin has a relatively low risk of 2 but it has been linked to cancer and toxicity in various organs. Vegetable glycerin (which is the glycerin produced in most natural soap making)on the other hand is not toxic at all

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  8. Crystal, thanks!
    Nicole, thank you for sharing. Good to know. I figured something like that had to be true. Now if we only knew what type of glycerin was in the products we use. I read in several places that companies use different types of glycerin in the same product (vegetable base, synthetic, etc.), it comes down to availability and price.

    One of these days I really want to learn how to make soap. Oh so many things to learn... :)

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  9. Love this post! I've been making my own toothpowder for almost 3 years now. It does make a difference! Thanks for linking up at Simple Lives Thursday :o)

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  10. Very informative post -thank you! Is stevia in powder or liquid form? How about the coconut oil -solid or liquid form? I'll give the recipe a whirl this week...

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  11. Hi Cami, the stevia was in powdered form, but liquid would work too, proportions might be different though. Simply add enough until it gets to your desired sweetness. This one isn't very sweet, it more takes the edge of the baking soda flavor.

    The coconut oil was in it's solid form, but for me room temperature.

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  12. Do you think I could use a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil instead of the 1/4 tsp extract?

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  13. Yes you can use peppermint essential oil. Actually many of the recipes I saw for toothpaste used essential oil instead of the extract.

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  14. I make a very similar recipe for my toothpaste! The only things I don't use are peroxide, simply because I didn't have any when I started making it, and stevia, because I didn't need it to be sweeter. It is basically just for me to use, because my husband hasn't warmed to the texture/taste yet. Here's hoping!

    For the record, I had a small cavity that I chose not to have filled. Over the course of the 6 months between dental checkups it remineralized. :)

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  15. Very cool Jackie and thank you for sharing!

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  16. This is very interesting, I have been looking for more information on glycerin. I make my own toothpaste using vegetable glycerin, but coconut oil sounds like a good alternative.

    -Brenda

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  17. I am SO trying this! It has been on my list for a while but never actually looked up a recipe to do it. We used to just use baking soda and peroxide as a kid but it would always fall off. Adding the coconut oil I bet helps to pull it all together. But I wonder do you actually need the stevia and peppermint oil or is that just for taste/fresh breath? Great post! Please stop by Pure Homemaking and say hello!

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  18. Hi Jennie, you certainly don't need the stevia or peppermint extract. It's there for flavor.

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  19. I have been making my own toothpaste now for a few months. I use coconut oil, baking soda, peppermint oil, stevia and a small amount of vegetable glycerin. I too was confused on the subject of glycerin but after doing some research, and realizing how many different types of glycerins there are, I felt alot better about the product I was using. It's 100% vegetable glycerin, non GMO, derived from coconut oil or palm oil. Without it, the toothpaste is so much dryer and isn't as easy to brush with. Peroxide is definitely interesting to me, but my daughter is only one, so I would rather not use peroxide, when she is swallowing half of it. Hopefully I am right on my thinking, it's so hard to weave through all of the confusing information out there!

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  20. Your post inspired me to do a little more research. I think I am going to leave the glycerin out after all. Here's an article that really helped me to decide.

    http://www.smartahealth.com/remineralization.html

    Thank you for the info you shared!

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  21. Thank you for the info. Laura and the great comments. I'm totally with you on the difficulties of weaving through all the information out there. I'll check out the link you shared, thanks!

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  22. Why are you using stevia as opposed to xylitol in your toothpaste recipe?

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  23. Hi Anonymous, xylitol is one of those ingredients that has a lot of controversy surrounding it (well at least in certain groups). It can be processed from different fruit and vegetables, and is thought to be safe for use for diabetics and thus safe for sweetening tooth paste because it won't affect the teeth in the same way sugar would (this is just me putting a very short summary to a more complicated subject). Many believe that sugar is the cause or one of the causes of tooth decay, but more research is showing that this is not true. Sorry don't have all my sources handy for this topic at the moment, but mercola.com is always a good starting point to look for more into and check his sources.

    My main reasons for not using it is the questions surrounding its overall safety for human consumption. To be very honest, I truly try to avoid processed, unknown ingredients as much as possible. I am not so comfortable in my knowledge base to say to never use it because it could cause harm, however I have seen enough information from a variety of sources that question its benefits and safety overall.

    Just to note I actually do not use Stevia in my toothpaste any more either. Kind of along the same reasons. Stevia can be a very natural ingredient and is something I have grown in my garden, however that is green stevia that I have ground directly from drying the leaves of the stevia plant. The white stevia that we see at the store and what is in products like toothpaste is actually highly processed. I question what this processing does to the original product. Again, I'm not going to tell people to not use it because it will cause them harm, I simply am more apprehensive about using it on a regular basis. In the end we have found that not having any sweetener in the toothpaste is no big deal and even often just use baking soda with water. My 4 year old and almost 2 year old are completely fine with this. It was a little transition in the beginning, but they got used to it and don't think anything of it now.

    Here is one article you can read from the author of "Cure Tooth Decay". http://www.curetoothdecay.com/Tooth_Decay/xylitol_tooth_decay.htm

    Hope that helps a little bit and thanks for the question.

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    1. I know this is really far past the original conversation :) but I recently read how to make your own stevia extract - fresh leaves simmered in vodka (organic). You're left with a tincture/extract that is flavored with the stevia and since you made it, you know what's in it! The alcohol wouldn't be a factor after simmering and such a small amount would be used in the paste....anyway, thought I'd throw it out as an option (my girls aren't thrilled with the taste of our paste so I was researching ways to sweeten that weren't compromising to my overall goal!).

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  24. I tried this toothpaste, and I love it!! The first recipe I tried didn't have the coconut oil in it, and it dried out in a few hours. But then I found this site, and my toothpaste is great! I'm actually giving up conventional beauty products to become all natural in 6 months, and your blog is giving me great recipes and ideas!!! Thanks :)

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    1. Thanks Naturesmaid. We use some version of this toothpaste for the whole family and have found it to work great. My kids prefer it by far to the over minty stuff from the store, plus I don't have to be quite so concerned about them swallowing some of it.

      As you head towards the all natural path one of the favorite items I've been using as of late is my Norwex facial cloths (http://thereseasmus.norwex.biz/?p=n&sectid=4&cid=1&pid=309043) I have had fun trying all of the Norwex items since becoming a consultant for them. Any who, the facial cloths are awesome because they remove all makeup and just give you an extremely clean face with only using water. The microfiber does an excellent cleaning job for the skin and I have found my skin to be much clearer and not nearly as likely to breakout, which happen sometimes when I'm pregnant, like I am now. Just a thought for you. I can't help but tell people about Norwex because the products (for house and body) are so awesome for cleaning and only require water. Can't get more natural than that! :-) Good luck with the going natural!

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  25. Hi, I just made this toothpaste last night! I loved it but the ingredients separated while sitting in the container. Any tips for troubleshooting?

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    1. Hi, I actually don't off hand. The only time I've dealt with separation is sometimes the ingredients don't want to come together in the bowl if I just try to stir it together versus using the mortar and pestle. If I can think of any ideas, I'll certainly let you know. Is it really warm where you are? That would cause the coconut oil to melt, but not necessarily separate. I'm sorry I can't be of more help!

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  26. I was looking for some good food recipe but i found your blog ... this some thing new !!

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  28. Here's what I know from my own experience. I saw a post about someone who stopped using commercial toothpaste and said that it put and end to their sensitive teeth. They explained that the culprit was the glycerine in the commercial toothpastes that coat the teeth and prevent remineralization. So I threw all of my toothpaste in the trash and started brushing ONLY with the unscented Dr. Bronners, which has hardly any taste (not so sure about some of the others though). Anyway, with a couple weeks or so, my sensitive teeth were a non-issue!!!!!!!!!! TOTALLY GONE!! To say I'm thrilled is an understatement! Now I can't say that I know the mechanism of this. Is it the glycerine that keeps popping up in posts around the web? Beats me. All I know is that SOMETHING in commercial toothpastes (even those specifically for sensitive teeth) has CAUSED me a lot of sensitive tooth pain over many years...and now it's gone! That in itself is a superb benefit, but getting away from brushing with fluoride is a huge thing for me too. There are documentaries showing the ill effects of fluoride that are just plain hard to refute! The stuff is baaaaaaaaad, and we don't need it!

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  29. Would this work with any other flavorings? My husband is very adverse to peppermint.

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    1. Sure, use any flavor you want. We actually don't use any flavor most of the time.

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  30. Thank you for the recipe, I will make this tonight when I get home. I have a lot of essential oils, so I will try that instead of the extract. About how long does a batch last (to be effective)? Thanks again!

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    1. Your welcome Lynnette. I wouldn't overly worry about it going bad. Simply using baking soda is an affective way to clean your teeth, which is what we do when I'm behind making "toothpaste". The only ingredient that may loose it's potency is the hydrogen peroxide, but it really isn't an ingredient you have to have in the paste.

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  31. As far as I know, most, if not all essential oils shouldn't be consumed or used orally, hence the usage of flavor extracts by most people who make their own toothpaste. Check this out: http://takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/aromatherapy/are-essential-oils-safe

    Happy brushing! We've also been making our own for about 6 months. Previously I have added glycerin because it seems to help the whole thing stay mixed so much better & really "flow" like store-bought toothpaste. I'm making a new batch today & will try leaving out the glycerin. Peroxide as an added ingredient makes me feel weird, as our kids are all over the place in ages that may swallow or not. Perhaps I'll add it when they are older! Thanks for the post!

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    1. Hi! I don't use essential oils in the above recipe, but do know people who do. I did read the article that you sent and thank you for sharing. I don't feel that the information shared in the article is any different than trying anything new. People are going to be sensitive and/or have reactions to a whole variety of items. There are certainly essential oils that you don't want to take internally, but I don't think that is across the board true. Peppermint is used in a variety of forms and has plenty of benefits for the body. I would need to see more information saying why not to use it as an essential oil in small amounts orally.

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  32. hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizing agents. should avoid using it. why u wana use it

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    1. By no means do you have to use hydrogen peroxide. I know of plenty of people who use it to swish in their mouth to help kill unwanted bacteria. Same concept as all the alcohol that is in mouth wash.

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  33. Telling someone who has a lot of cavities to not use fluoride in in their toothpaste is like telling a diabetic to not take his/her insulin.

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    1. I would also like to add that you are increasing business for dentists.

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    2. I'm sorry but I don't feel the same as you. I believe that dental health has more to do with how we take care of our body, especially what we put into it than how we brush our teeth. I don't see how people have survived thousands of years without toothbrushes and many had fine teeth. Check out Dr. Weston Price and his research on teeth health. You can go to www.westonaprice.org

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    3. Those who support the use of unnatural "fluoride" in toothpaste and in our water system, would be well served to do much research in regard to fluoride; how and from what source it is manufactured. Naturally occurring fluoride is one thing, but the "fluoride" that is found in toothpaste and is used to pollute our societies water systems is a whole other matter. I have refused to use any fluoride products or to drink any water that is not properly filtered to remove ALL such toxins for years. All of my teeth are still solidly grounded in healthy pink gums and I've been decay free for many many years.

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    4. I was lucky to have developed healthy, white straight teeth. It was a blessing in disguise that I don't like the taste of mint in toothpastes. So about twenty years ago I tried making my own with Bicarb and aniseed or cardamom essential oils.Back then I did it for taste not for health but I am so glad because slowly I have been on a natural health journey and have learnt sooo much. Anyway after 20 years my recipe has evolved a little but still contains bicarb and guess what? I still have healthy, white straight teeth that many compliment me on. Oh, and by the way, I only brush my teeth once a day, have a healthy almost vegan diet and have avoided fluoridated water for years. My dentist sees me once every few years and compliments me on how good they are. Dare I tell him what I use and how often I don't brush? Na, he won't believe me anyway.

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  34. Artistta I'd be far more worried about Baking Soda than glycerin in toothpaste, especially one you make at home. Baking Soda is incredibly abrasive to tooth enamel and I personally wouldn't touch it, especially using it daily.

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    1. I've read from many health professional who's opinion I overall trust that baking soda is fine for the teeth. Dr. Mercola has written on using baking soda for the teeth. I've never read anything mentioning that it is harmful. Many toothpastes you purchase actually have baking soda in them. I have been using baking soda for years now and my teeth are in far better shape now than they ever have been. All in all though, probably just brushing with water would be just as good. As I just mentioned to the above commenter, Dr. Weston Price did some amazing research on tooth health and it's association to overall health and nutrition. His research and the many benefits I've seen in myself and my families health after changing to a Weston Price style diet greatly changed my perspective on how to take care of our bodies, the teeth being just one part. Check out www.westonaprice.org.

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  35. one question, i heard that baking soda when used too often.. can cause the enamel to weaken, is this true?

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    1. Hi Candy, it depends on who you are reading. I've seen both people who write that baking soda can be abrasive to the enamel if used alone for extended periods of time and others who believe it's excellent for the teeth. Most commercial toothpaste contain some baking soda. In the paste recipe above I think it's fine, but if there was great concern you could use less soda. What it comes down to is that despite what is often said, brushing the teeth isn't what truly protects them from cavities, it's only something that helps in the prevention. Overall diet is really what is going to make the largest difference. There are many cultures through time who never brushed their teeth and never had any issues with cavities. I'm not suggesting to not brush teeth, but that we can't rely on it as a way to be the only protection for them. When I think of toothpaste I think it's there to give them a nice cleaning to remove unwanted leftover food from the day and to cleanse the mouth. I often use only baking soda to brush my teeth and have had no tooth sensitivity, one sign of thinning enamel. Then for a time I'll switch to just coconut oil and then go back to using both, just depends. Does that help at all? Sorry I know people have so many different opinions on homemade toothpaste and the formula to use.

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    2. I posted a link re: the abrasivity of toothpaste and baking soda and baking soda is only a 7. Most toothpaste, even the more natural ones are way higher/worse.

      Here's the link again: http://www.epinions.com/content_3128664196?sb=1

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  36. Howdy! I can notice that you undoubtedly get the sense of what you are telling about. Do you have a degree or an education which is somehow related with the theme of this blog post? Can't wait to see your reply.

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    1. Hi, no I don't have a degree or specific education in dental care, but do spend time researching a variety of health topics. Dental health is simply one more part in the ongoing discovery of how best to take care of my families bodies and my own.
      :)

      Delete
  37. Hi, I didn't read all replies, so don't know if the following has already been mentioned:
    I will substitute a couple ingredients in your recipe--I will use xylitol (a natural sweetener) in place of stevia because studies of xylitol suggest it inhibits, and can cause tooth decay bacteria to die off. And I will use a few drops of peppermint or spearmint essential oil in place of extract because these essential oils have properties that kill "nasties" and contribute to the health of the mouth. (There are also other essential oils as well including clove, cinnamon or a citrus, that have similar benefits).
    Thanks for a great blog.

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    1. Hi Gina, thanks for your thoughts. I actually do use peppermint extract now. I need to update this "recipe". :) As far as xylitol I'm still on the fence, because of different things I've read. When I'm not sure about an item my, like xylitol, personal preference is to go as natural as possible. I by no means am saying people shouldn't use it, just want provide another view point.

      Also, totally with you on the fluoride (other comment below). Since not using it, I am amazed at how much healthier my teeth are now. When I was a child I had constant cavities. I never once went to the dentist without needed a new filling. It was extremely discouraging. It's now been years since I have needed one.

      Delete
  38. Baking soda is actually less abrasive than most toothpaste. Baking soda is a 7, just a toothbrush and water is a 4. The link below (at the bottom of article) has a list of several toothpastes and baking soda's abrasivity. The higher the number, the more abrasive. Check it out. Very informative.

    http://www.epinions.com/content_3128664196?sb=1

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    Replies
    1. Cool, thank you for sharing. Very, very interesting!
      http://www.epinions.com/content_3128664196?sb=1

      If others can not open the link, do a google search for the above web address. The first listing has another link that works. It's the same address as above, but at least for me, the link didn't work.

      Delete
    2. Thx! I thought it was very interesting as well since so many seem concerned with baking soda even though it is already in many commercial toothpastes.

      RE: link...Really? I just double checked and it worked for me...you do have to copy & paste the link as I could not find a way to hyperlink here but it looks like the links we both posted are identical. :)

      Delete
    3. Below is just a partial listing of the info in case anyone is having trouble getting to the page....


      "Measuring abrasivity:

      Instead of taking a manufacturer's word that their toothpaste "gently polishes your teeth," go by the abrasivity index.

      Toothpaste abrasivity is measured using an ADA-standardized test. A laboratory takes a sample tooth, strips the enamel, irradiates it, brushes it, and measures the radiation in the rinsewater. The result is a number known as RDA which stands for radioactive dentin abrasion or relative dentin abrasivity. In general, the lower the number, the less enamel/dentin gets worn away. The higher the number, the more enamel/dentin gets worn away. The higher the number, the better the stain-removal too (usually).

      Unfortunately for consumers, RDA values are not widely known. Toothpaste manufacturers (with the exception of Colgate-Palmolive and some obscure brands) do not advertise them. So, I did some hunting for RDA values and my findings are here:


      Abrasivity of common toothpastes:

      RDA - Dentifrice brand and variety
      04 ADA reference toothbrush and plain water
      07 plain baking soda
      08 Arm & Hammer Tooth Powder
      30 Elmex Sensitive Plus
      35 Arm & Hammer Dental Care
      42 Arm & Hammer Advance White Baking Soda Peroxide
      44 Squigle Enamel Saver
      48 Arm & Hammer Dental Care Sensitive
      49 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Tartar Control
      49 Tom's of Maine Sensitive (given as 40's)
      52 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Regular
      53 Rembrandt Original ("RDA")
      54 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Bold Mint
      57 Tom's of Maine Children's, Wintermint (given as mid-50's)
      62 Supersmile
      63 Rembrandt Mint ("Hefferren RDA")
      68 Colgate Regular
      70 Colgate Total
      70 Arm & Hammer Advance White Sensitive
      70 Colgate 2-in-1 Fresh Mint (given as 50-70)
      79 Sensodyne
      80 AIM
      80 Close-Up
      83 Colgate Sensitive Maximum Strength
      91 Aquafresh Sensitive
      93 Tom's of Maine Regular (given as high 80's low 90's)
      94 Rembrandt Plus
      94 Plus White
      95 Crest Regular (possibly 99)
      101 Natural White"

      Delete
  39. The glycerin is not what "sticks". Not sure what is in the "soap" Judd was working, but "soap" is what is sticky. Get some Dr. Bonners or some Kirk's Pure Castile. Wash you hands with your "soap" and see how long it takes to rinse. Then wash your hands with either Bonners or Kirk's and see the difference. I shower and shampoo with Kirk's and use Bonners, in a foamer, to cut the dishsoap off the inside of dishes. It's kind of expensive to just wash dishes with and doesn't cut grease very well, but it WILL cut soap off and it rinses instantly. Yes, dirt sticks to "soap" and, theoretically, rinses off with it, but "soap" sticks to EVERYTHING. My teeth are on their "last leg" so I'm experimenting glycerin. Just started brushing with glycerin, about 5 minutes ago. My toothache is dulled, considerably, my mouth feels wildly fresh, teeth awesomely clean PLUS no after-taste. I also gargled with a bit of added water before I rinsed. I also, recently, started to brush with the "bass method" which seems to be improving my gum-line (brushing with turmeric, which actually whitens - counter-intuitively. LOL).

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    1. I'll try to remember to update, here. What prompted me to try it was a report that it tightened loose teeth, of which I have several. Also, the fact that paid "experts" don't want you to use it - which, to me, is like saying "Use this! Use this!". LOL!

      Delete
  40. Hi jus wondering where do you get those ingredients ? since its a blogspot.sg im assuming youre from singapore ? isit possible to get most of those in sg ? or would i have to import ? hoping to see a reply soon thanks in advance ! :)

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  41. OH and i forgot.. how is the toothpaste working for your teeth ?

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    1. Hi, I'm in the United State and the ingredients are all common at just about any supermarket. The coconut oil is the one sometime a bit harder to find. They sell it at our food co-ops here or I order it online from places like Tropical Tradition. We have actually backed off from using toothpaste of any type and now only use baking soda. I do use coconut oil for oil pulling. To do that you put 1-2 tsp of the coconut oil in your mouth and keep it in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. Afterwords spit it out (in the trash is wise). Here's a little about oil pulling: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/12/08/coconut-oil-combats-tooth-decay.aspx

      Delete
    2. Ah.. i see ! bad assumption :P i think i can find most of them except for the stevia. haha is baking soda any good ? whats the experience like ? I've heard of oil pulling to but yet to try it.. and i found a way to purchase it too thanks so much ! :)

      Delete
    3. Stevia isn't too big a deal, it's a little sweetener. You can purchase it online at places like iherb.com I believe. As far as baking soda goes. It takes a little while to get used to then it's no big deal at all. My kids and husband don't have a problem with it either. If I want a bit of a fresher taste in my mouth I put a drop or two of peppermint oil on my tongue, but overall the baking soda does a really good job. I know quite a few people who do this now. So cheap and far less abrasive on the teeth than most toothpaste.

      Delete
    4. ah ok cool i guess i can try to do that ! I've been having problems with my teeth , constant decays although i avoid sugars , been a real pain . Recently the dentist found 1-2 more decays , really quite depressing however i will try to find ways to at least reduce the occurance.. thanks so much for the advice !

      Delete
  42. Thank you so much your site is so beautiful, I want to surf all teh pages! Trying this recipe this week end!! I am also trying to get back to as much natural living as possible as I have a little boy and it sparked awareness in me in my desire to give him the best start and habits! I am also trying Juicing recently i.e. juicing vegetables and fruits together to drink.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hello Artistta,

    Which percentage of HYdrogen Peroxide do you use: 3%, 6% or 9%? Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know off hand. I use the hydrogen Peroxide I can purchase at target, although I have read there is a better food grade peroxide and would use that if I could.

      Delete
  44. is the glycerine what makes the toothpaste produce soap-ey effects? i mean the bubble thingy...

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  45. A warning about xylitol if you have dogs - it is like poison and will send them into diabetic shock. Our poor dog had that happen with some children's medicine that contained xylitol. Also, soap sticking to things all depends on how the soap maker makes it. If you want it to moisturize skin you typically don't put enough lye to saponify all the oil so that there will be some to leave behind. I currently use bentonite clay in my clay tooth masque that I've been trying. I'll never go back to commercial toothpaste.

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  46. Artistta , Thank you for all your research , study and caring. I found your blog after being very upset when I found out today that the Biotene products ( paste , mouthwash etc.) on the market for dry mouth , they also suggested it for people with out that problem ; anyway they have discovered that it demineralizes teeth . Now I know why I have been getting tiny holes in my teeth weakening and then breaking off , even though I have been diligent about cleaning which using that product was the worst thing I could have done.I thought it would maybe help someone to let them know.It is obvious you are a very caring person and also patient in your explanations. May our Heavenly Father bless you in your quest.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! That is extremely kind of you to write. I"m sorry to read about your teeth. I am still amazed that something so simple, like just using baking soda or a very simple tooth paste, can help the teeth so much. I have had no problems with my teeth in years and that's after every time I went to the dentist them telling me I needed a filling. Diet also plays a huge role. I'm still learning and plan to keep right on doing so. Hope your teeth heal and do so soon!

      Delete
  47. Your comment about not wanting a toothpaste with fluoride destroys the credibility of the rest of your post.

    Might as well not brush, fluoride is a critical component of remineralization which you came glycerin blocks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do not see eye to eye on flouride. I avoid it at all costs and never use anything in my mouth that would contain it (nor drink water with it). A bit of research will show that there are many studies and much research showing how bad fluoride is for us. But to each their own in the end.

      I have not used toothpaste in years and since stopping it, along with fluoride items (mouth washes, etc.) I have not had a single problem with my teeth. I use just baking soda now. I have not had a cavity since I started making my own tooth paste and using/or using baking soda. This is coming from a person who could not walk into the dentist office without needing a filling (I mean never, every single time I had a cavity). I spent years and plenty of pain having one tooth after the other filled. It was horrible. I will stick to this route. It's working wonderfully for my whole family. If you feel otherwise, that is your choice and that's fine. The research and my own experience would simply disagree with you. But again, to each our own.

      Delete
  48. I now brush my teeth with peroxide and use as a gargle/ mouthwash. I dip my brush in soda while it is still wet and continue to brush . Any peroxide sold here is 3% as far as I know , about 15 years ago they stopped selling (allowing ) food grade peroxide on the shelves of those health food stores that sold it, here in Ut. I'm sure that was accomplished by big pharma or someone in business with them. There was a Dr. at the time that was using peroxide (in varying amounts ) to help save the lives of some with a certain illness. I know it is upsetting but , they do it .In one County in our State they put fluoride in the water with really bad results , some children's teeth were turning dark. They also found they were using the cheapest for the Company but charged more ; it was a mess IMHO I would not use fluoride...period. New day , better way !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What you have shared is what I have heard time and time again. Very sad about the food grade peroxide and I try not to dwell too much on the flouride in drinking water. It's disturbing on far too many levels.

      I am also doing a similar routine with my teeth now and it works great. Making the tooth paste above though was a nice transition to just straight baking soda. That took a bit of getting used to, but once I was it hasn't been a problem and my kids don't mind it either.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
  49. I like your homemade toothpaste recipe. I will definitely give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
  50. if you're interested in cleaning your toothbrush, check out Vermont Soap (vermontsoap.com) - they make a "Toothbrush sanitizer" exactly for that purpose! All natural (organic) and highly addicting haha... once you start thinking about it you can't put a dirty toothbrush in your mouth again!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hi, Can you post an image of your teeth? or if there's before and after that would be nice. Thank you

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  52. I LOVE this recipe and how well it works; however, I find that the coconut oil CLOGS our sink after a time. That can't be good for the plumbing! Do you have any suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sara, we've never had a problem with the toothpaste clogging our sink. We always used a pretty small amount and it never seemed to cause any issues. I'm sorry you have had a different experience. 1 thought is you could try flushing the drain with hot water afterwords. Also, you could go to using just baking soda. That is what we mostly do now. A bit of peppermint oil in the mouth afterwords leave a refreshing flavor and the baking soda does a great job on it's own and is cheaper.

      Delete
  53. This is an excellent posting. You have my vote and I will bookmark this website right now.

    water softener
    water filter

    ReplyDelete
  54. If your teeth and dental hygiene are not healthy and in good condition it is not recommended to use any of the best whitening toothpaste products.
    Always check with your dentist if you are unsure. While whitening toothpastes are great to brighten up your smile,
    to keep it that way you must maintain consistent and proper brushing habits.
    This in fact is as important if not more important than the toothpaste itself.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Do you have a remedy for black gums?

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  56. Hello - great blog.

    I read on Amazon there is a finer form of baking soda which can be used.

    .............................................................................................

    Not sure about Glycerine reason my search led me to this great blog - but I do know having studied all sorts of holistic methods (including nutrition in college - several degrees over time) Herbs, homeopathy, Ayurvedic , Chinese and so on - that natural oils such as Lavender/Teatree (distilled naturally) are great to clean the teeth with. One wets the brush and a TEENY dot of oil.

    TeaTree is strong for some (turpine family) and Lavender "cuts" it - both are anti fungal. (I had fungus in blood, tissues, everywhere including gums when at end stage - think semi conscious and dying - and then fungus sets it to "return" one to the Earth, lol).

    ......................................................................

    Re the 33% food grade H2O2 (I had used it along with Gerson Cancer therapy and many other modalities, to recover post fire - intuition allowed me to stay out of fire, but years of illegal renovations with highly toxic chemicals led to end stage).

    (those same class of chemicals are in modern "fragrance" products btw, perfumes, and most all household products. They are now derived from left over petro sludge from the refineries.)

    (I have a background in sciences - health fields, biology and more, arts and arts chemistry, and have raised fish seriously since a child).

    H2O2 and many wonderful uses of:

    At the end stage one of my Doctors - Dr. Majid Ali in NYC (who I went to as Gerson is long dead) researched the H2O2 after I found out about it from an AIDS newsletter (I am a copious researcher since young - mom in medicine I went to nature) and have a research/statistics background). We could only do this after NYC passed a medical freedom act (most states do not have this alas!)

    We did it with I.V's and this is only done when one is at an end stage (oxygen is a double edged sword - see below). Other soaking methods can be used when one is not in a dire condition.

    Otherwise ONE can take a bath and put the regular type in (bottle or two). You can feel it entering the body - it's a pleasant sensation. (that type if memory serves has trace amounts of mercury) Which is why the food grade was great - and off NYC health store shelves as well.

    After I recovering to where I could walk and talk again - but not go outside, I started to raise fish (since a child and studied pre oceanography at one point). I later did fish rescue and discovered (tried to use holistic methods with them when it was feasible).

    I studied H2O2 (there are some great books - but they were BANNED as well - can often find on ebay so on, old bookstores) (we had to go to the NYC health fairs and just ask about it - as well with herbs that were banned).

    Pfizer - I found out bought out the patent - it is used in fish farming (you can do Government research on this under fish farming). I had used it when I rescued fish (one has to really know how to use it thus). The fish are horrifically sick and it keeps them alive until harvesting. It will kill gram negative bacteria, viruses, and destroy necrotic tissue without harming healthy tissues. It is (along with other forms of Oxygen) native to our bodies.


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    1. Very interesting to read. Thank you for sharing!

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  57. Sara - (long ago post but for others) it is recommended when oil pulling to spit it out in trash. Oil will congeal and CAN (but I guess not all, lol) cases clog the drain. It would be like putting grease down the drain.

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  58. Very helpfull for the New buyers & Sellers. Thanks to Property Byte for providing such a usefull Information


    Natural Facial Cleansers

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  59. Hi! Thanks so much for this post. It seems like everyone and their sister has blogged about making their own tooth powder/paste lately. It seems they're all self proclaimed experts and IMO are all presenting some pretty contradictory information. Your well researched and unbiased approach was not only refreshing but lends serious credibility to your writing. Thank you immensely for such a responsibly written blog and for NOT spreading possibly misinformation (the jury is, after all, still out on some of the topics) to the masses. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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    1. Thank you Bonnie. I appreciate your comment. :)

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  60. However, even the best whitening toothpaste by itself may not be enough to get your ideal level of whitening. Drinks like coffee, tea, and brown sodas can cause one's teeth to darken over time. Edges of the teeth often tend to be discolored and it accelerates the process of building plaques.

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  61. Thank goodness for this post. I brush 2+ a day, floss 1-2, mouthwash and today I was told I had 10, possibly 11, cavities! Every time I go to the dentist, I'm told I need at least 2-3 fillings, but today was shocking. I was so upset and decided to come home and do some research. I think I will be changing some things in diet and habit. Thank you!

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  62. I wouldn't overuse baking soda because it can be too harsh on enamel and when enamel is gone, there's no way back.

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  63. Hi, I've been looking in to brushing my teeth with glycerin free soap. However, I was wondering why glycerin coats teeth and coconut oil doesn't? I was hoping someone here might know. I'm sorry if this was previously addressed, I didn't read all of the comments.
    Thank you!

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  64. Eagle Eye Dental Clinic dedicated to treating our patients with care and compassion in a friendly environment.We give every patient individualized attention and take our time to provide meticulous and quality dental care.

    Edgewater Dentist









    ReplyDelete