Recipes and Recommendations that will Improve your Oral Hygiene
Do you want to change over to a healthier, sustainable lifestyle but you don’t know where to start? Rather than wait until you develop a reaction to certain chemicals and ingredients found in commonly used commercial dental products, here are some tips on how to implement a healthier and more natural lifestyle right now. One way to start living healthier is to phase out toxic and harmful products that enter your body on a daily basis. Oral hygiene is not only important for the health of our mouths; it is also vital for our overall health (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475). If you want to commit to a healthier oral hygiene regimen, gather up and examine the labels of the toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash you use and opt for more natural and sustainable choices. Healthier alternatives of these commercial products can easily be made yourself, or if you prefer to purchase these products rather than make them, there will be suggestions below for least-toxic alternatives.
According to the ASEQ-EHAQ ecolivingguide.ca, you should stay clear of the following ingredients that can be found in commercial toothpastes:
- 1,4 dioxane – a possible human carcinogen, often found in sodium laureth sulfate.
- Sodium laureth sulfate – used for its foaming qualities, but it can irritate where applied.
- Fluoride – a mineral used as it prevents dental cavities, however there are some toxicity concerns associated with high doses of it.
- Triclosan – an anti-bacterial agent that is seen to interfere with hormone function.
- Propylene glycol – used to maintain moisture, but can be an irritant.
To avoid these harmful ingredients, our recipe will consist of:
- 4 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 4 tbsp of bentonite clay
In a bowl or jar, mix the (slightly melted) coconut oil.
Add all other ingredients to the coconut oil.
Pour mixture into a jar or into anything that can be sealed shut.
Congratulations, you have made your own toxic-free toothpaste!
Feel free to play around with this recipe by changing the ratios and by adding other least-toxic ingredients that are known for their oral proprieties.
Now, if you either don’t have the time or are not interested in making your own products, you can easily purchase toothpastes from brands that are committed to using natural ingredients. There are many suggestions on ecolivingguide.ca but here are four additional recommended brands:
- Aliksir Essential Oils – Dental Care Powder
- Redmond – Earthpaste
- Druide – Anise Toothpaste
- Green Beaver – Spearmint Natural Toothpaste
A common toxic ingredient found in dental floss that should be avoided is polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a synthetic chemical that is known for creating a non-stick surface. It is now considered a possible carcinogen and can lead to adverse health conditions.
To stay clear of this chemical, it would be best to look for a natural, non-toxic floss. These are some of our suggestions that are also up on our ecolivingguide.ca:
- Ola Bamboo – Eco-Friendly Dental Floss
- Desert Essence – Tea Tree Oil Dental Floss
Mouthwash is successful when killing bacteria residing in the mouth, however, what if I told you that it doesn’t differentiate between good bacteria and harmful bacteria? Most commercial mouthwashes contain alcohol that kill good as well as bad bacteria, allowing for the bad ones to come back in different rates that later leads to bad breath; the exact opposite goal that people using mouthwash strive towards!
Rather than avoid mouthwash altogether, you can just remove the harmful ingredients that we dislike. It is easy to make your own mouthwash that does not contain any alcohol in it. Here are a few recipes:
- 1 cup of distilled water
- 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp of salt
Mix these ingredients together in a bowl and store in a bottle for use.
- 1 cup of distilled water
- 1 tsp of baking soda
Mix these ingredients together and store in a bottle for use.
- 1 cup distilled water
- 1tsp salt
Mix these ingredients together and store in a bottle for use. If you’re looking to purchase a natural mouthwash that does not contain alcohol in it, look for the products below:
- Dr. Brite – Mint Natural Whitening Mouthwash
- Desert Essence – Coconut Oil Mouthwash
- Jason Natural Mouthwash
The products you use have an influence on your health, so as your oral health is the gateway to your overall health, I urge you to take a look at it and evaluate if there could be any improvements you could easily make. When swapping commercial products for healthier alternatives, always take a look at the ingredient list that are on the back of the packaging, as well as do a little research into the ethical values of the company to make sure that it aligns with what you stand for. Remember to test out different recipes and pre-made products in order to determine what works for you.