Going on with my 6 months challenge to heal the world, i started doing my own toothpaste so i control what I put in my mouth and don’t need to throw away plastic tubes after plastic tubes.
This is something we all use on a daily basis. Most of the tubes you buy are individually wrapped (in cardboard box but still) and tubes end up in the trash after a week or so. The second concern about toothpaste is the products used to make industrial toothpaste such as triclosan, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol… I’ll leave fluoride out of the list since the debate is still on.
how to make your own toothpaste?
I’m not a dentist so if you’re worried about using a home made toothpaste, please check with your dentist. The same applies if you have specific needs or issues with your teeth or gums.
The basic ingredients are baking soda and coconut oil (some people prefer to use glycerin, this is another ingredient up for debate…) which you can both buy without any waste at zero moment refillery in Bangkok. You can also find both these ingredients in any supermarket in Thailand (but in plastic packaging/bottle). Depending of the temperature where you are, your coconut oil may be solid, in which case you will have to warm it up a little bit. Here it is already liquid, too liquid. The proportions will depend of the liquidity of your coconut oil as well. Mix your baking soda and your coconut oil to obtain a paste. Here i probably put up about half baking soda and half coconut oil. (You can also put it in the fridge if your room is too hot and your toothpaste does not solidify, just remember to take it out some time before you use it).
This will make a salty toothpaste (baking soda), so if you prefer a sweetened one you can add stevia powder. If you prefer some other taste, you could add cacao powder (again you can find it at zero moment refillery) to improve taste and remineralize your teeth. This can also help make your toothpaste more solid. One more ingredient you can put is bentonite clay.
Baking soda is abrasive and if you have sensitive teeth, you may want to be careful about its use and put less than I did. Of course, if using your home made toothpaste is giving you issues, stop immediately and either find another recipe or talk to your dentist.
So what do you do if you don’t want to make your own toothpaste? Some people actually say you can brush your teeth without any toothpaste. The how and how often you brush them is more important than with what you brush… I woudn’t go that far to recommend this though. You could try to use natural soap (without glycerine and try to avoid essentials oil). Some people however have a hard time putting soap in their mouth… if you can you could make your own castile soap (zero waste & co has some workshops in Bangkok). Lush Thailand has toothy tabs you could try. iherb sells coconut toothpaste which has only natural ingredients, but i’m not sure about the packaging. if you go to the US or Canada regularly you could use bite toothbits.
Thanks for staying with me that long and hope you learned interesting things. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or comments below and i’ll get back to you soon. Please check my 6 months challenge post to get a link to all the weekly steps. If you have ideas or questions regarding other sustainable practice also don’t hesite to leave a comment. Hope you will find a sustainable alternative for your toothpaste whether you decide to make your own or not.