autumn days

Saturday, May 14, 2011

homemade toothpaste

My dad has used straight up baking soda to brush his teeth for years and it has worked well for him.  My friend tells me baking soda is hard on the gums.  Well, we tried another recipe for homemade toothpaste.  Why try another homemade thing I can simply buy at the local store?  Reason number one: I don't really know what chemicals are in the store toothpaste, if they contain sugars, and if they are safe for my family.  Reason number two: I ran out of toothpaste and didn't want to run to the store to attempt to make a healthy choice.  Reason number three: My friend Holly tried it and said it wasn't bad.  So, Hannah and I dove into another chemistry experiment and made our own toothpaste.

Recipe from Simply Resourceful:
almost 1/4 c. baking soda
almost 1/4 c. coconut oil
4+ drops of peppermint essential oil (more or less as needed)
about 1.5 Tablespoons of honey
1.5 teaspoons hydrogen peroxide

I made the recipe as above, except my inability to follow any recipe exactly made me attempt to solidify the paste by doubling the baking soda.  I also added a few tablespoons of peppermint extract instead of essential oils, as I used what was on hand and had not planned ahead.  With admitting these modifications, I feel like a haphazard chemist in the kitchen, but perhaps that is what I am.  As the mixture hardened, the coconut oil separated and rose to the top.  Hannah enjoyed adding ingredients, mixing up the layers, and now enjoys using her new baking soda toothpaste a few times a day.  She seems more interested in this paste and in brushing her teeth more often because of her ability to make her own toothpaste.  This homemade toothpaste has a pleasant flavor and keeps our teeth and gums feeling clean, though it doesn't have the flavor or foam of store-purchased toothpastes.  

*Updated 5/26/11: Our first batch lasted three weeks (we brush a lot) and we've made a second batch without coconut oil (the store was out when I attempted to buy it).  My love-the-foamy-minty-paste husband even tried it and was mildly impressed.  Hannah still loves brushing her teeth with her homemade toothpaste after meals.
the toothpaste mixture calling out for more baking soda

the premixed toothpaste mixture in a small canning jar

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