As you might imagine, I'm not real keen about going though this again. Even attempting to use my own toothpaste, which doesn't have sorbitol, caused my mouth to burn. Because of all of this, I started looking into alternatives for traditional toothpaste, and came upon tooth powder.
- 1 tablespoon bentonite clay - I purchased my bentonite at Wild Oats, but can also be purchased at vitamin shops or online. The brand I chose was Aztec Secret, which was highly recommended when I researched the product. It's a very fine dry clay, most typically used to create clay masks; it comes in a good sized tub for about seven dollars. Since this is not intended for internal use, you shouldn't swallow too much of your tooth powder (just like your regular toothpaste!). The bentonite clay will help clean and polish your teeth so they feel smooth, helps re-mineralize your smile, and I've read will begin to naturally whiten your teeth as well.
- 1 tablespoon baking soda - Just the regular old Arm & Hammer you have on hand for baking and cleaning. Baking soda is a popular ingredient in traditional toothpaste because it's such a valuable cleaning agent.
- 1/2 (scant) teaspoon sea salt - While this may sound unappealing, the salt will helps clean your teeth and naturally aids in gum health.
- 10-20 drops peppermint or spearmint oil - This is optional, but I recommend it since it will give you some of that minty aftertaste that we're accustomed to with toothpaste. I used a Creme de Menthe candy flavoring, which despite the name, is just peppermint and spearmint oil mixed together and isn't sweet. You can buy oils online or in specialty shops, but I purchased a set of these candy flavoring oils at Michael's craft supply.
Since this incident I'm also swearing off gum, which typically contains sorbitol, and I've come across 2 techniques for naturally acquiring more pleasant breath.
If you're craving that minty taste, then go straight to the source! Chewing and swallowing a mint leaf brightens your breath and help controls the odors of what you've already eaten. You can buy mint at the grocery store, but it is also a plant that isn't too fussy or hard to take care of. I would like to get a little one in a pot going by the front door, so I can nab a leaf on my way out.
With all of this good stuff said, I understand that this may not be the thing for a lot of people (okay, for most people). That's alright, I get it. I read stuff all the time about how you shouldn't be using shampoo. Am I ever going to give up my John Frieda volumizing shampoo and conditioner system? I wouldn't bet on it.
When I was reading the accounts and recipes of tooth powder users, they talked a lot about how great it is, but I thought it was funny that no one was really addressing the obvious question in my mind: This isn't remotely like toothpaste, is it?
The answer is no, it's not. It's not foamy, it's not sweet or tasty, and there are no amount of peppermint drops that are going to conceal the earthy taste of the bentonite clay. I'm not going to lie, I was a little bit mortified the first time I used it; but, only that first time. After that, I found it pretty easy to use. I was surprised by how much cleaner my teeth felt, and just so happy that my mouth didn't burn upon it touching my lips. I'm glad that I'm cutting out those chemicals too. I realized that I would never eat something that had such a long list of ingredients I couldn't pronounce; so why was I putting them in my mouth at all? Okay, that's sort of a lie because I definitely eat Cheetos, and definitely can't pronounce the back of that bag. Yikes.
Anyways, I hope that this alternative information is at least interesting, even if you're not planning on making the switch. If anyone does try it out, or already uses tooth powder, I would be interested to hear about your experience! Happy Tuesday everyone! Cheers, Rachel