Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Why's and How's of Making Toothpaste

Photo from

So what's SO bad about store bought toothpaste that would drive someone to make their own?  A lot!

Let's start with fluoride, that ingredient you have been told all your life is making your teeth so strong that if you don't have it surely all your teeth will quickly rot and fall out of your mouth.  However, history paints a different story. 

Until 1938 fluoride was used exclusively as rat poison.  That's right rat poison.  So why put it in the water?  Fluoride that is naturally occurring in water is called calcium fluoride.  The fluoride that is being added to our water supply is called sodium fluoride.  Sodium fluoride is a waste product from the making of aluminum.

It is a common belief that studies were done in misleading ways, in order to get the fluoride used for a profit to be made.  The first study ever done was on the cities of Newburgh, NY and Kingston, NY, and it's very interesting.  For example the people in Newburgh were given free dental cleanings and care during the trial, while the residents of Kingston got nothing.  The following link also shares some of the health findings from the children in each area after 10 years of Newburgh being fluoridated.  For a fuller look at the story click here.

 A dentist by the name of Weston Price (1870-1948) traveled the world examining the teeth of people groups from all over the place.  What he found was our diet plays a very important roll in the health of our teeth.  It is likely that your mind just jumped on sugar, and yes that's a given "bad" for our teeth product, but what he found goes much deeper, literally.  What he found in people groups who ate a native healthy diet was that they had beautiful, cavity free, healthy white teeth.  We are talking no dentist visits, no tooth paste, and I am guessing no toothbrushes at that time.  His conclusions all came back to the quality and type of foods that were consumed.  For more information on Dr. Price and his studies check out the Weston A Price Foundation.

From what I have researched it seems that bone weakness, particularly hip fractures, are notably higher in cities that are fluoridated.  (There are many cities that are refusing to allow fluoride to be added to their water supply.)  The allowable limit of flouride in the water supply was reduced about a year ago from 4 PPM (parts per million) down to 2 PPM. 

Reputable researchers from such as Harvard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and numerable other research investigators, have shown that fluoridation of drinking water can result in brain and other physiological damage producing such abnormalities as:
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Hyperactivity or passive malaise -- depending on whether exposure is pre- or postnatal
  • Alzheimer's disease or senile dementia
  • The death of brain cells directly involved in the decision making processes
  • Cracked, pitted and brittle teeth and bones not being considered as a potential leading cause of osteoporosis
  • Higher hip fracture rates
  • Reduction in intelligence and increased learning disability    (source)

Another concerning ingredient is Sodium Laurly Sulfate
"The sodium lauryl sulfate found in our soaps is exactly the same as you would find in a car wash or even a garage, where it is used to degrease car engines.
In the same way as it dissolves the grease on car engines, sodium lauryl sulfate also dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause a drying effect.

It is also well documented that it denatures skin proteins, which causes not only irritation, but also allows environmental contaminants easier access to the lower, sensitive layers of the skin.
Perhaps most worryingly, SLS is also absorbed into the body from skin application. Once it has been absorbed, one of the main effects of sodium lauryl sulfate is to mimic the activity of the hormone Oestrogen.
This has many health implications and may be responsible for a variety of health problems from PMS and Menopausal symptoms to dropping male fertility and increasing female cancers such as breast cancer, where oestrogen levels are known to be involved."  (Source)

If you'd like real life proof that you don't need fluoride to have healthy teeth just ask my dental hygienist.  I have a Berkey water filter system that filters the fluoride out of the water we drink/ use for cooking, and we use the following homemade tooth soap recipe for our toothpaste.  According my dentist, and hygienist, my teeth and those of my children look healthy and strong. 

I found the tooth soap very easy to make and to use.  I put mine in a brand new soap pump and it works great for our whole family! 

I'd love to hear from you on your questions or comments about this post!  :)

The great all natural recipe for the "tooth soap" that my whole family uses, along with a brightening tooth scrub, are available here from Heather at mommypotamus.  


kristina Andrew said...

You're writing on the topic is quite interesting, at least at my opinion. Global you know a whole about this, and I think it's great that you share this information online.
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Natalie Kemp said...

Thanks Kristina!