Natural Oral Hygiene

Try these natural oral hygiene solutions including a homemade toothpaste recipe, a tooth powder recipe and more.

| January/February 1975

Commercial hygiene products are expensive and contain a lot of chemicals. Try natural oral hygiene solutions, such as making your own toothpaste, for a cheaper and more responsible way to keep those pearly whites clean.

Proctor and Gamble and Lever Brothers — and any number of other manufacturers — would like us to believe that the only proper way to care for our teeth is with expensive, highly flavored toothpastes that come in non-biodegradable, throwaway, zinc-and-lead tubes. T'ain't so!

There are effective, low-cost alternatives to that aromatic goo-in-a-tube you find on supermarket shelves. Our family has been making and using its own toothpastes and powders for years . . . and we've enjoyed excellent dental health, too. You and your clan can save a significant amount of money — and at the same time keep your teeth and gums in good shape — by kicking the Madison Avenue habit and choosing to follow a few simple rules:

[1] Make the Most of Brushing. The actual mechanical brushing and flossing of your teeth and gums is much more important than which (if any) cleaning agent is employed. Don't take brushing lightly . . . go at it with a vengeance. Keep your Py-Co-Pay, or whatever, relatively dry and scrub your teeth thoroughly for at least two-and-a-half minutes, three times a day. Don't waste whatever dentifrice you use . . . in the long run, you and your budget will be healthier.

[2] Use Tooth Powder. The dry dental powders that currently seem to be out of vogue are fairly inexpensive and come in refillable dispensers. The products are mostly made of chalk (a mild abrasive), flavoring and a small amount of soap dust for cleansing purposes. Just shake a nickel-sized amount into the palm of your hand, dip a dampened brush into the substance and scrub your choppers vigorously.

[3] Make Your Own Tooth Powder. Thoroughly mix 3 parts baking soda (the cleanser and sweetener) with 1 part salt (the abrasive) and funnel the compound into a short small-mouthed container such as a pop or beer bottle. You'll find that the creation has a satisfying, different taste and leaves your mouth feeling very fresh and soothed. If you'd like, add a few drops of peppermint or wintergreen oil to the concoction — or mix the home "brew" half-and-half with a commercial tooth powder — to give the dentifrice a more pleasant flavor.

6/26/2014 7:21:03 AM

This is excellent advice, I will keep it mind. Oral health is important to me, it's one of the reasons why I call my dentist by his given name. There are some extra helpful tips for keeping your teeth healthy,, I am sure you'll find the information helpful.

3/30/2007 2:18:01 PM

As a dental hygienist I take great exception to your comment to "go at it with a vengance" and SCRUB your teeth. I have spent most of my 30 yr career trying to get people to stop that. We see excessive wear, sensitive teeth, gums that have slid up the root of the tooth. Circles, small vibrating motions, or just brushing two teeth at a time is much better for the health of the mouth.

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