Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Are You Up for the Toothpaste Challenge?

     I hate going to the dentist.  Despite the fact that I've always had a great dentist, I loathe going.  Embarrassingly enough, my current dentist has a note in my chart that says, "Doesn't like getting her teeth cleaned."  At least they know.  However, when I went for my 6 month check-up this summer, I had the most painless teeth cleaning ever.  I think part of it has to do with the fact that they are extra careful with the cleaning, thanks to the nice note, but also because of my switch to a cleaner, healthier toothpaste and mouthwash.
     I tend to jump into things with both feet, so when I started thinking about chemical-free cleaning products I also considered healthier body products including toothpaste.  I Googled homemade toothpaste and read an article of an extreme case of a little girl whose teeth were actually decaying because of the ingredients in conventional tooth paste.  Knowing that children's bodies have a harder time dealing with chemicals than adults, I thought I'd probably be fine with regular toothpaste.  Besides, I have used it all my life.  However,  wanting all of my house and body products to be clean, I looked beyond the article and found a recipe for homemade toothpaste.  The recipe called for baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, both items I had on hand, both inexpensive.  I mixed up a batch and tried it out, but my gums immediately started burning and felt raw for days.  Not quite what I was looking for.  I was going to have to find a more conventional, but at the same time natural toothpaste.

     Off to Whole Foods.  Whole Foods has a wide array of healthy toothpastes.  I grabbed a couple different brands and took them home to try them out.  I even challenged R2 to swap out his regular toothpaste and give one of the healthier ones a try.  The outcome: R1, Weleda salt toothpaste, and R2, Spry toothpaste.  So now I buy both.  For mouthwash, I like using plain old hydrogen peroxide, but I also bought some Spry mouthwash because R2 insists that "conventional" mouthwash is the only guarantee for healthy teeth.  He really likes the Spry mouthwash, although I do think he sneaks in some bright blue Listerine every now and then! 
     Three months into my Weleda and hydrogen peroxide teeth regime, I am at the dentist for my 6 month cleaning, and the cleaning was virtually painless.  They told me that my teeth and gums were healthier than they had ever been.  I hadn't changed my habits, just the products I was using.  That's where the rubber meets the road.  You can argue that conventional toothpastes aren't really that bad, but I have never been told that my gums were really healthy, and I have never had that painless of a teeth cleaning.  I use less than a pea-sized amount of the Weleda toothpaste and the tube lasts about 3 months.  And I got great results.  Hydrogen peroxide is also great for cleaning, whitening, and healing.  Are you up for the challenge?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rebecca! I recently started using Tom' dentist run yet with it. In your research, have you found any benefits/detriments to it?? I'd be interested to know! Wish we had a Whole Foods here... anyway, do you dilute the HP at all?? I've heard about issues with enamel and full-strength HP and I've been stingy with my use of it as a mouthwash. My daughter has terrible issues with bad-breath. It's more systemic and not related to tooth decay or care. The HP takes care of it - but I'm worried about the enamel prob. Would love to know if you've found any worries with that as well! You are my personal "natural product laboratory"!