Thursday, August 27, 2015

Homemade toothpaste for sensitive teeth

Sooo I made toothpaste that looks like dirt, probably because I made it using a type of dirt - diatomaceous earth. Definitely seems counterproductive.

It's because I've had this really sensitive tooth that the dentist said if it continued to bother me I would need a root canal. I would brush my teeth with dog shit if someone told me it would prevent me from having to get a root canal. My fear of the dentist runs deep.

I ran across an interesting recipe for a coconut oil, baking soda, diatomaceous earth toothpaste that claimed to help 'heal' your teeth and I figured it was worth a shot. I have weird jars of hippy concoctions all over my house, what's one more?

 I kinda can't believe I didn't think of brushing my teeth with coconut oil sooner, I've been on the coconut oil bandwagon for a while now. I buy a huge tub of it and I use it for everything. "Just rub some dirt on it" has somehow transitioned into "you're fine, just rub some coconut oil on it" in my house. I eat it, I rub it all over myself, my kids, and my pets. If (*fair trade, organic) coconut oil is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

Diatomaceous earth I use a lot for my chickens as a dust bath to kill mites. I realize I'm not selling this toothpaste very well. Diatomaceous earth is a substance made from fossilized single-cell diatoms (whatever that means). Apparently, it’s a fossil, ground into a very fine powder. It is a great abrasive for cleaning residue off of your teeth, and it contains something like 20 trace minerals and silica, so the theory being it helps remineralize your teeth. It's easy to find, just go to a farm store like Tractor Supply, they have a huge jug of it for $7, or plenty of options on Amazon, just make sure it's food grade.

I used a jam jar to mix the ingredients together and I just use my toothbrush to scoop out enough to brush with each morning and night. If that grosses you out you could use a little spoon to scoop it onto your toothbrush.

I've been using this toothpaste for about 2 months now. When I first started I could barely drink cold water because it hurt one of my lower back teeth so much. I am happy to report that after 2 months of using only this toothpaste I have no tooth sensitivity at all! I can swish ice cold water with no issue. And despite the fact that it looks like dirt and tastes god awful without Stevia or Xylitol, I was super surprised how clean and smooth my teeth felt the first time I used the stuff. I was buying $7 Whole Foods toothpaste, this is nice money saver making my own.


1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon diatomaceous earth (maybe start with just 1 teaspoon if you're worried about too much of a dirt factor)

1 teaspoon (or to taste) Stevia or Xylitol powder (really bitter without a sweetener!)
Peppermint oil, orange oil, cinnamon, turmeric, clove oil or powder, lemon extract, vanilla extract, chocolate extract, whatever makes you happy.

For the kids I used a little extra Stevia, chocolate extract, vanilla extract, and a little cinnamon.

For myself I use Stevia and peppermint oil.

Next I'm going to try adding eggshell powder to the toothpaste for calcium.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Don't waste your dinner, I paid for that food.

"Eat your food honey, we are not going to waste perfectly good food."

I think everyone has heard this before in their life. Our parents have said it to us, we've echoed it to our children, and I've even heard my five year old echo it to her younger sister in sort of a habitual fashion.

The most recent time I heard this phrase was two days ago during a family lunch outing. We were sitting in a diner trying to hurry the kids along to get going and finish running errands.

"Eat your lunch, we paid for this and I don't want to waste it," my husband explained to our 3 year old. I nodded in agreement. Seemed like good parenting.

He then proceeded to put the said lunch, a somewhat disappointing cheese quesadilla, into a Styrofoam to-go container with the assumption that our daughter would finish the sad looking meal in the car.

As we stood up I looked at the items littered around our table at the diner; several used napkins, a few empty plastic jelly packets, two over-sized Styrofoam to-go containers, and a paper receipt.

Technically we "paid" for all of those disposable items as well. I'm sure the cost of the meal reflected the supplies that were needed to deliver and consume it, right?

Why weren't we echoing the concern of wasting these items?

The food is actually the only item on the table that would benefit the earth if it was "wasted"
and put it into a compost. All of the other items, possibly with the exception of the paper napkins, are quite toxic and will sit in a landfill for hundreds of years.

And this was just the waste audit while dining in, we are all familiar with how much waste is associated with one take out meal.

Photo by Calgary Reviews

How many times have you encouraged your children to finish their dinner so they don't waste the food, and then proceed to throw away a large bag full of plastic utensils, over-sized to-go containers, napkins, condiment packets, paper and plastic bags?

How many times have you made sure to finish the entire loaf of bread so you don't waste any, and then unthinkingly toss the bread wrapper in the trash bin or recycling container?

What makes the value of food higher than the value of the petroleum or wood pulp that was used to make the containers we deliver the food in, or the disposable utensils we eat it with?

Let's replace the phrase "don't waste your food" with "don't waste."

Let's start a habit process that teaches our children not only the value of food as a commodity we need in life to survive, but also the value of the earth and it's limited resources.

Has anyone else noticed how many more landfills there are now?! This is starting to get out of hand.

Photo by bsabarnowl