These money-saving DIY toothpaste recipes let you bypass the synthetic ingredients that commercial toothpastes often contain.While some people in rural parts of the world may resort to the use of brick, charcoal, rangoli powder, mud, salt or ash for toothpaste, western brushers usually rely on a tube of mystery ingredients to make their pearly whites sparkle like the Pepsodent girl’s.
But the ingredients found in conventional toothpastes — including sodium fluoride, synthetic dyes derived from petroleum or coal tar, sodium hydroxide (also known as lye or caustic soda), sodium lauryl sulfate, titanium dioxide, artificial sweeteners, and triclosan — might make us think twice about the products we employ for the sake of our teeth. Of course, we’re not actively swallowing the stuff, but it’s unavoidable that a bit will slink down the gullet from time to time. And given that most of us brush our teeth 730 times or more a year, there’s no shortage of opportunity to ingest ingredients better left in the lab.
The most controversial of all the ingredients is fluoride. The ADA supports the use of fluoride in toothpaste, but many advocate groups heartily argue against it, citing numerous health risks associated with ingesting the substance. If fluoride or any of the other ingredients are a concern for you, there are some honorable natural toothpastes available. But you can also borrow from the wisdom of the DIY set and make your own, thereby omitting questionable ingredients as well as spending less money and doing away with excess packaging.