Monday, February 18, 2013

How to Make Your Own Toothpaste

I'm not a dentist, a doctor, a surgeon, a physical therapist, or a certified nutritionist. I have no health credentials that say I'm qualified to tell you anything about anything concerning your body.

I suppose that's a standard disclaimer, but as I was typing it, I thought to myself, "How strange. Everybody in the human race has a body, but only a handful of people want to learn more about such a marvelous machine. And only a handful are considered qualified to talk about it. But we all have one."

I think that the marvel of the human body is one of the strongest evidences for the existence of a God. Whether we're talking about the mechanical wonder of the skeletal structure, or the psychological intrigues of the brain, the case that carries our soul is amazing. And it proves how amazing our Maker is.

I love to study the body, and I am passionate about caring for our body in a way that complements the original design, and follows the pattern and thought process of the Maker. That means embracing the idea that when God made the perfect world He gave us what we need to care for our bodies, and although sin has created many problems since then, many of those resources are still widely available to us.

I believe in following the thought processes that recognizes God as sovereign over our health; not doctors, not surgeons, not specialists, not special diets, or strict lifestyles. He alone controls life, death, and health.

But I also believe in "owning your health," and taking responsibility for the stewardship you've been granted over that body of yours. It's your machine, and it's your only one, and you ought to care about how it runs, and how what you do affects it.

I'm not a big fan of the modern medical mindset. In fact, you could say I'm pretty opposed to it. Please note that I said the modern medical mindset. The research and discoveries modern medicine has done or made have been astounding, and I wouldn't want to miss out on all that! But the modern medical mindset in general says that everything can be cured with the right drug, if it doesn't work, cut it out, and, by the way, doctors are fail-proof. 

To illustrate my point...let me tell you about the last time I visited a doctor. It's not a frequent occurrence, so we'll have to go back awhile. About a year and a half ago, I caught what my family and I were pretty sure was pink-eye. We hadn't had it in the house for many years, and it can be a very contagious disease. My mom was concerned, and wanted me to go to the doctor right away. I asked for time, and researched the disease. I found out that there are several strains of it, and only some of them can be treated with medicines. From reading about the different symptoms, I suspected I had the strain that is not affected by and can't be helped with antibiotics. I told Mom I would just wait it out. I felt pretty sick, but didn't mind suffering through a couple of days, and it wasn't the end of the world. But she insisted that I go, out of concern for everybody else in the family, as well as for me. She's a pretty cool mom. :) I figured that being an obedient daughter was more important than being right about my health, and even though I was gritting my teeth against the idea, I went to see a friendly doctor.

He spent maybe 20-30 seconds looking at my eyes, and told me, "Yup, that's pink eye. I'll give you a prescription to take - two, actually. One to kill the bacteria, and another to soothe the eyes."

I asked him what strain of pink eye I had, and he laughed "Oh, you're like my wife. You like to research your own problems." I smiled, but I was thinking "Duh. It's MY body."

When I pressed him for an answer, he said that he wasn't sure which kind of pink eye I had, but he was prescribing the drug "just in case." That made me feel wonderfully secure, ya know?

I paid for the medicine, and took it home. I told mom I wasn't going to take it. ....But I'd paid for it, and she really wanted me to I took it. Just one of them - I didn't bother with the "soothing drops," if I remember correctly. I took the other one ....twice.

I improved a bit - enough to go out a few days later. On the way home, I was sitting in the car and felt a bad ache in the left side of my chest, just about where my heart is. That happened several times for two days - I'd get a random pain in the chest for a few moments, then it would go away. I believe to this day that it was caused by that medicine. I didn't take another drop. ...And I got better anyway.

I do believe we should have doctors. They've done wonders with medical missions! And they are wonderfully helpful in diagnosing many diseases. I just think that their responses are a little out of tune with the body's natural design.

All that being said...guess what my latest health interest has been? I've enjoyed researching and learning about dental health. One of my biggest concerns about dental health is the amount of fluoride we are exposed to, and the way it is touted as beneficial, when the research on it is in fact very conflicting.

Did you know that the body can't process fluoride? It can't pass through the body. Whatever gets in, stays in, unless you do a major detox with certain substances that pull fluoride out of the body. It can build up to quite toxic amounts in a lifetime. It's dangerous to have it floating around in the bloodstream, so fluoride - which has an INSANE amount of bonding power - binds to the bones in our bodies, making them very brittle.

Through my research, as I've listened to seminars, and looked at photos of bones that have been saturated with flouride (they look like a spiderwebby piece of swiss cheese next to lovely, health dense bones), I've developed a heath fear of the stuff. At this point, I can't do anything about the fluoride the government puts in my water (withOUT my permission), but I can make choices to reduce exposure elsewhere (although drinking water is the biggest exposure source).

That means not using fluoride-based toothpaste. Now, sure, many health companies make fluoride-free toothpaste, but who wants to pay such steep prices? Not me.

So I've made mine own. I'm very pleased with it. Like I said, I'm no dentist, but to the best of my understanding, good teeth-cleaners should contain at least two things:
   - An anti-bacterial agent
   - A slightly abrasive substance, to scrub the teeth

Rinsing the mouth thoroughly and often is helpful, as are flossing, and Oil-Pulling (not enough time to discuss that here), but for the toothpaste itself, it sounds pretty basic. I used:

- 1/3 cup Coconut oil, for my anti-bacterial agent (Non-refined is best)
- 1 TBS Baking soda, as a slightly abrasive substance (at this ratio, it's not overly abrasive on the teeth, I'm pretty sure)
- Roughly 10 drops Essential Oil of Mint, or to taste (I like a very strong mint taste) Be sure to use good quality oil, since it's going in your mouth. (I recommend the Young Living brand)

Melt the coconut oil until it's completely dissolved. You don't need to - and don't want to - get it super hot. putting the outside of the bowl in contact with hot water will do the trick. Stir in the baking soda and mint oil. The baking soda will dissolve a little bit, but most of it will puddle in the bottom of a bowl. Transfer the mixture to a plastic baggie, and let it cool. As it solidifies - which will take several hours - spend a few minutes every so often massaging the bag, mixing the baking soda with the oil so that it's thoroughly incorporated and spread out evenly. After the mixture is solidified, cut off a tiny tip from one corner of the baggie, and use as your new toothpaste tube! Store in a sealed container when not in use.

Wala! Try it and let me know what you think!  


Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

I think this is an awesome toothpaste recipe! We make our own also and it is so much better than the chemical laden commercial ones!

Amber said...

Thanks, Alicia! I would be interested in hearing your recipe. :)