Now this is quite a common theme: toothpaste. A lot of green people use alternatives to traditional toothpaste because of fluoride and other ingredients. Again in this post I'm not going to go into all the detail of why not to use toothpaste because there are so many other websites and blogs and books about that. But I'm here to let you know what I do about it and I hope I'll be able to inspire you by showing you how easy it is to let go of toothpaste once you've made the decision that it's just not for you!
Here are 5 wonderful alternatives for you to read about and experiment with!
Alternative 1: nothing! that's right, no toothpaste at all. But keep brushing! Never stop brushing - no toothpaste doesn't mean no oral cleaning routine! Use your normal tooth brush and brush your teeth several times a day, but with nothing on it, just water (morning, evening + every time you eat).
I call this Empty Brushing.
I did this for a while and still do it a lot but I've added a few steps to my routine. One reason I started doing it was because I just don't like toothpaste; it tastes too strong and is so messy! So I would sometimes go days without brushing! Until I decided I just wouldn't use toothpaste anymore, so I started brushing my teeth with just water. After a while I wondered if it was unhealthy to do this so I did some research on it. I found out that when brushing your teeth, the brushing is what's cleaning your teeth not the toothpaste! So give it a try and see what you think for yourself. Another great benefit is that because it's so quick and easy, you can just brush so many times a day and it's no hassle. You can also carry a toothbrush with you wherever you go and give your teeth a quick brush when you find a tap.
EXTRAS: 1 If you eat onions and garlic and processed food and other stinky foods then your breath will get stinky with the brushing alone technique. Baking soda is great for getting rid of smells. So if you go for the empty brushing alternative, make sure to make a baking soda mouth wash to use once a day, morning is better - kills dirt and smells accumulated during the night. Swish it around every where - spit - and rinse your mouth out with water!
2 Make a mouthwash out of 1 cup of water and 3 or 4 drops of peppermint essential oil. This peppermint mouth wash can be used once or twice a day, morning: kills dirt and smells accumulated during the night, and evening: after brushing to have a fresh minty smell before bed. Swish it around every where for 5 minutes- spit - and rinse your mouth out with water! (I use this homemade mouthwash in my routine)
Alternative 2: This time you can try combining alternative 1 with extra 1: brush your teeth with a normal toothbrush dipped in a cup of baking soda and water mix.
Alternative 3: This is what I use now; Home made toothpaste. This is so simple and effective: baking soda and coconut oil! That's it! How easy is that, ey? Use the same amount of baking soda to coconut ratio in teaspoons (ie: 4 teaspoons of baking soda and 4 teaspoons of liquid coconut oil - mix it all up in a little glass jar to keep on the bathroom shelf) then put some on your normal toothbrush and get brushing, same as you would with a store bought toothpaste.
EXTRAS: 1 Rinse your mouth out really well after with water because it does not taste nice; very salty and bitter! You can do this 2 or 3 times daily like any other toothpaste, but you could also do empty brushing after meals to keep your mouth and teeth extra clean.
2 Rinse your mouth with the peppermint mouthwash, to get a fresh minty smell. Swish around for 5 minutes, spit and rinse with water. (1 cup of water and 3 to 4 drops of essential oil.)
Alternative 4: What I like to use sometimes also is a Siwak or Miswak: It is from a root or branch, depending on what the shop is selling. It's 100% natural and cleans your mouth very well. You use it like a toothbrush but use only water with it. It doesn't make teeth white but it does get rid of smells and bacteria. I will dedicate a whole post to it. This is porbably the most natural and green alternative for brushing teeth as well as the cheapest - 1 stalk cost about 40p (british pennies)!! And last weeks to months (depending on how often you use it and how well you look after it).
EXTRAS: You could still empty brush now and then and use a homemade mouthwash (baking soda or peppermint).
Alternative 5: I have never used this technique but have heard that it works wonders and is really healthy for many, many reasons: you could do more research about it if you are interested! This is Oil Pulling. Basically you put oil in your mouth (I heard coconut is a good one for this too) and swish and swoosh for 20 minutes! Then spit out and rinse with water (make sure to spit it into the bin and not down the drain - also do NOT swallow the oil or the water rinse after it! Because it is full of bacteria.) This is a technique reserved for the people who are not lazy and who have time to do it as well as patience! Good luck. Although it is really effective according to research.
As I mentioned before, what I do is: Brush my teeth with my homemade toothpaste morning and evening followed by 5 minutes of swishing and swooshing the peppermint mouthwash. Sometimes I empty brush throughout the day. Empty brushing is great because it's so quick and easy and not messy at all.
There you have it folks! Enjoy your new oral cleansing routine and let us know what you go for. Any tips?
CHECK OUT MY UPDATE HERE where I talk about my new routine, including oil pulling and tongue scraping!