Everybody wants a healthy, beautiful mouth, but many foods, beverages and habits contribute to tooth stains, decay and issues like gingivitis and sore gums. There are so many products on the market that claim to help. Lots of them claim to be all natural, although a quick peek at their label prove them to be anything but ‘all natural’.
So, I spent months experimenting with herbs, oils and other ingredients that have been used throughout history to help heal, clean and protect teeth and gums. Some of them were phenomenal failures, but some of them worked brilliantly! In the end, I came up with some awesome formulas. One of my favorite products has been the pulling oil, which I wrote about in an earlier blog post. Just click on that link there to read all about it. What I didn’t mention in that post is that the pulling oil is fantastic for easing toothaches, too! We have had several opportunities to test this stuff lately and we have nothing but good results to report!
Tamara’s Herbes Pulling Oil
Toothpaste was really my biggest challenge, though, and the one product that stumped me for weeks. My biggest problem was that I was so used to conventional toothpaste that I had a hard time thinking outside the box. I had it in my head that toothpaste had to be either a white paste or a blue gel. Finally, a novel thought occurred to me…natural ingredients will not produce a conventional product ~ and that is just fine! What was important was coming up with a product that works, without adding anything negative.
Now, I’m the first to admit that my natural toothpaste takes a little getting used to. The texture is strange at first…like thick coconut oil. Since I have a texture fetish, this was the biggest hurdle for me. I was really trying to avoid a product that was heavy, slimy or oily. The joining of coconut oil and cocoa butter made this possible. Why these two ingredients?
Tamara’s Herbes Natural Toothpaste
First, keep these facts in mind:
According to the California Dental Association Journal, Volume 28, No 3, March 2000, gum disease may pose a more serious risk of heart disease than any other factor, including hypertension, smoking, cholesterol, gender and age.
The American Academy of Periodontology, most dentists specializing in the treatment of gum disease believe a well-balanced diet that includes sufficient vitamins and minerals improves the help of teeth and gums. Vitamin C is especially effective and 75% of dentists recommend taking a Vitamin C supplement to their patients.
That being said, coconut oil, which has been touted as a miracle cure for everything from heart disease to dry skin, seemed to be a good choice. In my research I stumbled across another lesser-known use for coconut oil. It helps whiten teeth by loosening plaque and actually descaling the surface of the teeth. Other benefits include anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal, it boosts energy, improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose which is useful in helping to control diabetes, and improves the absorption of calcium and magnesium, both of which are essential in supporting the development of strong bones and teeth. That’s by no means the entire list of coconut oil’s benefits, but even those few benefits made for an awesome base for a toothpaste.
Then, we have cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is loaded with magnesium, Vitamin C, chromium and coumarin. Raw cocoa butter is also full of antioxidants and is beneficial in helping to regulate diabetes, heart conditions and other cardiovascular issues. What convinced me to add this to my toothpaste formula, though, is the presence of theobromine, which has been proven to kill streptococci mutans ~ one of the strains of bacteria that cause tooth decay. Like coconut oil, cocoa butter has so many more beneficial constituents, but these were the ones I was concerned about for this toothpaste.
Keep in mind that the mouth is made up of tissues that allow for quick absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that contribute to good health. That means that when you place ingredients like cocoa butter and coconut oil in the mouth, ALL of their healing benefits are allowed instant access to the bloodstream, the digestive system, and every other organ and system of the body. When commercial toothpastes, made with dangerous ingredients like sodium fluoride, triclosan, FD&C Blue Dye #1 and 2, sodium lauryl sulfate, and hydrated silica, are replaced with these two natural ingredients, you are not only preventing harmful chemicals from entering your body, you are actually improving your overall health!
But, that wasn’t enough for me. There are so many herbs that are useful for maintaining healthy teeth and gums that I had to add some of them to this toothpaste.
Amla is one of my favorite herbs, though we seldom see it being used. This little powerhouse is the richest natural source of Vitamin C, containing about 700 mg which is thirty times the amount found in oranges. It also contains calcium, iron, protein, garlic and tannic acids, sugar, phosphorus and carbohydrates. It helps strengthen the entire body and is effective for expelling toxins from the bloodstream. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and is fantastic for cleansing the mouth and strengthening the teeth and gums.
Peppermint helps freshen breath and tone teeth and gums. It is lesser known for its properties as an anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial, although is has been demonstrated in numerous studies.
Licorice root has been proven to reduce plaque and the development of cavities. It has anti-bacterial and immune-system stimulating action, and also promotes tissue healing, as does white oak bark and plantain.
Myrrh is a potent herb against the bacteria that causes tooth decay. It is a highly effective anti-microbial that is used in the treatment of infections in the mouth such as mouth ulcers, gingivitis and phyorrhoea. Myrrh is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, expectorant, and it has the ability to relax the senses without sedating.
Horsetail contains silicon to strengthen and rebuild bones and teeth, and improves density. It enhances brain performance, helps build healthy blood cells, and cleanses and heals the eliminative organs.
Bloodroot binds to plaque in the mouth and prevents it from sticking to the teeth and gums.
These aren’t all of the herbs I use in my tooth products, but you get the general idea, right? There are alternatives to all of those dangerous dental products on the supermarket shelves.
In the end, what I found led to the creation of a complete line of dental care products. Besides the toothpaste and pulling oil, we also created a tooth powder. Another odd product made up of a blend of powdered herbs that can be used in place of toothpaste, though it is quite dry, can also be used as a poultice for tooth ache, sore gums, gingivitis, mouth ulcers and any other dental issue you might have.
I also came up with a mouthwash extract. This one is the most normal of all my dental products. Add a few drops to distilled water and swish, just like you would a normal mouthwash.
Tamara’s Herbes also offers a complete dental care set!
So, really, ditch the commercial dental care products and try something a bit more natural!