People have been making their own toothpaste for centuries. The oldest known toothpaste recipe — for an Ancient Egyptian toothpaste — was found on papyrus that dates back to the fourth century AD. The old DIY toothpaste ingredients included salt, mint, dried iris flower, and pepper. The document describes how the powder turns into a paste when it comes into contact with saliva — and, as you can probably imagine, the toothpaste probably tasted pretty bad.
Today, we can purchase commercially manufactured toothpastes at nearly any store. These toothpastes contain some natural (fluoride) and some not so natural (surfactants). It’s these not so natural ingredients that cause some people to look for more homeopathic forms of toothpaste.
DIY toothpaste may seem like a great alternative. But, are they just as effective as store-bought toothpastes?
DIY Toothpaste vs Store-Bought Toothpaste
DIY toothpaste recipes vary. Typical ingredients include coconut oil, baking soda, sea salt, and essential oils. With DIY toothpaste, you know exactly what you’re putting into your body because you make the recipes from scratch. You know exactly what you’re be brushing with.
Is DIY Toothpaste Effective?
Research is very limited. One study showed DIY toothpaste can be just as effective at plaque removal as store-bought toothpaste. After all, any toothpaste serves as an abrasive to help remove plaque and food from tooth surfaces. They also help freshen breath.
The problem with DIY toothpaste, however, it doesn’t have the added benefit of fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that’s added to store-bought toothpaste and many public water supplies. It’s proven to help prevent and reduce the instance of tooth decay.
Store-bought toothpastes contain the right amount of fluoride to help fight tooth decay. You can also find store-bought toothpastes that contain other active ingredients used to help with other oral health problems like tooth sensitivity and gingivitis. Additionally, almost all the toothpastes you see in stores have been reviewed and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
What do I recommend? Definitely store-bought toothpaste, simply because of the fluoride benefits. Fluoride is absolutely essential for healthy teeth.
If you’re interested in making your own toothpaste, or are currently using DIY toothpaste, please tell us about it at your next appointment.
About THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®
THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover affordable up-to-date dentistry and a team who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.