As our two boys grow older I’ve been getting more and more strict about their daily teeth brushing routine. Cullen only has a few and he gladly lets me rub his gums with a rubber finger toothbrush to massage those sore gums and clean his little tooth nubs ~ giggling and laughing as we go. With Declan’s teeth it’s a little more labor intensive. He likes to clamp down on the toothbrush and quickly suck all of the toothpaste off before I get a chance to do any real brushing. After a few stern words and another pass with the toothpaste I can finally get in there and do some cleaning. Sometimes we play and I say that there are sugar bugs living in his mouth and we have to get them out. Sometimes we pretend to be different animals and “open wide like an alligator” or “smile like a monkey”. He often times wants to brush his own teeth which I will indulge and encourage After I do it first … but at the end of the day as long as the teeth are brushed, I’m happy.
Nowadays, many parents like myself are looking for ways to be greener and healthier and to live organically. I try and make a lot of my products using all-natural ingredients found in our home in order to cut back on plastic packaging and to help reduce our carbon footprint. Not only are these homemade products less expensive but they are also much healthier. Most people think that, like shampoo, if you are getting a good lather with your toothpaste then it’s working well. When really the ingredient that causes those bubbles is called sodium laurel sulfate, which has nothing to do with preventing tooth decay and is simply being ingested into your system on a twice daily basis. Many commercial toothpastes made for children also contain Sorbitol, and is located second on the ingredients list after water. Sorbitol is used as an emulsifier so that the ingredients don’t shift in the tube and you don’t need to shake-up your toothpaste before using it. But more importantly, Sorbitol is a form of sugar and is found by reducing glucose into sugar alcohols, which is 60% sugar sweetness with a third of the calories. This chemical is what is used to make light or sugar free products, ie. light pancake syrup, diet drinks. Again, just in case you missed that – our children are brushing their teeth and fighting cavities with pancake syrup? Yup.
And so enters the newest recipe in our house! I will usually mix up the toothpaste in a small 1/2 pint mason jar (so cute) and what I love about this recipe is the customization of it. Essential Oils come in so many kid friendly flavors :: peppermint, cinnamon, ginger, lemon, tangerine :: I plan on allowing the kids to pick their own flavors as they grow.
Homemade Toothpaste Recipe!
• 4 T. coconut oil (run under warm water to liquify)
• 3 T. baking soda
• 1 packet of powdered, or 60 drops of liquid Stevia
• 5 drops of essential oil of your choice
• ½ t. real sea salt (optional, for a more abrasive cleanse)
~ Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and transfer to small jars.
It makes a small enough batch that I’m not concerned about bacterial growth and simply dip the toothbrush bristles into the jar. Note :: this isn’t going to taste like the toothpaste your child gets in a tube. It may take some getting used to but by using a flavor that your child enjoys, having them help you mix the toothpaste together, and placing it in the bathroom next to their toothbrush will engage them, teach them, and may make your nighttime routine that much easier!
Enjoy and Happy Brushing!
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