Today, I made a delicious tooth powder!  It's simple, fluoride-free, and aims to polish off all that plaque-causing gunk.  Oh yeah, and it only cost $1.25 to make a cup of tooth powder... that's ~200 uses!

Okay - I have (almost) nothing against toothpaste.  I'm not well-versed on the great fluoride debate, and I'm simply unsure about the purpose of glycerin (a sugar) in toothpaste... 

I just like making my own products.  And Julia Roberts (remember that smile?) says she only brushes with baking soda and salt.  So there.  Good enough for me.  Let's get to, it shall we?
Picture
(I got this recipe from a great herbal information site, HerbMentor, from a recipe by Heather Nic an Fhleisdeir - I'll paraphrase some from John Gallagher's great lesson on making tooth powder)

Ingredients:
~ 1/4 c. fine sea salt
~ 1/4 c. white clay (Kaolin)
~ 1/4 c. baking soda
~ 1 Tbsp. sage, dried & ground
~ 30 drops essential oil (I used Wintergreen)

~ a small bowl
~ a small jar (a half-pint worked for me)

Picture

Measure out the powders: sea salt, white clay, & baking soda, into your bowl.

Finely grind up your sage, and add it to the powders.  Mix.

Add 30 drops of essential oil, and mix again.

Yay!  You made tooth powder!  Now put it in the jar, seal, and store near your toothbrush.  It should keep indefinitely.

To use, just sprinkle 1/8-1/4 tsp. into your palm and dip a wet toothbrush in the powder.  Brush as you usually do!

So... let's backtrack.  How does this stuff work, again?  Turns out, fluoride isn't the only thing that can prevent cavities.

The salt, baking soda, and white clay (which dentists use in their tooth-polishing mixture) all work to scrub off cavity-causing gunk
This 'gunk' is called dextran, and it's a glue-like substance that forms when carbohydrates (aka all those potato chips I ate before bed) and your mouthy bacteria mix.  Dextran binds plaque to teeth, causing gums to recede to get away from the plaque, making little pockets in your gums where food ferments.  Gross. 
Tooth powder helps remove the carbohydrates so dextran doesn't get made in the first place, breaking the cycle of decay.  Awesome.

The sage is, apparently, a natural whitening agent.  Plus, it's yummy, like the essential oils.

Simple as that. 

I'll be trying this tooth powder regularly for the next while - if you try it too, let me know how it goes!  Or, if you have a different recipe to offer, I'd love to hear it!
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