Some of the ingredients in commercial toothpastes (glycerin, SLS, triclosan), are frightening, and you may just not want to have them anywhere near your mouth. While most homemade toothpastes have several benefits, they can have some dangers, too, if you are not careful.
Overusing Essential Oils
Different essential oils have different properties. Some oils are antibacterial, while others, like spearmint or peppermint, are great simply to freshen your breath. However, many essential oils need to be diluted in another substance, and should not come in direct contact with the skin. And even if the oils are used in another substance (your toothpaste) only a small amount is needed. Using too much of an oil can cause irritation to sensitive gum tissue.
Adding Acidic or Abrasive Ingredients
Acids are what eat away at the enamel of your teeth, causing tooth decay. And abrasives scratch the enamel, which then causes the enamel to wear away. Your toothbrush is what removes plaque from your teeth, so added abrasives, particularly harsh ones, is not necessary. Be careful of the recipes you choose. Avoid ones that call for honey (which contains high concentrations of sugar that feed bacteria to produce acid), or crushed charcoal.
Neglecting a Whole Oral Hygiene RoutineWhile a homemade toothpaste may be great for your teeth, it is not a substitute for a whole mouth oral hygiene routine. No toothpaste, homemade or otherwise, is effective enough to clean every area of your teeth. You still need to floss every day to get the spaces between your teeth and just below your gum line. And don't forget to visit your dentist regularly for exams and cleanings.
Homemade toothpaste can be an effective way to help keep your mouth clean, when used correctly. Contact our office to discuss the benefits as well as what to be on the lookout for. And be sure to discuss the ingredients used in the agents your dentist uses to clean your teeth if you have any concerns.