As a child, my teeth were in terrible shape. Even before reaching kindergarten, I already had four rotten molars, each one topped with a shiny metal cap, there to stay until they fell out on their own. My diet was full of processed foods and sugar. Ironically, I can recall a time when I accidentally dislodged one of those caps because it got stuck to a dangerously sticky, disgustingly sweet treat. It’s really incredible that I had any teeth left at all!
My run-in with poor dental health lasted for almost two decades. I had cavities in high school and in my early adult years. And although I finally gained control of my dental health around that time, it still didn’t prevent the subsequent damage from years of eating a poor diet, which studies point to having a direct correlation with dental health, and negligent hygiene, more specifically a lack of routine flossing and brushing with commercial, fluoridated toothpaste.
Evolving from a meat-eater to a vegan over the last decade changed more than just my diet and health. It also forced me to question everything I was putting my body into contact with, including my toothpaste. I began using fluoride and SLS-free natural pastes, specifically Tom’s of Maine Botanically Bright, and my oral health had never been better. In fact, I even had a dentist ask me what I did to keep my teeth so white. Aside from occasional oil pulling with coconut oil, using natural toothpaste, twice-daily brushing, and nightly flossing were my only secrets!
Recently, however, I noticed an ominous dark shadow between my back left molars (ugh, not those again) that I believe a dentist from an appointment years prior did not thoroughly excavate. This led me to searching for ways I could prolong another visit and hopefully avoid having another filling altogether.
Enter remineralizing toothpaste. Our teeth thrive in an alkaline environment. When pH levels begin to dip below a neutral 7, and especially into pH levels in the 5.5 range, our teeth start to break down and demineralize. When our teeth reside in an environment with pH levels of 7.5 or higher, they can become stronger and can actually begin to remineralize, possibly even reversing mild cavities and other mouth maladies. Remineralizing toothpaste and tooth powders are designed to reinstate balance to your mouth’s pH levels and aid in improving enamel health.
After much research, I ordered Uncle Harry’s remineralizing toothpaste in peppermint and Uncle Harry’s natural alkalizing miracle mouthwash. What I liked was that these were fluoride-free, gluten-free, glycerin-free, SLS-free, and vegan, though the toothpaste does warn about lead in a Proposition 65 warning due to the natural clay used in the ingredients.
Using remineralizing toothpaste is definitely an acquired taste. When I unscrewed the lid, the inside of the glass jar housed a damp, firm, washed-out paste, resembling gray mud. If you use more than a half-pea sized portion, the minty sensation is strong, like I could feel the arctic blast deep in my lungs when I inhaled strong, which is simply a reminder that a little bit goes a long way.
I loved how clean my teeth felt immediately after. And although the flavor doesn’t leave the greatest taste in my mouth--it’s reminiscent of a chewed up stick of peppermint gum after it’s lost all of its sugar and almost all of its flavor--I can appreciate the earthy undertones and the all-natural, non-toxic ingredients it boasts. Following up with the mouthwash is a nice touch in my opinion because it can really get into every crevice and coat the walls of the mouth with alkaline goodness.
It’s still too soon to tell whether or not this remineralizing toothpaste will cure my cavity completely, but after just a few weeks of regular, daily use of this toothpaste and mouthwash, the murky gray shadow is significantly lighter, which, to me feels like a victory.
Did you know that remineralizing toothpaste can also be made at home?! After trying Uncle Harry’s, I wanted to find a milder and effective version I could use for everyone in the family, including my two-year-old daughter, so that led me to this amazing recipe from Wellness Mama.
Remineralizing Toothpaste Ingredients
- 5 parts calcium powder (you can use cleaned powdered egg shells!)
- 1 part diatomaceous earth (optional, contains trace minerals and silica)
- 2 parts baking soda
- 3 parts xylitol powder – this ingredient is not completely necessary, but just keeps it from tasting bitter
- 3-5 parts coconut oil to achieve desired texture
- Optional ingredients: essential oils for flavor (mint, cinnamon, and orange are all good), myrrh, and trace minerals
Remineralizing Toothpaste Instructions
- Mix all powdered ingredients (calcium, baking soda, xylitol) well in a bowl.
- Add coconut oil one part at a time until you get desired consistency.
- Add any optional ingredients, including essential oils for flavor
- Store in small container, like a half-pint glass jar. To use, either dip clean toothbrush into it, or use a popsicle stick or spoon to put on toothbrush.
Uncle Harry's Fluoride Free Toothpaste 4 Pack- Peppermint $29.95
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