Well, I said I’d do it and I did. I used up the last of a tube of Crest (and believe me, I squeezed out every delicious bit before sending the tube to plastic purgatory) without having found a plastic-free replacement product. So I made my own tooth powder with the ingredients pictured above:
1 cup of baking soda
1 cup of salt
1 tsp of stevia powder (an herbal sweetener)
1/2 tsp (give or take) of wintergreen essential oil
I shook it all up in a parmesan cheese container that I rescued from plastic purgatory and set it lovingly in its new home in the bathroom cabinet beside Michael’s shaving cream and my bottle of Act fluoride rinse.
(Act fluoride rinse is another product I’ll have to worry about eventually. But I still have 2 bottles left, so won’t think about it just yet.)
And then… and then… with no small amount of trepidation… I tried it. I sprinkled a little in my left palm and with my right hand, ran my wet toothbrush through the powder and then over my teeth and gums.
And I liked it! Big surprise!
Okay, it’s not yummy like Crest, but honestly, my mouth felt cleaner afterwards. And my gums felt all tingly in a good way, probably from the salt.
Now, after doing some research online, I see that there is disagreement as to whether brushing with baking soda can harm tooth enamel. Some dentists say yes, others think it’s fine. Most agree that the biggest mistake people make is to brush too hard, regardless of what toothpaste is used. And most dentists seem to agree that the toothpaste is not the important component in tooth cleaning anyway, but simply the brushing and flossing. (Floss… another item to deal with… later.)
So I’m going to keep using my homemade version, at least until my next dental appointment, which is July 30. Then, I’ll see what my dentist has to say about it.
I’m also planning to return to him the free Oral B toothbrush I got at my last visit and tell him about Preserve toothbrushes, which are made from post-consumer recycled plastic. There’s a great article about Recycline, the company that makes Preserve toothbrushes, over at Sustainable Is Good: An Eco Blog.
And finally, while I was typing this post, I got inspired to write the following e-mail to Recycline via their contact form:
Hi. My dentist gives out free Oral B toothbrushes imprinted with his name and phone number on them. I was wondering if you have any program for creating custom imprinted toothbrushes for dentists to give away. Consumers may not want to buy toothbrushes if they can get them free from the dentist. It would be great if you could get dentists to switch to Preserve toothbrushes for their patients.
Please let me know your thoughts on this. I have been promoting Preserve toothbrushes on my blog.
Hopefully they’ll have some info for me before the 30th that I can take to Dr. Parrett. It’s worth a shot, right?