Simple Mouth Care
It’s no secret that the bathroom and kitchen have been my two biggest challenges as a minimalist. Here’s what my mouth care routine looks like now three years into this journey.
- Bamboo toothbrush
- Eco-dent vegan dental floss
- Stainless steel tongue scraper
- Homemade toothpaste (recipe below)
I choose the Brush with Bamboo toothbrush as it is one of the best options per Beth Terry, the author of Plastic Free. It is not 100% compostable, as the bristles have 38% plastic in them, but the handle can be reused or composted and it’s vegan! I like it so much that I offer it to my Airbnb guests who stay with me. It’s a way of letting people know other options exist while helping them out if they forgot their toothbrush.
I choose the Eco-dent vegan dental floss as it’s vegan, it has a recyclable paper case (with no plastic), and it has 100 yards in one package. That was more than double of the two other brands it was compared with in this article by Low Tox Life. This means, you will need to buy a box two to three times less often which makes it economical and ecological!
I bought a stainless steel tongue scraper about 12 years ago and it still looks brand new. The tongue scraper is an Ayurvedic tradition to remove bacteria that create bad breath and release toxins in the body (or Ama as it is called in India). I highly recommend adding a tongue scraper to your daily oral hygiene routine.
I took a few toothpaste recipes and adjusted them to create my own favorite. I select ingredients with healing properties, versus just trying to imitate what is on the market. I don’t care for sweet tasting toothpaste, so I don’t add sweeteners. Here is my recipe for a re-mineralizing toothpaste.
2 TB Coconut Oil
2 TB Baking Soda
2 TB Calcium Mag Powder
1 tsp Real Salt
10 drops Trace Minerals (optional)
4+ drops Peppermint food grade essential oil
- Mix all dry ingredients in a small cup.
- Warm coconut oil via toaster oven or in a warm water bath.
- Mix dry items with coconut oil.
- Add the peppermint EO.
- Pour into glass jar or metal tin.
- Use as you would toothpaste.
I like to make small personal batches of the toothpaste. I came up with my own method of using the end of my toothbrush to scoop up a pea size amount of the toothpaste and then put it in my mouth and begin brushing.
- The Calm magnesium powder makes it foam a bit which feels nice and clean in your mouth.
- The salt is a good antibacterial. I buy Real Salt brand in bulk at my local co-op.
- Baking soda should not be used solo as a toothpaste as it is too abrasive for daily use. But, when mixed in with the other ingredients, it is balanced out. I buy my baking soda in the bulk bins at my local food co-op.
- Coconut oil is very soothing and healing. Many people use coconut oil for oil pulling which is another great oral care practice.
- Peppermint essential oils give this toothpaste some tingle while it cleanses the breath, making the mouth feel clean. Always use food grade essential oils on personal care products going in your mouth or on your body.
- Trace minerals can be found either in liquid or powdered form. I found some vitamin C with trace minerals in the bulk bins at my co-op, which is what I use. Don’t worry if you don’t have this ingredient, as it is optional.
I originally was using Uncle Harry’s Tooth Powder, which I could buy in bulk at People’s Co-op near me. I like how the recipe above feels in my mouth, so I transitioned to using it for more than a year now.
I get up in the morning then brush my teeth and scrape my tongue. By keeping my tongue scraper in the shower I can use it there or easily grab it and use it at the sink. In the evening I brush my teeth again, and this time I floss, versus doing the tongue scraping.
Having simple, non-toxic items with less plastic is congruent with my values. It’s been fun to keep on the learning path and find what works well for me. I hope this is helpful in finding your own simple mouth care routine.