6 Common Household Products that Make Great Toothpaste Alternatives
by Brandon Hunt
Have you ever had those questions where you wondered how people did things, or wondered how they lived hundreds, even thousands of years ago?
Such thinking led me to wonder how people cleaned their teeth before the invention of toothpaste.
Most of the time I just take it for granted that I have toothpaste. It’s not something I think about often. But once in a while the random thought pops in — what if I didn’t have toothpaste?
Do you know how to keep your teeth clean without toothpaste?
I didn’t know. So I did some research. I found some interesting, and different, methods ancient peoples used to clean their teeth.
Going as far back as ancient Egypt, evidence has been found that they used all sorts of ingredients to clean their teeth, or make paste-like cleaning goop. Yeah, they used such fun stuff as soot, ground ox hooves, crushed rock salt, gum arabic, pepper, dried iris leaves, egg shells, myrrh, and water.
Wow! Their teeth may have been clean, but I wonder what their gums must have looked like.
Move forward onto the Romans and you’ll find they employed crushed bones and oyster shells on their teeth. Yeesh!
But at least they tried to add a little flavor and breath freshener by adding charcoal powder and bark to the mixture.
I think that’s one list of ingredients I’ll skip.
The Chinese way of cleaning the ol’ chompers is somewhat more palatable. They used herbal mints, salt, and ginseng. Doesn’t seem all that bad.
And, who’s to say that my toothpaste, with its list of ingredient names that I can’t pronounce, is any better. I hadn’t put much thought into my toothpaste, until I did a bit of research.
So, if you want to try more natural methods for teeth cleaning you can try out some of the alternatives listed below. Or if other events transpire and limit your toothpaste acquisition, you may be glad you read about other ways to clean your teeth.
And here is some of that good old knowledge to file away and use when you need it.
- Sea Salt: Yes. It’s a mild cleanser that you can use multiple times daily. It has natural healing properties, removes plaque, tartar, and bad breath. Dip your toothbrush in the salt and gently scrub those pearly chicklets. If it’s too rough, grind up the salt a bit and add it to water, then dab your brush in and use. The taste may not be pleasant, but your mouth should feel clean and fresh. So smile!
- Baking Soda: An oldy but goody. It’s been around for quite awhile fulfilling a multitude of tasks. It has minimal ingredients and is free of harsh chemicals. Create a light paste with it to scrub your teeth and rinse with water. However, you don’t want to use it every day or excessively, as it has a tendency to remove the enamel from teeth.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: Another common item found in households. It helps clean and whiten teeth. Many people already prefer to use it as a natural alternative to commercial toothpaste.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: ACV has strong natural antibacterial properties making it an excellent option for cleaning and rinsing the mouth. However, you definitely want to dilute ACV with some water, otherwise the acidic nature can remove the enamel as well.
- Oil Pulling: This is a cleaning method I’ve recently learned about, and want to try sometime. Natural coconut oil is used most often, but some people mention olive oil too. Take about a tablespoon of coconut oil and lightly swish back and forth for 10 minutes. Coconut oil antifungal and antibacterial, making it a good choice for cleansing the mouth. Also, combine it with other ingredients such as Baking Soda as a way to level it up.
- Dry Brushing: Pretty simple, right? Supposedly it works quite well, with some dentists saying we don’t really need toothpaste. Still, it might require a little more study…or just experimentation and see what the results are. While it may work, I can’t imagine you’ll have a clean, fresh breath kind of feeling.
- Water: The most natural of all cleansers. Works well for removing debris and cleansing teeth, though you won’t have any minty freshness.
Sometimes curiosity and random questions yield practical answers. I might try some of these methods for myself, just to find out for myself. I have used apple cider vinegar before, diluted in water. My mouth felt clean, but I think you would have to get used to not using toothpaste. It just feels different not using toothpaste when you have been conditioned to it your whole life.
Looking back to the past we can appreciate the efforts at good oral care, and also appreciate that we don’t have to rely on rock salt and crushed sea shells.
So, if you want to avoid resorting to desperate and rough teeth cleaning methods, I would say buy an extra tube each time you’re at the store. And pick up other items such as hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. You should add them to storage for their multiplicity of uses alone.
As we have been advocating for several months, if you haven’t started gathering supplies yet, you should start now.
There’s a lot of events happening right now, with Ukraine and Russia being the biggest. It’s hard to predict what will ultimately happen.
Even though you won’t know what will occur, you can prepare yourself and family to some degree. Some preparation is better than none.
So, good luck and prep well.