Growing up, I had the worst teeth. By the time I was two years old, I had had 18 ear infections (according to my parents.) I was on antibiotics the entire time and unfortunately, when taking a whole lot of Amoxicilin, my teeth had weird discoloration and came in quite crooked.
When I was in middle school, I was in braces for two years. Unfortunately for me, I followed my orthodontist's orders to a T and over corrected my teeth by wearing my bands 24/7 (apparently they double the time because they think kids will only do it half the time.) so that ended up keeping me in braces even longer. Fabulous.
When I was very small, my parents would brush our teeth and what I remember most is how much the toothpaste burnt. Maybe I was just extra sensitive to the mint flavoring but I hated it. I didn't care for the kid flavored toothpastes either. As I got older, I never felt like my teeth were getting very clean. I flossed, I scrubbed, I bleached, I scraped and brushed everything. Every time I'd go to get my teeth cleaned at the dentist's, I'd hear the same thing - you need to floss more. You need to brush 9 zillion times a day. Blah, blah, blah. I had plaque build up even though I was brushing twice or more a day - I kept my toothbrush and toothpaste in my backpack so I could even brush at school and nothing helped.
A while back, I stumbled upon an article about the dangers of fluoridation. I decided to completely cut out toothpaste with any fluoride in them. I went to the store and tried all the fluoride free toothpaste - NOW's Xyliwhite, Burt's Bees (owned by Clorox) Lavender Mint Toothpaste, Tom's of Maine (owned by Colgate-Palmolive), a few others and some sort of German toothpaste I got at Whole Foods (I used to work there.) None of them really worked at all and I always felt like I had nasty breath. It wasn't very refreshing. The German toothpaste was the worst - I couldn't read it as it was all in German but it used some sort of alternative to whatever chemicals are in regular toothpaste. When I went to my dentist, he told me to stop using it because it was eating my tooth enamel away. Great...
I was on a search for something that didn't have a bazillion chemicals in it. What's a better way to control what's in your product than to make it yourself? I went online and started searching. After awhile, I played around until I got the amounts I like just right. Here's my recipe for whitening toothpaste which you can also find on my Recipezaar account:
8 tablespoons baking soda
8 tablespoons sea salt, not iodized
20 drops orange blossom essential oils
1. Mix ingredients in a glass jar.
2. Dip damp toothbrush into mixture and brush your teeth for 2 minutes.
Honestly, this is something you can make with ingredients from around your house for just pennies. That's a lot better than the Crest you buy at the store. It's so affordable you can make a jar for each member of the family so you don't have to double dip after each other. I've been using this for two months and my teeth always feel clean, like I just got them done at the dentist! They are also noticibly whiter!
Try it some time!