Saturday, 10 May 2014

DIY Remineralizing Toothpaste For Sensitive Teeth

 Some of you may know about this already, and for others it will be new. Teeth are meant to be self-healing! Think about it... When you break a bone,  does it not mend itself? When you cut yourself, does it not regenerate new skin? Why would your teeth be the only exception? Why would nature take care of the rest of your body and not your teeth? And for that matter, what about animals? It's not like you see any wolves on a vegan diet because they can no longer chew their meat... Your teeth are supposed to last you.

Now obviously taking care of your teeth is essential, but people are becoming more and more aware of the importance of oral health, brushing several times a day, flossing, regular dental visits, cleanings, fluoride treatments, etc, etc. But our teeth are still deteriorating. Someone who takes care of their teeth consistently is still more than likely going to end up in need of a filling or other dental intervention at some point. Why?

Well there is a book you can read that is VERY informative, and will in detail explain this to you called Cure Tooth Decay and an organization dedicated to oral health through diet called The Weston A Price Foundation. Many in the natural community are already aware of the detriment that a grain based, low fat diet has on your health, and it is slowly becoming more widely understood. The paleo diet, SCD, and GAPS diet are all prime example of how people are healing themselves from life long afflictions that there were no other options for with nutrition.

Teeth decay due to lack of nutrition. There are components of grains, seeds, legumes, and nuts that inhibit the absorption of vital nutrients for your body, including your brain, your bones, and your teeth. Many (but not all) believe that properly soaking your grains, nuts, legumes, and seeds draws these harmful components from the food and you are left with a much healthier product. I'll leave that up to you to check out yourself. I like this article, and this one.
One thing that I really believe in though is that enough saturated fat in your diet is essential for carrying fat soluble nutrients throughout your body. A well balanced diet with ample fat will help the overall health of your body, and in particular, your teeth.

Now another thing to consider when discussing tooth de-mineralization, is the use of standard commercial toothpastes and mouthwashes. They all contain glycerin which coats the teeth and is said to take up to 20 rinses to clean off. It is not a necessary ingredient for your oral health and is primarily used for creating a nicer textured paste. Mouthwash also contains glycerin. Even a lot of natural oral products contain glycerin. (By the way, the one we use when not using homemade is Earthpaste)

And then there's fluoride. Naturally occurring fluoride has been shown to lessen the occurrence of tooth decay and promote dental health, however, it's chemical counterpart that is present in fluoride rinses, tablets, and toothpastes, is a very dangerous neurotoxin which has actually been shown to CAUSE decay over time. There are warnings on your toothpaste containers to call poison control if consumed, and for good reason. Fluoride is dangerous.

Ok so now that almost all commercial toothpaste has been ruled out (at least for our family) we need to figure out what is good to brush your teeth with... Earthpaste is great, it is made out of clay and contains no glycerin. It is slightly alkaline, neutralizing the acids in the mouth which eat away at enamel, but we weren't crazy about the way it made our teeth feel. I always felt like my mouth wasn't as "fresh" feeling. Also, my husband and I both noticed that it was making our teeth very sensitive. Not to mention the cost at over $6 a tube...

So once again, there I was, trying all sorts of concoctions that I could get my hands on for my own toothpaste, I tried this one, and this one, and even this. I was disappointed with each effort. My teeth were still sensitive, and they tasted awful. Finally after much experimentation, I have come up with something that gets your teeth feeling very clean, freshens breath, has helped my enamel to become noticeably stronger (my teeth used to be quite transparent at the ends, and are now MUCH more opaque) but also, has made my teeth much less sensitive. I no longer cringe every time I sip a cold drink.

This tooth paste, like many, is coconut based. I am c-c-c-crazy about coconut oil. Pretty much anyone who has tried it feels the same. It is in every room in my house, used in every application, and on every family member, from baby to adults, to the dog. Coconut oil is gaining much fame for it's oral health benefits as well. It's natural anti-fungal, anti-microbial properties, also help to inhibit the growth of acid producing bacteria (which damages your teeth) and yeast, reducing the risk or occurrences of oral thrush. It also helps give teeth that nice slick feeling when you run your tongue along them.


  • Baking soda adds the alkalinity and a very gentle bit of abrasion to help loosen plaque and food. 
  • The calcium is essential to healthy bones and teeth, and also adds an amazing texture to the paste. 
  • Xylitol is a natural, sugar-alcohol sweetener, that is known for it's ability to prevent cavities, as well as inner-ear infections. It is great is toothpaste because it sweetens things up as well as adding a slightly cool feeling. Look for a non-GMO brand, as much xylitol is derived from corn.  
  • Neem oil is great for killing bacteria that cause bad breath, cavities, and gum disease. You can read about the benefits of neem here. Omit the neem oil however, if you are pregnant or if a child who cannot spit out toothpaste yet is using the paste. 
  • Trace mineral drops are pretty much just a great magnesium source, also imperative to bone and teeth health. 
  • Peppermint oil is great at freshening breath and an also help ease toothaches.****


Remineralizing Sensitive Toothpaste

1 cup coconut oil
2 T baking soda
1/3 cup calcium powder
1/2 cup GMO free xylitol powder
10 drops neem oil
20 drops trace mineral drops
50 drops peppermint oil*****


*****Note: For children who do not like the taste of peppermint, try using a combination of citrus oils (lemon, sweet orange, lime) for a more kid friendly flavour.

We have been using this particular toothpaste for about six months now, and couldn't be happier. Give it a try, let me know what your think :)

Check out my DIY baby wipes for another great homemade natural idea!



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Thursday, 1 May 2014

Amazing Vanilla Coffee Creamer (Dairy Free, Soy Free)

Ah coffee... sweet ambrosia. I have more than once in my life been willing to trade limbs for java. I am not exactly what you would call a morning person. Even my children can attest to this; they usually skirt the walls in silence until they see an empty coffee cup beside me and know it is safe to approach.

I like my coffee with cream and sugar, always have. It's so yummy, even though I know I shouldn't be spooning sugar into the first thing I put into my body in the morning. Also with our home being dairy free, I should cut out the cream too, but honestly I think almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, etc. are great in a lot of applications, but I tend to get a bit murdery when they find their way into my coffee.

So how did I give up cream and sugar? I finally figured out what I love about them and then was able to create an amazing alternative. The reason I like cream and not milk is the fat... yummy, healthy, flavourful fat. Sugar is easy enough: I have a sweet tooth, which has been made abundantly clear by now ;)

If you like decadent flavoured coffee, or sweet, creamy coffee, this will make your day, again and again. I would feel quite pleased about putting this out with after dinner coffee for guests, or you could always just hoard it in the back of the fridge all for yourself (not that I do that). Trust me... YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS!


VANILLA COFFEE CREAMER

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla 
  • pinch sea salt
Special Equipment:
  • Blender (does not need to be fancy or high powered, any blender will do.)
  • Nut Milk Bag (not an absolute necessity, but it does make a difference with mouth feel) Like this one
  • Mason Jar (or other storage container)
Instructions:
  • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil for 1 minute and then let cool till warm. This will help to ensure the longest shelf life of the finished product as well as provide the heat needed to melt the oil
  • Measure the cashews and 1 cup of the water into the blender.
  • Blend on high for about 1 minute or until smooth.***
  • suspend milk bag in measuring cup or other bowl, and pour milk into it.
  • Add remaining water to blender and blend for 10 seconds or so (this is just to ensure you don't waste any that may be coating the walls of your blender.
  • Add coconut oil, vanilla, salt, and maple syrup. Blend for 30 seconds
  • pour into milk bag
  • there will not be much left in the milk bag after you raise it out of the liquid, gently squeeze anything left. Discard solids in milk bag. 
  • Pour creamer into mason jar and allow to cool in the fridge uncovered. Once cooled, lid it and store for up to 10 days in the fridge. 
  • Shake jar before each use.
***note: Be careful when blending hot liquids. Use a towel on top of the open vent to minimise risk.


As usual, I like to give alternatives and variations, because everyone's tastes are different. If you prefer, you can use macadamia nuts in place of cashews, but beware, they are pricey. 
You can also omit the vanilla extract or replace it with another of your liking, but I would start off with half the amount and then adjust to taste as a lot of other extracts are stronger in flavour than vanilla.
You can also use ghee in place of the coconut oil, however coconut oil does offer a plethora of health benefits that ghee does not (unless using grass fed ghee) but the flavour is a little more traditional. 
And of course you can use Local honey in place of the maple syrup, or any other sweetener of your choice. Honey has the added benefit of helping with seasonal allergies if you buy local, unpasteurised.



What are you waiting for? Go, go! Enjoy! Guilt free, deliciously sweet, creamy coffee. Almost makes you a morning person... almost.