I have started to use baking soda to brush my teeth (again). I don’t do this to save money on toothpaste, which is cheap and often free thanks to the lunacy of coupon clipping (this is the only place where we do this). Rather, I do it to save money on the dentist, who is evil and sadistic. For someone who is contemplating skipping dental insurance, this becomes a concern.

Baking soda raises the pH (I knew that) while bacteria in the mouth creates acid (low pH) as a byproduct (I knew that) which destroys the enamel (I knew that too). I just did not put those things together and thought that the main reason for including the baking soda was for its abrasive effect. In addition baking soda causes a lot of saliva which is why you can just put the powder on the toothbrush and start brushing. This saliva further helps the acid disposal process.

DIY toothpaste is basically composed of bacteria unfriendly ingredients. Use any combination of salt, baking soda, and high proof alcohol. The rest is just taste and advertising. Speaking of which; did you know that Listerine was originally invented to cure athletes foot? Instead it was turned into a mouthwash. Nothing wrong with that. Just good business practice.

Of course the main action is mechanical, so you could brush your teeth without any toothpaste whatsoever, and I suppose really frugal people chew on a stick. In that case, just keep your toothbrush in the sun to fry the bacteria with free UV radiation (not behind glass, glass has sun factor 40+ and stops most UV). Alternatively, if you’re a consumer, you just buy one of those electric toothpaste where you don’t have to move your hand and UV light so you don’t have to walk all the way over to the window to put the toothbrush down, but instead have to work a job to pay for it. Also the consumer product has the side effect of stimulating the economy(!)

Originally posted 2008-07-25 08:07:54.