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Sunday, April 27, 2014

toddler toothpaste


 Almost every parent, guardian, and babysitter knows how tough it can be to get little ones to cooperate with brushing teeth time. Many times my husband and I have teamed up on our little guy, pinned him down, tickled him until he finally laughed or complained, and mercilessly shoved that loaded toothbrush into his unwilling mouth for the length of the alphabet song. The closer my Baby Bear gets to 3, the easier this part of bedtime becomes.

But then I reevaluated the toothpaste we use. Hmm. My husband and I use a homemade tooth powder (a post to come soon!), but not one we could reasonably expect a toddler to use. Also, the kid still swallows most of the toothpaste, and I don't really want him swallowing even food grade bentonite clay at this tender age. We used store bought stuff for a while, but the day I went hunting through the unnaturally quiet house and found him eating the stuff directly from the Thomas the Tank Engine tube I knew I had to find something better.

I did. I made it. Coconut oil is for antibacterial properties, baking soda for cleaning and whitening, xylitol for making the soda more palatable, and xylitol rather than honey because it can help prevent plaque and bacteria from adhering to teeth. There are many articles available on natural teeth care, however. Do some reading. Get started here, and here, and here.

Toddler Toothpaste
1/2 c raw, unfiltered, cold pressed coconut oil 
2 Tbs baking soda
1 Tb powdered xylitol
up to 5 drops peppermint, cinnamon or cinnamon cassia essential oil

Blend together in the Magic Bullet or a food processor, to ensure baking soda is perfectly distributed. Give it a quick taste, or brush your own teeth with it, before trying on your child. Adjust if needed. It shouldn't be quite so desirable that they go hunting for the jar, but less than awful enough to contribute to the brushing battles. Store in a glass jar, preferably, but a small batch can be made up for use in a BPA-free, food safe squeezy tube if you are concerned about broken glass.

Omit essential oils for children under one year of age, and just use plain coconut oil on a washcloth covered finger or infant toothbrush for babies under 8 months.

As your child gets older, encourage them to spit out the paste after brushing, rather than swallowing. While littles are still learning, though, this is a food safe option that is naturally fluoride-free and has provided reliable cleaning power for our little family.


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