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Have you ever considered the ingredients of toothpaste?
Fundamentally, it is a finely ground, mildly abrasive substance such as French chalk (or silica, etc), mixed with a pretty watery solution of perfume free soap, with which it forms a soft paste. Into this paste is added some saccharine sweetener (well it would be daft to use sugar, wouldn't it?), and possibly a spot of glycerine to keep it "moist". Add some flavour, like peppermint oil, and there you have it. Oh! Maybe add a mild anaesthetic for "sensitive" gums.
A litre of the stuff can be made for hardly any cost at all. Now look at the price of a 100 ml tube of toothpaste and ponder where the major cost exists. It's in the packaging and marketing! It's in fancy, easy flip lids, massive advertising campaigns and so on.
Then, one has "celebrity" toothpastes, with natural themes and exotic plant extracts included to entice the masses to pay "over the odds" extra.
Toothpaste isn't the only overpriced product, but it is a good role model for publicising how the world gets ripped off.

By Petter8
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I've found that numerous commercial brands of toothpaste here in the States have micro sized pieces of plastic as part of the formula.

Using environment-threatening, non-bio degradable micro plastics as the abrasive. They should be proscribed.

Exactly. I sometimes wonder just how much micro /nano plastic our digestive & respiratory systems are assimilating into our bodies.


I use bicarbonate of soda toothpaste. It's great. But there are too many unnecessary ingredients added.


Not Really!!

Coldo Level 8 June 17, 2018

Simple wood ash works wonders too. and cheap !

VAL3941 Level 8 June 17, 2018

It works because it is a mild abrasive and is alkaline. However, it doesn't taste all that great. Plain powdered chalk also works. The other ingredients, like soap, are there to make it foam or to disguise the horrible taste. In the bush I would simply cut a green twig, chew the end to make it brush-like, dip it into the ashes of a fire and then use it to rub my teeth. It was difficult to access the inside of my front teeth, though.

Thats why we have fingers ?


This is why anyone who claims that the supply/demand dynamic is an absolute science is clueless.


I make my own laundry detergent and just gearing up to make super fancy bar soaps. Should probably add tooth paste to that list and maybe dish soap as well. Turning in to a hippy just like my parents.

JazznBlues Level 7 June 16, 2018

Good for you. How about making your own Chlorine bleach, using salt, water, plastic container with two carbon rods inserted, one at the top and the other at the bottom (sealed in of course) then passing a low voltage DC current through it, (a car battery is a good source) with the positive connected to the electrode at the bottom. This gives off Chlorine gas, which bubbles up to the top electrode, which is giving off sodium that immediately reacts with the surrounding water, ejecting hydrogen gas and forming sodium hydroxide. The chlorine gas immediately reacts with the Sodium Hydroxide to form Sodium Hypochlorite - alias household bleach. All for the cost of a table spoon of salt and a watt of electricity.

I make soaps, shampoo bars (aka soap) lip balm, toothpaste, I've made my own dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent. I use home made dryer ball in place of those toxic dryer sheets. I'm the hippy that my parents never were.

@HippieChick58 You strike me as the kind of person I like to know.

@Petter Thank you! Learning how to make stuff on my own has been a huge step in my Hippie journey. I can't wait to retire and be able to spend more time making concoctions and buying even less commercial crud.


I've been making my own toothpaste for 6 or so years. My dentist has never indicated I had any problems with my teeth. My mouth wash is hydrogen peroxide.


I have my pottery students examine the ingredients and they discover that a glaze can be made from it !!!

That's an interesting "side-use".


Sensodyne Extra Whitening at the Rite Aid and CVS near me costs about $9 for a 4oz tube.

The extra whitening simply coming from using the more abrasive Titanium dioxide in combination with hydrogen peroxide bleach. How about a simple mouth wash using well diluted hydrogen peroxide, for a pittance?

@Petter Would that work just as well? I use an alcohol free mouthwash without hydrogen peroxide.

@Piece2YourPuzzle H2O2 is an oxidising substance. It literally bleaches your teeth at the same time as it kills bacteria. It also oxidises your skin, so must be used in very low concentrations over an extended period, which allows your skin to re-grow. Personally, I'm quite happy if my teeth don't shine as white as a TV model's artificially enhanced smile. I brush my teeth, rinse them well and don't bother with any mouthwash.


Or you can consider that I take a prescription that is $2000 a month. 30 little pills. At least I don't have to pay for them unlike overpriced toothpaste.?

Why so expensive?

@Petter it is a fairly new medication. My prescription insurance wouldn't cover it. I am getting it free through a grant that the hospital has


Bottled water is even worse when you consider the cost per litre.
And if you read the fine print on many, you find the magic words....municipally source. Fancy talk for tap water.....

RPardoe Level 7 June 16, 2018



You can buy tuna and meat flavoured toothpastes for dogs and cats.

Anybody else cut the end off a mostly empty toothpaste tube so you can stick the toothbrush into the tube to get the last bits of toothpaste? I started doing this when I was a broke student.

pixiedust Level 8 June 16, 2018

I still do, and I'm a reasonably affluent old git!

@Petter Me, too smile001.gif

Yeah, I did that too.

@pixiedust Having grown up in Africa, I have an abiding abhorrence to waste.


I worked at Procter & Gamble's for about three years in their pharmaceutical division. Marketing is definetly a "black" art.


You are right. It is ridiculously expensive. Then add in costs for those people that also use mouthwash and whitening strips.


You are right ..

kunleyg89 Level 3 June 16, 2018

I use Tom's without fluoride. I'm hoping it is different

Yeah, it's great toothpaste, but it's likr $6 a tube here!

Some contain a trace of Sodium Fluoride, and some don't. Check out the incidence of naturally occurring Fluorine in you local water supply. If it is low, use paste with Sodium Fluoride. If high, avoid it. A trace of Fluorine strengthens teeth, an excess makes them brittle. In either case, we're talking minute amounts. The accepted "optimal" amount is a tad over 1mg per litre, or "One and a bit" parts per million parts of water when drunk. Now assuming an average adult drinks 3 litres of water per day, toothpaste with fluoride should not contain more than a thousandth of a gram per helping assuming two tooth brushings per day. This is hardly going to affect the cost. We pay "perceived value", and the marketing boys know this. Why, otherwise, would toothpaste without fluoride cost more?

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