- Baking soda
- Hydrogen peroxide (3%) topical solution
Add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to plain baking soda to form a paste.
Less gritty and salty than baking soda alone but also a bit foamy, and not in a good way. Tingles the edges of the gums almost to the point of stinging. Foaming sensation seems to linger after rinsing. Mild but unpleasant aftertaste, along with persistent mild tingling.
Hydrogen peroxide (3%), the solution that comes in a brown plastic bottle at every drugstore, is commonly used as a “debriding” mouthwash (when mixed with water) to help remove natural secretions that can aggravate a sore mouth. It’s also purported to be a homespun method for whitening teeth. In any application, hydrogen peroxide should not be ingested. High concentrations of hydrogen peroxide are used in rocket fuel. Guess that explains the foaming.
- Pure liquid castile soap (such as Dr. Bronner’s), straight up.
Only slightly more pleasant than cleaning your teeth with a belt sander.
Hard-core backpackers know well that you can use Dr. Bronner’s pure castile soap to clean your teeth, along with pretty much anything else in the natural world. And it’s not really that bad. But if kids in the 50s were threatened with a mouthful of Dr. Bronner’s, they’d never swear within miles of their parents. After using it every day on a long camping trip, you do get a little used to it. And it does seem to clean your teeth, although the taste is something to be experienced rather than described.
The Best Experience
After testing the above five formulas, I thought it would interesting to go back to my regular brand name toothpaste too see how it compared. The results were mixed. The mouth feel was far superior with the commercial stuff—smooth and creamy instead of gritty and gaggingly salty. The tingle was much nicer than with the peroxide formula, and the mintiness was strong yet balanced. However, the foaminess seemed especially excessive after the generally flat homemade pastes, and the flavor and aftertaste were truly saccharine-sweet. In the end, I might be switching to a less sweet commercial toothpaste, maybe even a baking soda blend. I will not, however, be trying anything flavored with fennel or clove, which I consider to be wholly untoothsome in an oral cleaning product.