I found this excerpt from PENNYWISE TOOTH CLEANSERS by Thomas W. King online. What a great way to save money and reduce waste from non-biodegradeable toothpaste tubes! I am going to try it this weekend!
Proctor and Gamble and Lever Brothers-and any number of other manufacturers-would like us to believe that the only proper way to care for our teeth is with expensive, highly flavored toothpastes that come in non-biodegradable, throwaway, zinc-and-lead (Now plastic -ed.) tubes.'Tain't so!
There are effective, low-cost alternatives to that aromatic goo-in-a-tube you find on supermarket shelves. Our family has been making and using its own toothpastes and powders for years...and we've enjoyed excellent dental health, too. You and your clan can save a significant amount of money-and at the same time keep your teeth and gums in good shape-by kicking the Madison Avenue habit and choosing to follow a few simple rules:
1. MAKE YOUR OWN TOOTH POWDER. Thoroughly mix 3 parts baking soda (the cleanser and sweetener) with part salt (the abrasive) and funnel the compound into a short small-mouthed container such as a pop or beer bottle. You'll find that the creation has a satisfying, different taste and leaves your mouth feeling very fresh and soothed. If you'd like, add a few drops of peppermint or wintergreen oil to the concoction - or mix the home "brew" half-and-half with a commercial tooth powder - to give the dentifrice a more pleasant flavor.
2. MAKE YOUR OWN TOOTHPASTE. This formula is simply an extension of the tooth powder recipe: To each half cup of homemade powder, add 3 teaspoons of glycerin, 10-20 drops of flavoring (peppermint, wintergreen, anise, cinnamon or whatever) and 1 drop of food coloring. Mix the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and add just enough water to make the concoction "tooth-pastey". Spoon the substance into a small refillable plastic squeeze bottle or any container that dispenses easily and won't leak. VoilÁ! Toothpaste! The amount of glycerin you add will control the "pastiness" of the cleanser and obviously the type of flavoring will determine the taste. Both ingredients are inexpensive and available at any drugstore. Your neighborhood grocer, of course, can supply you with salt, food coloring and baking soda.
Commercial toothpastes generally incorporate a slick, easy flowing combination of chalk, soap, glycerin and flavorings. Your homemade creation won't be as smooth...but I know you'll find it more satisfying, less wasteful and - above all - less expensive. You'll be able to make a year's supply of toothpaste (for a family of four) at a total cost of around a buck and a half (...maybe a little more by 2007 standards. -ed.).