I recently had the book The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill recommended to me to read to my boys. A quick search at our local library turned up the book and excitement was on my 9 year old’s face as he read the title (I’m guessing the attention getter was the word “millionaire” NOT the word “toothpaste”!).
We read the book, breaking it up into smaller chunks over several days. The book is about a boy and his friend and their quest to make- and then sell- affordable toothpaste. It was refreshing to find a book with an interesting plot and no objectionable character or language. My son and I recommend this book! Note: There is an updated version of this book (of at least the cover but I don’t know about the content). We read the older version.
I did a quick Google search for “homemade toothpaste recipe” and quickly discovered we already HAD all the ingredients to make our own toothpaste. You can’t get any cheaper than that!! We did this as the culminating activity to our reading and have been using it now for weeks. I actually prefer the homemade stuff as it feels like my teeth are cleaner!
I used Tammy’s Recipes website and found the step by step pictures easy to follow. It took literally just minutes! I haven’t let my four year old use this toothpaste because he just hasn’t mastered the whole “don’t swallow” thing but my nine year old loves it. As for safety, I asked the boys’ dentist to see if the baking soda is harmful and I received an okay from that standpoint. His concern was the lack of fluoride, which neither I nor the boys, have used for about two years now without any problems.
Another concern I’ve heard is about the essential oils being “food grade”. The opinions over this go back and forth so I’ll let you decide on that. I will say that you can find food grade oils online, and maybe even at your local health food store. They are more expensive than non-food grade but many are still pretty reasonably priced.
So if you are looking for a quick summer read and activity, keep this one in mind. As a bonus, you get some “natural toothpaste” too! Happy reading!