my simple life: 5 homemade natural toothpaste options

I’ve tried every ‘natural’ toothpaste on the market and have spent more than I care to share on looking for a decent one. It’s a damn hard thing to do, finding ready-made toothpaste that’s 100% safe and easy on the hip pocket. In fact I’ll say it’s virtually impossible. You have to make it yourself.

via lifeasweknowit

Just yesterday I finally squeezed the last remnants of toothpaste from the tube and so am now in the perfect position to start fresh with a homemade version. 

Please don’t ditch your half-used tube – I’d cry if I was to learn I’d encouraged any waste in the world. 

I’ve played with a few recipes before, experimenting with small amounts. This time I’m committing. It’s silly spending $9 on a tube of paste with which to brush your chompers when you can do it for a fraction of the cost with ingredients you’ve probably got laying around the house.

why not store-bought toothpaste?
Four things:
  • Conventional toothpastes contain harsh synthetic ingredients (many petroleum-derived) like sodium lauryl sulphate, fluoride (toxic), saccharin (artificial sweetener) and glycerine, which can prevent your teeth from re-mineralising.
  • Even the ‘natural’ ones can contain ingredients like sodium lauryl sulphate.
  • ‘Natural’ toothpastes cost an arm and a leg. And when you’ve got a limited budget, I’d rather see that money go towards good quality food that in the long run will help improve dental health.
  • It’s hard to find toothpaste in an environmentally-friendly container. Inevitably most people still end up with a plastic tube that either gets sent to landfill or has to be recycled (which is a very resource-intensive process).

so, how to make your own toothpaste?
 Easy. Here are 5 simple, quick and cheap options:

plain coconut oil
Coconut oil is a terrific natural toothpaste or toothpaste base because a) it’s solid/pasty at room temperature and b) it’s naturally antibacterial and is a renowned for improving oral health. Heard of oil pulling

coconut + bicarb + peppermint
This is the recipe I use. In a bowl, mix 3 tablespoons softened (but not melted) coconut oil with 2 tablespoons bicarb (baking) soda and 10 drops of peppermint, cinnamon, lemon or orange essential oil. Mix really well to get a smooth paste – the more you mix the better. Spoon the paste into a jar and store in the bathroom cabinet. Here’s the batch I made yesterday:



herbal tooth powder
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon orris root powder
½ teaspoon licorice root powder

Grind the dried rosemary and sage in a mortar and pestle until you get a fine powder. Gently shake through a fine sieve to remove any fibres. Combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake well. To use, put a small amount of powder into the palm of your hand, wet your toothbrush and dip into the powder.

This is an ancient recipe that existed long before pastes and the various herbs act as antimicrobials.

pepperminty cornstarch
Mix together equal parts cornstarch and sunflower oil and stir until smooth. Add peppermint (or other) essential oil for flavour.

baking soda + salt
This one from DIY Natural

2/3 cup bicarb (baking) soda
1 tsp fine sea salt (optional – direct application of the minerals in sea salt is great for teeth, but can be left out if the taste is too salty)
1 – 2 tsp peppermint extract or 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil (or add your favourite flavour – spearmint, orange, etc.)
filtered water (add to desired consistency)

before you get to it, know this:
There’s no doubt these natural toothpastes give you an excellent clean and a fresh mouth feel (many people claim they've reduced the amount of plaque build-up on their teeth quite significantly), but be aware that they don’t foam up like conventional paste and bicarb soda imparts a salty taste. It can take some getting used to. Just warning you!


26 comments:

  1. Maria my concern has always been that bicarb is too abrasive and therefore gradually overtime would remove the enamel coating on my teeth and maybe more, or damage the gums. Conventional toothpaste products and even natural ones on the market seem much less abrasive and smoother. Have any studies been done? Perhaps I should ask you what you know and believe ten years from now when you know the affects of brushing with bicarb. I use to brush with bicarb, to reduce plastic waste, until i began to worry about the damage it might be doing.

    Thanks for your posts.

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  2. A quick google search on the abrasiveness of bicarb and it seems that the jury is still out, or there's varied opinion - not that that says much, being the web and all. But really some said that it's a myth that it's abrasive (fairly credible looking sites), while many people seemed to recommended it only twice a week (not very practical) while one person who claimed to be in the dental industry for 9 years said steer clear of it, as it will remove enamel and once it has you will have permanently yellowed teeth. Could the coconut oil soften it, yes maybe, but is it worth the risk finding it doesn't the hard way. Maybe some of the natural toothpaste brands could come out with reusable bulk containers that they supply wholefood shops with and shoppers could then fill their own containers.

    again love your work

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the lovely feedback. I've also heard mixed info re: abrasiveness of bicarb soda. The low-down is this: used straight up and for a long period of time, bicarb soda CAN be too abrasive for some people's teeth. But used the right way it is generally coosidered very safe and less abrasive than many common toothpastes. That's why home made toothpaste recipes will always use it in combination with other ingredients. My recipe actually specifies even less bicarb than others(most specify to use equal parts coconut and bicarb, I say use more oil than bicarb), just to be safe. There is this table you might find interesting, which rates the abrasiveness of common toothpastes including bicarb (baking) soda (rated the lowest): http://www.boriodental.com/pdf/Abrasiveness%20of%20Common%20Toothpase.pdf

      If in doubt though (and I'd always go with my gut feeling about what's right for me), best to use one of the other recipes. You can just use straight up coconut oil (which I used to do), or corn starch for a pasty consistency, or the toothpowder for something different.

      Thanks again!

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    2. You might try using a home made toothpaste that does not contain the baking soda and then opt to use a baking soda/coconut oil blend on your teeth 2 or 3 times per week as a whitening aid. You don't have to brush every day with baking soda to get nice, healthy, white teeth. Here is a good recipe for the regular toothpaste:

      5 - 6 Tbs Coconut Oil
      4 Tbs Bentonite Clay
      2 – 3 Tbs filtered water
      1/2 tsp Real sea salt (or pink himalayan salt)
      10 – 15 drops peppermint essential oil
      (You can add a few drops of liquid stevia if you feel so inclined.)
      Directions:
      1. Mix coconut oil, clay, and salt in a small bowl. Start with just one tablespoon of water. Working with the back of a spoon, “cream” the ingredients together and add more water until you like the consistency. (If you choose to add in a few drops of liquid stevia, this is the step to do it).
      2. Add in the peppermint oil (or cinnamon or spearmint) and then mix until well combined. Store in air tight container.
      To use: Place a pea-size amount on your toothbrush and the brush. Not too hard. Not too long. Just enough to make your mouth happy. Rinse. (Although it’s safe to consume in case your kiddies don’t rinse very well.)

      Then, as I said, brush a few times a week with coconut oil & baking soda for whitening. Personally, I'd use the recipe I posted and I'd add 1 Tbsp of baking soda to the mix and use it for all brushings. I've BEEN using straight baking soda up to now and it hasn't harmed my teeth in a year now. But I'll be switching to this recipe since I'd like something that tastes better and also has other health benefits.

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  3. Thank Maria. I don't know why i didn't research more into bicarb sooner. I'll definitely give the coconut recipe a go.

    ph

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  4. It's amazing. I was just thinking this week that I must research once again about natural alternatives to toothpaste. I was using a 'natural' one and was staying with the company out of loyalty. I found out that they are not as 'natural' as they claim. Anyway, my question is this. Since our family has been using this toothpaste, our teeth have gone yellow. We do not smoke and even our children's teeth have turned yellow. Not a good look. Do you know if these help whiten the teeth? I am desperate to find something that does. Thanks so much for your blogs. I enjoy them greatly and look forward to them every week.

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  5. Hi Maria, very interesting post and a topic that me and my partner have been talking about lots lately. We are using natural toothpastes as an alternative for the conventional and I'm quite happy with that (although the price can be quite shocking indeed!) but my partner is convinced that we should find a natural toothpaste that does include fluoride because his dentist and dentists online apparently say that we NEED fluoride. Since I have not done my own research yet I was wondering if you could tell me a bit more about this? You mention in your post that fluoride is toxic, but dentists recommend it... Confusing! Would really appreciate your thoughts! Thanks :-)

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    Replies
    1. I want to do more research into fluoride myself, but I've heard many times that since our tap water contains fluoride (unless you're in QLD), then we do not need extra fluoride in our toothpaste. I'll do some more research on the topic and blog about it soon. Thanks for the prompt.

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    2. Sodium Fluoride is a waste product of Aluminium smelting. The beneficiaries prefer to sell this waste rather than to pay for the safety handling of the toxin fluoride. Lowered IQ-scores is one of the many effects from fluoride uptake in humans. Germany, China, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, The Netherlands, Japan, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Hungary have all banned adding fluoride to the drinking water. Passing on fluoride as a dental remedy is a classical example of when capital interests create lies to make more money. Follow the money find the lies. Same thing with amalgam fillings, now called silver fillings (no silver, still mercury). Stop sipping the syrup. :)

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  6. I also use the bicarbonate, peppermint, and coconut oil, but also add some olive leaf extract for extra antibacterial effect. I have a genetic dental condition which means my enamel is very weak and I don't have a lot left on some of my teeth, but myself and my dentists have found that this home made toothpaste is less abrasive on my teeth than store bought 'conventional' and 'natural' toothpastes have been in the past. At first my husband was hesitant to switch due to the colour, consistency and salty taste which were all so different to what we have come to think of as'normal'. Now a year later we both can't imagine using anything else: cleans better, is so.freaking.cheap, no nasty chemicals and we also can't stand the taste of the store bought toothpastes anymore!
    In regards to flouride: I have severe autoimmune conditions and my doctors and specialists (who don't normally support natural treatments or go against scientific convention, so that's telling) have told me to avoid flouride wherever possible as it poisons my system.
    Thanks for your fantastic blog Maria - I've been lurking for a while but not commented before.

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  7. Great simple life homemade natural.

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  8. Nice blog, thanks for sharing the information. I will come to look for update. Keep up the good work.

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  9. This has been very interesting and informative. I have discovered recently, that the very disturbing conditions I have been very troubled by for over 6 yrs. is TOOTHEPASTE ALLERGY!!! SO! I have been spending a lot of time researching the problem, solution and alternative to toothpaste.
    The common thread that reads LOUDLY, is organic pure Coconut oil! for which I was just given a free jar to try and review. What a coincidence!
    It is absolutely true that baking soda is NOT a good idea for daily use; try as she suggested, cornstarch or cream of tartar.
    I have also read that the " oiling process" of swishing coconut oil around the teeth and mouth is very beneficial!
    Glycerine is an absolute NO NO. and so be aware!
    I happened to have a bottle of " Thieves" essential oil [ a combo of clove, peppermint, rosemary, etc.] on hand and since I love clove, it is what I am using mixed w/ the coconut oil, sea salt, hydrogen peroxide. I will definitely be adding corn starch [since I have it on hand and not the cream of tartar right now] and less of the salt [ too salty for my taste] in my new mix. Thank you all for your contributions to helping us all get more healthy and less chemical!
    Be sure to give these comments to your dentist and GP because , sad to say, they fail to recognize many of these problems and solution. My Dr. of 30+ years and my dentist of 15 yrs. did not recognize my symptoms for what they were.... and had no viable solutions!
    I am soooooooooo relieved to have finally figured it out!

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    Replies
    1. Why is glycerine an absolute no?

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    2. Because it stops teeth from remineralising. And it's surprising how many- even natural - toothpastes still include glycerine.

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  10. Hello! This post caught my eye as I was looking for my original 'recipe' for coconut oil/bicarb/pepp toothpaste. For all of the above reasons, I have switched to this and I have to share my family memories of my Nana's house in the 60's. I was a child and visited overnight weekly. Every evening I would brush my teeth by dipping my brush in water and then gently pressing the toothbrush into the bicarbonate of soda that was in a round flat tin with a lid. After a thorough brush I would rinse with water and then take a 'squirt' of hydrogen peroxide (food grade 3% I am assuming!), swish it about my mouth with Nana reminding me to 'NOT swallow any'. This was considered perfectly normal practice, and on occasion at home my Mum would have this in lieu of bought toothpaste. My Nana had ALL her teeth and no cavities well into her 80's at the time of her death. So, that's my story :) PS - the 'benefit' of Fluoride is one of the largest lies out there. For a starter just Google history and use/ it is mostly utilized as a byproduct: "the fluoride added to most water supplies is not the naturally occurring variety but rather fluorosilicic acid, which is captured in air pollution control devices of the phosphate fertilizer industry. As FAN reported:

    “This captured fluoride acid is the most contaminated chemical added to public water supplies, and may impose additional risks to those presented by natural fluorides. These risks include a possible cancer hazard from the acid’s elevated arsenic content, and a possible neurotoxic hazard from the acid’s ability--under some conditions--to increase the erosion of lead from old pipes.”
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/04/30/water-fluoridation-facts.aspx

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  11. Hi! Maybe this topic will interest you as well. In all the recipes I found for making home-made toothpaste, I never saw someone using turmeric as a natural whitener, but it seems to have a whitening effect without using baking soda.
    http://isupportorganic.blogspot.nl/2013/11/use-this-herb-to-naturally-whiten-teeth.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. Aquafresh gives toothpaste & dental maintenance systems intended for nutritious gums,
    sturdy, white tooth & clean inhale.
    Uncover which usually Aquafresh goods tend to be to suit your needs.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Very nice and simple homemade toothpaste.

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  14. Maria - I've been struggling with toothpaste!! I've tried many of the natural ones and even had some Earthpaste shipped from the US. None of the really made my teeth feel clean. Like it was still a bit furry (sorry, gross). I just a few nights ago started doing your coconut oil and bicarb one and I love it. I finally have smooth clean straight from the dentist clean and it's brilliant. Love your posts - keep them coming x

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  15. Instead of using bicarb, I use crushed 'tissue salts bone health calcium phosphate' tablets. Would love to hear any contrary thoughts to this... thanks!

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  16. It’s good to know that you were able to make your own toothpaste, which is in your own liking. Than can really be a budget-saver, plus it's all natural so you don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals. Thanks for sharing this!

    Javier Portocarrero

    ReplyDelete
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  18. We found your blog was much handy to me! If u keep up the good job I’ll come back at your website.
    Natural Toothpaste

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