Why Make Homemade All-Natural Toothpaste
Most commercial toothpastes, along with many other personal care products on the market, contain ingredients that I would rather not have ingested into my and my family’s systems. Such ingredients include, sodium fluoride, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, and diethanolamine. Although we are all used to hearing how important sodium fluoride is for your teeth, the fact is that fluoride’s only role in toothpaste is to poison the bacteria – but how does that poison affect the rest of the body? Another problem I have with commercial toothpastes are the artificial sweeteners that are routinely added to help with taste, but these sweeteners can actually promote tooth decay – which seems oxymoronic for a product whose sole purpose is to prevent tooth decay.
After searching for an organic commercial alternative, I switched gears and decided to make our own all-natural toothpaste. It was important that the toothpaste clean the teeth and mouth, act as an anti-bacterial, and have a whitening effect. The first recipe was simply baking soda and water. This was a very effective cleaner and whitener but the taste left much to be desired and the consistency is not what most people are used to when brushing their teeth. The next recipe that I experimented with included baking soda, coconut oil and peppermint essential oil. The taste of this one was slightly better because of the oils, but it still lacked that quality of toothpaste that we have all grown accustomed to.
The New & Improved Recipe:
Researching and using health-beneficial ingredients is extremely important in all of my Homestead Hack recipes. I believe that it is possible for us to make our own personal care products that not only lack harmful ingredients but that include very healthy ones. Below is a list of the ingredients that I used and why:
Why Coconut Oil – antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal. Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, gum disease and cavities.
Why Baking Soda – mild abrasive which aids in cleaning and whitening teeth, and restoring pH balance. The more baking soda added to your recipe the stronger the whitening effect, however baking soda is also rather salty in taste, so less can be used to achieve preferred taste.
Why Calcium Carbonate Powder – cleaning and polishing agent. Calcium powder is a natural mineral that acts as an abrasive. This gives the toothpaste amazing cleaning power.
Why Xylitol – a natural derivative of plants, fruits and vegetables , xylitol is a fantastic alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Unlike other natural or synthetic sweeteners, xylitol is actively beneficial for dental health by reducing cavities to a third in regular use and helpful in the remineralization of teeth. Xylitol is a beneficial ingredient in toothpaste because it promotes gum protection, fights plaque and gingivitis, and makes the toothpaste taste good!
Why Myrrh – an essential oil that is added to toothpaste and mouthwash because of its medicinal qualities. Myrrh toothpaste is known to soothe irritated areas of the gums, mouth and throat, and to promote quick healing of cuts and ulcers. Taken either externally or internally, it is also thought to promote healthy gums and strong teeth. Its microbial and antiseptic qualities make myrrh an effective remedy for bad breath and gingivitis.
Why Peppermint – due to its antiseptic properties, peppermint essential oil is very useful in dental care. It also eliminates bad breath and helps teeth and gums fight off hazardous germs. Unsurprisingly, these attributes mean that peppermint oil is added to numerous toothpastes, and it has also been shown to be useful in the treatment of toothaches.
Homestead Hack: All Natural Toothpaste Recipe
- About ½ cup coconut oil (or less for desired consistency)
- 5 tablespoons calcium carbonate powder
- 2-3 Tablespoons of baking soda
- 3-5 tablespoons Xylitol (or as much as you like to your desired taste)
- 15-20 drops of peppermint oil (optional)
- 10 drops myrrh extract (optional)
- Melt or slightly soften coconut oil.
- Mix in other ingredients and stir well. If using semi-hard coconut oil, use a fork, if not, use a spoon. If you are using completely melted coconut oil, you will need to stir several times while the mixture cools to keep the baking soda incorporated.
- Put mixture into small glass jar (different ones for each family member works well)
- Let cool completely.
- To use: dip toothbrush in and scrape small amount onto bristles. Could also use a small spoon to put on toothbrush.
Does it Work?
After using this all-natural toothpaste I have noticed increased whiteness, decreased tooth sensitivity, less plaque buildup and really smooth feeling teeth. The taste and consistency are pretty close to commercial toothpastes which makes the switch much more palatable, and you can feel confident that you and your family are not introducing potentially dangerous chemical compounds into your systems.
NOTE: Adding distilled/boiled water to the recipe will help with making the consistency smoother if that is preferred. However, anything made with water is good for 14 days, so it might be wise to make smaller batches. (We prefer it without water, but everyone’s tastes differ).
*Did you make your own toothpaste? Please share your experience in the comments section!
Connett , Michael Fluoride Is Not an Essential Nutrient. Fluoride Action Network | August 2012. http://fluoridealert.org/studies/essential-nutrient/
Steinberg, LM; Odusola, F; Mandel, ID (Sep–Oct 1992). “Remineralizing potential, antiplaque and antigingivitis effects of xylitol and sorbitol sweetened chewing gum.”. Clinical preventive dentistry 14 (5): 31–4. PMID 1291185. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
Scheinin, Arje (1993). “Dental Caries, Sugars and Xylitol”. Ann Med 25: 519–521.
Shilling M1, Matt L, Rubin E, Visitacion MP, Haller NA, Grey SF, Woolverton CJ. Antimicrobial effects of virgin coconut oil and its medium-chain fatty acids on Clostridium difficile. J Med Food. 2013 Dec;16(12):1079-85. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.0303. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24328700
Fluoride, Teeth, and the Atomic Bomb.SOURCE: Waste Not # 414 | September 1997 | By Chris Bryson & Joel Griffiths. http://fluoridealert.org/articles/wastenot414/