Ready to make your own toothpaste? Yeah, I wasn’t either. Until I started reading more about the actual ingredients in conventional toothpastes. Now, I’m running for the hills and ready to try my hand at making a natural homemade toothpaste!
We made the switch to natural store bought toothpaste a few years ago, and in the process, we’ve tried many different brands. Tom’s of Maine, JASON, Dessert Essence, to name a few. At the time, my main concern was the fluoride present in conventional toothpastes, so I was thankful to find a good variety of fluoride-free toothpastes to choose from.
What’s wrong with conventional toothpaste?
One of the quickest ways to absorb something into your body is through the mouth. That’s why we need to be extra vigilant in making sure our toothpaste does not contain toxins which can then enter our bodies. In addition to fluoride, which has not been shown to actually reduce tooth decay, conventional toothpastes contain quite a few other ingredients that I now know should be avoided:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – A foaming agent that can be found in everything from toothpaste to dish soap to shampoo. SLS has been linked to skin irritation, organ toxicity, and neurotoxicity. Also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) or ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS).
- Glycerin – This is added to toothpaste (even the “natural” kinds) to give it that “pasty” consistency, but there’s speculation that glycerin tends to coat the teeth and prevent remineralization. The evidence behind this theory is not very clear, but I tend to err on the side of caution.
- Triclosan – An anti-microbial and anti-fungal agent added to soaps and detergents, and one brand of toothpaste (which also happens to be the brand I used before making the switch). It’s effectiveness remains controversial, and it’s been linked to everything from cancers to endocrine disruption to neurological damage in fetuses.
- Other ingredients – Artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin.
Homemade Toothpaste Recipes
Now that we know what’s in conventional, and even some natural, toothpastes, making homemade toothpaste doesn’t seem so crazy, does it?
- Homemade Toothpaste from Pistachio Project – Two super simple recipes: one with equal parts coconut oil and baking soda, and one with just coconut oil and stevia.
- All-Natural Toothpaste from Crunchy Farm Baby – Bentonite clay, baking soda, coconut oil, and salt.
- Hippy Toothpaste from The Hippy Homemaker – Simple recipe with coconut oil, baking soda, and xylitol.
- Homemade Calcium Toothpaste from An Ordinary Housewife – A basic recipe that also adds calcium powder to help build up calcium.
- Homemade Toothpaste from Thank Your Body – Coconut oil, bentonite clay, and sea salt.
- Homemade No-Fluoride Toothpaste from Small Footprint Family – Baking soda, sea salt, and xylitol in a coconut oil base.
- Tooth soap and Tooth powder from Mommypotamus – A tooth soap recipe using Dr. Bronner’s soap, and a weekly tooth scrub to brighten teeth and prevent stains from building up.
- Homemade Toothpaste Like Earthpaste from Don’t Waste the Crumbs – Learn how to make toothpaste that tastes just like Earthpaste for less than half the cost
- Homemade Kid’s Toothpaste from Live Simply – A kid friendly version with less bentonite clay and baking soda. She even uses a cute little squeeze tube to store it in for the kids.
- Homemade Remineralizing Toothpaste from Food Renegade – This recipe uses trace minerals to help re-build enamel and maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Whitening & Remineralizing Toothpaste from Salam Mama – This is probably the most interesting homemade toothpaste recipe I’ve come across. In addition to the usual suspects like coconut oil and bentonite clay, this one also has activated charcoal, turmeric powder, and the option of flavoring it with organic spices like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger – yum!
Natural Toothpaste Alternatives from Living the Nourished Life – This is a great list of simple, one-ingredient methods for brushing your teeth. These are great if you’re need a quick freshening up and don’t have time to whip up a batch of homemade toothpaste.
Alternative Store-Bought Toothpastes
Don’t have the time or desire to DIY your toothpaste? Not to worry, there are still several natural store-bought brands that are perfectly safe to use! My current favorite is Redmond’s Earthpaste made with clay, xylitol, essential oils, and salt. For more suggestions, check out the links below:
- Crunchy Cheats: Toothpaste – Pistachio Project
- Natural Toothpaste and Cleaning Recipes – Hybrid Rasta Mama
Toothbrushing is just one part of the equation to maintaining healthy teeth and gums; a healthy diet and nutrition is the other piece that we’re often never told about. I’ve just started reading Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel, and it’s pretty fascinating stuff! Did you know we can not only prevent cavities, but also heal them naturally through proper nutrition? That’s news to me!
What do you and your family use to brush your teeth (homemade or otherwise)?
Photo Credit: William Warby