Table of Contents
I’ve been using natural toothpaste for some time on and off. And the only issue I had in changing over permanently was the one I initially used had no spearmint so my teeth didn’t feel as if they’d been washed.
Interesting that the scent of spearmint/peppermint was enough to drive me to continue using commercial toothpaste and not make the switch earlier than I did.
This all-natural homemade toothpaste recipe is made with just four simple ingredients that are good for both your body and your bank account!
I’m on a personal mission to replace every commercially-made, toxic product in our home with homemade, all-natural alternatives. One-by-one, I’m getting closer every day.
It all began when I started making soap a few years ago which then launched into my business, Homestead Soapery. Next I learned how to make body butter, sugar scrubs, bath salts, natural deodorant and more, until a few months ago I finally tried making my own toothpaste.
I think it’s been a natural progression to shift into making my own toothpaste, considering my homestead business is artisan soap and natural skincare – and not only that – but where we live, we need to use low tox and environmentally friendly products as we are on our own septic and grey water tanks which means needing to use bio-efficient natural products for cleaning.
Dangerous ingredients in commercial toothpaste
Here are a few of the toxic ingredients you can find in commercially-produced toothpaste. Coming in the next few weeks will be my series on how I cured myself of my gluten intolerance by eating gluten and my theory that my allergies stem from an allergy to chemicals not food.
Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate
A foaming agent that has been linked to skin irritation, canker sores and even interference with the way your taste buds function. “SLS” has also been known to be contaminated with known carcinogens like ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane which may cause cancer in humans.
Classified as a pesticide by the Environmental Protection Agency. Linked to thyroid imbalances, resistance to antibiotics and is a possible cancer-causing carcinogen.
Artificial Colours & Synthetic Sweeteners
Commercial toothpaste is full of artificial colours like Blue No. 2, which has been linked to ADD and hyperactivity in children, and synthetic sweeteners like Aspartame, which has been linked to everything from headaches and depression to weight gain and heart disease.
While fluoride can help to fight tooth decay by strengthening enamel, the health risks of ingesting too much fluoride span the gamut from headaches and diarrhea to thyroid problems to neurological problems to infertility. In reality, fluoride is a by-product of aluminum manufacturing that can also be found in pesticides.
Suffice it to say that I’ve been wanting to switch to a toothpaste with safer, all-natural ingredients for some time, and while I have tried a couple all-natural commercial brands, those store-bought natural toothpastes are way too expensive for us to afford on any regular basis. So, I went with the only option I had left, and I made my own.
How to make your own homemade toothpaste
Making homemade toothpaste is surprisingly quick and easy, plus it costs just a few cents per batch!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- coconut oil
- baking soda
- Stevia (or xylitol)
- essential oils (clove, cinnamon, peppermint and/or spearmint)
- small jar (a Mason jar works great!)
What to Do
- Melt coconut oil until it liquifies or becomes soft enough that you can easily mix it together with the other ingredients. You can do this in the microwave in a microwave-safe glass bowl or measuring cup, or in a double boiler on the stove.
- Once coconut oil is melted, add the baking soda and Stevia and stir well to combine. Finally, add up to 40 drops of essential oils (I like to add 20 drops of clove oil and 20 drops of eucalyptus or peppermint). You can use less essential oils (or none at all if you don’t mind having a bland toothpaste), but the oils do add a nice flavour, like you’d expect from a store-bought toothpaste, and they also have some of their own health benefits, which I’ll go over below.
- Stir well to blend in the essential oils, then pour or spoon mixture into a jar and let cool. I like to put my toothpaste in the fridge to help it cool more quickly so that the ingredients won’t have as much time to settle and separate. I usually give it a stir every 10-15 minutes or so as it’s cooling in order to make sure it doesn’t separate.
Once the toothpaste mixture has solidified, it’s ready to use! You can keep it in your bathroom and either dip your toothbrush into the mixture or spoon it onto your toothbrush. Use roughly the same amount of this homemade toothpaste as you would store-bought toothpaste.
For a twist, you can also add some activated charcoal to your toothpaste!
* Note: If it’s warm where you live, you might need to keep your toothpaste in the fridge so that it doesn’t melt. Coconut oil melts at 24ºC.
Benefits of making all-natural toothpaste at home
When you make your own toothpaste at home, you’re not only avoiding the unhealthy additives found in most commercial toothpastes, you’re actually substituting ingredients with proven health benefits when it comes to oral health.
Coconut Oil for healthy teeth
Coconut oil is already renowned for being a powerhouse ingredient in food, but it’s no different when it comes to toothpaste.
Coconut oil “pulling” (the process of swishing coconut oil around in your mouth for a few minutes) gained popularity over the past few years, and for good reason. Coconut oil is thought to decrease plaque, whiten teeth and kill bad bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. It’s also an antioxidant and is anti-inflammatory and helps to maintain the proper PH balance in your mouth, which unfortunately can’t be said for some commercial whitening brands.
Baking Soda in toothpaste
Baking soda could be used on its own as a toothpaste if you could stand the powdery texture and slightly salty taste. Like coconut oil, it’s also renowned as a whitener and has even been used in well-known commercial brands of toothpaste due to its natural whitening properties.
Baking soda is also an abrasive, which is great for removing plaque and scrubbing teeth clean!
Both Stevia and xylitol are plant-based artificial sweeteners with no known side effects or dangers to human health. While neither of these sweeteners is harmful to dental or physical human health, xylitol has actually been shown to slow tooth decay and reduce gum disease.
Essential Oils in homemade toothpaste
While essential oils aren’t necessary, they add a familiar “minty” flavour to homemade toothpaste and have additional oral health benefits.
Clove oil, for example, is often associated with oral health. It has antiviral, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and can help to reduce toothache pain, protect teeth and gums from harmful bacteria and fight bad breath all at the same time.
Peppermint oil is another very effective killer of bad bacteria and one of the best natural breath fresheners around.
Cinnamon oil has potent antimicrobial properties that help combat tooth decay and gum disease.
Spearmint oil is a strong antiseptic and is recognized as being a kidsafe oil, meaning it can be used in place of peppermint oil in toothpaste meant for kiddos.
- Note: You should reduce amount of essential oil to 20 total drops per jar of homemade toothpaste when the toothpaste is intended for use by children.
So if you’re also on a mission to rid your own home of toxic products and replace them with healthy, all-natural versions that actually work, then I highly recommend whipping up a batch of this all-natural homemade toothpaste.
I’ve been using this toothpaste (and nothing else) for over a month now and my teeth feel as clean as ever (and no bad breath either!). This is truly one of those homemade products that I would be quite happy to continue using indefinitely, which means one less toxin-filled commercial product on my shelves at home and one more thing I never have to buy from the store again.
All-Natural Homemade Toothpaste Recipe
yield: APPROX. 1/4 CUP
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. Stevia
- 15 drops clove bud essential oil
- 15 drops cinnamon essential oil (or peppermint)
- For a kid safe version, omit clove and cinnamon/peppermint oils and substitute 20 drops total of spearmint essential oil.
- Melt the coconut oil in the microwave or in a double boiler until it either liquifies or is soft enough to mix in the other ingredients.
- Add the baking soda and Stevia to the melted coconut oil and stir to combine. Then add the essential oil(s) and stir until all ingredients are well-combined.
- Pour or spoon mixture into a small jar (a 4oz Mason jar works great) and let cool completely. For best results, place toothpaste in the fridge while cooling to speed up the process and stir once every 10-15 minutes to keep ingredients from separating.