(Disclaimer-the following article on DIY toothpaste is only recommended if you have first checked with your dentist, some people may have sensitive teeth and if you feel discomfort after using, discontinue use. Many people may want to only use this DIY toothpaste only for a short term tooth whitener)
I’m such a DIY (Do It Yourself) kind of gal, when I read a post that a friend of mine wrote on her own awesome blog, InformedMama, about making her own toothpaste, I was all over it. I couldn’t wait for our $10 tube of organic toothpaste to run out. We’ve now been using our homemade toothpaste for over a week, and I have to say, I LOVE it. It makes my teeth feel so fresh and so clean and since one of the ingredients is salt, it makes me feel like I just went for a surf or something… all those lovely negative ions! Oh my!
The best part about making your own toothpaste is that the ingredients you use are also ingredients that have multiple uses around the house and in the kitchen. This homemade toothpaste is free from fluoride. I know… you’re thinking, but don’t you need fluoride to prevent cavities?! Well, yes, fluoride may help to prevent cavities, when used in significant amounts, flouride has a huge list of negative side effects. The ingredients in this homemade toothpaste also prevent cavities, but without the negative side effects of fluoride.
There are five ingredients to this recipe, baking soda, xylitol, Himalayan Rock Salt, coconut oil and lemon essential oil, although, you can actually make your own toothpaste from nothing other than 50/50 coconut oil and baking soda, plus a few drops of essential oil, like peppermint, if you wish. Here is what I used and why. I’ve taken the recipe straight from Informed Mama’s website, but you can find many other variations on the web.
4 part coconut oil
4 part baking soda
4 part xylitol
1 part Himalayan Rock Salt
Essential oils to taste (you don’t need much, I used about 10 drops to make 185 grams of toothpaste)
* Just add all ingredients, mix, and store in a container. I like to use a glass jar rather than plastic.
Coconut oil is the key ingredient in homemade toothpaste. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal. It’s also been known to be excellent in curing gingivitis and thrush when applied to the affected areas. A friend of mine does oil pulling, an ayurvedic cleansing technique which involves swishing oil around in your mouth for about 15 minutes to help remove toxins from the body, when I told her that coconut oil is one of the key ingredients in homemade toothpaste, she said it would make sense to put oil in your toothpaste! I concur! Also, whenever my kids or myself have a rash or cut, I almost always apply coconut oil as my first resort. The coconut oil almost always does the trick! Plus, I can bake with coconut oil and make my favorite raw chocolate from it too! What a great all around ingredient to have in the house!
Baking Soda (sodium bi-carbonate)
Baking soda adds the abrasive component to your toothpaste, in other words, the grit that gets your teeth feeling really clean. Also, baking soda is alkaline and it neutralises acids in your mouth that cause tooth decay. And, hands up if you used to try and whiten your teeth with baking soda when you were a kid (before the days of the whitening gel). So, while teeth whitening is not the main objective here, I’m sure over time, the baking soda will start doing it’s tricks! Baking soda also has a billion uses around the house, cooking, cleaning, and I use it as my shampoo! I haven’t used conventional shampoo in over 6 months! Just baking soda! I did a post on that here. Be sure to buy baking soda that is aluminum free!
While xylitol is often used as a sweetener, it has many other uses. Xylitol is an ingredient found in corn and birch trees. It’s a part of the sugar alcohol group, ok, sugar and alcohol don’t sound great for you teeth, but a ‘sugar alcohol’ is a different thing altogether. There has been evidence to suggest that xylitol helps in preventing tooth decay, as it prevents bacteria from thriving.
Himalayan Rock Salt
Ancient people used to use a brine solution (salt + water) as a way to strengthen their teeth and prevent decay. Rock salt or even sea salt, contains potassium, which helps the gums from bleeding. It also contains calcium, which makes teeth strong. And, just to throw a bit of chemistry AND spirituality into the mix… Salt (sodium chloride) is a negative ion, negative ions are considered ‘positive energy’. Water molecules form a positive ion. When salt and water are mixed, they don’t just neutralize, they sort of float around together and this ‘something’ is called hydration. The salt and water mixture forms what is called ‘brine’ and the brine emits something that all living creatures emit, called biophotons, or in very simple terms, living energy… Does that make sense? You might know how you feel after you jump in the ocean, sort of full of energy and also relaxed at the same time. I think the salt is my favorite ingredient in the whole tub of toothpaste! It feels so… so… oceany! Also, salt is good for killing all sorts of bacteria, you would know that if you ever have had a sore throat and you gargled with salt water.
Lemon Essential Oil
You can use lots of different oils for your toothpaste, I chose lemon just because I don’t really like minty flavors. However, lemon essential oil is great for lots of things too, mostly for clearing toxins from the body. The essential oils that I got are so pure that you can even use them in a cup of water as a drink! Make sure to get the pure oils, free from fillers… If you get the cheaper variations, that’s ok, just know that you may have to use more than suggested.
I’ll have you know that I had to use my brain tonight, oh yes… I had to figure out how much money I spent to make 185g of toothpaste. I used division, solved for x and I had to convert millilitres to grams… For one stay at home mom, I can tell you, that was about the most exercise the left side of my brain has had in a while. Once I acquired all of my ingredients, I have enough stuff to make like 2 kilos of toothpaste… Well, I don’t really need 2 kilos of toothpaste, so I use the ingredients for other things around the house.
I calculated to make 185 grams of toothpaste (6.5oz) I spent $4.14 plus $2 for the glass jar! So, I used 1/2 cup of baking powder, 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup xylitol, 2 tablespoon of salt, and about 10 drops of lemon.
Most of the stuff I had laying around, but here’s what I paid for the stuff in Australia (and I went hunting for the best bargains without buying bulk).
500g Baking Soda (aluminum free)- $2.63
500g Xylitol- $8.50
15ml doTerra Lemon Essential Oil – $20
653 Grams of Coconut oil ~ $15
500g Himalayan Rock Salt – $10
Coconut oil has a melting temperature of about 75 degrees. So, the consistency of your mixture is dependent on the weather, so to speak. I use a spoon to scoop my toothpaste out, as not to contaminate the rest of the batch, but you could probably use your finger too. No refrigeration is needed!