I'm not gonna lie, all natural homemade toothpaste and tooth powder takes time to get used to. The first week I tried it (a year ago) I loathed it... the texture was different than my previous toothpaste, the taste was pretty awful. The one thing I did notice, however, was that my teeth had never felt cleaner. Everything else I could get used to, and of course after a week I couldn't stomach using mainstream toothpaste. Over the past year I've researched different ingredients I could use in making toothpaste and tooth powder, and I believe I've found three effective recipes to choose from!
SLS: Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is a commonly used chemical and soap in most mainstream beauty and household products (shampoo, toothpaste, dish soap, laundry detergent, stain remover, carpet cleaner, fabric glue, mascara, mouthwash). In toothpaste it is used to keep the flavor chemicals mixed with the paste and creates the "suds" as you brush. It opens the gaps between the skin cells in your gums, allowing toxins to easily penetrate. It's toxic not only to our bodies, but to the ocean and it's inhabitants. It's capable of bioaccumulation, meaning it can simply sit in the bodies of fish. It's undetected in many municipal water filters, infiltrating the water we drink! For more info on SLS, take a look at the Material Safety Data Sheet.
Hydrated Silica: You know those packages labeled "do not eat" in your shoe box? Enough said.
Decorative plastic beads: These are those plastic beads that were banned in body wash, except now they're in your mouth and down your drain to stay in the ocean forever.
Glycerine: When used on your teeth, it's no good. It creates a barrier on your enamel, which stops the natural remineralization that occurs throughout the day. Our bodies know exactly what to do, and we continue to use chemically filled substances that simply stop what's naturally supposed to happen. Our teeth lose minerals, and our bodies know to work to replenish those minerals...but not if glycerine has anything to say about it.
All Natural Alternative Ingredients:
These are mostly ingredients I already had around the house, and they have multiple uses in my life, which is so amazing. It's great to run out of toothpowder and not have to hurry to the drug store last minute...I just open my cabinet and throw some ingredients together. It's also great to know this stuff in case you forget to brush in the morning and leave for work. It happened to me once and I simply got to work and used some basic household ingredients to freshen up! It's fun, easy, and so much cheaper!
Bentonite Clay: Bentonite clay is amazing, and I got it in a reusable tub from
Whole Foods a year ago to use in my armpit detox (I've also seen it in bulk but not in NYC). It helps detoxify your entire body and ward off illnesses. It's made up of ash made from volcanos, which is AWESOME. When used in it's many different ways, it helps expel many toxins you consume from everyday life, and can increase your immunity and reduce inflammation. And it works to remineralize your teeth from your day. When you use it in toothpowder, it binds to unhealthy and likely toxic substances in your mouth and helps remove them before you swallow them.
Stevia: On top of adding a bit of sweetness to the toothpowder, the stevia herb has antibacterial properties. It works to eliminate conditions that are conducive for germs and bacteria to thrive under. I got dried stevia leaves at my co-op and used a mortar and pestle to grind them up.
Cream of Tartar: I get mine in the bulk spice aisle of my co-op. Made from grapes during the winemaking process, Cream of Tartar is otherwise known as "Wine diamonds"... um, count me IN. It works to whiten teeth along with baking soda.
Coconut Oil: I use coconut oil for everything, and toothpaste is no exception. It cleans and detoxifies, while improving digestion, bone health, and your immune system. And it tastes good. It's a MIRACLE OIL.
Peppermint Essential Oil: I use the DoTERRA brand of essential oils. When researching where to get yours, make sure that the oils can be ingested. Many companies will use chemical filler in their oils if the crop wasn't sufficient enough, but they do not do this, and they test their product at every step of the production process. DoTERRA is a CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade company. This is directly from their website:
CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils represent the safest and most beneficial oils available in the world today. For an oil to be CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade the oil must be:
Pure and natural, with aromatic compounds carefully extracted from plants
Free from fillers or artificial ingredients; no dilution of active qualities
Free of contaminants, pesticides, or chemical residues
Rigorously tested for standards of chemical composition
Cross tested using mass spectrometry and gas chromatography to ensure exact purity and composition potency
Sourced by a global network of leading essential oil chemists and growers to ensure correct species, growth in ideal environments, and that raw plant materials were carefully harvested at the right time
Simple Morning Toothpowder
-Equal Parts Baking Soda and Cream of Tartar
-1 or 2 drops of peppermint essential oil
Mix the 2 powders together and store in a glass jar. To use, wet your toothbrush. Put the essential oil drops directly on the brush, then dip into the jar to get the powder. Brush away!
Nighttime Re-Mineralizing Powder
-Equal Parts Bentonite Clay, Baking Soda, and Stevia
-1 or 2 drops of peppermint essential oil
Mix the dry ingredients all together and store in a glass jar. To use, wet your toothbrush. Put the essential oil drops directly on the brush, then dip into the jar of powder. **When using Bentonite Clay, it is important to not allow it to come in contact with any metal, as it will deactivate the clay, rendering it less effective**
Coconut Oil Toothpaste
I like to use this in the mornings when it gets a little cooler so the coconut oil stays a bit solid. I also don't recommend traveling with this, as the coconut oil melts in the heat and I've had some unfortunate leaks.
-1/2 cup Coconut Oil, slightly melted
-2 tbsp Baking Soda
-2 tsp Stevia Powder
-A bunch of drops (I do between 20-25) of peppermint essential oil
-Optional: If you're using this at night, you could add a couple tbsp of Bentonite Clay to the mix
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and store in a glass jar. To use, wet your toothbrush and use a spoon (I have a tiny tea spoon that I use, and if I'm using the Bentonite Clay I have a tiny wooden spoon) to scoop the paste onto the toothbrush. Brush away!
And of course, I got rid of my plastic toothbrush and now use my amazing Brush With Bamboo toothbrush! Bamboo is super sustainable and this family run company in particular does wonderful things for the environment and the community. Check them out, and see how sustainable your life can actually be! Happy Brushing!!