Making your own products can be incredibly effective and rewarding. There are a few products I don’t recommend making (shampoo for one) but a homemade toothpaste is not just a great product to do yourself, when made with the right ingredients, it can be substantially more effective then buying conventional toothpaste! Not to mention, homemade toothpaste is free of any and all harmful ingredients that are so common in toothpaste today.
Homemade toothpaste can be an adjustment on your tastebuds but the health benefits of are many, not to mention the money you will save! And for the record-I could never go back to a sugar filled toothpaste like Colgate-The taste literally makes me gag!
What’s in Regular Toothpaste?
- Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical added to toothpaste to help fight plaque and gingivitis. However, while it has been shown to be effective for this purpose, triclosan has also been linked to concerns over antibiotic resistance, endocrine disruption and thyroid dysfunction. This is the common ingredient in hand sanitizer and when used on a regular basis will become less effective.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) has been linked to skin irritation and canker sores. It also interferes with the functioning of your taste buds by breaking up the phospholipids on your tongue. This enhances bitter tastes and is thought to be the reason why everything tastes so bad right after you’ve brushed your teeth.
- Artificial colorings has been linked to ADHD and hyperactivity in children. Toothpaste does not need to be blue or have glitter in it!
- Fluoride is toxic if swallowed and recent information has shown it is not as effective as was thought in preventing cavities and tooth decay.
- Titanium dioxide is added to make toothpaste white. Most of the data shows it’s safe and is not absorbed by the skin, but it holds no benefits for the health of your teeth and gums.
A Word on Fluoride:
Fluoride is thought to prevent cavities, however, it is technically a poison. Recent studies have shown that too much fluoride actually harms teeth! Ingesting it can cause dental fluorosis (browning of teeth) as well as long term serious health problems.
Fluoride free toothpaste can be hard to find, and expensive so that’s another plus for making your own homemade toothpaste
When it comes to children, fluoride toothpaste is particularly harmful because many kids swallow larger amounts of toothpaste and can easily and dangerously exceed the daily amount of fluoride that is safe to ingest especially if they brush twice a day. Not to mention, the amount of fluoride that is considered harmful is much smaller for children because they are physically smaller. Keep in mind, if you are on city water and not filtering, you are ingesting fluoride every time you drink a glass of water.
Coconut Oil in Homemade Toothpaste:
Unrefined Coconut oil is hugely affective in getting rid of bacteria and viruses in the mouth. It is proven to inhibit strep bacteria. It’s side effects include improved digestion and metabolism, good heart health, and a stronger immune system just to name a few! Coconut oil contains lauric acid which is fantastic for killing bacteria. Lauric acid attacks harmful bacteria in the mouth that can cause bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease! It is particularly effective at killing an oral bacteria called Streptococcus mutans, which is a leading cause of tooth decay.
More Beneficial Ingredients:
- Xylitol has the ability to reduce cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. It is also great for sweetening up your toothpaste!
- Baking soda because it’s alkaline. Our mouth and teeth are adversely effected by acidic foods. Neutralizing these acids with vegetables and water is essential to maintaining proper pH in the mouth to encourage the right bacteria as well as protect the enamel from decay. Baking soda has a pH of 9 to 11 (alkaline), so it helps to neutralize acids while not being too abrasive to teeth.
- Raw Cacao Powder is a great alternative to fluoride believe it or not! The compounds in cacao beans promote remineralization! Recent studies show that chocolate is effective at fighting cavities, plaque, and tooth decay in the mouth.
- Bentonite Clay acts as a tooth polisher that is rich in minerals and alkaline. I have not added bentonite clay to my toothpaste but according to Ask The Dentist, a wonderful site for learning about oral care, he adds it into the coconut oil at equal parts. It might be a great alternative to baking soda which tends to taste really salty!
Essential Oils for Oral Care:
Essential oils can be great for oral care due to their ability to kill bacteria, fungus and microbes. However, you must keep the amount of essential oils to a minimum because much like the gut, the mouth thrives on good bacteria. We want to kill the bad but leave the good and too many drops of oil can kill it all and wreck the crucial balance!
- Clove essential oil is effective against cavities, and traditionally, in India, clove oil was added to a small cotton ball and put at the end of the tooth which had the cavity. They did this every day before going to sleep. The cavity would vanish in a few days.
- Peppermint and Rosemary oil, due to their antiseptic properties they are both very useful in toothpaste. They also eliminates bad breath and help teeth and gums fight off germs.
- Cinnamon essential oil helps with pain relief.
- Lemon essential oil helps whiten teeth!
- Wintergreen essential oil helps with tooth sensitivity.
- Shield Blend is a combination of lemon, rosemary, clove, cinnamon and eucalyptus and is powerful when killing harmful bacteria.
My x-husband had a tooth pulled a few years ago. The pain was unbearable and the risk of infection was HIGH. He used Shield Blend on his gums and said that the pain was greatly reduced. His dentist was very happy with the rate of healing and lack of infection.
Homemade Toothpaste Recipe:
- Fill a medium pot 1/2 way full with water and place on low-medium heat on the stove top.
- Place a glass pyrex bowl in the water and add coconut oil.
- Melt coconut oil in the glass bowl.
- Add to 4 ounce glass container and allow to slightly harden.
- Mix in baking soda, xylitol, cacao powder and essential oils.
- Continue to stir until you have a soft, whipped like consistency and the coconut oil has cooled. This will ensure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
**You can place coconut oil in the fridge to thicken it up. Check it often, stirring each time.
Oil Pulling and Oral Health:
Oil pulling can be incredibly effective when it comes to oral health. Oil pulling is the method of swishing an organic oil (I like coconut oil) in your mouth for 5-20 minutes then spitting the oil out. With the oil, you spit out loads of toxic bacteria! Not only does it strengthen gums, it whitens your teeth! Oil has a pulling effect which is why we like it with the oil cleansing method!
DIYing your teeth and gum care can be a bit daunting but it is an effective way to stay on top of your oral health. A homemade toothpaste is a great way to start naturally improving your gums and teeth and take your health into your own hands. Remember, no one is invested in your body more than yourself! Blindly trusting a dentist or doctor has gotten many of us in a lot of trouble.
Enjoy fresh clean teeth and breath with extra benefits for your body! It’s a win win!