Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Homemade Toothpaste

Homemade Toothpaste

I have been using a crunchy toothpaste for awhile now. I thought I was doing pretty good by using it and truth be told, it was/is a great middle of the road toothpaste. I will still do a review of this toothpaste some day, as well as get into the details of why conventional toothpaste isn’t so great but not today.

As I researched more (will the research ever end? I don’t think so.) I learned about glycerin.


Glycerin is in almost every single toothpaste; crunchy or not. The problem with glycerin is that it coats teeth, which prevents saliva from interacting with teeth as it’s supposed to. Since glycerin coats teeth and prevents re-mineralization.

Since there is hardly any toothpaste without glycerin or the other ingredients I avoid, it was up to me to make my own toothpaste.

I made two different varieties; one for me (and my husband, if I can convince him) and one for my kids. The reason for the two different toothpastes is because I don’t want to use abrasive baking soda on my children’s teeth. I want to keep their enamel on their teeth. Although I doubt the recipe I made for myself is any more abrasive than store bought toothpaste, I wanted to play it safe and in all honestly, I think I’ll switch to their recipe in the future.

However, I am going to post both recipes just in case you want something with a bit more “scrub” to it.

Homemade Toothpaste

Recipe #1 (my original recipe until I decided I didn't want to use baking soda everyday)

2 TBS. Coconut oil softened
2 TBS. Baking soda
1/8 tsp. Stevia (which if you have the tiny scoop that comes with many stevia containers, it’s two scoops)
10 drops peppermint essential oil (or any other essential oil)

Mix together and store in a container. Dip your toothbrush into the toothpaste or scoop out with a spoon/popsicle stick/what-have-you.

Recipe #2 (my recipe that I originally used just for my kids but now use myself)

2 TBS. Coconut oil softened
1 TBS. Xylitol (I've found that it's best if you grind the xylitol into a powder in the blender/food processor first. Xylitol is a pretty coarse sweetener)
10 drops of peppermint essential oil (or any other essential oil) - keep kids in mind if you are making this one for them)

Mix together and store in a container. Dip your toothbrush into the toothpaste or scoop out with a spoon/popsicle stick/what-have-you.

If you want to make the toothpaste a bit more pliable (because coconut oil gets pretty hard in cold temperatures) then you can add a bit of your favorite liquid oil to the mixture.

Just in case you are curious as to why we would use those ingredients, I decided to give a little information on each one.

Ingredient Information

Coconut Oil – It’s anti-fungal and antibacterial. It also is said to stop tooth decay.

Baking Soda – It’s abrasive quality helps whiten teeth by removing stains. However, as I said since it is abrasive it can remove enamel, which is why most dentists do not recommend using it on a daily basis; especially if you are using baking soda by itself.

Stevia – Not really beneficial to teeth at all but it does help sweeten you toothpaste and it doesn’t cause problems for teeth like other sweeteners.

Peppermint Oil – Antiseptic and antibacterial. Plus it gives you that minty taste you’ve grown to love.

Xylitol – Like stevia, it is a sweetener. However, it prevents plaque from attaching to teeth and even enhances the re-mineralization of teeth!

If you are looking for a really crunchy toothpaste, give one of these recipes a try. They both work great and they are much cheaper to make than it is to buy a crunchy toothpaste.

27 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe! I will be making my toothpaste this evening :) Could you actually just brush your teeth with coconut oil and leave out e.g. the baking soda? :)

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  2. Yes, you could just use coconut oil to brush your teeth. Or coconut oil and essential oils. Technically you could just brush with water or dry brush, however most people want something to brush with.

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  3. I use recipe #1, but I really feel like I'm brushing my teeth and gums raw. I'm a pretty enthusiastic brusher as it is, so I've worried about the abrasive BS. You are going to use just coconut oil and xylitol? Let me know how that goes!

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  4. yea for baking soda :) I use it for brushing too. It works great. And it is so cheap, yea I love it. Seriously what can't it do?!?

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  5. We just use baking soda to brush our teeth. It works well enough on it's own, at least for us. Thanks for posting the kids toothpaste, that'll come in handy!

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  6. I mixed the two recipes, I did coconut oil, baking soda, xylitol and peppermint essential oil. The coconut oil floated to the top, and baking soda/xylitol to the bottom, even though I stirred it together well. When it cooled it seperated and I can't get it to remix. The bottom is rock hard, I can't even break it with a knife. Is there something I did wrong?

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    1. Hi Ingrid,
      Honestly I don't know what to say. It is completely normal for the coconut oil to separate from everything but I just give it a stir once it's semi-cooled and then it's fine. I have never had a problem with it being rock hard. The only crazy idea that I can think of is that somehow xylitol and baking soda don't go together so well? I'm sorry I don't have any real answers. You could try to barely melt the coconut oil next time so that you have more of a paste to mix the baking soda/xylitol into.

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  7. For your storage & easy application, try using a new soap dispenser with a pump!

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  8. I found you here! Any chance you would let me repost this on my blog? If yes, pls send me a message! :)

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  9. for the coconut oil getting hard, its cause there are different qualities of coconut oil depending on the way they make it. Usually the organic coco oil is much softer.

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    1. Interesting, I've never heard that before. Although in any case I use organic coconut oil but of course it still gets solid below 76 degrees. Although whipping it would help, so does adding a tiny bit of liquid oil (some other variety obviously)

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  10. Where in the world do I find xylitol? I have looked everywhere.

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  11. I buy mine from vitacost.com although I believe I've seen it in a few natural stores as well (usually in the sugar/baking section)

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  12. I have tea tree essential oil at home already, can you use that in toothpaste, is it edible, or should I stick to peppermint?

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    1. You can use tea tree essential oil in toothpaste however it is not edible so you would definitely not want to swallow it. Peppermint is definitely the safer choice but as long as you knew you weren't going to swallow your toothpaste, you should be fine using tea tree oil.

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  13. Great post and info, Brittany! So, since we're not supposed to use baking soda toothpaste on a daily basis, what do you do?

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    1. Sara - That is why I have switched to the second recipe that is listed. The second recipe has no baking soda.

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  14. Do you use an electric toothbrush?

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    1. I do not. I thankfully do a good job of brushing my teeth with a manual toothbrush.... but my husband does. This toothpaste should work for moth electric and manual toothbrushes.

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  15. Have you had anyone that had any problems using the second recipe, like having their gums bleed?

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    1. The second recipe? No. I do recommend grinding the xylitol up first but otherwise it dissolves quickly once you use it. Now the first recipe (the baking soda one) I could see someone maybe having issues as baking soda can be harsh. Which is why I now only use the second recipe.

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  16. I keep hearing that baking soda is really abrasive but I was on another site and they said to look up RDA. It stands for Relative Dentin Abrasion and according to their chart baking soda is actually a lot less abrasive than regular toothpaste. Just thought you might want to look in to that. I'm always finding conflicting information on what's supposed to be "good" for you. It's so hard to tell what's right.

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    1. I'm sure that the RDA of baking soda is correct. I know that it is less abrasive than toothpaste (and apparently by a lot according to the RDA chart!). However it is still abrasive (which is why it's also used as a natural teeth whitener.) I don't think it's a horrible ingredient for toothpaste; I just wanted something extra gentle. That said, I have yet to find any info on the RDA level of xylitol so it's possible that I just swapped out baking soda for xylitol in terms of abrasion. In any case, baking soda at an RDA of 7 is much better than a toothpaste of 50!

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  17. Hi Brittany,

    I have just made the 1st toothpaste recipe you posted and tried it on my teeth!! My teeth are SUPER WHITE after just ONE USE! It is somewhat abbrasive on the gums, so I see what you mean when you say that Recipe 2 is more gentle. Would it be possible to use Recipe on a daily basis, and every few days, say every 4-5 days, add a bit of baking soda manually to the recipe 2 paste?

    Also, is coconut oil enough to clean the teeth? I just feel that regular store bought toothpaste would somehow fight tartar, plaque and all that better, because it has some specific ingredients to fight such things...is going back to basis of coconut oil and peppermint oil enough for dental care 2x/day?

    Thanks in advance!!

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    1. Hi! Glad you saw such great results after one use. Yes it's completely possible to just add a bit of baking soda occasionally. I do this occasionally when I want my teeth to really shine.

      I know it seems like it wouldn't work but coconut oil does a great job at cleaning teeth. That said, if you want that extra measure to ensure clean teeth then the xylitol will help you with that as studies have shown that it can help reduce cavities. We've been using just the 2nd recipe for 2 years now (wow! I did not realize it's been that long!) and no cavities!

      Keep in mind that the best thing for great teeth is what you eat. Not necessarily what you brush them with. :)

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  18. Hi Brit,
    I made your recipe #2 today and started using it, I LOVE LOVE LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ITT!!! It's an amazing texture and consistency, I like it much better over recipe #1 (which is what I started off with initially). AMAZING! Thank you so much for it, its super gentle too! I also wanted to let you know that I also made a homemade mouthwash which also worked GREAT!
    • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide (3%)
    • 1 cup distilled or purified water--or just pain water
    • 1 tsp. Xylitol
    • 2 drops Peppermint Essential Oil (you can add more if you want)
    I would really suggest adding a similar mouthwash recipe to your site (if you are using a homemade one, or try making this one!)

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