For the past few years, I’ve tried an astonishing number of DIY toothpaste recipes. With my husband the biggest critic of oral care products and my picky toddler, I had whipped up quite a challenge for myself.
Thank goodness, I like a challenge.
It can be hard to make the switch to natural toothpaste especially if you want to get your kids and even your husband on board. But switching from a store-bought toothpaste to making your own has many benefits.
Toothpaste tubes are just plain wasteful. While the box may be recyclable, the tube can be harder to clean and find a facility to accept it for recycling.
And let’s face it, we have all gotten used to sugar-filled, flavor-filled toothpaste. Commercial toothpaste is loaded with some pretty scuzzy ingredients like:
• Artificial coloring, flavoring, and sweeteners
• Propylene glycol
• Sodium lauryl sulfate
• Titanium dioxide
Now let’s talk a little about why we brush our teeth.
The mechanical process of brushing your teeth is the best way to protect yourself from tooth decay. Removing all that slimy biofilm that coats our teeth – AKA plaque is a crucial part of dental hygiene. You may be surprised to learn that it’s totally okay to brush your teeth without any toothpaste. “Dry brushing” is a quick and effortless way to brush between meals.
Just give the entire front and back surface of your teeth (plus your tongue and all the other surfaces inside your mouth) a good rubbing with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Brushing also removes any acidic or sugary food particles from teeth. Your toothbrush is far more important than the actual toothpaste you are brushing with.
We like to use toothbrushes that are made of bamboo and come in plastic-free packaging. Bambooherb sells a pack of 4 biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes with charcoal infused and BPA free nylon bristles. These are individually numbered making it easy for a busy family to keep track of toothbrushes. All that we need to do is pluck out the bristles when we are done and the handle can be composted alongside the cardboard packaging. You can find them here.
They do not have toddler sizes yet but plan to launch them soon. Bambooherb sent us a pack of their toothbrushes to try and we especially like that the bristles are soft and have a slight curve making them feel closer to that of a traditional toothbrush.
By adding a very mild abrasive like toothpaste we can make the brushing extra effective. Here is my award-winning homemade toothpaste recipe guaranteed to please everyone in your family.
(and by award-winning I mean I got the nod of approval from my husband.)
This toothpaste recipe is:
Baking soda free
Coconut oil free
So, why not give a homemade toothpaste a try?
- ¼ cup kaolin clay (can use bentonite clay also)
- ¼ cup water (or less)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (can use baking soda if desired)
- 1 tablespoon aloe gel
- 1-2 tablespoons natural orange extract (I like to avoid essential oils when making this for my toddler since he often likes to swallow his toothpaste. You can use a few drops of essential oil if you prefer, but you may want to add a little coconut oil so that the paste isn’t too abrasive)
- Optional: 3 drops vitamin E oil as a natural preservative
Optional: Stevia or xylitol to sweeten
- Add clay and salt to a non-metal bowl.
- With a non-metal spoon, mix in orange extract (I used an organic oil based extraction)
- Slowly add the water a little at a time and mix until a smooth paste forms.
- Mix in vitamin E oil and sweetener if you desire.
- Store in an airtight container.
I keep this on my bathroom counter without any problems. This batch lasts my whole family about a month.
And that’s all there is to it! You can, of course, make a really basic toothpaste with just baking soda and coconut oil. I really like the coconut oil and baking soda mixture, but my husband is sensitive to baking soda. Annnd, our sink drains are not happy with the coconut oil situation. My toddler much prefers this clay recipe anyway since it takes just like his favorite fruit.
So, have you tried making your own toothpaste at home? Or, do you have a favorite natural toothpaste or powder that you like to use?
If you like DIY recipes, try my hairspray recipe here.