Three years ago I threw away my conventional tooth paste and started my epic search for an effective alternative. Why?
You will find the long answer in Nigel Ramiel’s book Cure Tooth Decay and Weston Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. I can give you a short answer here. Conventional tooth paste is loaded with sodium flouride, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, and dye. You can click on the links I included to find out what and how many side effects they have. For example, according to the environmental working group:
Propylene glycol can cause a whole host of problems. It is rated a-4, which is categorized as a “moderate” health issue. It has been shown to be linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive issues, allergies/immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption. It has been found to provoke skin irritation and sensitization in humans as low as 2% concentration, while the industry review panel recommends cosmetics can contain up to 50% of the substance. Source
Quite frankly, I don’t want any of these ingredients collecting in my liver! So, I began using only tooth pastes and powders that had natural sounding ingredients. To my dismay my teeth grew progressively more yellow, and my breath became offensive! I didn’t want to ingest any of the nasty ingredients listed above and I decided my health was more important than my pearly white smile, so I just dealt with it and stopped offering a full grin in photos and conversations. *Sigh*
A few months ago we ran out of our natural tooth paste and forgot to buy more. Ooops! Since we were desperate, we threw some baking soda, sea salt, activated charcoal and peppermint oil together in a small mason jar lid and made a powder to hold us over until our next run to the grocery store. What happened next?
Well, we haven’t purchased toothpaste from the store since then (though we have honed the recipe a bit)! My teeth felt cleaner than they had for a while, and a few weeks later my pearly white teeth and neutral breath were back! Even my husband, who disliked the idea of brushing his teeth with sea salt and baking soda, changed his mind after trying it.
Upon my discovery that my mouth was significantly cleaner after the change, I shared the good news on facebook and many of you asked me for the recipe. So here it is. Our quick homemade tooth powder with step by step instructions 🙂
Update: Some of you complained that this toothpaste stained your sink. Yes the coconut oil and the charcoal can be hard to wash off. You have two options.
One: You can skip the coconut oil and make this into a tooth powder which works just as well and use the coconut oil for oil pulling instead. Read here why it is good for you dental health. Coconut oil is anti fungal and antibacterial and it will greatly benefit your oral health if you struggle with cavities or gum disease.
Two: Just spit in your trash can instead of your sink.
- 1/4 cup of aluminum-free baking soda (find it here)
- 1 teaspoon of Himalayan Sea salt (find it here)
- 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal (find it here)
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (find it here)
- 5-6 drops of essential oil of peppermint (find it here)
1. In a small container, add the baking soda, charcoal and sea salt. (An actual jar would work too, but we find the open, shallow dish easy to dip a tooth brush into.)
Activated charcoal not only aids in pulling toxins out of your body, but is also acts as a tooth whitener. You can read more about the benefits of charcoal here.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
3. Melt the coconut oil and gently pour it in.
4. Mix everything into a paste.
5. Add 5-6 drops of your favorite essential peppermint oil, or more if you like your toothpaste very minty. Since I wrote this post I have found a new essential oil that is 100% pure and organic. So the pictures don’t reflect accurately the brand that we are using in nowadays. (You can go here to check the new brand we use).
This is your new tooth paste or tooth powder if you decided to slip the coconut oil! It will last for about a week or so. We don’t make much at a time because we like having a fresh batch every week. Also we each have a separate lid with our own tooth powder. Mine has less peppermint than my husband’s. He makes his a lot stronger.
When you brush with this, it will turn your teeth black. Don’t worry – it is not permanent! Just rinse after brushing and your pearly whites will return.
You can add other ingredients or alter the proportions if you like. This recipe is really just a framework to get you started, and there are lots of customizations that could be made – using a different flavor component comes to mind. Do you make your own toothpaste? What do you do differently to suit your own tastes or priorities? Let us know, so we can make ours even better!
P.S. This picture was taken this weekend. I am smiling again:-)