I hope my Mom doesn't hurt me for writing this post.
I haven't cleared it's contents with her…and well, you know how Moms can be about things like toothpaste.
Especially when your Mom is a Dental Hygienist.
Sorry, Mom. Please forgive me.
I was so encouraged last week when my Mom sent us a box of toothbrushes and floss though, I found it impossible not to share for any longer.
You see, believe it or not, I usually like to test and try what I blog about. For example, if I'm going to write a post on face cream, than it better be a face cream I actually use and love – right?
Well, we're not talking homemade face cream today, people. We're talking homemade toothpaste.
I don't know what it is about homemade goodness like this – I just find such freedom in being able to walk past aisle upon aisle at the grocery store and know that we are free of having to choose between the 6,294 different brands out there. Plus, it's wonderful to avoid the chemicals and additives that are in all of that stuff.
I know that store bought toothpaste tastes good. Like a mint explosion in your mouth!
I know that it foams and has a pretty blue sparkly stripe down the middle when you squirt it onto your brush.
I know that they sweeten it so that we keep coming back for more, more, more…
But there are two convictions (for lack of a better word) that led me to begin making my own:
1. I didn't want to spent $4 on a tube of toothpaste if I didn't have to (y'all think I'm joking about this budget thing…but I mean serious business here)
2. Even ‘natural' and ‘organic' brands have additives, sweeteners, and a plethora of unknowns
Now, I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on sodium laurel sulfate or blue #40 or fluoride. Because I'm not. But I know enough about additives and chemicals and certain forms of fluoride to know that if I can avoid having to ingest them, I will. And if I don't have to spend money on toothpaste to do it, all the better in my opinion.
So, what the heck. I thought I'd just see how good homemade toothpaste could really be.
It's been about two weeks now since I've stopped using commercial toothpaste – and wouldn't ya know, I still have all my teeth!
But it's even better than that.
My mouth feels fantastic.
Long-gone is the slimy coating that once inhabited my mouth. Long-gone is the plaque that I really, really had to brush hard to fight.
I've been enjoying these smooth pearly whites in all their naked glory – free of all sorts of disgusting things I don't want to think about (personally, I don't see how my Mom can stand to work with peoples mouths…there is something about plaque that really grosses me out – and not a lot grosses me out).
– 1/2 cup baking soda
– 2-10 drops peppermint essential oil (read about the brand I recommend HERE)
– 1/4 cup peroxide
– 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (optional)
I simply mixed this together in a container with a lid and add a bit to my toothbrush each morning and night. Afterwords, I floss or rinse with a little extra peroxide (using it just like a mouthwash…it helps whiten, too!) to really get 'em clean.
If you're not into mixing, simply dip a damp toothbrush into a container of baking soda and brush. Then, floss and gargle some peroxide. Batta bing. Batta boom.
Here is my one disclaimer: don't brush too hard with the baking soda. It's gritty, after all, and you don't want to reek havoc on your gums and enamel. Take it easy, man.
Actually, I do have another disclaimer too: It's important to remember that at the foundation level of a healthy mouth is a healthy diet. Avoid sodas and refined sugars at all costs! Build strong teeth with optimal nutrition – lots and lots of good food! Side-note: Did you know that Weston Price (founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation and who's research sparked the dietary ‘laws' of books like Nourishing Traditions) was a dentist? It's true. What inspired him to research further on nutrition was how there were particular cultures that had almost no dental problems what-so-ever. How could this be when their countries didn't even have dentists? Research it….it's incredibly fascinating what he found through his extensive work.
Some people need to add a sweetener to their toothpaste, but I haven't really found this to be necessary. The first week I had to adjust to the naturally salty taste of baking soda, but now that I'm used to it, I really don't even notice.
My husband does.
He's still finishing out our old bottle of toothpaste. But once it's gone…muah haha….ha….
I'm sure he'll get used to it in no time, too.
I suppose he'll have to. Because girlfriends not spending another $4 on toothpaste. Not when I've got a twelve pound bag of baking soda in my cabinet.
It's like having a million dollars. You feel like you can take on the world – just you and your baking soda!
Well, at least you can take on a dirty mouth. And smelly laundry. And shampoo. And dishwashing detergent. And toilet scrub. And bee stings.
I am going to have to try this one out. I will probably be the only one in the household to do it, but I am going to do it anyway! Already on day 4 of no poo and I LOVE IT! I have been on a roll with the natural items for awhile but the documentary, Chemerical, really added full to the fire. Thanks for posting the recipe. Do you use the coconut oil??
“It’s like having a million dollars.” Hahaha!
The saltiness of the baking soda seemed almost overwhelming to me, too, but now I don’t even notice. That said, I don’t brush with baking soda every day. I found that it made my mouth too alkaline, so I’ve been only using baking soda every couple of days, and in between, I’ve been brushing with purely coconut oil or doing oil pulling with coconut oil. My mouth feels lovely. 🙂
The first week or two, I really missed that minty feeling, and just adding peppermint to my coconut oil wasn’t strong enough. So I’ve gotten to where if I miss it that much, I just put ONE drop on my tongue after I’m done swishing or brushing, and voila! Minty freshness. 🙂
I have used plain baking soda to brush before, but never thought of making a mix. I can’t wait to try! Question, do you think it would work well in a squeeze bottle? I have an extra after mixing-up my Baking Soda-poo & ACV hair rinse (FYI-Sam’s Club has a package of 6 commercial-grade, wide-mouth squeeze bottles for under $5! Big 16 oz ones at that!) Another question, I am saving my pennies to purchase some coconut oil (we are Dave Ramsey graduates too) and not sure which kind to buy? I see lots of descriptions like virgin, expeller, etc but haven’t a clue the difference. Any leadership?
Tess if you have Costco in your area, you can get a nice large tub of Virgin coconut oil from Harrington Farms (?) for about $16. It lasts quite a while. Also, you can sign up for emails online from Tropical Traditions and when they announce (monthly) what day is free shipping day, you can bulk buy their really good virgin or expeller pressed and get it shipped completely free. Those are my recommendations! 🙂
After commenting on this post, I made a batch and put it in one of those wonderful squeeze bottles I mentioned….FABULOUS! I will say that it was more ‘pasty’ after it sat for a day. I didn’t even have any peppermint oil–used orange–and it wasn’t bad either. Thanks for sharing!
What would you think of adding a LITTLE xylitol for sweetness for those who can’t stand not having sweet? I’ve seen this added to commercial “natural” toothpastes. Just a thought. I personally like the taste of baking soda. Maybe your husband would stop fighting for the tube!
My father always used baking soda on his brush, but he also added a little salt. He said it was for abrasion, but I’m not so sure it’s a good idea. I’m just throwing it out for consideration. He was born in 1911 in Tennessee, so I mention it as an Old Wives’ concoction. However, he did have all his teeth when he died at 91 and never went to a dentist in his life! So, for what it’s worth…
Unless the salt is dissolved, you don’t need it. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate already, and salt crystals are even more abrasive. With all the other ingredients, it’s overkill. Hope that helps!
Yes you can. I use Wellness Mama’s recipe, although I’d like to try Shae’s now, and if I recall it uses 3 parts xylitol. It’s still not sweet but takes the bitter edge off. You could probably add more if you want to try and get it a little sweeter. There’s some kind of benefit dental wise to xylitol too, apparently.
Salt CAN be good – if you use the right one! Plain salt is just abrasive, and all those chemicals to iodize then whiten it – yuk! But if you use pink salt (Himalayan is best), it has a lot of minerals that are good for your teeth and mouth! I add it to mine and we like it even better than before! 🙂
I love this, thanks for sharing! I’m enjoying finding more uses for baking soda. I’ve been making my own liquid laundry detergent for while and now I’m experimenting with liquid dish washing soap. I’ve always gotten the fluoride free toothpaste for my family but my kids (and please someone tell me they aren’t the only ones) are prone to eating the toothpaste. An un-sweet version would probably deter them.
I’m so glad I found this blog! I love the advice, plus the added humor! It’s great finding a real blogger with similar beliefs, thanks for everything! 🙂
Just tried this and I actually really like it! I had to add about twice the peppermint but it’s great stuff!
Hey just a couple comments. The reason the peroxide is in a brown bottle is because it deactivates in light. So you are getting no benefit from the peroxide. Also you should never rinse with straight peroxide. 1:1 ratio
…with water. Also I do not recommend people using this toothpaste if they’ve had a cavity within the last 4 years. Stay ontop of your dental visits to make sure you’re not developing any.
I am very eager to try this. But can you suggest an ingredient I can add that would help for sensitive teeth?
I need to know this too! Sensodyne is the only thing I can use!
From what I’ve been reading, over time homemade toothpaste DOES help lessen sensitivity. Takes a few weeks from some bloggers I’ve read using their own recipes. I use Wellness Mama’s recipe, which has fine Cal-Mag powder…I think that and the coconut oil help to remineralize the teeth, thereby helping sensitivity issues.
I have heard you cant use peppermint oil while prego and breastfeeding , whats your thoughts on using this whilst? Is it safe ? Im new to essential oils .
I always used it when pregnant and never had a problem. But I’m no expert!
Um yes peppermint should be avoided while breast feeding. Peppermint can dry up milk production. Tea, essential oil, definitely.
My dentist says not to use regular baking soda- it is too abrasive and wears down your enamel. Baking soda in commercial toothpaste is “dental grade,” not regular ol’ arm n’ hammer.
Julie, I’ve never heard this?
So throw it in a blender? Making it finer would decrease the abrasiveness.
what would you suggest for sweetening it up for the kids? Or flavoring it something other than mint?
i am under the impression that fluoride helps with avoiding tooth decay. for example, my sister, brother, and i, born in the late 30s and 40s, have all had extensive tooth repair, despite being raised with a large garden and decent eating habits. my sister took prenatal vitamins, with fluoride, during her pregnancies, and all of her kids have excellent teeth. shaye, what does your mother the dental hygienist, say about this?
It’s not just about what you eat. It has a lot of factors, like mouth acid or alkaline balance in saliva, existing bodily mineral or vitamin deficiencies, the shape your enamel is in, etc. If you’d read up on fluoride used in dental stuff, it’s a form fluoride that is actually extremely toxic to your liver…and when you drink fluoridated tap water too, along with quick absorbing fluoride from dental stuff in your mouth, it’s adding to the toxic load. There’s a lot of new research showing it doesn’t really help either, if I recall. WAPF recommends a really good book about all of this research, you can probably find it on their site.
It’s a year later, do you still like it? I tried it this morning and thought it was wonderful! My mouth feels so clean. (and it’s so cheap!) 🙂
Yes! I still love it. Time for a new batch today actually!
what kind of baking soda do you use?
I too make my own toothpaste. I only use two ingredients;
I mix the two together and keep in a small lidded container.
I have noticed that since starting to use this recipe, my teeth are so much cleaner and my teeth feel smooth and they even shine more too.
An added fact that I have noticed is that my Heartburn is gone, since using this recipe.
I don’t know if it is the soda or the coconut oil, but am not looking a gift horse in the mouth.
What a wonderful article. I just found your site. I’m very interested in trying your toothpaste, since I’m allergic to most big brands. Did you ever get your moms opinion on it? It would be benificial to know what someone in the dental industry thinks about this.
Oh, also, lots of commercial toothpastes are sold with baking soda in them too! So I don’t necessarily share the same concern.
I like this recipe and lurve natural products for in and on my body and and around the home, I adore living packet and container free reducing my footprint…….though Im not sure that peroxide is that good for us?
Ive read in the past many clinical research done and studies have shown-
“Irritating effects both due to a direct effect in the oral cavity and in the gastrointestinal system after swallowing are of concern.”
although having said that I know your not meant to swallow toothpaste or mouthwash for that matter, though surely this is a touch of concern what it may be doing to the insides of our mouths?!?!
Just a thought……. 😀
Please, do not use baking soda as toothpaste as a permanent fixture. Use it only, maybe once or twice a week at most, because baking soda is extremely abrasive. Think of it as putting sandpaper to your mouth. It may clean well, but all it’s doing is actually scraping off the outer layer of your teeth, the enamel. Please do not do this, and ask your mother about this. This is why baking soda toothpaste is not approved by the ADA.
I love your blog! Kudos to you guys for living the dream. I wanted to mention that you might want to make sure you are using food grade peroxide (found at the health food store or Whole Foods), which is free of the nasty chemicals and toxins found in the drug store hydrogen peroxide. Can’t wait to try this! I may stick some baking soda in my little coffee bean grinder to see if that helps with the “too abrasive” concerns.
I made this today and really like it! Per comments, I added some Pink himalayan salt and stevia to mix. I found it to be a very runny consistency. I know I can add more baking soda, but wondering if that would be too abrasive. Any suggestions? thanks!
Try less coconut oil!
Love to read about the going’s on at your website. Really delighful! I made this toothpaste the other day, with a few changes. I used arrowroot instead of baking soda, or maybe I added arrowroot in addition to the baking soda. I honestly can’t remember. Sorry. And I used Cinnamon oil instead of peppermint. I simply love cinnamon toothpaste, so thought I would try it. It tured out nice. But, I have a question. When I had it all mixed and put in my glass container, I put the lid on and the next morning when I went to brush my teeth, the lid had been pushed off and it looked like the peroxide reacted with the soda (arrowroot) and it all swelled up and over the sides. Is that normal? I cleaned everything up and still use it, but it seems to be very airy and light now. Wondered why it did this and is it still okay to use? I maybe should have put a screw cap on instead of a snap lid. Did you ever have this happen? Thanks so much.
Never made it with arrowroot so I’m not sure if the reaction is normal. Maybe store it in a bigger container or with a lid that lets it breath.
We made same thing for a long time, absolutely loved it both in mint and clove flavours. Charcoal brush occasionally for extra whitening or tumeric.
Dr Bronners has actually released a similair tube of paste.
The coconut oil is great as it does soften the abrasives in the baking soda.
what keeps the oils from separating from the soda? Mine separates after about an hour into the E.O.’s (in the coconut oil) into a layer on top. No biggie, but it gets irksome to constantly mix it.
What would work to help keep the oil in suspension that is healthy?
(BTW: I added some thymol EO for extra anti-bacterial/ anti-viral. Could use oregano, but that tastes nassy)
Dr. Dan Peterson
I certainly hope your mom wasn’t too upset – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with homemade toothpaste! Or to put it another way, there’s nothing exactly “magical” about the toothpaste sold in stores.