We use toothpaste twice a day, every single day, for practically our whole lives (more if you’re one of those ‘brush after every meal’ types). We take so much care of our skin and body by using natural soaps and lotions, and by eating good food, it makes sense to pay closer attention to our mouths by using chemical-free homemade toothpaste.
I’ll admit I was skeptical at first; homemade toothpaste seems like a big step towards Hippietown. I was concerned that it would not clean as well as commercial toothpaste and might taste funny. Also, texture is a big deal with me – chewy raisins in my mushy oatmeal? No way! Crunchy granola in my creamy yogurt? Absolutely not. Brush my teeth with slimy clay and slippery oil?
Surprisingly, this homemade toothpaste feels very much like, well, toothpaste. It seems to clean better than the commercial kind, and leaves your whole mouth feeling fresh, not just your teeth. The texture is unique, but not really slimy or slippery. It does feel smoother than regular toothpaste, if that makes any sense. It doesn’t slip so much as slide, allowing it to cling to your teeth while brushing but is easily rinsed away.
Bentonite clay: Mildly abrasive and rich in minerals, this clay was destined for dental magic. It helps draw toxins out of the body, and its astringent nature allows it to heal and clean the mouth. This stuff is also awesome for other applications, such as bug bites, rashes, burns, blisters, or mild cuts. Just mix a bit with water to form a paste and smear it on. Letting it dry will help pull out toxins, and keeping it moist by covering it with some gauze will help hydrate and heal the skin. I am sure this will come in handy with kids running around.
Baking soda: Strong abrasive, natural whitener, and deodorizing.
Calcium carbonate: Helps remineralize teeth and heal cavities, in conjunction with a proper healthy diet. Read this for more information on remineralization. (It blew my mind.)
Xylitol: ‘Natural’ sweetener that has been shown to prevent cavities. I say ‘natural’ because “industrial production starts from xylan (a hemicellulose) extracted from hardwoods or corncobs, which is hydrolyzed into xylose andcatalytically hydrogenated into xylitol.” Is it from nature? Technically, yes. But there are far too many multi-syllabic words in its formation for me to truly be comfortable with it. Also, it is obviously created in a lab, something I generally frown upon when it comes to things I put in my body. Do I use it? Yes, because I am not okay with gross salty toothpaste…yet. I hope to reduce the amount over many batches until I do not need it at all. Do your research and decide for yourself.
Peppermint oil: Aside from giving the toothpaste its signature taste and smell, it is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory (for gum issues), anti-fungal, antiseptic, astringent, and antimicrobial.
¼ cup Bentonite Clay
1 tablespoon Baking Soda
1 tablespoon calcium carbonate
½ tablespoon Xylitol (to taste)
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, melted
30 drops peppermint oil
2-6 tablespoon hot water
Combine the clay, baking soda, xylitol and calcium carbonate in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.
Add the coconut oil and peppermint oil and stir to combine. It won’t mix completely; just give it a few good turns of the spoon.
Add the hot water slowly, one tablespoon at a time, until the paste reaches your desired consistency. Keep in mind that the coconut oil will harden as it cools (it is liquid above 76 degrees). For the first batch, you may want to add a little water, let the mixture sit for a little while, then come back and check on the texture. Note how much water you end up needing for future batches.
Store the toothpaste in an airtight container. I put it in a little ceramic jar and use a tiny espresso spoon to spread it on my toothbrush. I wouldn’t dip the brush directly in the paste as that’s a fine way to spread bacteria. I find myself using a little more than I would ‘regular’ toothpaste, but it really is a matter of personal preference.