Wednesday, March 26, 2014

DIY: Homemade Toothpaste

Late one night, I stumbled upon this article in Sweat Equity Magazine about "what is really in your toothpaste". It was written by a super sweet and well informed friend that is a nutritionist/yoga instructor/healthy living queen. As soon as I read it, I knew it wouldn't be long before I was adding toothpaste to my list of "homemades".
From her article:
Toothpaste composition is dependent on the type of toothpaste and the manufacturer.  Here are some of the major offenders in popular commercial toothpaste:

Sodium lauryl sulfate: A foaming agent linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity.  It can also cause mouth ulcer, cold sores, and skin and eye irritation.

Triclosan: A preservative and cosmetic biocide (chemical agent), also known as a pesticide, that has been linked to allergies, endocrine disruption, hormonal inbalance, and organ system toxicity.

FD&C Blue 1, D&C Yellow #10 and D&C Red #30:  Synthetic dyes and artificial coloring produced from petroleum or coal tar sources and linked to tumour growth. Artificial colours have also been linked to ADD and ADHD type symptoms.

Fluoride: Fluoride is one of the more controversial ingredients in toothpaste. Many people concerned with their health and that live a natural lifestyle opt not to use toothpastes that contain it.  If you do use it, make sure to rinse well and spit it all out as fluoride can be toxic if swallowed.

Hydrated silica: An anti-caking agent that bioaccumulates in people and wildlife.

Polyethylene: Is the most common ingredient in plastic but is often found in toothpaste.

Saccharin: an artificial sweetener and petroleum-based sugar substitute that is carcinogenic.

Propylene Glycol: is used to clean up oil spills and in anti-freeze. It is a skin irritant and has been linked to hives.

Titanium dioxide:  is an inorganic compound used as a colorant in a range of body care products such as sunscreens and makeup, and also found in paint. It has been described as a possible human carcinogen.

Xanthan Gum: is a thickener derived from a bacteria that grows on corn and wheat which can affect people with food sensitivities.

This is another article with similar information.

I found this blog post from Wellness Mama while researching different homemade toothpaste recipes, and decided to give it a go. The difference in this recipe versus the recipe in Sweat Equity, is that this one is intended to actually remineralize your teeth, making them stronger and more healthy, instead of just clean. My awesome friend Kelley offered to bring some of the weirder ingredients, and make it with me, and I made her dinner. (Probably not a real fair deal, sorry Kel!)...

Homemade Remineralizing Toothpaste Ingredients:

  • 5 parts Calcium powder
  • 1 part Diatomaceous Earth (optional- contains trace minerals and silica. UPDATE: A reader noted that DE can be abrasive and is not needed with the baking soda, so if you don’t have DE… no worries!)
  • 2 parts Baking Soda
  • 3 parts Xylitol Powder- This ingredient is not completely necessary, but just keeps it from tasting bitter.
  • 3-5 parts coconut oil to get desired texture
  • Optional ingredients: Essential oils for flavor (mint, cinnamon, and orange are all good), Grapefruit Seed Extract, Myrrh and Trace Minerals
[Note: To keep things simple, I just use a teaspoon or tablespoon, depending on the size batch I'm making, so the above recipe would read 5 TBSP calcium powder, 2 TBSP Baking Soda, etc.]

We gave the kids the choice of several different essential oils to help with the flavor and they choose orange. (Just of note, I think one of the mints would have been better!) Also, we don't really use much in the way of sweeteners here, so I didn't have any to add. If I were you, and you were going to make this toothpaste, I would find some sweetener. If I were me, and I were to make this again, I would find some sweetener! Even a packet of Stevia or something.

The following pictures are terrible in the way of quality, but way too good for me to leave out. Lilly was the first to experiment with the new toothpaste. She is so daring and brave. Grady was skeptically supportive. It started well. Then after a few seconds...

...she thought maybe this wasn't the best toothpaste she had ever tasted...
...and finally declared it to be "So SCUSTING!!!"

Even after Lilly's dramatic review, both Grady and Bella tried it. Neither was in love. I am using it, and truthfully I don't mind the taste. I love the way my teeth have that "just had a cleaning at the dentist" (minus the sore gums) feeling. Bryan also uses it, but he would have preferred having it mint flavored. Orange breath just isn't the same as minty fresh breath...

Anyway, give it a try.
I'd love to know what you think!


  1. Love it!!! :) We are making another batch tonight... yes, it's quite bitter without the xylitol, but it sure feels nice to the teeth! :)