The Definitive Guide to Homemade Toothpaste

More and more people are beginning to make their own health and hygiene products. DIY toothpaste is one of the most popular of such items.

Creating the best homemade toothpaste for you is all about preference. The ingredients you choose determine every aspect of your toothpaste—taste, texture, abrasiveness, and everything else.

You can find a ton of information online regarding homemade toothpaste. We’ve created the most extensive resource available online about DIY toothpaste. We’ll go over ingredients, what to avoid, several recipes, and a few tips as well.

But let’s start with some explanation for those of you who are new to homemade health products.

Why Make Your Own Toothpaste?

There are several reasons why you might want to make your own toothpaste.

One of the best reasons to make toothpaste from scratch is because you can customize your toothpaste to your needs.

As you’ll see later, there are a variety of things that make good toothpaste ingredients. It all just depends on what exactly you or your family need. Many choose to make their own toothpaste due to sensitivity. Others make formulations for whitening or remineralization.

Secondly, buying ingredients in bulk will save you money over the long run. Toothpaste might not be that expensive. But DIY toothpaste may still cut your grocery bill back a bit. Additionally, you can use some of the same ingredients for other DIY concoctions.

However, the most important reason to make your own toothpaste is probably to avoid some of the harmful ingredients that are in commercial toothpaste.

What NOT to Use in Homemade Toothpaste

Many name brand toothpaste companies use unnecessary (or harmful) additives in their toothpaste recipes.

Some of these ingredients include:

  • Propylene Glycol is used as an emulsifier in commercial toothpaste. It is a known skin, eye, and lung irritant that may lead to toxicity issues in organs. Industrial grade versions of this mineral oil are used in antifreeze, paint, industrial enamel, and airplane de-icer.
  • Glycerin is a nontoxic soap that can negatively impact the microbiome in your mouth and impede the natural remineralization process. Toothpaste does not need soap and the glycerin you found in most toothpastes is usually of the lowest quality possible.
  • Saccharin and other artificial sweeteners are commonly found in many commercial toothpastes. They are linked to all sorts of health issues including diabetes, obesity, cancer, and even the death of brain cells.
  • Triclosan is a known pesticide and hormone disrupter. Its use brings up concerns about antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption. It can lead to a variety of health problems, including breast, ovarian, prostate, and testicular cancer.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is an additive that can lead to canker sores. SLS can interfere with your taste buds by breaking up the phospholipids on your tongue. It is also registered as an insecticide and might have toxic effects on marine life.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide is a popular ingredient in teeth whitening products—including toothpaste. However, it is only effective when teeth are exposed for an extended period of time. It can also have a negative impact on gums and other oral tissue.
  • Fluoride is the most controversial ingredient on this list. While there are claims that it does help to remineralize teeth, it has been linked to several health risks via multiple scientific studies. Other ingredients can fill the same role though, making it unnecessary.
  • Other Ingredients, such as artificial colors, have been linked to neurological issues. Other overly abrasive ingredients can damage enamel, heighten sensitivity, and increase chances of gum recession and cavities.

You also want to avoid anything acidic and be careful of using highly abrasive or antibiotic ingredients too heavily. Abrasives can help whiten teeth, but by stripping away tooth enamel (the hardest, outer layer of your teeth). Antibiotic ingredients like cinnamon essential oil may do more harm than good as well.

There are a few high quality, all-natural toothpastes on the market. However, they generally cost more and some of the brands you wouldn’t expect still contain disappointing ingredients.

When you make your toothpaste yourself, you know exactly what you’re exposing yourself (and/or your family) to.

You can even take it to the next level and create toothpaste for specific purposes.

DIY Whitening and Remineralizing Toothpaste

Parts of the established dental industry may not want you to know this:

But fighting both stains and cavities is easier than you may think. Certainly, the proper diet contributes to both. However, the right homemade toothpaste can do wonders for your smile and overall dental health.

Whitening toothpastes often use abrasives to remove stains from teeth. This is how commercial whitening toothpastes work. And they do work, to an extent. However, you must be careful; most abrasive toothpastes whiten by removing some of your enamel.

There are also ways to remove stains without destroying the outer layer of your teeth, such as oil pulling. There are also ingredients you can add to homemade toothpaste that are less abrasive but have other properties that help them remove stains.

Remineralizing your teeth won’t quite heal your cavities. Instead, it is your body’s natural cavity fighting process. Remineralization can end the growth of dental “caries”, the cause of cavities. This has been shown in studies dating as far back as 1932.

Remineralization happens as your saliva touches your teeth. It can be aided by the use of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous in toothpaste. You also need the proper nutrients in your diet. These include those mentioned above, as well as Zinc, Iron, and Vitamins A, D, and K.

For many of us, the rate of tooth decay is higher than our rate of natural remineralization. That’s where remineralizing toothpastes come in. However, it’s still not an instant fix. Consistent practice over time is necessary if you are trying to remineralize caries, especially if they are severe.

But combined with the right nutrition, your teeth may even begin to resume function they have lost.

Before we get to the best natural ingredients for whitening and remineralizing toothpastes, let’s break things down into their most basic form.

Ingredients for the Best Homemade Toothpaste

Despite the commercial popularity of many of the potentially harmful ingredients we mentioned earlier, there are many different alternatives that fulfill the same roles without the toxicity or other drawbacks.

Here’s our list of the best ingredients to add to your toothpaste.

Basics

  • Coconut Oil naturally fights the fungal infection candida in your mouth. It also helps to reduce the bacteria that cause cavities and boost the microbiome in your gut. Among DIY toothpaste recipes, it is easily the most popular base. Must be at 76° to stay in liquid form.
  • Baking Soda is another of the most common ingredients found in toothpaste. It’s alkalinity helps balance pH in the mouth. It is also a mild abrasive. Some people even brush with baking soda and water alone.
  • Sea Salt isn’t used all that often in commercial toothpaste. However, its alkalinity makes it a pretty good ingredient to add. High mineral salts like Himalayan pink salt may also help to remineralize teeth.
  • Guar Gum is a powder that helps to thicken toothpaste. It also helps keep the ingredients stable and homogenous (well mixed). We recommend it as a texture enhancer, though be careful not to swallow any of it as it is not digested well.
  • Water may seem a little obvious, but we had to mention it. Not all DIY toothpaste recipes say it explicitly but it is always there as an option to help mix ingredients and improve texture.

Whitening

  • Turmeric may seem like a counterintuitive whitening agent. It tends to stain everything it comes in contact with. But it has surprising whitening abilities, fights gingivitis, and has been used for oral health in India for literally thousands of years. Turmeric whitens quite well, despite only mild abrasiveness. It may also contribute to remineralization. However, it may be the hardest ingredient to adjust to, taste-wise.
  • Dichotomous Earth is basically powdered fossils of ancient marine life. It is not very hard. Yet the shape of the small particles are sharp, making it more abrasive than it would otherwise be. It also contains trace minerals that can contribute to the remineralization process.
  • Activated Charcoal you may or may not have seen the viral videos of activated charcoal in action. It has been making waves recently among the natural health community for its many applications, including teeth whitening. Be careful though, as it is highly abrasive and may even inhibit remineralization. More research needs to be done on this ingredient.

Remineralizing

  • Chocolate might come as a surprise ingredient but it contains antibacterial agents and can fight plaque. It can function as an abrasive and has been shown to remineralize teeth better than fluoride. Select the unrefined beans for toothpaste, otherwise known as cacao nibs.
  • Bentonite Clay is a natural, gentle polish that is rich in minerals. It is also alkaline, which helps balance acidity. Lastly, it helps remove heavy metals and toxins from your mouth. Some report that white kaolin clay is even better. Avoid healing clays in toothpaste if you have metal fillings because it can lead to mercury leaching.
  • Calcium & Magnesium Powder are almost too obvious here. However, adding them to your toothpaste can be especially effective. After all, these are the two primary nutrients that remineralization requires. You can find both in powder form or in some of the spices we have listed as flavor enhancers.
  • Liquid Trace Minerals are one of the easiest things you can add to toothpaste in order to help remineralize teeth. Simply add a few drops and mix. Trace minerals in this form contain all remineralization essentials and then some. Plus, they are easy for your body to absorb.

Flavor

  • Stevia only functions as a sweetener. It’s not necessary and you should be careful as some can have added glycerin. Just be sure to read the ingredients if you plan to use it. Plain and flavored versions are available.
  • Xylitol is a sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols are attractive to bacteria. However, their bodies cannot metabolize sugar alcohols and they end up dying after consumption. Xylitol and other sugar alcohols also support mineralization. Though xylitol is the most studied, erythritol may potentially be more beneficial for dental health.
  • Spices such as mint, cloves, and cinnamon all have a nice flavor profile. Make sure you go with dried and powdered versions. Too much of some may also be harmful to the good bacteria in your mouth. They can serve as abrasives, or even remineralizing agents.
  • Essential Oils can fill several different roles in homemade toothpaste, depending on which you select. Use mostly for flavor though, as too much can harm the mouth’s microbiome. In addition to the spices listed above, citrus oils can add nice flavor. Just be sure that you are light in application.

Admittedly, some of these ingredients don’t have the most pleasant texture.

It really helps to run salt, clay, spices, and any other powders you use through a food processor before you add them to the mixture. If you’re using clay, make sure that your blade is stainless steel or another stable metal.

Then add your powdered items to your other ingredients and combine in a bowl. Or add the other ingredients to the food processor and combine that way.

Adding more water or another base can also help. Just be careful as most prefer their toothpaste thicker. Coconut oil can be a bit tricky due to its state changes.

Experiment with different combinations and you’ll eventually create your ideal toothpaste.

Our recipes will help with portion sizes, but only you can find your ideal balance.

Our Favorite DIY Toothpaste Recipes

As we mentioned at the outset, the best toothpaste for you can only be determined by you.

That’s why we took the time to provide multiple toothpaste recipes with different emphasises. Start with the ones that interest with you and then experiment with proportions until you find exactly what you want.

You may want to continue developing your recipes on an ongoing basis to fit your needs.

3 Simple DIY Toothpaste Recipes

These recipes might be the best place to start.

If you’re new to homemade toothpaste, make a few small batches so that you can get used to the process before you start trying to remineralize or whiten. All of these use baking soda as the main abrasive.

Baking Soda & Water

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 drop of your favorite essential oil(s)
  • A few drops of water

Baking Soda, Salt, & Water

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon himalayan pink salt
  • 3 drops of your favorite essential oil(s)
  • A few drops of water

Baking Soda & Coconut Oil

  • 2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 10 drops of your favorite essential oil(s)

3 Whitening Toothpaste Recipes

These recipes are designed to help remove stains and otherwise whiten teeth.

Some of these can be rather abrasive, potentially breaking down enamel. Be sure to limit use to a couple times a week or to periods of one or two weeks of consistent use. We’ll start with the least abrasive recipes.

Turmeric

    2 tablespoon bentonite clay
  • 4 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon xylitol
  • 1 teaspoon himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon assorted spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, etc.)
  • 15 drops of your favorite essential oil(s)

Diatomaceous Earth

  • 2 tablespoon bentonite clay
  • 4 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon diatomaceous earth
  • 1 tablespoon xylitol
  • 15 drops of your favorite essential oil(s)

Activated Charcoal

  • 3 tablespoon bentonite clay
  • 4 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon activated charcoal
  • 1 tablespoon liquid stevia
  • 15 drops of your favorite essential oil(s)

3 Remineralizing Toothpaste Recipes

This group of recipes focuses on supplying your teeth with the topical minerals that help limit decay. Proper diet greatly augments their effects.

Chocolate

  • 2 tablespoon bentonite clay
  • 4 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon organic cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon xylitol powder
  • 3 drops clove essential oil
  • 3 drops vanilla essential oil
  • 3 drops cinnamon essential oil

Mineral Powder

  • 2 tablespoon bentonite clay
  • 5 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon guar gum
  • 1 tablespoon powdered calcium
  • 1 tablespoon powdered calcium
  • 1 tablespoon xylitol powder
  • 20 drops of your favorite essential oil(s)

Liquid Minerals

  • 4 tablespoon bentonite clay
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoons xylitol powder
  • 30 drops liquid trace minerals
  • 15 drops of your favorite essential oil(s)

How to Make Your Homemade Toothpastes Even More Effective?

By now you should have a good idea of which ingredients you’d like to try in your toothpaste and what sort of proportions you should be using.

Now, let’s talk about how best to put your new concoction to work for you.

It might come as a surprise but:

You don’t really even need toothpaste—especially not every time you brush. Brushing is the number one way to protect your teeth from decay. That is true, even without toothpaste.

Your main concern when brushing your teeth should be to remove any and all plaque that is attached to your teeth. You don’t actually need toothpaste for that. Brushing technique is by far the most important thing.

The function of toothpaste is to add a little bit of grittiness your mouth, making it a bit easier to remove any accumulated biofilm.

Still, you need to make sure you are meticulous about hitting all surfaces of all teeth. And don’t forget your gums, tongue, and inner cheeks.

Flossing and regular dental checkups are also important. Oil pulling can help as well. However, daily brushing supersedes these routines. And it’s not the only thing that does.

What you eat is the other most crucial factor that affects tooth decay and overall oral health. You need to combine this strong dental regime with the right diet.

Make sure you get enough of the aforementioned minerals as well as the fat-soluble vitamins.

You might also want to avoid foods containing phytic acid. This includes beans, nuts, and legumes.

Cut back on both natural and processed sugars. Obviously, this depends on your current diet. But less sugar and more healthy fat is a good rule for most of us to follow.

Sugar is the favorite food of the bacteria that cause plaque buildup in your mouth. Limit it, limit them.

Lastly, stay hydrated. Saliva protects against tooth decay by enabling the remineralization process. Hydration is crucial to saliva production.


Remember, dental health comes down to more than just your toothpaste.

It is a lifestyle thing. This might be one of the main reasons that so many “crunchy moms and dads” lean towards homemade solutions. You’re more likely to use toothpaste effectively when you make your own (and know exactly what it’s doing).

If your and your family’s health are of great importance to you, making your own toothpaste is one of the best ways to start pushing towards an overall healthier lifestyle.

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