Do You Make Your Own Toothpaste?

David Trammel's picture

There is a lively discussion in this week's Ecosophia post Waiting for the Next Panic" on home made toothpaste.

Do you make your own toothpaste? I don't but should.

What are some recipes that you have found that are cheap and good tasting?

Blueberry's picture

A good toothbrush is all you need for good oral hygiene. Ok if you want try using a little baking soda on your brush. When out hiking and no baking soda I will use salt. Good to have some dental floss one can also try sewing thread.

Alacrates's picture

I've tried a mix of coconut oil, baking soda and mint extract, it was ok. Not necessarily the most "green wizard" choice for me, I don't think this mix ends up being cheaper than regular toothpaste, and using a tropical oil to brush ones teeth has to be a fairly energy intensive way to go about it! It can be done without plastic use, if you can find the mint extract/oil in glass.

Two other things I've found about oral health:

- I think adding xylitol from time to time could be a good way to cut down on bacteria in the mouth related to plaque, gingivitis, etc. Its a wood alcohol that tastes sweet but has no carbohydrates, and apparently it has the ability to prevent bacteria from forming biofilms. I've added some to my neti pot when I had sinus infections, and it has pretty much eliminated my sinus problems entirely, which I had troubles with for years.

- if anyone has activated charcoal tablets in their medicine chest, I like breaking them open and adding it to my toothpaste once in awhile. Charcoal is very absorptive, and it's pretty tooth whitening, people have commented on it at work after I've done it. My mom (who was a nurse, I listen to her on health issues) said she thought the charcoal might be a bit abrasive, but I don't do it that often.

Justin Patrick Moore's picture

In my amateur study of herbalism I've taken to the Ayurvedic tradition recently. That has lead me to Tulsi Powder (Holy Basil -that good plant they put in a "drunken noodle" stirfry!) and Triphala Powder. Triphala while taken internally can also be used to brush your teeth with. I have acquired some Triphala powder for its other benefits but have yet to try it with the toothbrush. It can also be used as a mouthwash. You can find some recipes here:

I have been using this for at least 2 years and have settled on this version. Once past the first surprise of saltiness, I prefer this over the soapy foamy over-flavored commercial toothpastes, and still feel minty-fresh. If you like the middle eastern minty yogurt drink ayran or doogh, this will be a similar taste. I was at first Very Precise, weighing out to grams for everything, but am now more comfortable with the process.
Pros: light and portable for traveling, fits in small jars, can vary flavors as desired, makes enough for 3 months
Cons: easily spilled, occasionally leaves larger green bits of sage in your mouth if you rinse hastily, sink needs an extra rinse to remove fine clay

5-6 Tbs bentonite clay (food grade)
3-4 Tbs baking soda
5-10 drops of Myrrh essential oil (saw it in an online recipe, and it is supposed to be anti-bacterial; I just thought it was fun.)
20 to 40 drops Peppermint essential oil (caution: essential oils can be irritating, start with smaller amounts to test your sensitivity).
2.5 Tbs powdered sage, finely sifted (supposed to be anti-bacterial, I like the herb)
1 tsp fine sea salt, (sifted with the sage)

I use a marble pestle and fine wire sieve to sift and mix ingredients. Mix the clay and baking soda together, drop on the essential oils, and work the mixture through the sieve with the pestle. This breaks up the essential oils and spreads them through the mixture. Then do the same sifting with the sage and salt. Sage is a tough herb and even after grinding in a spice grinder, I prefer sifting it and leaving the tough bits of stem out of my powder. Mix all together into a container that you can dab the damp head of your toothbrush into, like a small mason jar. For travel, I use a very small container and pour the powder onto the brush.

Note: The recipe I based this one on used equal parts clay and baking soda, and that was too salty for me. Another recipe included glycerine, but I found I did not like the combination of sweet and salty.

I haven’t done the math on cost, but the bulk clay, myrrh, and peppermint oil are lasting a long time, and I use my garden sage.