If you’re reading this post you’re probably wondering if conventional toothpaste is the best option for you and your family. In short, I found that the answer is no. Before I go on, I want to clarify that I am not a specialist on this field and this is based on my own research, anecdotal evidence from friends and my own experience. Talk to your dentist if you have any questions.
Keeping your teeth clean is an important aspect of life and should be taken seriously. You can keep a clean mouth and teeth using toothpastes that have better ingredients or you can make your own.
I didn’t know think much about the toothpaste we were using until we started replacing the products we use at home for non-toxic alternatives (check out other recipes here). I started looking into toothpastes, teeth and overall how to keep your mouth healthy. I was surprised to find out that what we eat plays a HUGE role in the health of our teeth.
Yes, it’s important to brush your teeth after every meal but more important is what you are actually eating since those nutrients will go into your teeth and keep them strong or make them prone to cavities. This would explain why my grandma, who just brushed her teeth once at the end of the day, never had cavities. Well, that and probably good genetics.
During my research I also learned about tooth remineralization, which means your teeth can remineralize, in other words your teeth can heal a cavity on their own. At first I thought that was nuts until I started meeting people who had gone through this. There’s lots of information on this and I urge you to look into this topics if it interests you. This is a good start and so is the book Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition (kindle version).
I also learned that there are holistic dentists, which have a different approach on your dental health as well as treatments and consider many aspects of your life when treating you. If you’re interested in finding one in your area, start here. We are lucky to have found an amazing holistic dental practice – if you live in the Washington D.C. area check them out.
When my first daughter was born I discovered a small cavity on one of my teeth. I hadn’t found a dentist where I lived and I debated wether I should find a dentist here in the US or wait until my next trip to Costa Rica (to visit the dentist that has seen me through most of my adult life). I decided this was a good time to try and test this whole remineralization theory so I made my own toothpaste and became my own guinea pig.
I was still nursing and wanted to avoid anesthesia so I knew going to my regular dentist back home was my best bet. While I waited to go there I decided to try and get this cavity healed, I figured worst case if it didn’t work my dentist would take care of it.
I started using this toothpaste recipe and although at first I felt odd (no minty flavor afterwards) I noticed my teeth were looking healthier and cleaner, I wasn’t having any build up anymore and when I finally went to the dentist she told me I didn’t have any cavities – in other words, my cavity was gone. I couldn’t believe it!
We’ve been using our homemade toothpaste for close to 4 years now and during this time I’ve tweaked and perfected this recipe. It’s very easy and fast to make plus I feel much better brushing my daughter’s teeth with it because it’s all edible.
I have also converted my parents and they’ve been using this toothpaste for over 2 years now. Both love it and told me they don’t have any build up on their teeth anymore. Their dentist even complemented them on their good oral hygiene (little did she know they started making their own toothpaste). So now, I’m sharing this recipe with you in case you want to give it a try.
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DIY Toothpaste recipe
This recipe makes enough toothpaste to fill 2 4 ounce mason jars. I like to do one for myself and one for my husband since you have dip your toothpaste in it. This last us a little over a month.
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- 1/2 cup of Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil
- 2 tablespoons of Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda
- 4-5 tablespoons of Calcium – Magnesium Citrate
- 2-3 tablespoons of non-GMO xylitol (this is not necessary but helps prevent cavities and gives the toothpaste a sweeter flavor)
- Peppermint essential oil (optional) – We don’t use this since I didn’t feel comfortable enough to put an essential oil in my mouth and we got used to the taste but if you want a minty flavor, this will do the trick.
Make sure the coconut oil is soft but not liquid. If your oil is rock hard, putting it in the microwave for about 10 seconds will soften it. Mix all ingredients together and it’s ready. It’s that easy!
Once it’s ready I just add half to each 4 ounce mason jar.
You can also make it when the coconut oil is liquid but you have to make sure the rest of the ingredients don’t stay at the bottom of the jar. This means that as the mixture is hardening you have to make sure you’re mixing it with the spoon.
I’ve found it’s easier to put the coconut oil in the refrigerator for a few minutes so it can harden up a little bit and then add the rest of the ingredients. That way you can mix it once and be done. Once you’ve made this toothpaste the mixture won’t get liquid again, even if it’s warm out.
The calcium/magnesium citrate makes it feel a little bubbly in your mouth so don’t be too surprised if you feel it. This is why my toddler loves this toothpaste.
To use all you have to do is dip your toothbrush in the toothpaste and brush as usual.
Other health care items:
When we’re traveling I don’t make toothpaste and have resorted to buying Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste Organic for my daughter and Dr. Bronner’s toothpaste for us. Recently we started using Coral toothpaste and Coral kids toothpaste when traveling because it’s what my dentist recommends.
If you’d like to try out other brands, you can find a list of other non-toxic toothpastes for adults here and for kids here. These toothpastes are not easily found in every store so I always buy them before our trip and bring them with us.
Do you make your own toothpaste? Have you noticed an improvement in your oral health?
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