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Making your own toothpaste is an easy step you can take to improve your oral health.
What’s In A Toothpaste?
Typical toothpastes contain questionable ingredients like fluoride, glycerin (which can “starve” teeth of minerals), sodium lauryl sulphate (a harsh surfactant) and various artificial sweeteners. These chemicals can be easily absorbed through the delicate skin in the mouth and can build up in the body.
Even natural toothpastes often have glycerin which coats teeth and doesn’t let them attract minerals.
The Benefits of Remineralizing Toothpaste
There has been some controversy over whether teeth can remineralize or not. Most dentists will tell you that enamel can’t be restored once it is gone, and that the only way to fix a cavity is to drill and fill.
Just as any other part of the body can heal itself when diet is improved, teeth are no exception. The Drs. Mellanby showed that teeth can be effectively healed when diet is optimized, and Dr. Weston A. Price noted clear differences in native populations depending on their diet. One mom even documented how she recently reversed her son’s cavity through dietary changes.
While diet will help improve the internal factors that strengthen teeth, a remineralizing toothpaste will give the mouth minerals to strengthen the outside of the teeth.
There are several easy options that can be used alone for teeth brushing:
- Dry Brushing- using just a dry toothbrush to brush the teeth and gums gently. It works, but definitely doesn’t leave the mouth feeling fresh.
- Toothbrush and Water- Using plain water is another way to effectively clean the teeth, but again, no minty fresh feeling.
- Salt- Some people find this irritating to the gums, but it gets the job done.
- Baking Soda- Dipping the toothbrush in plain baking soda will get the teeth shiny and clean, but it doesn’t taste very good.
- Coconut Oil- Naturally antibacterial and antifungal, this is a great natural alternative, but some people don’t like the taste or texture for brushing.
Making Your Own
A few years ago, I would not have even considered making our toothpaste, but after switching, I would never consider conventional toothpaste again. I started making our own just to have a chemical free option, but discovered several unexpected benefits:
- Less Sensitive Teeth- I’ve had sensitive teeth my entire life and biting into anything cold would cause me to shake and actually hurt my teeth. I just figured this was how my teeth were, but after a few weeks of using this toothpaste, I bit into something one day and realized it didn’t hurt.
- Whiter teeth – I didn’t expect this either, but all of our teeth are noticibly whiter after using this toothpaste for a while.
- Less bed breath -Since we started eating Paleo, bad breath hasn’t been much of a problem anyway, but we even wake up without bad breath now.
- No cavities – This is one benefit I was expecting (or at least hoping for) and we haven’t had a single cavity in our family of six since we started using this toothpaste.
This recipe is really easy and it gives your mouth a mineral rich alkaline environment to keep teeth healthy and keep bad breath away. By making your own, you can also customize your flavor and texture.
Remineralizing Toothpaste Ingredients
- 5 Tablespoons of Calcium Powder
- 2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
- 3 Tablespoons of Xylitol (I don’t recommend eating it, but it is great for oral health)
- 1 Tablespoon Liquid Castille Soap
- 3-5 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil (to get desired texture)
- 10+ drops of Essential Oils of choice (optional) I use Peppermint
- 10 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract (optional-to preserve longer)
Note: I’ve had people express concern about the possible abrasive nature of baking soda. This article gives an abrasivity rating for common toothpastes and natural ingredients like Baking Soda. Baking Soda is less abrasive than all the common toothpaste brands, including brands labeled for sensitive teeth.
How To Make Remineralizing Toothpaste
- Mix calcium powder, baking soda and xylitol in a medium sized bowl until well mixed.
- Add coconut oil, liquid castille soap, and essential oils and Grapefruit Seed Extract (if using).
- Mix well with a spoon or immersion blender until smooth.
- Store in a small jar or container and either dip toothbrush into it or use a small spoon or Popsicle stick to apply to toothbrush.
- Use as you would your normal toothpaste.
Overall Mouth Health
Eating a paleo diet will greatly improve your oral health, as will using a remineralizing toothpaste. I’ve recently started using the Bass Brushing Technique explained at OraWellness and am brushing my teeth more gently than I ever have but they feel cleaner than they have in the past.
For anyone not interested in making toothpaste from scratch, OraWellness also has an organic Brushing Blend that can be used in place of toothpaste (or with it) to kill bacteria in the mouth and improve teeth and gum health.
What toothpaste do you use? Any harmful ingredients lurking in it? Would you ever try a homemade alternative? Share below!