Easy Remineralizing Toothpaste Recipe

paleo toothpaste

*Visit Katie over at her amazing blog, Wellness Mama!

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

  1. Mix calcium powder, baking soda and xylitol in a medium sized bowl until well mixed.
  2. Add coconut oil, liquid castille soap, and essential oils and Grapefruit Seed Extract (if using).
  3. Mix well with a spoon or immersion blender until smooth.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!


  1. Marcus says

    Thanx for posting this it’s just what I’ve been looking for. Been using baking soda for a while now I’ll try adding these ingredients also. How many times a day do you brush with this? How do children take to it?

    • says

      I’ve been looking for this, too. I asked the question over at Robb Wolf’s blog a while ago but he’s been super busy. Glad to see something on the subject. I’m doing this. Results to follow.

    • says

      We use it about 2x/day and the kids use it too. I made a citrus version for them with orange essential oil and they love it. If your kids have trouble adjusting, just use more xylitol in the short term to make it sweeter and then back down the amount with each batch.

        • Irene says

          Have you found the answer to your question? Got a kid who swallows and a bit concerned about the ingredients, soap in particular, as it says: do not drink! xylitol also. so not too sure how safe it would be for little kids that haven’t figured out to spit out their toothpaste. any suggestions? thank you!

          • Reba says

            Since most agree that Xylitol is not safe to eat, it is reasonable to assume that it is not safe to include in this recipe. Two main reasons come to mind. #1) It is highly likely that young children will swallow it, either accidentally or because they are too
            young to realize how important it is not to swallow. #2) Another reason for concern is that many homeopathic remedies are put under the tongue (sublingual administration) because of the rapid absorption directly into the blood stream through this very thin tissue. Why would we assume that other products put into the mouth would not come into contact with the sublingual tissue and also be rapidly absorbed into the blood stream? Every organ including our nostrils and skin takes products directly into our system. Swallowing is only one way to introduce substances into our system, and quite often is the slowest way for products to make their way into our cells.
            Hope this helps you make sound decisions.

        • Carol Doane says

          I don’t usually comment, but I offer for your child’s safety that there’s enough fluoride in a family sized tube of toothpaste to kill a small toddler.
          When my kids were young, we refused to keep commercial fluoridated toothpaste in our home.
          (Now that they are teenagers and educated regarding this issue, we no longer have to be as vigilant.)

      • zaida says

        thank u for suggestion. has anyone noticed a reduction of white spots on their kids teeth with homemade toothpaste.

    • Jsavage says

      Well, all this sounds interesting, but given all the varaiations in this formula, why don’t I just flip a coin and see which one really works. I’m not a chemist, and I certainly don’t have the time to waste on trying this and hoping something works. This website has been a complete waste of my time. Jsav.

      • TonkaTough says

        Your reply was a complete waste of all of our time, yours included. Health is a journey and no one thing works for everyone. Get that notion out of your head.

        • Marco says

          Oh gosh, the irony…

          I agree with his point and I’m sure people would prefer a response that is productive to solve his problem.

          ‘There is too much argument about refining the recipe, what would be a good baseline for ingredients?’

          I’d say you only need the calcium powder, baking soda, and a form of natural oil as a good basic recipe to begin.

          Most people will clean with abrasives and oil, and I personally have to use fluorides being in a location without fluoridated water (controversial, but it will save you from from extra cavities if you already have problems)

          Don’t hate, and don’t feed the trolls. If you’re going to critique comments at least be productive.

  2. James says

    I find it hard to believe there is nothing like this already. If there isn’t then why not make it a product? Assuming there are no legal issues of course. I would certainly pay to not have to do this myself! I will certainly give it a try, however.

    • OraWellness says

      This is a wonderful base recipe! We are in the R&D phase of creating a paste as a product for OraWellness. Our current challenge is packaging as we really prefer to not use plastics for products. Anyone have feedback for us if we chose to package a paste product in a glass jar (think cosmetics)?

      @James, get on our mailing list and we will send you a free sample once we have our packaging issue decided on!

      To your health!

      • catherine gay says

        What about making it concentrated and putting it in a small plastic container like u see foundation and lip balm in? That way all u have to do is wet the brush and rub it on the concentrated stuff and brush. It wouldn’t really be a paste I guess but more like… Well think of the consistency of modeling clay… Kinda like that… That way u could cut down on packing, it would b compact so people could take it in the go (consumers love convince) and the fact that its concentrated means u can make a little, sell it for a good price, and the consumer will b happy cause it will last a long time. Just a suggestion…

      • Mike says

        So, I was thinking since people are used to having their tooth paste in a squeeze tube. Weren’t toothpaste tubes made from metal before they were plastic?

        • Grace says

          For safety reasons, I wouldn’t want my toothpaste (or any other health care product) to come in a glass or similar container because there’s just too high a risk that even a small shard of glass could get into the product and cut the inside of someone’s mouth or tongue – or worse yet, get swallowed and do even more serious damage internally.

          While I’m also of the mindset to cut back and/or cut out plastics where even and when ever possible, this probably would be an exception for me… for me personally, I agreed with another forum poster who reminded us of the metal tubes toothpaste came in originally, now THAT would be my preferred choice since we could recycle it afterwards… maybe you could offer a monetary discount towards a future purchase of your toothpaste product to customers who are willing to return their empty tubes to you for recycling; or, better yet, offer a prepaid envelope with each purchase, so customers can return to company for proper recycling and consumer peace of mind!

          Good Luck! God Bless!

      • Nathaniel says

        I used to use Dr Bronners but it also contains glycerin which will coat the teeth and prevent the teeth from remineralising and it takes a LOT of rinsing to get it off and unless you use a waterpik the bits below the gum line will remain. The calcium carbonate is an interesting addition and I think combining that with coconut oil would work quite well and I guess if you use a minute amount of Dr Bronners for the foaming action it wouldn’t be anywhere near as bad as the commercial toothpaste (say 1 teaspoon).

        Also, xylitol can be easily absorbed through the mouth directly into the blood stream (look up sublingual) – the way it is manufactured is up their with the likes of Fluoride and Aspartame –


      • Annette says

        I recommend limited use of baking soda because it contains bleach to make it white. I worked at the mines that make all baking soda, a grey-green crystal. it’s a 9 different chemical bath process to convert into what we use, with final bath in bleach.

  3. says

    Can’t wait to try it. I bet you can get lots of flavors at whole foods for mint essences. I wonder how basil would taste! I also sometimes have sensitive teeth so it would be interesting if this gets rid of that. Bad breath on paleo? I do have bad breath on paleo right now so maybe this will help it. Thanks for a great post.

    • OraWellness says

      @Patti, if you have tooth sensitivity be careful brushing with abrasives (like this recipe). I’m not saying to not use abrasives, just be really gentle with them. Also consider using some clove oil as clove has been used for years as a topical numbing agent in dentistry. We include a bit of clove in our OraWellness blend for just this reason. Taking the edge off a sensitive nerve can help the recovery of health for that area in the mouth.

      We hope this helps you navigate to greater oral health!

      • katia says

        Please be careful with extended use of clove oil. As an emergency antiseptic it is ideal, but extended use may kill the tooth nerve.

  4. cTo says

    I’ve been lamenting the fact that its so hard to find good cinnamon-flavored toothpastes anymore. That gives me an extra nudge to consider giving this a try….

    • OraWellness says

      We encourage you to use cinnamon essential oil very sparingly. It’s strong stuff and can irritate gum tissue if used in too strong of a concentration. Maybe start with a drop and add until you get the flavor you want.

      We know the risks of unsolicited advice, but we’ve put some time into this experimentation and want to save you the pain of using too much!

      To your health!

      • flossiej says

        As a dental hygienist, I have found – from personal experience – that cinnamon essential oil can indeed be irritating to the gum tissue. In addition, it has been found to contribute to the formation of mouth (aphthous) ulcers. So be careful with the cinnamon essential oil.

  5. cTo says

    oh, a question though: Even with the grapefruit seed extract, about how long do you think it would keep? (I imagine that using a stick or spoon to apply it to a toothbrush is better than dipping the toothbrush in, which would expose a lot more bacteria to it)

    • says

      The coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, as are the essential oils, so we’ve never had a problem with it going bad. It usually takes us about a month to use up a batch, so I know it lasts at least that long. You could also store in the fridge to make it last longer, though that would be a pain. Or you could freeze part or make smaller batches.

      • Beth says

        Do you think it would work equally well with expeller pressed coconut oil as with virgin unrefined coconut oil?

    • OraWellness says

      Agreed Katie @ Wellness Mama, the anti microbial activity within the remineralizing paste is plenty. What’s important to remember is bacteria are everywhere. Dipping a toothbrush into the paste mix isn’t going to risk spreading the ‘bad bugs’ that cause gum disease around. Despite what it seems, bacteria really need specific environmental factors to live. A warm, dark, moist place like the mouth is perfect. Hanging out on a (drying) toothbrush in open air isn’t optimal for them at all! So, my suggestion, just dip the brush!

      To your health!

  6. Wendy says

    Thanks for this post! It is proving to be very helpful! I’m on the hunt for a good dental routine that will help with remineralizing my teeth as my enamel is wearing thin. :( Aside from eating Paleo, do you include any foods or vitamins for stronger teeth?

    I’ve heard of the benefits of Xylitol for teeth. I was wondering if it was possible to mix Xylitol and water and use it as a mouth rinse?

    Is the calcium carbonate suppose to be absorbed to aid in the mineralization process?

    Does the liquid grapeseed extract contain other ingredients?

    Do you use an electric toothbrush?

    Thanks! :)

    • OraWellness says


      Great questions! First off, eating a mineral rich diet will help with thin enamel. Be sure you are eating plenty of rich fats and not just muscle meats. Eggs, liver, small sea animals will all contribute toward greater mineral content in the diet and the resulting increase bone density (which shows in our teeth).

      We’re biased obviously, but if you are looking for an oral health protocol, we encourage you to check out OraWellness.com. We offer lots of tips and ideas to create greater oral health. And yes, we also have products (with no toxic ingredients) as well.

      You can definitely mix xylitol with water and use it as a rinse. This will help to reduce bacterial load in the mouth and encourage a healthier oral pH as well. Maybe even put a drop or two of some antimicrobial essential oil in the swish too! Keep in mind however that mouth wash in general only reaches 1 millimeter into any gum pockets you may have. So mouthwash isn’t very effective for lowering the ‘bad bug’ population in any pockets. However, the up side to a ‘no toxin’ mouthwash like xylitol and water is it will address lots of areas in the mouth that may have been missed during brushing.

      My suggestion, brush first, then floss, then swish. You will be amazed at what debris you get out of the mouth with the swish (even after brushing and flossing!).

      We hope this helps you navigate to greater oral health. Holler with any questions. We’re here to help.

    • says

      I agree with the recommendation for more healthy fats as well as considering supplementing the fat soluble vitamins through fermented cod liver oil or a similar source as well as adding more coconut oil to the diet.

      For a mouth rinse, I’ve made my own before using xylitol, vodka, essential oils and grapefruit seed extract and it seemed to work well.

      The calcium in the mouth will help with the remineralization and make the mouth more alkaline.

      I don’t use an electric toothbrush as I’ve heard they are more abrasive, though I used a rotodent (I think that was the name) in the past and it seemed to work well. OraWellness has a specialized toothbrush that is supposed to be very effective as well.

      • OraWellness says

        @Katie, right on again! Our favorite electric toothbrush has been the Rotadent for years! Great tool for those who want an electric version…

    • Dana says

      This is an old comment but I’ll add my two cents. The preformed fat-soluble vitamins are your friends. Real vitamin A (I source mine from fish liver oil), vitamin D3, and K2/mk-4, also known as menaquinone-4 or menatetrenone. You find all of them in animal foods, the fats in particular. D3 and K2 especially are great with teeth. D3 helps with basic mineralization; K2 specifically aids in the production of osteocalcin which strengthens both bones and tooth dentin. You will get the most bang for your buck with mineral intake if you pair it with these. The Weston Price folks say to take fermented cod liver oil with pastured high-vitamin butter oil for these vitamins. I’ve had as good results with the over-the-counter supplements; I’m just careful to read labels. My daughter had horrific tooth decay in her baby teeth, but the permanent ones coming in are in fine shape. She’ll still need orthodontics but at least she doesn’t have decay in them.

      • Rachel says

        I know this comment is old, but we’re looking for an alternative to the expensive FCLO/butter oil blend and was wondering what over-the-counter supplements you substituted? My son has decay on his baby teeth and we’re trying to at least halt it so he doesn’t have to have major oral surgery.

  7. PALEO DMD says

    Hi! I read your blog every day and love it. Just wanted to throw in my professional two cents on this toothpaste. Small, noncavitated enamel cavities are possible to remineralize, but when they get deeper into the soft dentin of the tooth, they are not. Deeper cavities will most often continue to grow no matter what kind of toothpaste is used, and do require “surgical” excision, i.e. fillings. Also, xylitol is an ideal sweetener for toothpaste because it is essentially a natural antibacterial. The most important part of cleaning teeth is simply brushing the plaque off, and so using a dry or dampened toothbrush is effective, too. It is important to mention that all American Dental Association approved toothpastes must contain fluoride, which is a naturally occuring mineral that strengthens the enamel of your tooth and reduces cavity rates by anywhere from 30-80% in different studies. Many “natural” toothpastes do not include fluoride, but it is an essential component in fighting tooth decay. Also, if your enamel is “wearing thin,” then you have other factors involved, possibly bruxism, esophageal regurgitation, erosion, or TMD, to name a few. Consulting your dentist or dental hygienist is always a good idea. I think that dentistry, like most Western medical disciplines, is evolving toward a preventative and non-invasive approach. We want to keep our patients healthy rather than try to fix problems after they’ve developed. Keep up the good work, ladies!

    • OraWellness says

      Paleo DMD,

      While we could discuss the studies around the benefits of topical fluoride for strengthening the teeth, our concerns lie in the relative benefits versus the relative risks associated with using fluoride in the mouth. I think we sit on opposite sides on this subject.

      From our perspective, the risks of using fluoride in the mouth to strengthen enamel far outweigh the benefits of doing so. It’s a personal value judgment each person has to make for themselves. For us, the proof lies in the fact that the body absorbs what we put in the mouth very quickly through the tissues in the mouth, even faster than if we swallowed it and absorbed the substance through the gut. Fluoride is much too damaging for living systems from our perspective to validate its use in the mouth on a daily basis.

      Again, different strokes for different folks. Thank goodness we all don’t want the same things!

      In respect…

      • PALEO DMD says


        I think that the best thing people can do is educate themselves on what fluoride is and how it works. The above link is the American Dental Association’s Fact Sheet about it. As you can see, there are 358 research articles cited at the end. You will not find a valid study that states that fluoride is harmful in the low, often naturally occuring, doses. If you personally don’t want to use it, fine, but know that you are putting yourself and your children more at risk for disease. I tell my patients that fluoride is a vitamin for their teeth.

        • OraWellness says

          We are in complete agreement! I much prefer to agree on points like this! While what I am about to post is addressing fluoridation in water, I find it important information to have regarding the use of fluoride and relative risks of treating it as ‘a teeth vitamin’. In an effort to offer both sides of the research, here is a bit for the readers to consider:

          In a statement first released August 9, 2007, over 1,600 professionals urge Congress to stop water fluoridation until Congressional hearings are conducted. They cite new scientific evidence that fluoridation, long promoted to fight tooth decay, is ineffective and has serious health risks. (http://www.fluorideaction.org/statement.august.2007.html)

          Signers include a Nobel Prize winner, three members of the prestigious 2006 National Research Council (NRC) panel that reported on fluoride’s toxicology, two officers in the Union representing professionals at EPA headquarters, the President of the International Society of Doctors for the Environment, and hundreds of medical, dental, academic, scientific and environmental professionals, worldwide.

          Signer Dr. Arvid Carlsson, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Medicine, says, “Fluoridation is against all principles of modern pharmacology. It’s really obsolete.”

          An Online Action Petition to Congress in support of the Professionals’ Statement is available on FAN’s web site, http://www.fluorideaction.org/congress .

          “The NRC report dramatically changed scientific understanding of fluoride’s health risks,” says Paul Connett, PhD, Executive Director, Fluoride Action Network. “Government officials who continue to promote fluoridation must testify under oath as to why they are ignoring the powerful evidence of harm in the NRC report,” he added.

          The Professionals’ Statement also references:

          – The new American Dental Association policy recommending infant formula NOT be prepared with fluoridated water.
          – The CDC’s concession that the predominant benefit of fluoride is topical not systemic.
          – CDC data showing that dental fluorosis, caused by fluoride over-exposure, now impacts one third of American children.
          – Major research indicating little difference in decay rates between fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities.
          – A Harvard study indicating a possible link between fluoridation and bone cancer.
          – The silicofluoride chemicals used for fluoridation are contaminated industrial waste and have never been FDA- approved for human ingestion.

          The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a DC watchdog, revealed that a Harvard professor concealed the fluoridation/bone cancer connection for three years. EWG President Ken Cook states, “It is time for the US to recognize that fluoridation has serious risks that far outweigh any minor benefits, and unlike many other environmental issues, it’s as easy to end as turning off a valve at the water plant.”

          Further, researchers reporting in the Oct 6 2007 British Medical Journal indicate that fluoridation, touted as a safe cavity preventive, never was proven safe or effective and may be unethical. (1)

          In New York State, Cobeskill stopped 54 years of fluoridation in 2007, the Central Bridge Water District stopped fluoridation in 2006, Homer in 2005, Canton in 2003. Oneida rejected fluoridation in 2002. Ithaca rejected fluoridation in 2002. Johnstown rejected it in 1999. Before that several towns in Nassau County stopped fluoridation. Suffolk County rejected fluoridation in the 1990′s.

          On October 2, 2007 Juneau Alaska voters rejected fluoridation despite the American Dental Association’s $150,000 political campaign to return fluoride into the water supply after the legislative body voted it out.

          Many communities rejected or stopped fluoridation over the years. See: http://www.fluoridealert.org/communities.htm

          SOURCE: Fluoride Action Network http://www.FluorideAction.Net


          (1) “Adding fluoride to water supplies,” British Medical Journal, KK Cheng, Iain Chalmers, Trevor A. Sheldon, October 6, 2007

          To wrap up my rant and complete info for this side, here are a few quotes to ponder.

          “sodium fluoride is a very toxic chemical, acting as an enzyme poison, direct irritant and calcium inactivator … .It reacts with growing tooth enamel and with bones to produce irreversible damage.”

          – Granville Knight, MD president of the American Academy of Nutrition
          Congressional Record, 31 July 56

          “Fluoridation is the greatest fraud that has ever been perpetrated and it has been perpetrated on more people than any other fraud has.”

          – Albert Schatz, PhD Nobel Laureate for discovering streptomycin
          quoted in Sutton’s Fluoridation:The Greatest Fraud

          “More people have died in the last 30 years from cancer connected with fluoridation than all the military deaths in the entire history of the United States.”

          – Dean Burk, PhD National Cancer Institute — Fluoridation:A Burning Controversy

    • Dana says

      I had more tooth decay when I used fluoride than I have had since I stopped using it. And I have had far less tartar on my teeth since cutting unnecessary carbs out of my diet and eating more animal fat. You can use fluoridated toothpaste if you want, but I avoid it like the plague. I can’t imagine it was doing my thyroid any favors either. Thyroids love halogens. The only halogen they ought to be getting is iodine.

  8. Paleo DMD says

    Eating a diet high in minerals and good fats is good for us in so many ways, but unfortunately, will not make your teeth stronger. The enamel and dentin in your teeth developed when you were in the womb and as a very young child. There is no blood supply to the outer parts of your teeth and they do not heal like other parts of your body. If you have thin enamel, it is because it has been worn away. It will not regenerate. You can protect what remaining enamel you have, but the root cause of the problem should be addressed so that the destruction does not continue.

    • OraWellness says

      Paleo DMD,

      I defer to your knowledge and credentials when it comes to dentistry. However, in this case I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. What we eat (or don’t eat) does have direct impact on the relative health of our entire system, including our teeth.

      While we don’t have to agree on this specific subject, I believe we both would agree that eating a more nutrient dense diet will positively effect the health and relative immunity of the whole being. By raising our immunological health we can become unsuitable hosts for pathogenic factors including the ‘bad bugs’ that cause gum disease and tooth decay.

      If our bones can become more or less strong based on various factors including diet then why would our teeth be any different? What about the works of Weston A Price, Drs Edward and May Mellanby and others who have successfully restored weak teeth through nutrition?

      In the name of respect and growth of understanding for all…

      • PALEO DMD says

        You are absolutely correct in that a proper diet will benefit overall health and immunity, which will certainly have a positive effect on periodontal (gum and bone) disease, a much different process than dental caries (cavities). I’ve been reading some of the literature on the people you’ve mentioned. Dr. Price was not a researcher. He made some clinical observations, which are not the same thing as controlled studies. Dr.’s Mellanby and Dr. Price discuss the need for proper nutrition during tooth FORMATION, and as prevention from cavities, but as far as I can see never claim that once formed, the teeth can be remineralized through diet. You should not assume that because teeth are formed by the body, they are the same as bone. Your bones, as with most living cells in your body, are constantly undergoing change. Cells die off and new ones are generated. This is not true of the outside layers of your teeth. In this way, enamel and dentin are more similar to hair, essentially dead cells. It would be ridiculous to say, “I got my hair cut, but I’m starting this new diet, so I expect those cut ends will reattach soon.” Once you have cavities in your teeth, they will not be “healed.” It is impossible.

        • OraWellness says

          Paleo DMD,

          Thank you for your respectful disagreement. Clearly we stand of different sides on this subject. I understand that Dr. Price didn’t perform controlled studies. He based his work on empirical methods rather than the experimental model.

          In respect…

          • Gigi says

            It would appear that despite Paleo DMD’s ‘well-written’ responses, she is not being completely scientific herself or is either not being completely honest with herself or perhaps as honestly perceptive as she means to be for a room full of people changing their lives to heal. — The mainstream’s solutions are much weaker here where there are actually reversals possible.
            (sorry, but facts are only facts in my mind if they are true. theories, even working theories are not facts/laws. please discern for yourself and not promote theories or part truths as full truth – Current science and percentages is not all there is.)

            In her references to fluoride she neglected (as does common marketing/educational sources) to mention that there is a very significant difference between synthetic and the natural fluoride originally studied and it’s strength in various ratios with other minerals in various situations. Despite the Associations and other groups’ popular THEORIES, the truth behind the brittle
            crystalline is as clear as day. It has the appearance of being strong, but is too brittle to hold up. sadly, Just because Fluoride makes a great bandaid, that does NOT mean that it is a great solution or a correct end to the searching.
            Defense of country did not stop evolving after the building of a Great Wall.

            And unfortunately the sweet sounding support and claiming to read Price’s work, she has again not expressed the full truth or she needs to finish reading before claiming to know what it said.
            Price’s work had much more to it than she referred to. His work included extended “studies” that exceed any doctors’ I’ve met (and in some ways better controlled than these sooo reliable modern studies – He and other Drs of the time were able to gather data from Geographically controlled ‘control groups’ that had been isolated for
            hundreds and in some cases thousands of years.) He also worked with active already formed teeth – you know, NOT in the womb. It is obvious that Paleo DMD needs to invest in a book before touting his knowledge of it.
            Perhaps also looking into the even more controversial work he did on root canals would be enjoyable as well.

            For example, His book has images of Xrays from Inner-city children before and after participating in diet adjustment (that he provided as a result of his lab’s extensive testing of foods and their nutrients over the previous decade) of only one meal a day. He was able to halt decay that [does] astound modern dentists. The Dentin would grow/heal and harden to nearly as protective and effective tooth as the original enamel could provide. Xrays were not the only evidence needed since it was evident in the individuals teeth upon sight. Enamel may not be able to be regrown, but it can be strengthened and dentin CAN be healed. (and they were not brittle)

            Perhaps the fact that Price’s book was used in Schools of Dentistry for decades does not give it enough regard for a so-called Paleo DMD, but the facts in it should especially when participating in a community where the majority have left the onslaught of typical diet and are not looking to merely stop the bleeding, but to heal the wound.

            Please disregard her “final word” as final – We are all on different paths and we need to simply realize that everyone’s knowledge is based on incomplete information and instead perhaps use it as just a step as you work form your own and hope that such commitment will continue with her as she continues on her journey.

            As for our incredible bodies and amazing teeth, It is a complex situation itself and impossible to isolate every single factor ever single time. BUT in ‘my controlled study’ and many others, we have found that cavities will slow and stop appearing, teeth can and will be healed, and life will go on without paying to use their rat poison.
            Each individual has individual strengths and weaknesses and we each have to struggle through the weak and confusing to become strong. It is not always easy, and there are many complications and bridges to find and cross, but health, in any organ, is attainable.

        • Corey McBride says

          Actually Dr. Price mentions several incidents where he found individuals with cavities that had healed. I’m not a dentist so my terminology may be off. While studying isolated swiss populations he discovered individuals who had at one point had cavities, but at the time of his inspection they had “healed”. He identified these as inactive cavities. I’m not sure but based on his later observation of the inuit populations of alaska, I would assume he observed the formation of dentin. He observed that many of the inuit people had worn their teeth down a large amount from some sort of work tanning hides. Even though these people had worn their teeth down so far that in most people the pulp would be exposed, the inuit people on their native diets instead had secondary dentin.

    • says

      Paleo DMD… thanks for the insights from a professional perspective. I’m curious if you’ve ever seen this book? Cure Tooth Decay: Heal And Prevent Cavities With Nutrition
      He makes a pretty strong case that diet has a tremendous impact on dental health and shows many examples of tooth decay and cavities reversing. He backs it with some pretty substantial science and interviews a lot of dentists (the foreword is even written by a dentist). There are also a lot of reviews of people who followed the advice and saw tooth problems reverse.
      I think we definitely agree though on finding the root cause of tooth decay and keeping it from getting worse and that pre-pregnancy and pregnancy diet can make a tremendous impact on life long health, including dental health.

    • Dana says

      There *is* a type of fluid circulation in your dentin. It appears to be mediated by the parietal glands in your cheeks. Not only are they saliva glands, they also seem to have some limited hormonal activity which affects circulation in tooth dentin. Researchers don’t totally understand the relationship yet but insulin levels seem to have something to do with it, if memory serves.

      Teeth are living organs. No one should expect a total healing of the tooth through nutrition, just as if you break a bone, you cannot expect it to ever go back to how it was prior to the break. But healing *is* possible. Start looking at the actual research, don’t just rely on what you learned in school.

  9. mister worms says

    Ah, the quest for oral health – it’s how I arrived at paleo/primal! This type of diet is great for getting a mouth in good shape as it is for the rest of the gut. Some of the features I appreciate that relate to good dental health: elimination of easily fermentable carbohydrates (most importantly sucrose), reduced need for snacking, nutrient dense foods, plenty of veggies for good pH balance, mineral-binding anti-nutrients are kept in check… what’s not to like? We are on the straight and narrow with our teeth after being a dental disaster all around.

    Besides the diet, we use Squigle toothpaste and shoot for 5 exposures of 1g xylitol/day (mostly in the form of gum or mints). Squigle has a low RDA value, no SLS and a short ingredient list. We use a small amount for brushing; about 1/2 pea size blob.

    I had a few thoughts on the toothpaste recipe. I think that the enamel structure will only take up calcium in a specific form/under specific conditions. How does the Calcium Carbonate fare in this regard? I know that teeth can take up the calcium in aged cheeses topically and there are some calcium inventions like Recaldent (ACP) and Novamin which are specifically designed to remineralize teeth but I haven’t seen anything else besides fluoride that is capable of incorporating into the enamel.

    And I’m not sure the glycerin is an issue – as far as I can tell, it’s sort of an internet myth floating around. Basically, I see a bunch of sites that say it coats your teeth but no evidence that it does so and further, that this coating is impenetrable by the minerals in saliva. How long does the coating last?

    Finally, a thought on dipping the toothbrushes in the jar – I would avoid this unless you’re not sharing and you have no dental issues whatsoever. Yes, bacteria are everywhere but the last thing you want to do is pass a load of pathogenic bacteria from one family member to another. It’s a proven way for moms to infect their babies with caries causing bacteria (learned this the hard way).

    Toothpastes aside, I also like dry brushing or with plain water for a quickie. I hear tale there’s a study showing dry brushing as being more effective than brushing w/ toothpaste.

    • OraWellness says

      mister worms, agreed that the bacteria that cause gum disease are contagious. In fact, that’s exactly how we got them in the first place. We like to say the 3 P’s: parents, partners and pets.

      However, they don’t hang around well without conditions to their survival, thus my lack of concern about dipping. To each their own. I suppose your precautionary approach is prudent.


    • says

      Hi! I’m certainly not a dentist, but in the research I did on this post including talking to a holistic dentist, this was the top form of calcium for mineral absorption on the teeth. At the very least, the calcium is a minimally abrasive (less than baking soda even) source that helps remove plaque and build-up.
      As for fluoride, most of the research I saw showed that is can be absorbed and it makes the teeth harder, though this doesn’t necessarily mean they are stronger and some sources suggested it can make them more likely to crack.
      Thanks for the comment!

      • Dana says

        Certainly if you *overdose* fluoride, it wrecks your enamel–both discolors it and makes it incredibly brittle. My little girl’s cousin on her dad’s side has this problem, poor thing. The pro-fluoride camp claims that in extremely minute amounts, fluoride strengthens teeth and if that’s so, it wouldn’t take much to overdose on it. My question is, why bother with it then? Makes more sense to look at diet as a preventative measure. How in the world did we maintain healthy teeth in all those generations before we began fluoridating water? Sure, in farmer communities there was a lot of decay, but that’s just the point. There wasn’t a lot of decay in *all* communities. The hunter-gatherers seem to have had little to no problem with it. Even the horticulturalists fared pretty well, on average. What’s the difference? Phytate intake, probably; also, farmer communities have much less access to *meat* unless they are in the elite social class. Sound familiar?

  10. Sara says

    Thank you for this timely post. I was recently diagnosed with a cavity and want to do whatever I can to try to remineralize it by the time I go in for my appointment. I made the paste tonight with ingredients I had around the house: so easy! I didn’t have calcium powder, so I substituted dried ground eggshells. It has a coarser texture, but with a combination of brushing and chewing it does the trick.

  11. Paleo DMD says

    Mister Worms:

    The jury is still out on toothpastes with extra minerals like calcium carbonate. There are products like MI Paste which have been used for years in other countries as remineralizers, but the data is conflicting and most dentists stand by fluoride as the tried and true remineralizer. Katie is right, however, in saying that calcium products do change the pH in your mouth, counteracting the acid that eats holes in your teeth. This acid can be straight from food (like soda or citrus) or can be produced when bacteria like streptococcus mutans digest sugar. (I tell my young patients that the cavity bug’s poop is what is making holes in their teeth–gross!)

    As for toothbrushes, manual ones work fine as long as you are not scrubbing too hard. It’s important to brush in little circles and especially to get along the gums. The main advantage of an electric toothbrush is that if you spend $150 on one, you’ll probably use it more. :)

  12. A Higgins DDS says

    Everyday Paleo,
    I have been following your blog for almost a year now and have been very happy with everything I have seen until today. Your sources for this post are poorly supported and lack evidence based research references. (I have serious doubts that her child even had a cavity to begin with since it is impossible for a cavitated lesion to heal) To say that feeding your child a proper diet will prevent the need for future orthodontic care is similar to saying that surfing the internet for paleo articles will prevent your car from ever needing new tires. While I am not against people making their own toothpastes I think it is important to clarify a few facts.
    1) The Paleo diet is great for teeth! This is simply due to the lack of carbohydrates (grains, sugars, ect.) that the bacteria in our mouth can use as food. For decay to happen we have to have three things a host (your mouth), a bacteria, and a food source. Cut out the food source for the bacteria (sugars) decreases the chances of getting caries (cavities).
    2) In dental education there has been a shift from a surgical to a therapeutic model. The old drill and fill ideas have been pushed aside to provide for a much more conservative way of treatment. Teeth can remineralize or heal in the correct environment as long as the decay has not penetrated through the enamel layer of your tooth. Once that decay has reached the dentinal layer treatment must be completed to stop the process. It should also be noted that if a child has numerous cavities a dentist may be more aggressive with their treatment because of the large bacterial load in a patient’s mouth and the obvious poor oral hygiene of the patient.
    3) Please be careful on how critical you are of certain ingredients in toothpastes. Fluoride is great for your teeth and in contrast to what some people think does not cause you to become government following zombies. The addition of fluoride to water systems has had a huge impact in decreasing the amount of decay found in the mouths of our children. Dental caries is still the number 1 disease found in children so think twice before you cut fluoride out of your child’s diet. Fluoride makes teeth stronger by replacing the mineral structure hydroxyapitate with fluoroapitate crystals (this is the crystalline form of enamel). In no way through all my education and personal research have I found a reliable well done study that states that glycerin prevents remineralization. Ridiculous! I would love to see that reference. Also I have some news for your source, xylitol is an artificial sweetener. It is classified as a sugar alcohol (that’s the –OL ending) just like sorbitol and glycerol. The great thing is that none of the sweeteners can be processed by the bacteria responsible for tooth decay.
    I am such a huge fan of yours! I read your blog, listen to your podcast and have your book. However, today I was disappointed. Please be careful giving medical/dental advice and citing people who have no experience or education on the subject. There is no replacement for fluoride use along with proper brushing and flossing techniques.
    Andrew Higgins DDS

    • PALEO DMD says

      Well said! I would add a caveat emptor in listening to opinions from companies like Orawellness that are trying to sell a product. There is simply no way for them to be objective. I know a lot of people think that dentists are trying to rip them off by “selling” them fillings, crowns, etc. that they don’t need, and I’m sure there are those kind of charlatans out there. However, in my experience, most health care providers have dedicated their lives to helping people to live healthier, and their education and experience should not be ignored. I have worked in public health for my entire career. I have spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in continuing education, even after four years of dental school. I get paid the same amount whether I am counseling a parent on brushing their child’s teeth or doing a root canal. I personally would be thrilled if I never saw another cavity in my life. Please keep up the good work on this site supporting a healthy diet, but do not underestimate the need for an annual dental exam and treatment from an educated, caring provider.

      • OraWellness says


        I so appreciate your work and I respect the education you have taken as your life’s work. I thank you for being ethical professionals in your field.

        We look to support individuals who want to take control of their oral health. While we do sell products, primary for us is empowering the individual with information to make positive change in their lives. Just like you two I’m sure. The challenge for us all is that the information and research on subjects like fluoride are not black and white.

        We look to apply the precautionary principle when it comes to introducing anything into the body. If there is the chance of harm being done then (from our perspective) it’s best to look for another alternative. That’s all.

        Thank you for the work that you do.

        In respect…

        • PALEO DMD says

          1. I am a woman. :)

          2. I know that I’m not going to convince you that fluoride is safe and effective, but the article that I cited above is an excellent resource for education and I encourage everyone to read it. It addresses many of the issues brought up here, including sources of fluoride and how water quality is regulated by the groups like the EPA, FDA, and several nonprofits like American Water Works Association (an international group dedicated to improving the quality of drinking water).

          In the end, everything we put in our bodies in large quantities has the potential to be harmful, including water. Our responsibility is educate ourselves in order to live a balanced, healthy life.

          • OraWellness says

            Thanks for the clarification! :)

            I apologize about the assumption. I know how dangerous those can be.

            Thank you for the respectful dialogue we’ve crashed in on everyday paleo’s blog with here.

            We appreciate the work that you do.

            To your health!

      • says

        “I would add a caveat emptor in listening to opinions from companies like Orawellness that are trying to sell a product. There is simply no way for them to be objective.

        I must comment here – dental care is SO expensive that many people avoid it because they cannot afford it, so calling out OraWellness for selling doesn’t wash. I have used the same dentist since he began practice in the mid 1980s – I can no longer afford to see him, due to his fees. And… he cares very much for his patients, his work is perfection, but… his fees have become so burdensome I cannot afford him. I have seen this with many other people. So… just saying, making statements that buyer beware about OraWellness selling a product, when the dental industry is just as much “in business” to make money seems a bit hypocritical. I am not doubting your sincerity to your patients, but I doubt that you are not making any money – even if involved in public healthcare – and you certainly should be paid. The healthcare industry is just as much in business as any company and they ignore plenty of evidence that would help people, at less cost, in favor of pharmaceutical and other outdated intervention. Yes, they help many people, as I am sure you do, but again, they are making plenty of money at it.
        Everyone here has contributed a great deal of useful information and that is greatly appreciated. BTW – I have worked in the medical field for almost 30 years.

    • says

      Thanks for commenting! I’ve actually done a whole lot of research on this subject too, so I feel like I should present more information on a couple of your points.
      1- Agreed. I think most of us here agree that the paleo diet is great for health, oral and otherwise and that sugar is bad, in the mouth or the body.
      2-I’ve noticed this shift lately also and am very glad to see some dentists incorporating preventative and natural options with the best of science. I was not intending to insult dentists in the least as there is certainly a very important place for dentists!
      3-This is the point where I will disagree. Even the CDC has shown that fluoride is not needed in the water supply:
      As stated by the US Centers for Disease Control:

      “[L]aboratory and epidemiologic research suggests that fluoride prevents dental caries predominately after eruption of the tooth into the mouth, and its actions primarily are topical for both adults and children” (CDC, 1999, MMWR 48: 933-940).
      So even if it is helpful topically, drinking it is rather like eating band-aids to fix a skinned knee.

      I’d also encourage you to re-examine the data supporting fluoride. The trials and study’s most often used to promote it were done in the 1940’s (the same time that cigarette smoking was promoted by doctors). Research since then, and re-evaluation of the studies done then point more towards fluoride not being needed, and there are certainly studies showing that fluoride can be harmful to the thyroid since it is absorbed in the same way as necessary thyroid hormones and can block proper thyroid hormone usage.

      As for the studies that support the idea that fluoride is not needed, i’ve found several from some very credible medical sources:

      “Although the prevalence of caries varies between countries, levels everywhere have fallen greatly in the past three decades, and national rates of caries are now universally low. This trend has occurred regardless of the concentration of fluoride in water or the use of fluoridated salt, and it probably reflects use of fluoridated toothpastes and other factors, including perhaps aspects of nutrition.”
      SOURCE: Cheng KK, et al. (2007). Adding fluoride to water supplies. British Medical Journal 335(7622):699-702.

      “Graphs of tooth decay trends for 12 year olds in 24 countries, prepared using the most recent World Health Organization data, show that the decline in dental decay in recent decades has been comparable in 16 nonfluoridated countries and 8 fluoridated countries which met the inclusion criteria of having (i) a mean annual per capita income in the year 2000 of US$10,000 or more, (ii) a population in the year 2000 of greater than 3 million, and (iii) suitable WHO caries data available. The WHO data do not support fluoridation as being a reason for the decline in dental decay in 12 year olds that has been occurring in recent decades.”
      SOURCE: Neurath C. (2005). Tooth decay trends for 12 year olds in nonfluoridated and fluoridated countries. Fluoride 38:324-325.

      “The regular use of fluoridated toothpastes has been ascribed a major role in the observed decline in caries prevalence in industrialized countries during the last 20 to 25 years, but only indirect evidence supports this claim.”
      SOURCE: Haugejorden O. (1996). Using the DMF gender difference to assess the “major” role of fluoride toothpastes in the caries decline in industrialized countries: a meta-analysis. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 24: 369-75.

      “Even the most cursory review of the dental literature since 1978 reveals a wealth of data documenting a secular, or long term, generalized decline in dental caries throughout the Western, industrialized world. Reports indicate that this decline has occurred in both fluoridated and fluoride-deficient areas, and in the presence and absence of organized preventive programs.”
      SOURCE: Bohannan HM, et al. (1985). Effect of secular decline on the evaluation of preventive dentistry demonstrations. Journal of Public Health Dentistry 45: 83-89.

      At the very least, I think it is reasonable to question the necessity of fluoride in the water supply, or even on the teeth. Just as dentists are turning to more preventative and holistic type treatments, I look forward to seeing how emerging dental literature will talk about use of fluoride in the future.

      • OraWellness says

        Well spoken Katie! Thank you for your work.

        You mentioned here my main concern regarding fluoride. Fluoride displaces iodine in the body. This is a clear link in my view of overuse of fluoride and thyroid dysfunction.

        Is it any wonder that subclinical hypothyroid (and the associated signs of low body temp, weight gain, lethargy, thining hair, etc) is rampant? I believe that research in the future will point toward overuse of fluoride as a contributing factor in this situation. Time will tell.

        It’s an interesting side note that cancer cells thrive in a low body temp environment. In fact, one way some therapies manage this imbalance is through inducing fevers. Normal, healthy cells handle a fever fine. Imbalanced cells (like malignant cells) can’t handle the fever and weaken. Is there a link between rampant subclinical low functioning thyroid and cancer? Again, time will tell…

        Thank you for all your good work and research!

    • Dana says

      My daughter had horrific tooth decay starting within a year (and it was more like six months) after cutting her first baby teeth. We got it dealt with–sadly, involving capping her upper front teeth and putting fillings into most, though not all, of her baby molars.

      I found it extremely interesting that her dentist blamed baby-bottle mouth, and yet her bottom front teeth never rotted. Not a hole, not an issue, no fillings, no nothing. When milk pools in the mouth it pools in the *bottom*, yet she had more decay on her top front teeth, so bad they needed caps. And she wasn’t bottlefed anyway. She was breastfed, and human milk is biologically active against bacteria. I have that straight from an MD, by the way.

      But which teeth erupt first in the typical infant’s mouth? The bottom fronts. I suffered from malnutrition while pregnant with her and during the first several months of breastfeeding, despite being on a prenatal vitamin, and I suspect she had enough of whatever to produce good strong lower incisors but not enough left over to strengthen all the others.

      Another data point: Within the last year and a half the dentist advised us that she had a small cavity forming on one of the baby teeth that hadn’t been filled. She adopted a wait and see about it rather than drill it right away (it must have been really small) and, on the next visit, didn’t mention it at all. That seems odd to me. If it were still there, she would have remarked upon it.

      Again: teeth are living organs. Bones can heal, right? So why not teeth? It’s true enough they would not look the same after healing as they did when they originally developed. But bones don’t either. Neither do soft tissues. That doesn’t mean healing can’t happen.

  13. Jessica says

    Love this post! I gave up toothpaste with flouride and glycerine over a year ago ( it boy was it hard to find one without glycerine!) I use Coral White…but I love that you have a recipe :) Also, i’m glad that you aren’t here telling(brainwashing) people that they need flouride, which they don’t, since its actually a nuclear waste byproduct.

    • OraWellness says


      I’m so glad to hear that you are finding your way to greater oral health! In an effort to keep the information clean, I want to offer a bit of substantiation for the readers here.

      The fluoride added to 90% of drinking water is hydrofluoric acid which is a compound of fluorine that is a chemical byproduct of aluminum, steel, cement, phosphate, and nuclear weapons manufacturing.

      Most fluoride used today is a byproduct from the steel and aluminum industries. I just didn’t want to throw it under the bus by saying that fluoride is a nuclear waste byproduct.

      To your health!

      • Taylor says

        I love how Mr. Higgins and Paleo DMD have made reference to a couple of studies supporting their claims, using “accepted” knowledge and claiming to be dental health professionals as their credence. Sounds like they have some financial gain embedded somewhere, especially since they accuse Orawellness of trying to sell products right away. On the other hand Orawellness and Katie have made reference after reference(with sources included) of the dangers of fluoride. Keep up the good work, don’t let the fluoride pushers get you down.

  14. wilberfan says

    My hygienist says baking soda is awesome for cleaning teeth–but that we should avoid brushing with salt due to its abrasiveness.

    • OraWellness says

      Agreed. You want to exercise caution when using salt. It’s really potent. A little goes a long way.

      To your health!

  15. Aimee says

    Could this be put in a pump soap dispenser or would it be too thick and gunk it up and get clogged? Thanks for the post. I have really been enjoying these and am so glad to have found the Wellness Mama blog because of them!

  16. EmilyDMD says

    First off, can we please seperate water fluoridation from the topical application of fluoride. These are two entirely different things. Yes, they both involve fluoride and yes, what you put in your mouth will be absorbed into your body. However, I think from my reading of what the other dentists on here have written and what I was taught in school, none of us would say that systemic ingestion of fluoride will help prevent cavities once the teeth are formed. However, fluoride applied topically will bind with the hydroxyapatite forming fluoroapatite which is more resistant to breakdown thereby reducing the risk for dental decay.

    Can I tell you 100% that fluoride poses no risk to our health – no, of course not. Obviously it’s a personal decision and I’m not going to sit here and tell anyone what they should. Do I recommend it to my patients, yes. Do I use fluoridated toothpast for my family, yes. Will I look down on you if you choose not to use it, no.

    However, to post something that states merely changing your diet will reverse cavities is ridiculous. If you have a large carious lesion into dentin, just not eating cheetos isn’t going to fix the problem. I’m afraid posts like this will have parents running and screaming from fluoride and ignoring obvious cavities in their children because they’re waiting for their diet to “fix” them. That just isn’t going to happen, end of story.

    I wish people wouldn’t lay this out as a black and white issue. Each individual needs to be assessed as to their current oral state, oral hygiene practices, diet, past history, and other medical conditions before you can make a statement as to the benefit of fluoride for that person. Please be careful what you post from now on.

    • OraWellness says

      Thank you for this post! I completely agree with the idea of not laying out issues as black and white. Each circumstance needs to be assessed individually. Excellent post.

      For clarification, I believe I was stating something very similar to what you have stated here as well. In that each of us must assess the relative risks and rewards for using fluoride in the mouth on a routine basis. I know there is no ‘right answer’ on this one. That’s why each of us gets to assess the data and make the call for our family!

      Thank you again.

  17. Elle says

    I’m receive Dr. Mercola’s daily newsletters and in the September 24, 2011 (issue # 1862) was the article “Good News Dentistry for Reversing Dental Decay.” You can find the complete article on his web site. Below is a snapshot of the article.

    “Story at-a-glance

    * Researchers have developed an amino acid paste that can regenerate decayed teeth from the inside out.
    * This new technology could obliterate the use of the “drill-and-fill” procedure for cavities, rendering toxic mercury fillings obsolete.
    * A healthy diet, not fluoride use, is the key to keeping your teeth strong, healthy and cavity-free.”

  18. Curious to know... says

    Thanks for the great info and interesting debate offered here.

    A question for Katie: I was interested to know why you don’t recommend consuming Xylitol?

    Thanks so much.

    • mister worms says

      Not Katy, but one problem some people have with ingesting xylitol is digestive disturbances (gas, bloat, loose stools, etc). It doesn’t affect everyone the same way, but those issues tend to occur with larger doses, for example, using it as a sugar substitute in baking.

      The effective dose required to get the therapeutic benefits is pretty low: 1g spread out over 5 exposures. And you don’t need to ingest it at all – the effect is topical. If you brush 2x/day with a xylitol toothpaste and have a xylitol mint or piece of gum after each of 3 meals, that does it.

      Xylitol is not a synthetic sweetener, though it is refined just like white sugar is from cane. In nature it’s found in some fruits & vegetables, birch tree bark and our bodies produce ~15g/day. Xylitol scores low on the glycemic index (7-13), has fewer calories than sugar and supposedly is safe for diabetics because of its low impact on blood sugar.

      One other important note: xylitol is toxic to dogs so take care around them.

  19. Tine says

    I have tried using a toothsoap. People say that it should keep the teeth white, but after 3 months of using it, i had a lot of discolorations on my teeth, and that was not a problem before when I used other toothpastes like Colgate. I dont smoke or drink coffee, and I only drink tea sometimes. I have always been brushing very gently.

    I had to brush with my parents Eucryl toothpowder to get rid of the discolorations! I hate that powder!

    I dont understand when people say that there should not be any abrasive in the toothpaste. My teeth certainly dont get clean is there is’nt any at all.

    • OraWellness says

      I hear you on the discoloration issue! I’m in the same group of people who prefer to use some abrasive when brushing. In my opinion (I’m full of them if you hadn’t noticed already! :), there is a percentage of the public who build plaque very efficiently. Those of us who fall into this group need some abrasive. Some folks really aren’t great hosts for the bacteria who lay down lots of plaque.

      This paste recipe is a nice one from the standpoint that it has abrasives in it without being overly gritty. Nice balance really.

      To your health!

  20. Shannah says

    Great article. I plan on making my own, but I will probably skip the GSE. I would encourage you to do some research on GSE before ingesting or brushing your teeth with it. Studies have shown that grapefruit seed extract is not an antibacterial substance by itself. What gives it antibacterial properties is the benzethonium chloride (a synthetic preservative) that is added to it during the extraction process (it is included in pretty much all commercially produced GSE-even “100%” GSE claims). Studies have shown that GSE without this synthetic preservative has no antibacterial properties. As benzethonium chloride is a toxic substance, I would not recommend ingesting it and would be hesitant to brush my teeth with it everyday.


  21. meghan says

    so i came across this post last week and ventured into the toothpaste making this past sunday. so that was fun but the problem is…tastes disgusting! ahhh! i mean i can stand it but how might i be able to make it taste a little better? i followed the recipe as is. i used 5Tbs of coconut oil because it seemed to need a little more liquid to make it all come together. do you think this might be the problem? or the fact that i used eucalyptus castile soap? it’s all i had at the house. but then again, i used probably 15 mint drops. hmmm. help please!

    • Shannah says

      I would guess that the eucalyptus would be the issue. That stuff doesn’t taste good…unless you’re a koala. And I would think that eucalyptus and peppermint would really not compliment one another. Maybe make a second batch with peppermint soap?

    • OraWellness says

      I think the eucalyptus soap is the killer there! We really prefer to use peppermint castille soap. Gives a nice minty hint. Just reading your post made my mouth cringe! :)

      Ahh, the fun (and occasional agony) of experimentation!

  22. Teresa says

    Just wondering what the consistency is like? Yours looks pretty smooth. I made it but its kind of gritty. Suggestions? Maybe more coconut oil? Or mix it more?

  23. says

    Thanks for this! I will need to give it a try! I also just recently discovered some re-mineralizing toothpaste made by Coral LLC that includes calcium from fossilized coral, has no glycerin or flouride and uses Xylitol and Stevia. They make and adult and kid version. :)

    • inquiring says

      Hi, I was wondering about the Coral Kids Toothpaste – whether you have researched the safety of all the ingredients (seems like there are a lot) and whether you have tried the kid version for your child if you have one? Thank you so much.

  24. Shannah says

    OK, so I made this two days ago. First, a PSA. Do not…I repeat…DO. NOT. put any dishes or utensils used to make this toothpaste in the dishwasher without FIRST cleaning and rinsing them thoroughly or you will have a thin coat of chalk over your entire load…and it will not come off with a second wash. You will need to hand wash pretty much everything in the dishwasher to get it off.

    Second, I don’t mind the taste at all, but the AFTERTASTE is not pleasant. It’s a very pronounced soap aftertaste from the castille soap. I feel a bit like I have been sucking on a bar of Lava. It’s not overpowering, just not pleasant.

    I also have a problem with it drying out. It’s only been two days and I already have a thick chalky crust on the top. I have it in a glass jar with the lid tightly closed all the time so I’m not sure what more I can do to keep it from drying out. Anyone else had this problem?

    And lastly, my gums are a bit irritated. I know it’s the baking soda, because I have brushed with it before and felt the same thing. It’s much more abrasive than regular toothpaste. Has anyone else experienced this? Does it go away over time?

    • Shannah says

      OK, so having used this for a while I will update that I no longer even notice the aftertaste, the gum irritation is gone and I figured out that the toothpaste is not drying out. The weather just turned cool here so the coconut oil turned solid. Not sure how to remedy that. I just smash a chunk on my toothbrush and start brushing and it works fine.

  25. Ashley says

    Being an oil based toothpaste, have you had any problems with it clogging up your drain or pipes? It is sticking to my sink like crazy and was wondering if my pipes are becoming a gooey mess!

  26. TonyN says

    I am curious how much fluoride gets into the body through taking a hot shower or hot bath?

    Fluoride is also a *medicine.* It is the only medicine put into our drinking water among all the other chemicals. Since it is a medicine it can be said that those people with fluoride in their drinking water are being forced to take a medicine against their constitutional rights.

    Taking hot showers, drinking water, drinking coffee (boiling water does not remove fluoride), eating soups in restaurants, etc. etc. etc, are adding to the fluoride in our bodies.

  27. TonyN says

    Also be careful of Green Tea as it contains loads of fluoride far greater than what the Govt. puts in drinking water.

  28. says

    Just made a batch of this yesterday and am loving it so far. A few things I noticed:
    1. Mixing by hand was much easier than using a mixer.
    2. I used the prescribed amounts of everything, except I left xylitol off since I don’t see the reason for it. (Unless someone can enlighten me further.) I added a little more baking powder and carbonate to make up for the loss in powder. I think this may be the reason my recipe tastes a little “saltier”.
    3. It was quicker to make this than run to the store and buy name-brand stuff!
    4. The consistency is a little grittier than normal, but I imagine that adding more castille soap or coconut oil will smooth it out in the next batch?

    The version I made was exactly as the recipe except I left out xylitol, essential oil (I used peppermint castille soap instead) and grapeseed extract.

  29. Jenna Nightwind says

    My question is, can I make this without the baking soda? I am allergic to it so that part is a nono. Otherwise, very interested in trying something like this!

    • OraWellness says

      Hi Jenna,

      Yes, you can make this formula without baking soda. You will have to tinker with the amounts of everything to get the right consistency. Perhaps use more calcium and diatomaceous earth (food grade) to increase the dry abrasives. Let us know how it goes! We’re here to help. You can also find lots of other helpful information regarding how to navigate to greater oral health on our site or at our Facebook page.

      To your health!

  30. Soporificat says

    Thank you so much for the toothpaste recipe! I’ve been using it for a couple of months now, and my teeth have never felt cleaner. I love it, and I have high hopes that it will nudge my teeth to remineralize, too. Even if it doesn’t, I still love the recipe.

    For those of you who are finding that it is gritty or dries out, I had that problem too. I just added some water (maybe a tablespoon?) and whipped it really well with a hand blender. It got fluffy and smooth. I think is probably melted the xylitol, too, which really helped with the texture. It probably made the xylitol more available, too. Anyway, the paste stayed fluffy and smooth until it ran out, and the water didn’t seem to cause any problems.

  31. oneismany says

    This is an awesome post, about the natural tooth paste recipe and the remineralization of teeth. I was aware that fluoride has only a topical advantage and is harmful to health in the drinking/bathing water – but I did not know that dentin can be re-grown and cavities “healed” by diet. I’m glad I stumbled upon this corner of the internet surreptitiously, as it were. :)

  32. Anna says

    Thank you so much for sharing your toothpaste recipe and experiences with it. The idea of remineralization really appeals to me, as I’ve had a few root canals done, so am unable to feed those teeth from the inside. I was wondering if it might be a good idea to add magnesium to the mix. Not sure which form though. Any thoughts?

  33. Amy says

    Is this safe to use on toddlers? Just got home from pediatric dentist and 2yr old has 2 cavities. looking into Weston pirce now

  34. says

    I have seen a simular recipe but they used powder magnesium instead of calcium in their remineralizing paste. Any idea what one would do over the other?

    Has any one ever had a cavety reversed by using this?

    • christina says

      I’ve been using a similar recipe for a fee months now and a small cavity I had is now gone. I have/ had one big one which is one reason I started it, it is no longer (sticky) like a cavity.and no longer hurts at all. I an holding out hope that it continues to fill all the way in. It is smaller than it was though so I am convinced its working. I’m also taking calcium pills to help from the inside. I also had a few chips in my teeth from wrestling with my brother from when I was a kid and they no longer hurt and seem to not be as drastic as they were , I’m not sure yet but I think my teeth may be fixing the chips as well.

  35. says

    Can anyone point me in the direction of valid research showing that fluoride binds to or leaches iodine from the body? I have heard of this claim and that this then leads to thyroid issues, but only seem to find this information being disussed from sources such as The Fluoride Action Network or Natural News, which I don’t deem very scientific since the great majority of their articles provide no citations of research.

    I covered the issue of fluoride pretty extensively on my blog and my research showed that calcium, magnesium and phosphorus played much more influential roles on the absorption of the fluorine ion in the body (Spencer, H. et al. Effect of Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium and Aluminum on Fluoride Metabolism in Man). From my research, it seems that Calcium has the highest affinity for binding with a free fluorine ion, thus producing Calcium fluoride (CaF2), which is the naturally occuring flouride. However, Calcium fluoride is not used in dental products because it is not useful in the body, meaning because of the strong bond, there is no free fluorine ion available to integrate into the teeth and bone, or other tissues for that matter, and is thus excreted by the kidneys. I even discuss in my article just how much calcium is required to bind with the fluoride consumed in 8 cups of fluoridated water/day if someone is indeed drinking this much, since many claim that fluoride leaches calcium from the bones and actually makes them brittle. I cover much much more, and I made a very concious effort to remain unbiased; I do not use the Amercian Dental Association (ADA) as a source for any of the information in my article.

    Despite the fact that I am a Registered Dental Hygienist, you may be surprised to read my stance on fluoride. But again, I’d love to know more about the fluoride-iodine-thyroid issue, if there truly is one.


  36. Dee says

    Just saw a toothpaste that uses papain and bromelain enyzmes to whiten teeth. Any ideas about adding something like this? I would think you have to be a little careful as papain and bromelain are great chemical exfoliators. I wonder if it would harm the gums?

  37. Brooke says

    Just made the toothpaste yesterday. It seems great, although my husband and I both feel like our gums are feeling sensitive. Anyone else had this experience? Is it ok to keep using everyday or back off a bit?

  38. says

    Katie (or Orawellness)

    I was wondering, like many others, if this is safe for toddlers? I don’t see any issues with any of the ingredients except the peppermint oil (or any other essential oil). “They” say ingestion of essential oils is toxic in children and I’ve used this toothpaste about three times on my son since I made it and he seems to be a bit nauseous with some stomach issues and I’m wondering if it’s peppermint oil. I don’t want to continue using it if it’s possibly an issue. Could someone help with this?

    Thanks so much! God bless you!

  39. Iroll Solo says

    If you are lazy like me.. you can try amazon.com and look for Thieves. I use it, and it’s all natural ingredients. It doesn’t lather like commercial tooth pastes but it sure leaves your teeth pearly. Not bad tasting either.

  40. Jennifer says

    Is the Castile soap necessary? And what is the purpose of its use in this recipe? Just wondering if I can cut it out or not? Thanks so much!!!

  41. Al says

    Boy Im sad to see your just using this to get suckers to buy products through your amazon associate links and to make a profit. For a minute I thought maybe I could heal my first cavity ever. ):

  42. Rebecca says

    Thank you so much for a natural toothpaste! I just made the paste minus the Calcium powder. I love it! My mouth feels fresh and clean, I never get that with store products.

  43. tai says

    this showed up when i was looking up toothpastes for dogs.


    DO NOT use this toothpaste for your pets!!

  44. Kelcey says

    i just came across this blog. Although I did not have time to read every post, I did want to say that liquid castile soap may not be a good choice if it contains glycerin. Glycerin leaves a thin film on teeth that will inhibit remineralization of the enamel. Also, the best antibacterial you can use is oil of oregano. It has to be something that has at least an 85% carvacrol content. I use Bio Alternatives wild Mediterranean oil of oregano carried in extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed with no chemicals used. Just a couple drops on a toothbrush (you can put a thin coat of BAR castile soap with no glycerin on the bristles first, or dip in baking soda first, before applying the drops). I had a “pocket” by a baby tooth that I never lost. I am in my 50’s. It was always getting food trapped and the pocket in the gum next to it even omitted a small amount of pus when I pushed on it with a q-tip (gross I know). I tried everything. I flossed and brushed it with conventional toothpaste 2x/day, and used every antibacterial mouthwash on the market. Then I starting to brush with baking soda and castile bar soap with 2-3 drops of oil of oregano, and then applying a drop of oregano oil directly to the problem area after rinsing. After a few weeks the problem spot was completely healed and there is no more pus EVER. The last time I had a cleaning, the dental hygienist took one look in my mouth and said, wow, you have the cleanest mouth I’ve ever seen.

  45. Stephanie says

    I have a question. How long after using this homemade toothpaste does the remineralization in the teeth start to show?

  46. deb says

    Thanks for this fantastic discussion/information. Anyone have any ideas about excessive tarter build up on bottom front teeth? I eat almost no carbs except veg (i.e. no sweets unless with Stevia), follow a pale diet (hi fat, lots of minerals from CLO, seaweed, liver, etc) , yet have this ‘imbalance.’ With heavy build up by 6 month cleaning. I’ve heard Dave Asprey say it is excess dietary toxins or a mineral imbalance. I sure hope I don’t have excess calcium settling out elsewhere (my dietary calcium intake is actually a bit on the lowish side, which is in line with Professor Cordain’s research but is likely OK due to lack of anti-nutrients (and well into my 50s I’m doing very well on the DEXA scans) with my general bone strength.
    Any ideas of what to try? I will copy and ask OraWellness directly at their website as well. Thanks in advance!

    • jessd says

      Hi Deb, I’m having the same tartar buildup as well. Did you ever figure out the cause/solution? Sometimes I notice it goes away only to return randomly. Very odd.

  47. Craig says

    Also I forgot to ask in my last comment if I do make the above recipe sometime, I have all but the Liquid Castille Soap, is it required?

  48. Noelle says

    Thank you for this recipe! I made and used the toothpaste only moments ago and my mouth feels so fresh and so clean! I do realize I need to invest in a different toothbrush, and am looking into the bass toothbrush. My gums are currently very sensitive so I probably need a softer brush. Thank you, again, for being the catalyst to my oral health journey!

  49. Joe says

    You should note the the Grapefruit Seed Extract you recommend is 67% vegetable glycerin. Given the comments that glycerin cavity promoting, you might want to consider removing this from your ingredient list.

  50. Leah says

    Does anyone know if success could be had substituting the coconut oil for another product? From a glance around the comments I’m assuming glycerin isn’t a great idea, but with an extreme allergy to coconut in the house, it’s a no-go.

  51. Jen says

    I am wanting a substitute to xylitol in this recipe, due to a corn allergy in the family. LOVE the glycerin free recipe, as glycerin is also an allergy. Thanks for any input!

  52. says

    Using salt and soda for good teeth and total oral health are age old methods, but adding coconut oil and grapeseed extract is a new idea, specially I knew little about the preservative quality of later one. thanks for such an useful post.

  53. Irene says

    Thank you for the info, but I had to stop reading as the extremely light grey colour you chose to
    use for text was killing my eyes.
    For the life of me, I can’t understand why some websites are using this hard to see colour.
    Don’t they want everyone to be able to read what they are saying?
    Sad, very sad indeed.

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