When moving toward a healthier home with fewer chemical products, one of the first things I wanted was a natural homemade toothpaste. Many companies sell commercial natural toothpastes, but I wanted to make my own for three reasons:
- It would be cheaper.
- I would know exactly what was in it.
- I could tweak it to fit my own tastes and preferences.
The purpose of this article isn’t to convince you to make your own toothpaste or even to convince you to switch from a conventional toothpaste to a natural version. …But I’d be remiss if I didn’t share a few of the reasons that we kissed Crest and Colgate goodbye. Skip down to the toothpaste recipe if you don’t care. 😀
What’s better about a natural homemade toothpaste?
For starters, have you read the ingredients on popular commercial toothpastes? I checked the ingredient list on a basic, run-of-the-mill, whitening toothpaste and found 21 ingredients. My homemade toothpaste has five (including water).
Most of the ingredients on the commercial toothpaste, I can’t pronounce and have no idea what they are or what their purpose is. To name a few: carbomer, polysorbate 80, and cetylpyridinium chloride … it just gets yummier and yummier!
It may come as a shock, but my biggest objection to popular toothpastes is that they contain fluoride. Yeah, you heard me.
To put it briefly, fluoride is not the wonder mineral the American Dental Association and our grandparents want us to believe. Sodium fluoride is actually a waste product of bomb manufacture and was once commonly used as rat poison!
Surprised? Don’t believe me? Read more about the dangers of fluoride here.
Beyond my desire to avoid fluoride, mainstream toothpastes contain numerous other ingredients I don’t want to put in my mouth. Artificial colors, for one. Blue 1 and Yellow 5 were both in the first brand that I checked.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is another issue. Though it’s a common ingredient, SLS has been confirmed as a “corrosive irritant” to the skin and is associated with an increase in canker sores of the mouth. Wait – it’s in toothpaste?
I’ve learned that the skin readily absorbs virtually any substance it touches – for good or for bad. Knowing this, I have to think twice before I put questionable chemical substances onto my skin and in my mouth. If I have any hesitation at all, I don’t want to use that ingredient!
By contrast, I know that the five ingredients in my homemade toothpaste are completely safe and healthy for everyone in my family. These ingredients are so safe that I don’t even worry when my three-year-old is taste testing the toothpaste while I stir it up.
Ingredients for Natural Homemade Toothpaste
You need just five ingredients for this toothpaste. Most you probably already have on hand.
I recommend using the purest water you can access. That may mean buying bottled spring water or distilled water. We love our reverse osmosis water filter, which gives the purest water possible from a tap.
Easy enough, right? I prefer to use pink Himalayan salt because I trust it to be free from chemical contamination, and it has the added bonus of containing a number of healthy minerals. Many people rave about the Real Salt brand, which comes from Redmond, Utah, but I haven’t tried it yet.
Here’s where some natural health believers might want to flame me. I sweeten our homemade toothpaste with saccharin (Sweet n Low). *ducking flying tomatoes*
Is saccharin all natural? No. Apparently, it’s a derivative of coal tar, though I couldn’t find anything explaining exactly how it’s derived. I have three reasons why I use saccharin instead of an all-natural sweetener:
- It actually sweetens the toothpaste.
- It’s the ingredient used in conventional toothpastes, so we’d already been using it for years.
- All saccharin consumed is fully eliminated by the body – not a gram is absorbed. No studies have directly linked saccharin to human health problems. A study was done on rats that linked it to an increase in bladder cancer, but those rats were fed the equivalent of pounds and pounds of saccharin for an extended period of time.
I thought about not mentioning saccharin in this article, but then I wouldn’t have been telling you the whole truth. I decided it was better to tell you what we really do instead of trying to maintain the appearance of a perfect natural health guru.
If you’re not comfortable using saccharin, simply use powdered Stevia or Xylitol instead. I’ve tried using Stevia, but no amount would sweeten the toothpaste to my family’s liking. (Go ahead. Judge us.)
For this recipe, you’ll need to add 10-12 drops of essential oils. These can be any that you like! I typically use a blend of peppermint, spearmint, and wintergreen. Cinnamon might be nice – even orange or lemon, if you enjoy citrus-y flavors.
I’m not very adventurous, so I stick to my 6 drops spearmint, 4 drops wintergreen, 2 drops peppermint routine.
For additional germ killing power, you could add 4 drops tea tree oil as well.
Bentonite clay is perhaps the key ingredient in this recipe. It’s what makes the toothpaste “paste-like” instead of oily like the coconut oil-based recipes I’ve tried. The final result is very similar to commercial toothpastes, and I’m sure it’s the bentonite clay that gives it this quality.
Bentonite clay is a powdered mineral compound that comes from natural volcanic dust mined in the western United States. It has many natural health uses, and I use it in our deodorant as well as our toothpaste.
Printable Natural Homemade Toothpaste Recipe
- ¼ C. bentonite clay
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1-2 tsp. powdered sweetener of your choice (not sugar!)
- 3/8 C. boiling water
- 10-12 drops essential oils of your choice
- 4 drops tea tree essential oil (optional)
- In a glass bowl, mix together the bentonite clay, salt, and sweetener. Pour the boiling water into the bowl and stir well. Add the desired essential oils and stir until thoroughly blended.
- Store the toothpaste in glass jars.
- To use, dip toothbrush bristles into the toothpaste and brush as usual.
If you try this natural homemade toothpaste recipe, I’d love to know what your family thinks of it!
Did you discover something new? Don't stop here....
Sign up for my newsletter and come along with me on this journey. Once or twice a week, I'll send out an update with highlights, insights, and practical ideas for pursuing a holistic lifestyle.
To welcome you to my community, I have a few goodies I want to send you, including my new e-book, Ten Natural Health Habits You Can Start Today. In it, you'll find ten easy all-natural health habits that are doable today. No more waiting around or trying to find the perfect plan. Just get started today!
Mercola, Joseph. “Deadly and Dangerous Shampoos, Toothpastes, and Detergents: Could 16,000 Studies Be Wrong About SLS?” Mercola. Dr. Joseph Mercola, 13 July 2010.
“Q&A: What’s so bad about fluoride?” Natural NEWS. Neal’s Yard Remedies, 12 June 2012.
This information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is intended only for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure disease. Always consult a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your healthcare routine.
Articles on this website may contain affiliate links. Using these links costs you nothing but generates a small commission for the blog author.