Natural Homemade Toothpaste

October 6th, 2009 - filed under: The Fashion » Beauty and Cosmetics

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In my continuing quest to rid my life of harsh and harmful chemicals, I’ve been experimenting with another DIY recipe. Traditional cosmetics are so full of nasty toxins, and even the eco-sheik alternatives are not as natural as they may appear. For example, it’s nearly impossible to find a brand of toothpaste – even the seemingly ‘green’ ones – that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate.

I’m resigned to replacing each of my store-bought products as they run out. You may remember my first foray into kitchen cosmetics, with my homemade deodorant – a resounding success (I’ll never go back!) Just recently I’ve traded my shampoo for ‘no-poo‘, and we’ll see how that all pans out.

So what about the toothpaste?

Just like the deodorant, this recipe centers around baking soda and coconut oil. And of course, it’s crazy cheap and easy to make. It goes like this:


Sayward’s Homemade Toothpaste Recipe

4 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons coconut oil (warmed to liquid state)
3 teaspoons xylitol
15 drops peppermint oil

Mix everything in a small bowl until it forms a uniform paste. Add more peppermint oil 5 drops at a time, tasting as you go, if you like it stronger (I added quite a bit more but I figure this is a good base). Transfer to a small glass jar or storage container with a tight-fitting lid. The toothpaste will keep unrefrigerated for months.


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The only thing you may have trouble with is procuring the xylitol. The natural sweetener is excellent for this application, because it actually benefits teeth. Alas, it may be hard to find. It’s available online, but if you want to forgo it you can. Just use a dash of stevia – but just a bit! – that stuff goes a loooong way.


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This toothpaste has been working great. Damian and I have been using it for a couple of weeks now, with no complaints. It *did* take a while to adjust to the flavor . . . eek. Sort of hyper-saline and hard on the tongue, but you do get used to it. Consider yourself warned!


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And one last note: I’ve come accross a lot of concern regarding the potential for baking soda to damage tooth enamel. Apparently, there is an Abrasive Index for all toothpastes, called the RDA Index, which measures a product’s grittiness. After all, toothpastes are abrasive – that’s how they work! But according to the RDA Index, baking soda is the second least abrasive option, right above plain ol’ water. So no worries!
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  • Caveshopper

    Just had a check up today and the hygienist said “I just love patients like you because you hardly have anything on your teeth!” I have been using it for over a year now and have not had any new cavities either. I’ve virtually eliminated fluoride in our life, too. Very happy with this!

  • Lanxnguyen

    Hi, I’d like to try this recipe, but was wondering if it could be use on a 2.5YO. I’m concerned about the abrasiveness of baking soda on milk teeth. Can I decrease the amount of baking soda?
    I would like to use xylitol on her teeth because she has some enamel defect on her upper front teeth and I want to prevent decay on those more sensitive teeth. I read that one should use xylitol several times a day in order for it to work. But if I put in baking soda too, would it be too much to brush with the paste 3 times daily (that’s how often we’re brushing her teeth now with water)?

    I hope it makes sense and would appreciate any thoughts!

    Thanks for the post!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I would probably not use it on a 2.5 yo, because of the abrasiveness and also because it is not meant to be swallowed. The baking soda is very high in sodium and I wouldn’t want the little one to swallow too much of it.

    I use xylitol on my guy, I just dip my moist finger into the powder then swipe it over his teeth, a few times a day.

  • Adriana Cisneros

    I found the Xylitol too abrasive for my teeth so I made a new batch (also used aluminum free baking soda since I was using good ol’ Arm & Hammer before) and ground up the Xylitol sugar in a coffee grinder for a smoother texture. I used organic essential oils. I had read another’s version of homemade toothpaste where they had used 25 drops of essential oil in their mix. I used about 15 drops but find the flavor to be weak.

    Also, my paste did not come out as creamy looking as the one in the pictures. Do you think it may have to do with me not using an extract due to its alcohol base?

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  • Oni

    “aluminum free” is a marketing ploy – arm & hammer never has and never will have aluminum in their baking soda. i think perhaps you are getting it confused with baking powder which can contain sodium aluminum sulfate or phosphate. the difference between arm & hammer and some other brands is how the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is obtained – some brands mine it directly from the ground while others achieve it as a product of a chemical process.

  • Shautel

    Thanks. We ran out of toothpaste & I was determined to make some. My teeth look whiter & they where pretty white to begin with. It is a little harsh, but I’ve used baking soda before to brush my teeth & I also use mouthwash after brushing so it’s not to bad. You just have to tweak it wih the peelermint & xylitol! Thanks for the base recipe!

  • Sue

    Well, I just made up my first batch yesterday and cleaned my teeth with it today. I found the same recipe as yours on Facebook, and also somewhere I read NOT to rinse at the end with water. That keeps the xylitol in the mouth breaking down the plaque. For me, in B.C. Canada, the xylitol was not hard to find at all…We will see how it goes. I am committed. Sue

  • Sue

    My recipe calls for 20 drops and I used spearmint. I could use even more. Good idea with the grinding.

  • Sue

    I have read on a site that you can brush with just the xylitol..But they say to swish it around for 3 to 5 min, and don’t rinse.

  • Themynotts

    Sue…I am also in BC…Vancouver burbs…where did you find the xylitol please ?

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  • Emily

    I tried this recipe, but without the xylitol (because I had everything else in the house and I thought “what the hey, I’ll give it a try!”). Boy was that ever
    saaaaalll-TY! I modified the recipe a bit, using BS, a dash of hydrogen peroxide, peppermint, and water. It’s pretty good. I think I’ll invest in the xylitol…or maybe just make it with stevia, as you suggested. Great post, thanks for all the info.! I’m finding your blog invaluable as I navigate the vegan, all-natural, ultra-crunchy path, myself!

  • Bev

    Xylitol can be purchased at a Health Food Store. Xylitol has eliminated my tooth sensitivity that had been a problem for years despite using the expensive sensitive fluoride toothpastes. I love my homemade and safe toothpaste.

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  • jenrose

    We keep our house colder than the 76 degrees coconut oil requires to stay soft. I mix mine with avocado oil while it is liquid to get the desired consistency.

  • Brie

    I’ve been using this recipe for about 2 years and wanted to add a review. I love it. During this time I have breezed through two dentist appointments with no complaints and feel that it truly cleans and freshens. The best thing is that it has noticeably whitened my teeth. I have gotten compliments about it despite my coffee/tea addiction. I totally approve.