The beauty about switching to a more natural choice for health and body care is that you open yourself to the option, in many cases, to be able to make it or buy it.
Some of us are extremely busy and prefer to head to the local health store and pick something up. I am often that way myself, especially until I have done the research to find the best way to make it. Enter natural toothpaste. I have to admit, I didn’t decide to switch because of the “great fluoride debate.” Instead, I wanted to access all of the amazing natural solutions there are for healthy, clean teeth without the processed items in commercial toothpaste.
My first try was pretty nasty-a blob of coconut oil mashed up with baking soda and a bit of stevia to sweeten it. My teeth felt clean but it tasted awful. Not to mention the fact that there weren’t many dental benefits to the mixture. So I started to look into it and found that there were so many options to make the switch from toothpaste. Some use the simple coconut oil/baking soda mix, some use a bar of soap (imagine the taste!), and others got really complicated!
I like to think that my recipe is the middle of the line. I was going to include calcium carbonate, and even found a recipe to make my own powder using egg shells…and then the egg shells broke my coffee grinder…so that was out. This recipe doesn’t make you ruin your only ticket to daily caffeine! If you can find calcium carbonate already powdered, feel free to use it in place of some of the baking soda.
Coconut oil: This is key for developing the toothpaste texture. I also like to think when I brush with coconut oil I am getting some similar benefits to oil pulling.
Baking soda: Used to help scrub the teeth clean. Some people believe it is too abrasive, but overall it isn’t any more abrasive than other toothpaste ingredients. If you want to, feel free to use half baking soda and half calcium carbonate powder for a less abrasive paste.
Xylitol: Here it is – the wonder-paste ingredient! Xylitol helps to “remineralize” teeth. It also helps to prevent cavities and achieves this by slowing bacteria growth in the mouth, which decreases plaque and cavities! As a wonderful bonus, Xylitol sweetens the toothpaste without adding sugar!
Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap: Don’t judge. Remember, there are people scraping a toothbrush across a bar of soap and brushing with it. I used it in my recipe because it helps to scrub things clean, it adds that “foaming effect” we all love our toothpaste to have, and the peppermint kind doesn’t taste very soapy. Yes I put some on my finger and licked it. It was minty. And the bottle says you can – so there.
Essential Oils: Of course these are in here! This is where you get to customize your toothpaste!
Peppermint: Prevents bad breath, antiseptic.
Cinnamon: Prevents bad breath, helps with mild sensitivity, fights bacteria.
Clove: Excellent for teeth with greater sensitivity. Dentists actually use clove oil as a numbing agent! If you have a toothache you can apply clove oil directly to the affected area!
Tea Tree: Prevents bad breath, helps with gum disease, gingivitis and inflammation, fights bacteria. If you can stand the taste! Pregnant or breast feeding women, and also children, should avoid tea tree oil.
* Remember, use essential oils sparingly, excessive amounts may cause irritation. Some people are sensitive or allergic to certain essential oils. Always make sure you use essential oils that are safe to ingest – some are processed and marked as external use only. Your health food store should be able to help you find the right quality.
The Recipe (yes, I made you read all that to get here):
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoons xylitol
1 1/2 tsp Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap
3-4 drops of your choice of essential oils (total combined-I used cinnamon but need to make a peppermint batch for Picky Husband)
Mash the coconut oil, baking soda and xylitol together until blended. Add Castile soap and oils and mix until smooth. If required, add in a few drops of water until you reach the consistency you like.
The toothpaste will have a slightly grittier texture from the xylitol. If you are like Picky Husband you can grind it in a spice grinder until it is finer.
This recipe fits wonderfully into a clean soap dispenser or a squeeze tube. You will want something with a wider opening so it is easier to fill. You can put it in a jar and then stick your dirty toothbrush into your clean batch of toothpaste if you want…but isn’t the whole point here to reduce bacteria?
Now go brush your teeth! And share – what was your essential oil blend? Have we won you to the green side?
– This post was written by Aubrey