Why would I want to make my own toothpaste? In my quest to live a healthier and more frugal life, I make as much of my food as possible and household cleaners from scratch, using natural ingredients and avoiding harsh chemicals. I've been hesitant to make my own personal care products such as homemade toothpaste though, because the recipes I found in the past contained ingredients that were cost prohibitive, and were used for that recipe only and nothing else.
So what exactly is wrong with conventional toothpaste? After some research (here, here, here, here and here) I was shocked to find out the toxic ingredients contained in commercially made toothpaste, even the so-called natural ones. So I set out to make a homemade version that was easy and frugal. It wasn't difficult at all, and the final product only contains three ingredients, baking soda, coconut oil, and essential oil. I've used baking soda in the past to brush my teeth, when I wanted to get them really clean. Baking soda is a very mild abrasive which aids in cleaning and whitening your teeth. But, I wanted more of a paste, so I decided to add coconut oil. Not only to make it more paste-like, but for it's health benefits. Coconut oil is antibacterial, which can help destroy the bacteria that can cause tooth decay. And lastly I added peppermint essential oil to flavor it, as baking soda can be a bit salty. Peppermint essential oil has also been shown to inhibit the formation of biofilm formations linked to dental cavities. (source) My simple recipe allows you to use natural, non-toxic ingredients that you most likely already have in your pantry, which makes it more frugal to make.
As with any homemade alternative, this homemade toothpaste takes a little getting used to. It can taste a bit salty from the baking soda, but the essential oil helps with the flavor tremendously. It also doesn't foam up, which toothpaste companies would have you believe is necessary to clean your teeth, The foaming action is totally unnecessary though, and does not make your teeth any cleaner then they would be without it.
Natural Homemade Toothpaste
1/4 cup coconut oil,melted
1/4 cup baking soda
20 drops essential oil (Peppermint, cinnamon, orange, and lemon are good choices)
Place the coconut oil and baking soda in a glass container with a lid and stir well to combine.
Add the essential oil and stir again until well blended.
Screw on the lid for storage.
To use: Just wet your toothbrush and dip in the toothpaste. Or, if you're not comfortable doing that, just scoop out a small amount with a spoon, then apply to your toothbrush.
Notes: *The mixture will thicken up a bit over the first 24 hours. Give it a good stir on the second day, in case there was any separation, then you'll be good to go, no need to stir it again after that.
*Please remember this is not like store-bought toothpaste. It will not suds up, and is not smooth and soft.
*Coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees. If the temperature in your house drops below that, the toothpaste will solidify. To soften it up, just set the jar inside a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
*I've been using this toothpaste for several month, and have noticed in cooler weather that the coconut oil wants to cling to the sides of the drain a bit. To solve this issue, I just pour a pot of boiling water down the drain once a week. Or, you can just spit it into the trash once you're done brushing your teeth.
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