Toothpaste has long been a tricky thing for me. I know there incredibly toxic ingredients in conventional toothpaste, yet I have tried many “natural” toothpastes and none left my mouth feeling clean and fresh. Out of frustration, I gave up on trying to find an alternative to the chemical laden toothpaste I had used all my life.
Making my own toothpaste was something I never thought I would do. A few months ago, that all changed. I bought a jar of Aztec Healing Clay. I loved it as a facial mask. I found that I could make a tooth powder recipe which is toxin-free and can replace toothpaste. Normally I think I wouldn’t have had the guts to try it, but two bloggers I follow and trust (Wellness Mama and Mommypotamus) had similar recipes. (Links below.) I decided to give it a try.
I am SO GLAD I did! I have been using my modified recipe (using ingredients I had on hand) for 4 months now. A few times I have used the conventional toothpaste and did not like it at all. I now notice that toothpaste creates a film in my mouth and it is really difficult to rinse all of the foam out. While my tooth powder does not foam, it leaves my teeth feeling clean without any residue. I will never go back!
Why you should be concerned with conventional toothpaste.
I know it sounds crazy to make your own toothpaste, but there are serious reasons why you should consider! In western medicine, there is a method of administering drugs called sublingual administration. This is also how many homeopathic remedies are to be taken to quickly and effectively get the treatment into the bloodstream. When placing the medication under the tongue, it can be absorbed by blood vessels quickly, bypassing the digestive system which normally can detoxify harmful substances. Absorption takes only 1-2 minutes which means the ingredients in toothpaste are entering your bloodstream directly every time you brush.
- Sodium Fluoride has long been touted by dentists as necessary to prevent tooth decay. Did you know, however, that sodium fluoride is a by-product of aluminum manufacturing? It is used in rat poisons, pesticides and even has been used as a main ingredient in chemical weapons. It is common knowledge that fluoride is fatal to humans in high enough doses, so what makes us believe it is okay to ingest in any amount!? Additionally, this is added to our drinking water and cannot be filtered out by most water filters. So we are already ingesting to fluoride without even brushing our teeth. This is something which should be a serious concern to everyone.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is what creates the lather in toothpastes, shampoos and body washes. It is used in laboratory tests as a skin irritant to test products designed to heal skin. Kind of messed up! Studies have linked SLS exposure to irritation of skin and eyes, organ toxicity, endocrine disruption and neurotoxicity to name a few.
- Triclosan is an antibacterial ingredient which has been linked to everything from skin irritation to thyroid issues. According to a U.S. Geological Survey study, triclosan is one of the most frequently occurring chemicals found in natural bodies of water, and it is found at the highest concentrations. This chemical is an endocrine disruptor and bioaccumulates, which means that the more you are exposed, the greater the concentration of the chemical will be present in your body. Thankfully many companies are now ceasing to use this chemical due to the dangers it poses, and the state of Minnesota has banned it completely effective in 2017.
- Glycerin is supposedly the ingredient in toothpaste that coats teeth, leaving the filmy reside I described above. Many claim this is harmful because it prevents teeth from remineralizing. The outer layers of teeth are made up of the enamel and dentin layers. Enamel consists mostly of calcium phosphate and the dentin is made of living cells which use minerals to create a hard mass. There are a lot of conflicting opinions on whether or not teeth can remineralize (and cavities heal!) and I have not done enough research on the subject to make any claims. I would, however, like to recommend this well-researched and informative post from Wellness Mama on the subject. Many people claim to have healed cavities, and avoiding conventional toothpaste which coats the teeth is an integral part.
- FD&C color dyes are synthetic food colorings and have been related to behavioral problems, allergies reactions and other health problems.
I know some people will just overlook the potential harm these ingredients pose, but the knowledge that these toxins are being absorbed directly into the bloodstream should be alarming to everyone.
If you are not an essential oil user, I recommend checking out the Wellness Mama and Mommypotamus recipes, which use other ingredients. I also want to convey that at first, it was a little strange using a powder to brush my teeth, but I quickly became used to it. This recipe does not foam either, but again I quickly became used to it. The clean feeling I have experienced is what made me fall in love with it.
Another note, I would not recommend the powdered recipe below for small children. I have not had my kids use this recipe because I am sure they would inhale it or something crazy. I made a version which uses coconut oil, stevia, less salt and less essential oils which I have been using for my toddler and he likes the taste. He totally swallows it all so I am really glad I am not using normal toothpaste for him.
Homemade Toothpaste Powder Recipe
4 tbsp Bentonite Clay
1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
2 tsp baking soda
4 capsules of Activated Charcoal, opened
12 drops peppermint essential oil
4 drops clove essential oil
1-2 packets powdered Stevia (optional, I don’t use it)
- Do not use any metal utensils with this recipe. The clay is charged, which enables removal of toxins, and metal will deactivate the charge.
- Add dry ingredients to a small glass jar.
- Add essential oils to the dry ingredients.
- Cap and shake vigorously for several minutes.
- To use, dip a wet toothbrush into the powder and brush teeth as normal. Keep capped when not in use.