Homemade Tooth Powder--Why I Stopped Using Toothpaste

There are so many synthetic chemicals in personal care products these days and there is a growing concern that exposure to at least some of these chemicals is not good for our health or the environment.  One of the best ways to reduce your exposure is to make your own products like moisturizing cream, homemade foaming soap, and homemade hair spray.

tooth powder with bamboo toothbrush

Of course, making your own personal care products can be simply a fun and frugal project for the whole family.

Whatever your reasoning, making homemade toothpaste or buying more all-natural toothpaste is something you might consider.

Reasons to Try a More Natural Toothpaste

My decision to find an alternative to toothpaste began when a health crisis forced me to reevaluate my personal care regimen. I knew that if I hoped to turn my health around my product choices needed an overhaul. I learned to read labels.

Thanks to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and other groups, I awakened to the truth that the vast majority of ingredients in toothpaste and other personal care products haven’t been reviewed for safety.

Also influencing my growing aversion to conventional toothpaste was my poor dental health.

Numerous cavities and gum problems haunted me. It only made sense to question my dental protocol.

What's In a Typical Tube of Toothpaste?

Toothpaste ingredients. Why I Stopped Making Toothpaste. Tooth Powder Recipe

 

1.  Sodium fluoride: This is a colorless crystalline salt used to fluoridate our water supply. It is also used as an insecticide as well as in the treatment/prevention of tooth decay. Swallowing fluoridated toothpaste is so hazardous the FDA now requires a poison warning on every tube of toothpaste containing fluoride.

2.  Triclosan: This is a chlorinated aromatic compound first registered as a pesticide in 1969. It has been found to be effective against gingivitis but red flags have been raised when it comes to long term health implications. The FDA is currently reassessing its safety.

Toothpaste ingredients. Why I Stopped Making Toothpaste. Tooth Powder Recipe

3.  Inactive Ingredients: From propylene glycol to titanium dioxide, to sodium lauryl sulfate, inactive ingredients are added to preserve or facilitate the effectiveness of the active ingredients. The term “inactive” can be misleading as it might be assumed these additives have no implications for our health.

4.  Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, for example, has been linked to skin and eye irritations, organ toxicity, development toxicity, endocrine disruption and more. While its presence in toothpaste is quite minor, I’d rather clean my teeth with something that carries no risks or poison warnings.

Homemade Tooth Powder

I ended up experimenting and having a lot of success with this homemade tooth powder that I am sharing today.

It’s been 2 years since I stopped using toothpaste.

My gums and teeth feel healthier than ever. I’ve had no sign of decay.

At a recent cleaning, my hygienist noted the improvement in my overall dental health and encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing – advice I intend to follow.

Natural Toothpaste Options

I also tried other natural, chemical-free toothpaste. EWG offers an excellent list of 679 toothpastes and evaluates each for levels of toxicity. I gravitated to Herbodent, an antibacterial formulation utilizing 21 herbs.

I still buy this for my kids.

Adrienne uses a variety of fluoride-free toothpaste including Theodent. Theodent's active ingredient (based on theobromine, from cocoa) has some very interesting data behind it showing it to be as or more effective than fluoride in protecting teeth from decay.

Orawellness has a great remineralizing tooth powder as well.

tooth powder and bamboo toothbrush with text overlay
bowl of tooth powder with bamboo toothbrushes

Homemade Tooth Powder Recipe

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Stir by hand or use a food processor (if desired) if making in bulk.
  • Store in a container of choice, with a lid on.
  • You might wish to use a separate container for each member of the family--for sanitary reasons :).
Tried this recipe?Mention @wholenewmom or tag #wholenewmom!

{From Adrienne: We stopped using traditional toothpaste a long time ago as well and I just received ingredients in the mail for making another tooth powder--this post is great timing!  If you would like to make Andrea's recipe, read Which Essential Oils Company is Best? to see which essential oils I use.}

More Non-Toxic DIY Personal Care Products

- Nourishing Lip Scrub
- Homemade Eye Makeup Remover
- Nourishing Body Scrub
- Alcohol-Free Hair Spray

Please note- Neither Adrienne nor Andrea are dentists so you need to make decisions with your dental professional for your own dental care.  Please don't change your toothpaste without consulting your practitioner.  Thanks!

What do you use to brush your teeth?

Andrea Fabry - A woman dedicated to detoxifying her family for health's sake.

Andrea is a former journalist and the mother of nine children ranging in age from 28 to 12. Following a toxic mold exposure, Andrea and her family discovered the wonders of natural living. Andrea is the founder and president of momsAWARE, an educational organization designed to empower others to live healthy in a toxic world. You can follow her family’s journey at Our Health Journey. She is also the owner of Just SoNatural Products.

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57 Comments

  1. I am going to make this today! Has anyone tried adding activated charcoal to their homemade toothpaste?

    1. Hope you like it! I have a tooth powder and it has charcoal in it. I'm hoping to post the formula soon!

  2. Hi Adrienne!

    Do you still use this recipe?

    I have been researching neem extensively after I saw a product that contains neem, baking soda, saponifed olive oil, coconut oil, and cinnamon. The neem that is used in her product is from cold pressed neem seed oil.

    Are there any significant differences between neem powder and the seed oil as far as benefits go?

    In addition, I became concerned that neem may cause sterility. Is this only the case for large doses? The warning on neem definitely says do not take if pregnant.

    Another product I found for
    teeth, that has a different compilation of ingredients, has me intrigued. It has co2 extracted sea buckthorn oil along with many essential oils, including rose Otto. Have you heard of both of those being extremely beneficial for our teeth? I don't mind trying the sea buckthorn, but purchasing the rose Otto is very expensive.

    My objective is to make my own toothpaste and other recipes for the mouth.

    1. Hi there. Sorry for the delay. In fact this isn't my recipe so I don't use it. I have done a bit of DIY toothpaste but not currently. I don't know about neem oil vs powder. Sorry. And I don't know about that research. As for the oils being good for the teeth, I have read about sea buckthorn oil but not rose otto. Please do your own research and hope to see you around again.

    2. Did you ever find a good recipe for the toothpaste? I think we're looking for the recipe to make the same product at home.

      Thanks!

      1. Hi! I never did! Still not sure the best things for teeth! It seems it is all over the place!

        I definitely know gut health is often the most critical. I am leaning more and more towards going fully raw and plant based .

  3. You can take the dry ingredients like the salt and baking soda and put them in your coffee grinder to make them into a finer powder to make them less abrasive.

    (Whizz half of a piece of bread in the coffee grinder to clean out the coffee residue. Then wipe out the bread crumbs before you grind the salt and the baking powder in.)
    If you have a Vitamix and a dry container, you can grind the salt and baking soda to a very fine powder as well.

    I use baking soda in my DIY homemade deodorant and I used to grind it to a fine powder in my coffee grinder. But now I use my dry container on my Vitamix. Both work well.

    I have experimented with various DIY toothpaste ingredients. My favorites are
    Finely ground seasalt & baking soda, bentonite clay, coconut oil, and peppermint oil. Melt half cup of coconut oil, then experiment with the adding equal parts of the dry ingredients teaspoon full at a time until you get a combination that works for you. Experiment with adding more or less of each powder ingredient until you get it just right for your liking. I use a less clay that the other ingredients.

    I also spit the first mouthful, after brushing, into my plastic lined trash can, because the coconut oil clogs the drain.

    1. Nice tip on cleaning out the residue. I want a new grinder that has a washable container. And of course great tip on not clogging the drain!

  4. I have been making and using two different toothpastes, one using baking soda, salt, peppermint and coconut oil and the other using bentonite clay as the main ingredient. I have noticed a greenish layer on my teeth, particular the back of the bottom teeth for a couple of weeks now. It is reasonably easy to floss off or pick off with a dental pick but it's a bit of a trial to do this each night when brushing and flossing used to be just fine. Any idea what is causing this? Thanks.

  5. Hi. thanks for the recipe. I have been looking for ways to incorporate my neem powder into a recipe like yours. Can you add distilled water to it to make it a paste? will it change the effectiveness of the ingredients?
    Thanks.

    1. Hi there. I am not aware that it interacts w/ any of the ingredients but I guess you could check that. Are you aware of interaction issues? I would think adding water would make it spoil more easily but if you make small enough batches you will probably be fine.

      thanks!

  6. I use LUSH toothy tabs! They are baking soda based and absolutely amazing! I work for and use LUSH products. It was the very first alternative I've found for brushing without all those chemicals!

    Thanks,
    Take care

  7. I have a metal allergy which causes serious cardiac and neurological problems. Its not only titanium dioxide that we have to omit but silica as well. I would highly recommend using & specifying the silica free baking sodas. Thanks for the recipe. ...the only one I had found so far with no metal but still contains SF is an A&H one.

  8. Hi there!

    Interesting post! As a dental hygienist I try to read up on what alternatives are out there as much as possible, so I can keep up with what my patients are up to. I also try and keep things as natural as possible with my family, while balancing the risk/reward ratio. I have a couple of comments that I hope you don't mind me sharing.

    1. Yes, fluoride is poisonous if ingested in large quantities, so it should have a warning label. Hopefully you are not swallowing your toothpaste. I totally respect the individual right to choose whether or not you use fluoride. But just a couple of things from my perspective: fluoride does help prevent cavities, and also helps repair potential decay before it becomes a full blown cavity. Dental decay is an infectious, transmittable disease, so especially for children, preventing this is much more desirable than having to treat it. In addition, there are questionable ingredients in all filling materials as well, which stay in the body much longer than the time it takes to brush. Everything on earth is a chemical, and most things are earth are toxic if taken in large enough quantities... Children who cannot rinse and spit properly should not use a fluoridated toothpaste for this reason.

    2. Salt is very abrasive. If you have to use it in a tooth powder recipe, I would really limit it to a very small amount, as fine a granule as you can, and definitely try to dissolve it at least a little before you use it.

    3. It is true that baking soda is abrasive, and true that toothpaste is much MORE abrasive than baking soda. So it is a good alternative.

    4. To the person who asked about Xylitol, it would be a great alternative to the stevia, because it does help rebuild tooth structure. Mind you, I have no idea if it would work in the recipe.

    5. In reality, you do not need toothpaste of any sort. The main point in brushing your teeth is to remove plaque biofilm, and you accomplish this through the mechanics of the bristles against your teeth...toothpaste merely provides fluoride and flavor. So you don't actually have to use anything but water. And floss : )

    6. If you choose not to use fluoride, you have, have, have to floss. NOTHING, no matter what the claim it makes, gets in between the teeth to remove that bacteria. Flossing doesn't just help your gums, it helps prevent decay between the teeth.

    7. This should not damage any existing fillings, unless indirectly, because by not using fluoride, the potential for decay to start around existing restorations rises.

    Hope this helps!