There are three reasons I started making my own toothpaste. Reason #1 was to save money. Reason #2 was because I wasn’t happy with most of the ingredients in store bought toothpaste. For some information about chemicals that are commonly found in toothpaste that really aren’t that great, please see the following link: http://www.livestrong.com/article/1005590-toothpaste-sodium-lauryl-sulfate/. Reason #3 was to help heal my mouth and teeth. My teeth had become super sensitive and I was getting bad geographic tongue. This isn’t a post on geographic tongue, so I won’t go too into it.
Here’s a link on geographic tongue in case you want to know more about it: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/geographic-tongue. That being said, geographic tongue CAN be caused by store bought toothpastes. So, armed with the knowledge that I would be better off doing a DIY version of toothpaste, I began my search for a toothpaste recipe, thinking the first one I tried would be the winner. Toothpaste should be a pretty easy thing to make, right? After all, the purpose is fairly simple in that it just needs to clean your teeth and keep your mouth healthy. It doesn’t need to look beautiful. It doesn’t need to taste or smell great (although if it DOES at least taste somewhat decent that definitely helps the brushing process be more positive, because let’s be real, brushing your teeth isn’t exactly an exciting task). At the end of the day, it just needs to work. All of these three recipes I’ve tried work and they are fairly cheap, easy, and simple to whip up. Unfortunately, finding a toothpaste me and my family liked WAS NO EASY TASK.
3rd place (the “bad”): Miserly Mom’s toothpaste (by Jonni McCoy)
This is the first recipe I tried. The recipe is LITERALLY only 3 ingredients: Baking soda, glycerin, and essential oils. If you’re really hardcore you COULD do it with only the 1st two ingredients. Trust me when I say that your taste buds will never forgive you if you only make it with two ingredients.
Anyways, let’s get to the nitty gritty of how I ranked this toothpaste recipe (actually, it’s really more of a tooth powder, but more on that later).
Easiness factor: It was DEFINITELY easy to whip up. I typically have all those ingredients on hand and they are all super cheap ingredients which is an added bonus. That being said, it’s more of a tooth powder, which isn’t as convenient as toothpaste from a tub, but that’s really only a minor set back. Since it’s a tooth powder, I just kept it in a glass jar and would dip my toothbrush in it.
Effectiveness: My teeth definitely got clean. No cavities for me (dentist confirmed and approved)! They felt clean afterwards, although sometimes they felt a little powdery. I think it was from the baking soda (what ELSE could it have been?). Sadly, it didn’t seem to help all that much for my geographic tongue, which was a bummer.
Safety: This is safe if swallowed in small quantities (although I don’t know WHY anyone would want to). However, since the main ingredient in this is baking soda, which can be abrasive and erode tooth enamel, use caution if you go with this option (or any toothpaste option with baking soda). Once in awhile isn’t bad (it can actually be quite beneficial), but long term use can hurt your teeth. For more information about the pro’s and con’s of using baking soda to brush your teeth, check out this article: http://www.md-health.com/Brushing-Teeth-With-Baking-Soda.html
Taste: I tried peppermint and other essential oils in it. Not going to lie, when I first made it I only used it a couple of times and then it just sat in a drawer in the bathroom. I just couldn’t stand the taste. I get that toothpaste isn’t supposed to be delicious, but WOW! I did eventually finish it up months (MANY MANY months) later. Upon the second time of trying it, I got used to it after awhile (in other words, my gag reflux finally chilled out), and I realized it really wasn’t THAT bad. I can’t imagine trying it without essential oils or any kind of flavor like the Miserly Mom’s book recommends (sorry Jonni McCoy). I mean, I’m all for being frugal but if you are gagging and on the verge of throwing up as you try to brush your teeth, it kind of defeats the purpose. Anyways, I tried to find an article post for this toothpaste recipe on the Miserly Mom website, but could not. If you want the exact recipe (because, after that glowing review of it I’m sure EVERYONE wants to check it out) buy her book (if you buy it through the following link, I get a little compensation, although I think I kind of ruined my chances of that with my review of the toothpaste but I’m a desperate soul so I might as well do a shameless plug anyways): Miserly Moms: Living Well on Less in a Tough Economy
Truth be told, I actually DO really love the Miserly Mom’s book. Just not the toothpaste/tooth powder recipe.
2nd Place (the “good”): Activated charcoal toothpaste
This recipe is a bit more complex than the Miserly Mom’s toothpaste recipe but still fairly straight forward. Thankfully it tastes SO MUCH BETTER! You use baking soda, sea salt, activated charcoal, coconut oil and essential oils. Mix them all together and you have toothpaste powder! (yep, get your glass jar ready!).
Easiness factor: It required a total of 5 ingredients, one of which I had never bought before making the recipe. Any takers as to what the missing ingredient was from my cupboard? If you guessed activated charcoal, you’re the lucky winner (except you don’t win anything, sorry for the false hope). Anyways, I went on Amazon to get the activated charcoal: Nature’s Way Activated Charcoal, 100 Capsules
So, overall it was still really simple and easy to make. That being said, it too is more of a tooth powder than toothpaste which was kind of a let down (can you tell I like toothpaste from a tub? It’s the simple things in life that really float my boat apparently).
Effectiveness: The activated charcoal works to pull the toxins out of your body, and I definitely felt that is why it helped my tongue. Although my tongue would still have outbreaks of bald patches from the geographic tongue episodes, I noticed quite a difference in the health of my tongue when I used this which was a big plus. No complaints from the dentist about my teeth. Cavity free! It worked good, although sometimes if I didn’t brush thoroughly enough some black remnant of the activated charcoal would get stuck between my teeth. Thankfully, this was easily remedied by brushing more (don’t worry, you won’t end up looking like Heath Ledger’s character did in The Patriot).
Safety: It’s safe to swallow, so that’s good if you want to try it with little people (or if you’re feeling adventurous and feel like eating some toothpaste). Once again though, this recipe has baking soda. Since we already went over why we should be cautious with baking soda, let’s move on to the next ranking (and in my opinion the most important ranking).
Taste: I actually REALLY liked the taste of this. I made this recipe multiple times for myself. That being said, I couldn’t get the rest of my family on board with it. So, eventually I stopped making this because I didn’t want to make a toothpaste/tooth powder that only I enjoyed. Here’s the link if you want to try it: http://thekitchenrag.com/2013/06/homemade-tooth-powder-recipe.html
Included in the link is information about harmful ingredients commonly found in toothpaste and the benefits of natural DIY toothpaste. So, even if you don’t make the recipe, I would suggest going to the link and reading through it. It has a lot of good information.
1st place (The BEST!!!): Bentonite Clay toothpaste
Yep, here we are on the last toothpaste recipe. I saved THE BEST for last and here’s the link for it: http://www.thankyourbody.com/all-natural-homemade-toothpaste/. It’s only 5-6 ingredients (the 6th ingredient being liquid stevia if you so desire) and the only less common ingredient is Bentonite clay, which I get on Amazon: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, 2 Pound
Easiness: It’s easy IF you follow the directions. I get over excitable sometimes in making this and add too much or too little water or I add the water too fast. DON’T. You will regret it. Follow the directions, and all will go well and be easy (I kinda sound like I’m trying to brainwash you huh? AWKWARD!). Also, if you make a double batch of this toothpaste it should last 6 months for a total of 4 people. Whoot, whoot! Extra points for this one on easiness! Oh, and the best part is IT’S AN ACTUAL TOOTHPASTE. Yes, you heard me right folks, it’s none of this powder business it’s ACTUAL TOOTHPASTE!. These are the toothpaste tubes I use for this toothpaste: Humangear GoToob, 3-Pack, Large (3oz), Clear/Green/Blue
Effectiveness: It’s super gentle on your teeth and it definitely gets the job done great! The best part though? My tongue finally healed! I think the combination of the coconut oil and the bentonite clay did that. Both have healing and detoxing properties which helped my tongue heal permanently from geographic tongue. My tongue has been free of geographic tongue for about 2 years now. After having it for almost 3 years straight, this is nothing short of super amazing and exciting for me! Oh yeah, no cavities either and all that jazz.
Safety: All of the ingredients are teeth friendly (hello enamel friendly toothpaste!) and safe to swallow.
Taste: I get a little excited thinking about the taste of this stuff. It is legitimately good! My kids like it and so does my hubby! I don’t mean to throw him under the bus, but the fact that he likes it proves to me that pretty much ANYONE should be able to enjoy this toothpaste. So rest assured if you try this toothpaste recipe, because it IS approved by my hubby. I should note, I have made this toothpaste with and without the liquid stevia. Obviously, it tastes better with the liquid stevia, which you can purchase here: NOW Foods BetterStevia Liquid,8-Ounce
Truthfully though, it STILL tastes pretty good without the liquid stevia too. It really comes down to personal preference.
So, now you know how the seemingly simple toothpaste making journey was actually not so simple (or easy OR TASTY). I first started making my own toothpaste back in 2012 or 2013. So, I’ve been making my own toothpaste now for 4 to 5 years. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, but as I was looking through the dates of the old printed toothpaste recipes in a binder I have, I realized it truly HAS been that long.
I hope these reviews of these toothpaste recipes helped you and inspired you to make your own, if you haven’t yet already. If you have made toothpaste before, what was your experience? What DIY toothpaste recipes did you try? How did it work for you? Please let me know in the comments below.
Also, are you in need of essential oils for your own DIY toothpaste? I really enjoy DoTerra’s essential oils. If you are interested in trying DoTerra essential oils, here is my link: https://doterra.me/vzor8Laq
Great post! I like how you went from bad to best and gave thorough explanations of why you you did/didn’t like each paste/powder and the pros and cons of each. Thanks!
Thank you for the feedback. I’m glad you liked the progression and explanations. =)