I stopped using toothpaste over a year ago.
Hold on, I didn’t say I stopped brushing my teeth, I just stopped using toothpaste.
Good question, pretend person, thank you for asking!
Why I stopped buying toothpaste and started making my own toothpowder:
1. Less Waste
Those toothpaste tubes (that usually come inside a cardboard box) are junk destined for the dump. I am always looking for ways to reduce my contribution to the landfill.
2. Ingredient Control
I know exactly what’s going into my mouth when I brush my teeth. I understand the purpose of each ingredient and I feel good about them.
Commercial toothpaste might not be terribly expensive, but this alternative is still cheaper in the long run.
4. I love DIY
I happen to think it’s super fun to find ways to make things myself and avoid purchasing commercial products.
You probably already have this in your kitchen cupboard. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help whiten teeth and freshen breath.
It’s also a great natural product for household cleaning and deodorizing. You can buy this at any grocery store, or even better, bring a refillable jar to the bulk store!
Unless you’re already into making your own natural products it’s unlikely that you have this on hand. It might seem strange to brush your teeth with dirt, but I love it! It is supposed to absorb toxins and bacteria and remineralize your teeth. It’s silky smooth and complements the abrasiveness of the baking soda.
Clay is also great in a bath, on your face as a mask or in your hair to absorb oil. You can buy Bentonite clay (also known as Montmorillonite) at natural and health food stores, or online.
Note: keep metal (e.g. bowl, spoon, whisk etc.) away from Bentonite Clay; it can reduce its effectiveness.
This is a natural sweetener that doesn’t cause tooth decay, and may even help prevent it. It’s optional in the recipe, but really makes the toothpowder taste great. You can find it in the natural food section of your grocery or bulk store, or online.
Added for its antiseptic and remineralization properties. Like baking soda, you may already have this on hand, otherwise you can find it at grocery and bulk stores.
Essential Oil/plant powder
Completely optional, but I enjoy the taste. I prefer classic mint, so I add peppermint oil. I’ve also used cinnamon and clove for a change now and then.
Use essential oils sparingly, as they are highly concentrated. If you don’t have any, or you want to try something different, you can also use small measurements of finely ground mint leaves, cinnamon or cloves. Buy essential oils from a natural health food store or online.
I love that this toothpowder is super quick to mix up. You don’t need much on your toothbrush for an effective brush. It’s great for travelling. Most of all I love how it makes my mouth feel.
Toothpowder can be stored in any clean glass or plastic container with a lid. A repurposed pill bottle or little jam jar works great! Since your toothbrush isn’t super sanitary, each member of your household should have their own to avoid spreading mouth germs. You can easily double (or more) the recipe for multiple family members.
The biggest challenge is getting used to brushing without the foaming action you get with commercial toothpaste, but the above reasons along with my clean teeth (approved by my dentist) are reward enough for this all-natural smile regimen.
How to make your own toothpowder
- 1 Tbsp Baking Soda
- 1 Tbsp Bentonite Clay
- 1 tsp Xylitol
- ½ tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 5-10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- Combine all ingredients in a small container.*
- Add a lid and shake it all up to combine.*Do not use a metal bowl or spoon as this can decrease the effectiveness of the Bentonite Clay.
- Get your toothbrush wet and shake off excess water.
- Dip the bristles of your toothbrush into the powder. You don’t need a lot.
- Brush your teeth!
Disclaimer: I am neither a dentist nor health care provider of any kind. This is just the kind of shit I do for fun. My recipes and experiments are supported by curiosity, a desire to improve my life and copious amounts of time spent looking things up on the internet.
Speaking of looking things up on the internet…
Credits: There are many recipes for toothpowder available online. I visited and read many sites before settling on my own version, including WellnessMama, Going Zero Waste, mommypotamus, and DIYNatural.