How to make your own toothpaste
|March 29, 2012||Posted by eryn under Frugal Living, Health and Safety, Natural Living|
I’m not the type of person who likes to spend a lot of time making things myself, so I try to stick to do-it-yourself recipes that are easy to make. This is one of those recipes, using ingredients you may already have on hand. It is based on a recipe from Crunchy Betty.
- 3 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp. baking soda
- 25 drops essential oil such as grapefruit, lemon, orange, peppermint, spearmint, tangerine or wintergreen (optional)
- sweetener such as stevia or xylitol, to taste (optional)
- 2 tsp. vegetable glycerin (optional)
- Put the coconut oil and baking soda in a bowl and mash with a fork until blended.
- If using essential oil, sweetener or glycerin, add in remaining ingredients and continue mashing until all ingredients are combined.
Simple, right? You can store your toothpaste in a glass jar with a lid. When you’re ready to use it, you can either dip your toothbrush right in (coconut oil is naturally anti-bacterial) or use a small spoon or spreader to put it on your toothbrush.
Today was my first attempt at making my own toothpaste and I have to say I am pleased with the results. I used a simple coconut oil and baking soda combination since I already had those ingredients at home. The flavor is pretty strong and not exactly pleasant, but it does have a nice foaming action, my teeth felt cleaner after using it and it didn’t leave any flavor in my mouth after use. In the future, I think I would try adding an essential oil and/or a sweetener, especially if we try it with our son. I do not think he would tolerate the baking soda taste well. One nice thing about this toothpaste is that it doesn’t have any ingredients in it that I’d be concerned about him swallowing.
And is it effective? I am not a dental professional, so I’m not qualified to give dental advice, but I’d feel safe using this for our family because it contains some powerful natural ingredients. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, so it helps to eliminate germs in your mouth and it has been found to stop and reverse tooth decay. Baking soda neutralizes acids that can cause tooth decay and it absorbs odors, so it sweetens your breath. Xylitol has also been shown to reduce tooth decay by preventing the accumulation of plaque.
What about fluoride? Fluoride does help to prevent tooth decay when applied directly to the teeth, but there are also many people who are concerned about the potential negative health impacts of fluoride, particularly in our water supply. You can read more about those concerns here. Again, I’m not a dental professional. Use your best judgment.
How much does it cost? I buy 13.5 lb. bags of baking soda at Costco for $4.75 and two 54 oz. containers of Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil at Amazon.com for $46.50. For the simplest concoction (just coconut oil and baking soda), based on those prices, this recipe costs about 45 cents per ounce. By comparison, a quick search on Amazon.com showed natural toothpastes costing anywhere from $0.58/oz. to $2.28/oz.
Of course, the cost of the homemade toothpaste will go up if you add essential oil, sweetener or glycerin. I didn’t do all of the math, but my hunch is those additions would make it comparably priced with natural brands. But you do get the satisfaction of making it yourself and knowing exactly what’s in it, right?
Do you make your own toothpaste? What’s your favorite recipe?
This post is linked to The Greenbacks Gal.
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Fluoride does help to stop tooth decay when applied directly to the teeth.Fluoride is a frightening compound. If it is ingested there is enough fluoride in your regular size tube to kill a small child.
Yes, this is why our son only uses fluoride-free toothpastes.
I’ve seen several recipes, but what I’m wondering about is the shelf life. Do you know if it expires after a certain amount of time?
I don’t know whether it expires after a certain amount of time, but we usually make a batch of 2 tbsp. baking soda and 2 tbsp. coconut oil — that’s enough to last 2 weeks for one person. I’ve never noticed any signs that a batch was going bad before we used it up. I would recommend storing it in a sealed container, though.
Is this safe for a 2 year old?
Well, I’m not a dentist, just a mom, but it doesn’t have any ingredients that would be harmful. I haven’t used it with my son, primarily because we usually just use coconut oil and baking soda to make ours, so I don’t think the taste would appeal to him.