Up until two or three years ago I was using regular toothpaste from the supermarket. The big brand. The popular one. I never thought too much about the ingredients list or that fact that it contains sodium fluoride (a by-product of aluminium production found in rat poisons and industrial pesticides), triclosan (a carcinogenic pesticide), sodium lauryl sulfate (another carcinogen), propylene glycol (an active component in anti-freeze which can lead to brain, liver and kidney abnormalities), DEA (a carcinogenic hormone disrupter) and a long list of other unpronouncables. I would stock up and buy in bulk when they went on special. I loved that minty freshness!
When I came into consciousness about toxic chemical loads on my body, I started experimenting with different brands and varieties of toothpaste from health food stores. The price difference to supermarket toothpaste was a killer, but I couldn’t knowingly go back to the nasty ingredients. I kept reading about homemade / DIY toothpastes and would tell myself, ‘when the next tube runs out I’ll make my own’, but I didn’t. Making your own toothpaste just seemed a bit too alternate. I already lived on a different planet to mainstream society, did I want to alienate myself even more?
In a word, yes. Not that I wanted to alienate myself further, but I decided homemade toothpaste wasn’t really that radical. This would be one step further into semi self-sufficiency and one more product I did not have to purchase. And so I trawled numerous blog posts and websites learning about what other crunchy nutters did and what recipes they used. Eventually I made my first batch! It contained equal parts coconut oil and bicarbonate soda (baking soda), a dash of himalayan rock salt, plus some drops of peppermint oil. That’s it! I mixed the ingredients together in a little glass jar and dipped my toothbrush in. The first time I brushed my teeth with it I was surprised and impressed – my teeth had never felt cleaner. I half expected Informed Papa to turn up his nose at it, but after his first use he exclaimed that it was ‘amazing’ and that he really liked it. Woohoo!
Here are my top five reasons for making my own toothpaste:
1. I know the ingredients. They are safe, I can pronounce them and I know what role they play as ingredients and the potential impact they will have on my body. Coconut oil is antibacterial and antifungal. Bicarbonate soda is alkalising and acts as an abrasive. Himalayan salt contains 84 minerals, stops bad breath, draws out pathogens and kills bacteria. Pure peppermint oil has countless beneficial properties, but I mostly use it for the flavour and freshness. As I mentioned above, xylitol prevents decay and assists to remineralise.
2. It’s one less reason to go to a store. Long-time readers will know that I am on a mission to eradicate the need for supermarkets in my life.
3. It’s cheap and I’m frugal! I haven’t calculated the cost difference, but knowing what I pay for the individual ingredients, I can confidently say my homemade version is cheaper.
4. I prefer it to regular toothpaste. I find it works better and my teeth and gums feel cleaner.
5. If I run out I just need to go to my pantry to whip up a new batch!
**ETA – I’ve had a few enquiries about exact amounts for the recipe. I now use 4 parts xylitol, 4 parts coconut oil, 4 parts bicarb, 1 part Himilayan salt and however many drops of peppermint oil I feel it needs depending on the size of the batch. For a small tub like the one pictured I use approximately 10 drops doTERRA peppermint oil, but if you are using a non pure-grade oil you will need 40-50 drops. This toothpaste is the best, try it!