When I started my personal zero waste journey, I was dealing with a ton of sensitive teeth issues that no toothpaste seemed to help. I decided to try out a DIY recipe. It took me a few different batches before I found the perfect recipe that wont clog your sink, keep your teeth nice and healthy, and does not make my teeth sensitive. I used this recipe for the last 2 years without any new cavities or teeth issues! (Currently, I am trying out some brands of natural toothpaste, just for fun- not because this recipe stopped working for me).
Disclaimer: I would like to also state that I am not a dentist, doctor, or any other type of health care provider. If you have any health issues that could lead to tooth decay I would recommend going with your dentists recommendations. I also understand that many dentists assert that fluoride is an essential part of one’s tooth regime as it helps prevent plaque buildup and cavities. However, I have used fluoride-free toothpaste for years and my dentist has never said anything about tooth decay or rotting gums from the lack of fluoride. I have also been to the dentist since using this recipe and the only thing they have told me is to floss more or get an electric toothbrush.
This recipe only contains three ingredients: Bentonite Clay, Baking Soda, and Cinnamon
Baking soda is the main ingredient to my homemade toothpaste because it helps scrub plaque and buildup off your teeth. According to studies published in The Journal of The American Dental Association, “baking soda-based dentifrices are effective and safe for tooth stain removal and consequently whitening.” If your in a pinch and can’t find your toothpaste- I recommend using baking soda by itself. However- I wouldn’t recommend doing so long term, as it can cause tooth sensitivity.
The Bentonite Clay, like the baking soda, helps get rid of plaque buildup. The clay has also been shown to help remove “heavy metal toxins” out of your mouth. We can encounter these specific toxins in highly processed foods, some kinds of fish, paint, chemicals, and some pesticides. Bentonite clay is also known to contain an abundance of minerals. From Dr. Axe, 10 Bentonite Clay Benefits and Uses - The mouth is one of the most susceptible areas of the body when it comes to harmful outside “invaders” taking over, like bacteria and toxins. Bentonite clay binds to unhealthy substances in the mouth, such as around the teeth and on the tongue and gums, and helps to remove them before you swallow them and become sick.
Cinnamon- bad bacteria in the mouth but allows good bacteria to thrive. It also helps prevent inflammation.
Many people also add essential oils, like peppermint, to their toothpaste to improve the taste. I don't mind the taste without and therefore prefer not to include it.
I also used to add coconut oil to this recipe, since coconut oil is an anti-bacterial and can help with the rebuilding of the enamel. During this time I would spit it out into my compost pile. Please do not spit coconut oil into your sink, as it turns to solid at room temperature- it will clog your drain. After a few months of using coconut oil, I noticed that the toothpaste was just as effective without it. I have decided to stop adding coconut oil to the recipe so that I can spit it into the sink without any problems.
Disclaimer: when using natural products internally, investigate the labels thoroughly to ensure that they are safe for ingestion. In the case of both bentonite clay and essential oils, some are safe for internal use and some are not. If you are unsure of the purity of the clay, contact the manufacturer. When ingesting essential oils, look for 100% pure oils with no added ingredients, or career oils.
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon of Bentonite Clay
½ tablespoon of cinnamon powder
8-10 drops of peppermint essential oil (optional)
If you have sensitive teeth, I recommend adding about ½ a tablespoon of baking soda at first and then work your way up to the full tablespoon. One time I put too much baking soda in my toothpaste and I had severe tooth sensitivity for the next few months. None of the other ingredients should be an issue for your sensitive teeth.
I have also adapted my tooth regime to include compostable floss, made out of plant based waxes and materials. A few other options are Dental Lace and Tree Bird Eco’s, refillable silk floss options. My toothbrush comes from Brush with Bamboo. I currently do not use any type of mouthwash.
If you aren’t comfortable with making your own toothpaste- I highly recommend trying out Davids Toothpaste. It comes in a metal tube that is more easily recyclable than the plastic tubes. The ingredients are also super effective, natural, and fluoride free! With the exception that the David’s toothpaste seems to make my teeth a little bit whiter than my homemade recipe- I would say that the too are pretty comparable!