I have yet to find store-bought toothpaste that is not packaged using plastic in some way. So my simple solution: make your own and package in glass jars. Makes a weird but lovely gift too.
What you need
Well, there are so many options, depending on your wants and needs. I will give you an overview of components and you can get wild and creative yourself.
- One part “scrubby component”, which can be any or a mixture of:
- Baking soda (= sodium bicarbonate) acts slightly whitening and its alkaline pH counters acids that may cause tooth rot.
- Medicinal clay (can be bought at the pharmacy or online) helps with hardcore plaque and discolouration.
- Chalk powder (= calcium carbonate) can be bought online.
Make sure your powder is as fine as possible. Coarse powders, especially the baking soda, can scratch and damage the enamel of your teeth. I go to town on my baking soda with a mortar and pestle before adding it.
- Two parts “paste component”:
- Coconut oil acts antibacterial, antiviral, anti fungal and anti parasitic.
If you are unable to constantly store your toothpaste below 24°C / 76°F, your oil will be liquid and your “scrubby components” will sink to the bottom of the pot. Shake well before use and swirl your toothbrush around the pot. Or look into making toothPOWDER or toothOIL instead.
- Extras: Pick and mix from any of the following, but remember that less is sometimes more.
- Dried and powdered herbs
- Mint minty fresh flavour, anti-inflammatory, antiemetic
- Cloves for fresh breath, anti-inflammatory, antiemetic
- Thyme anti-inflammatory
- Camomile anti-inflammatory
- Star anise anti-inflammatory
- Ginger spicy flavour, antiemetic
- Cinnamon anti-inflammatory
- Sage anti-inflammatory
- Turmeric for pearly white teeth. DO NOT USE if you have damaged teeth or scratches in your enamel!
- Essential herb oils (food grade!!), for instance peppermint oil for better taste. I personally don’t taste this but my friends say they do. Maybe they are lying to make me feel better. Try it and drop a comment.
- Xylitol aka “E 967”. A type of sweetener that actually prevents dental caries. Make sure you grind it to dust in the mortar before adding.
- Activated charcoal for pearly white teeth
- Dried and powdered herbs
What to do
For a decent sized batch that will last one person about one month I recommend using about 2 tablespoons “scrubby component” with 4 tablespoons coconut oil. Add everything else to taste. Don’t worry too much about mixing ratios, as long as you like the final result. Please make sure the essential oil is safe to use orally, also in the quantities you intend to add.
- Carefully warm the coconut oil until its just soft enough for you to stir, not liquid. A soft-serve-ice cream consistency is perfect. Methods I tied and approved: on the radiator, under my shirt while curled up on the couch and reading, in a double boiler (although that easily goes straight to liquid and needs to cool off again).
- Put each “scrubby component” and, if using, the xylitol and charcoal in a mortar and grind vigorously until you cant get it any finer. Preferably grind each ingredient separately so you have more control. Skip workout you needed to do that day.
- Mix all ingredients, including any extras, together and fill into clean containers. I use mini-jam jars. Some body-product shops and the internet also sell little tin containers.
- Store below 24°C / 76°F and use as you would regular toothpaste.
I’ve been using my homemade toothpaste for a while now, and my dentist found absolutely nothing to complain about. If you are unsure, ask your dentist.
That’s it for today. If you found this interesting, I will be adding posts on tooth-powder, -oil, “-pills” and mouthwash in the future.