Mom’s Homemade Toothpaste

February 26, 2012

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Toothpaste should taste good; and it should taste good because it contains natural, plant-based ingredients. This recipe is super, super easy and inexpensive. Even my youngest children can make it.

I have this weird thing with gagging when I brush my teeth (it’s really bad when I’m pregnant). If I’m brushing my teeth and my husband is at his sink brushing his teeth, and he walks away from the sink, I start gagging. If he starts talking while he’s brushing his teeth, I gag. If the sink starts to fill with water and I see toothpaste floating around in it, I gag. If I think too hard about the fact that I’m brushing my teeth, I gag.

I usually have to just close my eyes and think of something else while I brush. Yeah, I’m a blast at the dentists office.

So, it’s very important to me that toothpaste not only taste good, but that I know the ingredients are wholesome. I don’t want to sit there brushing my teeth, thinking about all the poison I’m probably ingesting.

Read The 5 Hidden Dangers in Toothpaste

My son, William, sweet child that he is, loves my toothpaste! Recently, we had run out of my homemade paste and my husband grabbed an old tube of Tom’s for him to use. William said, “But, Daddy, I want Mommy’s toothpaste!” Yep, and I didn’t pay him a thing.

So, here you go. I’m sharing my recipe. Feel free to tweak it to suit your own tastes; but, since you’re using it in your mouth, please make sure you only use Young Living therapeutic grade essential oils.

Mom’s Homemade Toothpaste

3-4 T. vegetable glycerin (food grade) or coconut oil

6T. Baking Soda (aluminum free)

2 tsp. Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Liquid Castile Soap (unscented)

4 drops stevia or 1 tsp. xylitol (xylitol is supposed to prevent tooth decay!)

20 drops therapeutic grade peppermint essential oil

1-2 drops therapeutic grade Thieves essential oil blend

If using Xylitol as the sweetener, I mix it with the Castile soap first, so that it has a chance to dissolve. I don’t like my toothpaste to turn out grainy. However, it may be that it would dissolve anyway, I just haven’t taken the chance. Then I mix all the ingredients together with a whisk.

Pour it into a glass jar. Any glass jar will work, even a plain old mason jar; but, a decorative one will make you feel good. :-)

Okay, here is what slowed me down in getting this post up. I couldn’t find a convenient way of storing my homemade toothpaste. First, I tried a plastic squeeze icing bottle. Then a friend reminded me that it’s not a good idea to store essential oils in plastic. So, I found a really cute glass soap dispenser. Well, the toothpaste was too thick for it, and I almost ruined my dispenser!

I wanted healthy, but I also wanted convenient. Finally, I settled on a cute little glass jar from Hobby Lobby (a mason jar would work too), and I keep a jelly jar filled with Popsicle sticks right beside it for loading the toothbrush (so the contents of the jar don’t get contaminated with bacteria from your toothbrush).

So. there you go. You have no excuse. This takes a total of about 3 1/2 minutes to make, and your kids can help!

Experiment with other essential oils to suit your taste. Suggestions include Clove, Thieves, rosemary, or Spearmint.


20 Responses to “Mom’s Homemade Toothpaste”

  1. Brooke G says:

    Thanks for posting! I have been making toothpaste for a few years, trying a couple different recipes. Mine is almost the same, except I haven’t tried adding castile soap. The first recipe I used had glycerine, but then I read that it builds up on your enamel, preventing them from being able to remineralize. I now use coconut oil. I will have to try adding the soap and Thieves! I also like your idea of using the popsicle sticks. I just have a small jar for each person, but I have thought about contamination.

  2. Laura says:

    This is awesome! Thank you, I can’t wait to try it!

  3. Allie says:

    Can someone please set my mind at ease regarding the castile soap? I know it’s made with lye . . . please tell me how and why this is safe?! Because I would LOVE to try it, especially if it’s something my kids will like (and they HATE the character toothpaste they picked out at the grocery store).
    Thanks!

    • Courtney says:

      Allie, I replied a little more fully below, but basically if you don’t use lye to make your soap, you don’t have soap. If you get “lye free” soap, it’s just that someone else has done the steps with the lye. When you look at sites and they have melt and pour soaps or the like, you are getting a product that is further down the line. Also, if the soap is made properly, there is absolutely NO lye in the finished product. There are synthetic detergents, and they don’t use lye, but they aren’t something I would put in my mouth. ;)

  4. Hi Stacy,

    I agree with the idea of using coconut oil, but have a question about baking soda. I have heard of baking powder having aluminum in it, but not baking soda.

    Could you please go into detail? Is there something wrong with Arm and Hammer? What kinds are good? Which contain aluminum?

    Thanks so much!
    Tina, who really appreciates your columns :>)

    • Stacy McDonald says:

      I’ve been buying Bob’s Red Mill Aluminum-Free Baking soda (http://www.vitacost.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-Aluminum-Free-Baking-Soda); however, according to THIS ARTICLE, Arm & Hammer is now aluminum-free too!

      • Kitty says:

        Baking soda and baking powder are two different things. Baking soda is a mineral. it is sodium bicarbonate. there is no aluminum involved.
        Baking powder is a combination of a base powder and an acid powder, such that when it is dissolved in liquid it causes a foaming action which, in baked goods, can cause then to rise. in past times the acid was aluminum based, which causes concern now so they make an aluminum free formula.
        Arm and Hammer may say aluminum free on their box due to mix ups in people’s perceptions of these different products, but Sodium Bicarbonate, baking soda, never did have aluminum.

  5. Robin says:

    Allie, I believe the wonderful thing about castile soap is that it is not made with lye.

    • Kitty says:

      The wonderful thing about castile soap, to a soap maker is that it’s made with lye and all the olive oil that the lye can incorporate and so it is very moisturizing and does not have any free lye in it. in past times it was used for faces and for babies because it was so delicate but it took a lot of expensive oil so was not used for EVERYthing but only where it mattered most. LYE soap, was used for laundry and dishes and for guys because they were so tough.
      Lye is the miracle that provides us with soap. you can’t escape it’s use. However, Castile is the nicest one to use in the mouth due to it’s mildness.

  6. Sheri says:

    Can’t wait to try it!

  7. Courtney says:

    Allie, castille soap is made using lye, but there is no lyeleft when the soap is made. It is part of a chemical reaction called saponification. Saponfication happens when you combine an oil, in this case olive oil, with a lye solution. The lye solution is a mixture of sodium hydroxide and water if your soap is in bar form or potassium hydroxide and water if it is a liquid soap. When saponification happens, the lye combines with the olive oil and you are left with three things: neat soap, glycerin, and water. The water ends up curing out of the soap when you cure it, and you are left with soap and natural glycerin in your bar.

    It is the same concept as table salt. Sodium (Na) is incredibly volatile and will react with water. Chlorine (Cl) is also something you don’t want to use on it’s own for food purposes, but when properly combined, they make NaCl which is the chemical name for salt and that is perfectly safe to use!

    I hope that helps set your mind at ease about the soap. If you have any other questions about soap, I will try to explain in better detail.

    Stacy, you should try using coconut oil in your toothpaste! I don’t use glycerin, like other posters have said, and it works great. Also, I don’t put xylitol in my toothpaste, and my kids seem to do fine without it. (Mainly because I didn’t want to buy one more thing if I didn’t need to since we are transitioning to gluten free right now.) Blessings to you, and thank you for sharing your knowledge and putting up this site! :)

    • Stacy McDonald says:

      Courtney – Thank you for that tutorial! I wish I had paid more attention in chemistry class!! LOL

      We use the xylitol both to sweeten the paste and because it’s supposed to help prevent tooth decay. I have read about the glycerine debate, but I haven’t studied it all that much. Thanks again for the info!

      • Courtney says:

        Stacy, that was the quick version. ;) I am a bit of a nerd, so when I started making soap, I wanted to know the why and how of it, not just that it would work.

        Have you read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A Price? If you haven’t, I think it would be right up your alley. He talks about the root causes of dental issues and how to deal with them naturally. Glycerin prevents your teeth from rebuilding dentin (not sure if that is the spelling on it) and basically keeps them from “breathing” as I understand it. I know from personal experience, the weak spot I have on one tooth practically goes away when I use my homemade toothpastes, but when I use the commercially made ones (even the natural/health store ones) my tooth weakens. I think the coconut helps quite a bit too.

        Back to doing school, but this was a fun way to spend my break! ;)

  8. Why are you using stevia? I thought I heard that it’s harmful to you.

    • Stacy McDonald says:

      Where did you hear that? Stevia is a natural substance (from a plant), doesn’t cause tooth decay, and the leaves have been traditionally used for hundreds of years in Paraguay and Brazil to sweeten local teas and medicines. I mentioned using either Stevia or Xylitol (which is actually good for teeth).

      From Stevia.com - “Stevia is an all-natural herbal product with centuries of safe usage by native Indians in Paraguay. It has been thoroughly tested in dozens of tests around the world and found to be completely non-toxic. It has also been consumed safely in massive quantities (Thousands of tonnes annually) for the past twenty years. Although one group of studies, perform 1985 through 1987, found one ofthe metabolises of steviosides, called Steviol, to be mutagenic towards a particular strain of Salmonella bacteria, there is serious doubt as to whether this study is applicable to human metabolism of Stevia. In fact, the methodology used to measure the mutagenicity in this test was flawed according to a follow-up piece of research which also seriously questioned the validity of the results. For myself, I intend to use the product with both confidence in nature and respect for the healthy moderation and balance which nature teaches us.”

  9. Cait says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I love the idea of making our own toothpaste, and didn’t even know how bad commercial toothpaste could be until I read that article just now. I’m also about to start making our deoderant.

  10. Tracy E. says:

    Could you use Dr. Bronners Peppermint and then skip the peppermint essential oil?? I have that readily available. :)

    • Stacy McDonald says:

      Since I use only therapeutic grade essential oils that I KNOW are safe for ingestion, I would stick to adding my own oils. :-)

  11. Bonnie says:

    Baking soda does not (and has not) ever contained aluminum. That was baking POWDER the used to.

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