DIY Mineral Toothpaste
Common commercial toothpastes have a variety of ingredients that really aren’t needed and some that are even questionable to dental health–like glycerin (may inhibit saliva’s ability to do it’s job), saccharin (everybody hates this stuff), some have the environmental hazard known as triclosan (an unnecessary antimicrobial contributing to antibiotic resistance), and fluoride.
We have been brainwashed to believe fluoride is the best thing ever for our teeth. We even add it to our water supplies (but there is a push to reduce this). However, more and more evidence is developing to show that it may cause more harm than good. Dental fluorosis is a condition that develops when children get too much fluoride–it actually makes the teeth more likely to decay. Oops. A 2012 study by Harvard School of Public Health found strong indications that fluoride may adversely affect cognitive development in children. Based on the findings, the authors say that this risk should not be ignored, and that more research on fluoride’s impact on the developing brain is warranted. Double oops. There are other examples, but this post would be longer than I have time for.
So, can you adequately clean your teeth with basic ingredients? Yes. It has been shown that calcium-containing toothpastes can deposit mineral into enamel surface deformities under a wide variety of conditions and from a wide variety of formulas. Specifically sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and calcium formulas. Easy enough.
I have added xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that has been shown to reduce cavities and aid in remineralization as well. I have made toothpaste without it, but it does knock the salty edge off of the baking soda. I really like this version. You can add more coconut oil if you would like it to be a softer, smoother consistency. This recipe works for me and the truth is, it’s not a specific science, so there is wiggle room here. :)
Even if you aren’t convinced that this is ok 100% of the time, you can do what I have been–use this DIY toothpaste once per day. But, I’m getting close to switching completely.
THE RECIPE: Mineral Toothpaste
Makes about 1/3 cup
2-3 Tbs baking soda
2 Tbs coconut oil
2-3 tsp xylitol, to taste
2 tsp calcium carbonate powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
8 drops Peppermint essential oil or Spearmint (my favorite)
3-4 drops trace minerals (optional, especially with using sea salt that contains trace minerals naturally–also $$$)
1. Melt coconut oil in microwave, 10-20 seconds.
2. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Adjust baking soda quantity to your desired thickness. Store in a lidded container. Use a pea-sized amount and brush your teeth as usual.