Traditional toothpaste contains fluoride, which for many years was thought to be the best option to keep our teeth clean. However, through research, we now know that excess fluoride can cause significant damage to the thyroid and even the brain.
And while toothpaste seems harmless and a normal part of life, traditional tubes of toothpaste that we find at the store are often one of the leading sources of fluoride, along with conventional tap water.
Researchers have found excessive fluoride to be a significant cause in children’s health problems. Fluoride is even considered a carcinogen — the National Cancer Institute labels tap water as a leading risk factor in cancer due to its fluoride content. Furthermore, traditional toothpastes are a source of artificial dyes and flavors — some even have hidden forms of sugar or artificial sweeteners.
So what should you do when you want to brush your teeth and make sure they’re clean? After all, cavities and oral bacteria can also cause major issues. The best option? Make your own toothpaste at home!
If you think this is hard or pricey, think again. In fact, we’re willing to bet you already have the simple ingredients it takes to make your own toothpaste — and it only takes one or two minutes to make it. Your natural homemade toothpaste will even keep on your shelf for a long time — up to six months — but you’ll use it way before then, so you’ll be all set to go. If you don’t have the ingredients, you can easily find them online or at your natural health store — and they cost very little.
Natural toothpaste ingredients:
Coconut oil is the best oil to use for toothpaste because it’s the only oil with antibacterial properties. The lauric acid in coconut oil is a natural agent against bacteria, and is full of many other health benefits, too.
There are other reasons coconut oil is nice to use: it mixes well with the other ingredients; it stays firm at room temperature (due to its saturated fat content); it does not spoil or go rancid like other oils; and, for those concerned with the appearance of their toothpaste, it will give it that natural white look you’re used to!
Peppermint oil (food-grade essential oil, not extract with alcohols)
Peppermint oil is a fantastic remedy for many issues, including an upset stomach, headaches, stress, nausea and/or bloating, and even great for thyroid health. Moreover, it’s the perfect ingredient in natural toothpaste since everyone wants that minty flavor when we go to brush our teeth… right? Here’s a tip though: Be sure you purchase food-grade essential oil, preferably organic if you can find it.
You don’t want to be using peppermint extract with alcohol, (which is highly heated) since taking in excess alcohol each time you brush your teeth isn’t a good idea. Moreover, peppermint extract doesn’t have the same medicinal effects as organic, food-grade peppermint essential oil.
Baking soda is a classic natural cleaning aid, and it also has many other uses. Baking soda can be used as a natural deodorant, a natural acne medication, and yes, even a natural toothpaste ingredient! It pairs perfectly with coconut oil to make a thick paste. It’s also white to provide that typical toothpaste color.
Now, here’s a recipe to get you started:
Coconut Oil Toothpaste
- 1/2cup coconut oil
- 2tablespoons baking soda
- 1/4teaspoon peppermint essential oil (or up to 1/2 a teaspoon if you’d like it stronger)
- First make sure your coconut oil is slightly soft. It might help to put your jar in the sun for a few minutes or warm up some water (not boiling) and slightly heat the jar until the oil becomes a soft, buttery consistency.
- Add the soft coconut oil to a blender with the other ingredients (or you can use a food processor) and blend or process until it’s combined. Once it’s whipped up, place the mixture into a small mason jar to keep in your bathroom.
- To use the toothpaste, just keep a small teaspoon in your bathroom to scoop the paste onto your toothbrush. It’s that easy!
Tip: To prevent your coconut oil toothpaste from turning to liquid, be sure you don’t keep it where steam builds up in your bathroom. You may need to keep it in a bathroom closet or in a drawer away from heat.
Have you ever tried making your own toothpaste? If not, we hope you’ll give this a shot.
Heather McClees is a professional health journalist and Certified Holistic Nutritionist from South Carolina.She received her B.S. Degree in Nutrition Science and Dietetics, and is most passionate about helping others discover the gift of of holistic health, showing others how to create healthy recipes based on their favorite foods, physical fitness and yoga, and creative writing.