Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I Brush My Teeth With Mud

Yesterday, I mixed up a batch of toothpaste in my kitchen. Most people's response is one of three things:

1. Why would you do a thing like that? It is much better to trust the chemists that have come up with a careful formula to make sure our teeth our clean and healthy

2. That is intriguing. It sounds frugal, how and why do you do it?

3. I hate commercial toothpaste for many reasons. I want to make my own too!

Why I Make Toothpaste


I Have A Toddler

Once upon a time, when Critter was still little, barely starting solid foods and not getting into stuff as much as he does now, he was on the changing table while I prepared his diaper. I wasn't watching carefully for a split second and then I saw him with an open lotion container squeezing it into his mouth happily.

Luckily, we were able to get most of it out of his mouth and off his face, and there were no adverse reactions. But I knew it was only the beginning. How long until he started putting other things in his mouth and eating it. I could baby proof the house and watch him closely, but inevitably he would find something and try to eat it. That was the point that I decided to have as many products (including personal care and cleaning products) be as edible as possible. One day I hope to be this awesome. In the meantime, we are gradually changing as many products as we can. With toothpaste being something that is already supposed to go in your mouth, I'm much more comfortable with something that lacks the warning label to call poison control if swallowed.

No Questionable Ingredients


My toothpaste is the homemade version of Earthpaste, and the recipe is a conglomeration of many recipes I found online. The Earthpaste website gives a great explanation of why they chose the ingredients they did. Most toothpastes have a foaming agent. While it makes your mouth feel nice and clean since it is full of suds, it isn't really necessary and probably doesn't belong in your mouth. There is lots of debate about fluoride too, and I my family is on the "we would like to avoid fluoride whenever possible" side of the debate.

Most of my ingredients are the same as what is in Earthpaste, but I do switch up the essential oils for variety. I also add coconut oil because it is healthy, antibacterial and I like the flavor and texture it adds, it also helps provide a better carrier for the EOs.

While all of this is edible, I wouldn't recommend eating it in bulk if you can avoid it. Mainly for two reasons.

1. I would rather be safe than sorry when ingesting essential oils. I know lots of people do it as part of their daily routine, but I prefer to be overly cautious. Check out this site for more info: http://www.learningabouteos.com/

2. While xylitol is a natural sweetener (a sugar alcohol) found in birch trees (I recommend checking the label to make sure you aren't getting a corny version), it can cause diarrhea and is also not good for dogs. So don't let your dog eat your toothpaste. If you like, you can switch it out for another sweetener of your choice. But please don't substitute plain white sugar for xylitol. Xylitol has been shown to help promote healthy teeth, many other sugars do the opposite, so choose wisely.

Saving Money


 I've talked before about how I like to avoid going to the store. This toothpaste is cheaper than the cost of gas to get there. It only takes me a few minutes to make it and all of the ingredients are in my pantry (I'll be the first to admit I have some unique pantry contents, but they are easy to get). We bought the ingredients for our toothpaste using a $20 rebate from our toothbrush and still had money left over. Only two of us brush our teeth right now, but we haven't used all of our ingredients yet and it has been over 6 months.

In case you were wondering, this has worked just as well as any other toothpaste for us, even better. We've been eating cleaner and switched toothbrushes too, so there have been too many variables for me to point to any one thing, but our dentist visits have gone well and while we just said we've been using a "special toothpaste", they said things looked as good or better than usual.

How I Make Toothpaste



3 T food grade bentonite clay
1 T + 1/2 t xylitol
1/4 t real salt
1 T coconut oil
10 drops essential oil*
water (about 1/6 of a cup)

Mix together all the ingredients, adding the water gradually to get the right consistency. Put it into a container of your choice. We cut off the end of a 6 oz  toothpaste container and it was the perfect amount, just be careful to to squeeze it out the back. I'm currently experimenting with putting it in an icing bag, we'll see how that goes. go ahead and lick the spoon when you are done. When you brush, you can spit it out or swallow, it doesn't matter.

*I use 5 drops of On Guard essential oil (a doTERRA product) for the antibacterial properties and 5 drops of something else for flavor. I've tried cinnamon, lemon, peppermint and wintergreen so far, but you can use whatever you are comfortable with. Again, please be careful when using essential oils. They are very concentrated and powerful.

Would you make your own toothpaste? Why or why not?

*I'm entering this post in Thank Your Body Thursday you should check it out!


  1. Very interesting.I wouldn't recommend the swallowing part if only because bentonite clay (food grade or not) is also used as kitty litter and in cement because it can absorb water very well and expand up to 10x when doing so. Of course, its also the secret ingredient in making frosties and milkshakes creamy.

    1. I know that it is recommended that if you eat/drink clay (redmond clay has lots of details on their website) you should water it down first or drink lots of water after for that very reason. Since it is already watered down in the toothpaste,I would expect that the results of swallowing would still not be as bad as normal toothpaste. I usually don't swallow it just because I used it to take gunk off my teeth that I don't want.
      So, If I were to make a chocolate flavored toothpaste, would it taste like a milkshake or would frosties forever more taste like toothpaste to me?


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