Since learning about how diet can drastically affect oral health and the need for minerals in the body for oral health, I’ve increasingly turned to homemade mineral-rich natural toothpaste options.
Why Use Natural Toothpaste?
I’m not a dentist or a doctor, just a mom who has tried a TON of different toothpaste options and read a TON of books and medical literature. I first started making my own toothpaste after getting frustrated that I couldn’t find a store-bought brand that didn’t have questionable ingredients, including:
- Sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners like sodium saccharin are often used in toothpaste to improve taste, but some of these substances are controversial. Until scientists reach some more definitive conclusions, sugar alcohols like sorbitol and xylitol seem to be a better choice and rated safe for non-food uses by the EWG.
- Fluoride: The most controversial toothpaste ingredient. I personally have to avoid it like the plague because of my thyroid disease (read about the connection here). Additionally, fluoride interferes with my thyroid hormone uptake. Our family doesn’t use fluoride toothpaste and we filter it out of our water, but there is definitely research on both sides. (You can read Mark Sisson’s take here and Dr. Mercola’s opinion here.) Whatever your opinion, fluoride does come with a warning to call the poison control center immediately if ingested and after seeing a close friend’s scare when her son ingested some fluoride, it isn’t something I keep in our house.
- Triclosan: A chemical used in antibacterial soaps and products. Triclosan was found to affect proper heart function in a study at the University of California Davis and the FDA ruled in 2017 that triclosan isn’t generally recognized as safe.
- Glycerin: Another controversial ingredient, glycerin is found in many toothpastes, especially natural toothpastes. Glycerin is a sweet, colorless liquid and some research says it can coat teeth and prevent them from benefitting from the minerals in saliva. I know that when I used glycerin toothpaste in college, my teeth started to yellow, but the research is still mixed on whether glycerin is harmful or not. Especially when I was working to remineralize cavities, I concluded after research that it was better to just avoid it.
- Surfactants: Many kinds of toothpaste contain surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate, which gives toothpaste its foam and lather. Some research shows that SLS can cause mouth ulcers and canker sores.
- Artificial colors/dyes or synthetic flavors: There are a few good natural toothpastes out there, but after looking at the ingredients, I realized I could make a similar concoction at home… and the toothpaste experiment was born.
Homemade Toothpaste Trial & Error
If you’re not sure you want to try making your own toothpaste, there are good store-bought options out there (scroll down for my favorites).
If you’re a DIY master, then jump right in!
I admit, I had several failed attempts before I figured this recipe out. I originally tried mixing coconut oil and baking soda in equal proportions (which makes coconut-tasting salt!). I also tried using pure ground stevia leaf, but my husband and kids couldn’t get past the green color.
I finally made a concession to use stevia powder (the most natural one I could find). I’ve also tried making this with xylitol, as it has some supposed benefits in dental health.
Here it is… the new, improved, and kid-approved recipe!
Natural Toothpaste Recipe
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 2-3 TBSP baking soda
- 2 small packets stevia powder
- 15-20 drops peppermint essential oil (or cinnamon essential oil)
- 10 drops myrrh essential oil (optional)
- Melt or slightly soften the coconut oil.
- Mix in other ingredients and stir well. If you are using a semi-hard coconut oil, use a fork, if not, use a spoon. If you are using completely melted coconut oil, you will need to stir several times while the mixture cools to keep the baking soda incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into a small glass jar (I make different ones for each family member).
- Let cool completely.
Does Homemade Toothpaste Work?
We have been using natural toothpaste years now, and it seems to work great! I’ve noticed less plaque when brushing our teeth, and my teeth feel smoother. Years of great dental checkups have to count for something, and I have several friends who have used similar concoctions for years and never get cavities.
More DIY Toothpaste Recipes
Since I originally wrote this post, I’ve created a few additional toothpaste recipes which are even easier to make! I still love this recipe, but you may also want to check out these:
Pre-Made Natural Toothpaste Options
If you don’t want to make toothpaste yourself, thankfully, there are several pre-made natural toothpaste options that are both effective and safe. Some of my favorites are:
My Wellnesse Whitening Toothpaste uses only the safest EWG-rated ingredients, like hydroxyapatite to remineralize teeth and make them strong, and neem oil to fight unhealthy bacteria that cause bad breath and plaque. Instead of fluoride, our formula contains green tea leaf extract, which is loaded with antioxidants. Plus, a phytochemical in green tea is shown to fight bacteria that leads to tooth decay. Did we mention our toothpaste is Glycerin-Free?
OraWellness Brushing Blend
I use OraWellness Brushing Blend as an ingredient in many of my homemade oral health products, but I also just like using it alone. It is great for traveling, even for flying since it comes in a small bottle and since you only need a few drops, it lasts forever.
We also use OraWellness Bass Toothbrushes regularly at our house.
Earthpaste is another favorite at our house. The kids like the lemon flavor and my husband and I like all three mint options (cinnamon, peppermint, and wintergreen). I haven’t found it locally, so I often bought a four-pack online every few months.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Steven Lin, who is a Board accredited dentist trained at the University of Sydney. With a background in biomedical science, he is a passionate whole-health advocate, focusing on the link between nutrition and dental health. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor or dentist.
What do you think? Up for making your own toothpaste, or is it too much? Tell me about it below!
Discussion (335 Comments)
Thanks so much for the AMAZING website – I am in heaven and soaking everything up!!!!! You said you would post an update of your family’s dental checkup, has that happened yet?!
I’ve only read 1 of your blogs, this one about the natural toothpaste, and I’m absolutely in LOVE with the time, experimentation, sweat, tears – everything – you put into helping others! I’m going to follow in your footsteps and continue to be an excellent and natural role model for my friends/family. Thank you for doing all this research and sharing it with us! 🙂
You are so sweet! thanks for reading!
Doesn’t adding baking soda make this unnatural? Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate is the chemical compound with the formula NaHCO3
Naturally occurring deposits of nahcolite (NaHCO3) are found in Green River Formation, Piceance Basin in Colorado.
Nahcolite was deposited as beds during periods of high evaporation in
the basin. It is commercially mined using in-situ leach techniques
involving dissolution of the nahcolite by heated water that is pumped
through the nahcolite beds and reconstituted through a natural cooling
crystallization process. If it is naturally occurring it is natural.
I just made this, but I didn’t have peppermint oil so I used citrus. I also put some cinnamon powder in to, because I didn’t have the oil and I figure it will still work well. It’s cooling and I can’t wait to see how well it works! Thank you so much for all your homemade cosmetics! These recipes are incredible. You are amazing.
You are so sweet! Great idea on the cinnamon powder.
I just tried making this! is the consistency supposed to be watery? I assume it will get stiffer over time with the baking soda? I used wintergreen to give a spearmint flavor. I didn’t add the myrrh. Is that OK? Also I add more than 20 drops of flavor. It was just too bland for my 7 year old. I assume that’s OK too.!! thank you.
PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL USING WINTERGREEN! The essential oil is very dangerous. Topically it is a very powerful and potentially useful analgesic but internally it can be poisonous, especially for children.
“Ingestion can cause severe poisoning and death, lethal doses with children at 10 ml, adults at 30 ml.” (Guenther, Volume II, page 640, written around 1949)
We use many essential oils at Island Thyme and have for many years. Wintergreen e.o. is unique. I would never say such a thing to alarm anyone, I just want you and your 7 yr old to be safe!
thank you so much. I had no idea. I have also been using orange but started with the wintergreen first since January and only have a little left. But I will remove it from the toothpaste and use another E.O. Truly appreciate you letting me know.. Debbie
Thank you!!! You answered so many of my questions with one post! Absolutely amazing research, I will have to update you when I learn more in my experimenting!
Hi! I love this ! I’d like the add hydroxyapatite to my home made toothpaste. Can you tell me how much to add please .
why is there Castile soap in the picture?
The original recipe had 1 tsp of liquid castille soap, and it can still be added, I just prefer the updated version a little better.
I make my own toothpaste, and everything else I can. Love the toothpaste, love the body care stuff, love the cleaning supplies.
hey, I read that you make “everything else”, and I would like to do everything I can to! So, do you have any blog or something so I can read your recepies?
Hi, I’ve ever purchased one natural toothpaste and just decided to make one myself since the whole procedure & ingredients on internet seem simple (Yes, they do indeed ?)
However, the result is not just like what I expected. The coconut oil melts overnight. I wonder if there’s any extra ingredients that homemade suppliers add to keep their product firm in room temperature.
Taking in and out the DIY toothpaste out of fridge is definitely an extra work to do ??
I’m trying to go green by using eco-friendly products. Your homemade toothpaste is one of the best recipes that I’ve seen. The first homemade that I’ve known is baking soda with apple vinegar cider. My friends told me that this alternative is also effective in whitening teeth.
How much does stevia powder weigh? Thanks.
Is the myrrh extract safe during pregnancy? I can’t wait to try this out!
It should be safe in that small amount during pregnancy, but I’d leave that out just in case. An interesting note, when baby is born, myrrh is a great way to keep the umbilical cord clean until it heals.
Great post! I’m a do-it-yourselfer so I’ll give it a try. It could save me a mint – no pun intended;)
wow. I’ll try making my own toothpaste. this is exciting.great post!
We have been using for about a week and love it, but are wondering a few things… How long does this last for? Also can you tell me what each product does for the teeth? Ex. baking soda-whitening
Baking soda has many parts to play. It is an acid reducer, mild abrasive, and it does reduce some of the stains..,slightly.
I would recommend using Xylotol as the sweetener. It is a natural sugar that bacteria cannot digest so they die.
The comment about Fluoride not shown to reduce decay is inaccurate. It has been shown from the 1800’s that it is effective. For adults the benefit comes from having the fluoride stay on the teeth.
The Peppermint oil is for flavor and there are anti-microbial effects as well
The Cocoanut oil is the binding agent to keep it all together on the brush.
Baking soda brightens but I do have a question…died it break down onrd teeth after time? Enamel? Tooth itself?
What’s the Myrrh oil for?
Toothpaste contains Silica a powder derived of granite – it in itself removes enamel.
I use straight baking soda when I had braces with no problem, I was 18 at the time and had them for 2 years. I started using straight baking soda since I was 16 because all sweeteners hurt my teeth. The taste takes a bit getting use to but well worth it. I haven’t had a cavity in over 30 years. I brush my teeth and floss morning and night. Flossing is must!
Xylitol actually isn’t natural…the sweetener you’re referring to anyways. The sweetener is processed using man-made chemicals so I actually think Stevia is the best sweetener to use if your trying to go for an all natural approach. Coconut oil has several beneficial properties for toothpaste rather than just holding the ingredients together. Coconut oil actually kills bacteria, freshens breath, and helps whiten teeth.
Hi , I love your site and have lived this sort of life for about twenty three years. Thanks for putting it all in one fun place to visit.
About the toothpaste. I also make my own very similar to yours but with one important addition. I add activated charcoal to my blend. The paste is black and can create a little bit of a challenge when you notice you’ve missed a little while wiping your mouth (but not till you’ve been at work for a few hours walking around like you’re still cute).
Love and wellness,
Do I need the Stevia?
I’ve heard that the fluoride coats your teeth, preventing your body’s ability to correct a cavity. I think a mineralization diet and proper toothpaste WITHOUT added fluoride would help the natural healing process.
By the way, fluoride in itself is not bad. It is naturally present in spring water, but the powers that be add it in excessive amounts to toothpastes and most cities’ water supply, which does more harm than good.
The Russians, as well as Hitler and his scientists, added fluoride to water in an attempt to breed docility and submissiveness in those who ingested it.
I think you need to do a little more research on fluoride there.
The fluoride added to our water supply is the far, far from natural occouring fluoride. The stuff they put in our water supply is man made and can some time be from the phosphate fertilizer industry. Have a read of a book called Taking control of your health and escaping the sickness industry by Ellaine Hollingsworth – It’s a good read and educational.
Fluoride is also toxic to human health no matter what way you slice the cake.
It’s been noted that in the worlds oldest medical journal it’s a nwuro-toxin.
I can’t remember the name of the guy but he has spent 27 or 37 years working for cancer research and came out publicly and said that it causes cancer faster then anything else. Something to thing about while all these 1st world countries has sky rocketing cancer rates!
it wasn’t fluoride that the Russians and Hitler added to the water to make the people more submissive it was chlorine still in wide use today as an antimicrobial in our water supply.
love this recipe and can’t wait for more
Fluoride has been shown in studies to lower people’s IQs.
The fluoride that is put in municipal water supplies is not pharmaceutical grade and some comes from china industrial waste. https://www.naturalnews.com/029477_fluoride_China.html
Can’t wait to try the recipe!
And Those powers that be use their Sodium Fluoride which is a bi product of their nuclear and industrial waste . And Lynn it was indeed sodium fluoride that Hitler put in the drinking water… it lowers aggression and causes apathy. same reason our government is dumping into ours.
They dont use naturally occurring fluoride in toothpastes, bread , crackers , all processed foods pretty much . They use sodium fluoride from their industrial waste. So yes its bad very bad
What if the coconut oil is liquid cold pressed – not semi-solid at room temperature, but liquid.
Do I add more baking soda until a paste is achieved [thus changing the recipe] or is it necessary to get semi-solid coconut oil?
I made this recipe today. I think 1/2 c of Cocnut oil is way too much!! I added about 10 or more TBS of Baking Soda and the same amount of Bentonite clay to make it have a paste texture.
I’m starting with this tonight, with a few minor modifications. How about a toothpaste that’s only coconut oil and baking soda? I don’t mind the salty taste, is it that important to add sweetener and essential oils? I keep the coconut oil in my fridge, it’s not liquid and I rather wouldn’t melt it in any way, I’ve found some Youtube tutorials where people simply mixed ingredients with a fork and put it on their toothbrush.
I have to say, there is not one study anywhere that is done by private researchers that can show that sodium fluoride has a positive effect on preventing cavities. Sodium fluoride is what they put in toothpaste and in drinking water. Natural fluoride in the Earth’s water supply is an inert “INERT” mineral called Calcium Fluoride. Calcium Fluoride does not attract and stick to the body, it passes through the body, does this make sense? Does anyone have any common sense? Sorry but Sodium Fluoride is a very, very, very toxic man made chemical that is highly reactive with the Human body. Sodium Fluoride is listed as being equal to mercury, lead, arsenic and cadmium, in terms of toxicity. You would not brush your teeth with arsenic and lead would you? In the past, if you do a simple search, Sodium Fluoride had one purpose, it was called “Insecticide.” I am not trying to sound rude or arrogant, but this is all common knowledge now, and there is NO EXCUSE for not being aware of these facts. I see many smart people here who are aware!
Amen. After reading lots of negative things about fluoride I switched to a fluoride free paste. My wife thinks I’m crazy. My 2 year old son has fluoride free paste mainly because he likes to suck the paste off the brush. Personally I believe the best way to prevent cavities is in our diets. Cut out highly acidic and sugary foods and drink. Not by brushing our teeth with a highly toxic substance. I can’t wait to try this recipe for myself.
I quit taking my children to a particular dentist because she insisted on thickly pasting my children’s teeth with fluoride, i said my children don’t need this, and i don’t like its use, and my children have oats, often soaked in raw milk (which produces a natural fluoride/calcium nutrition boost) she said what good is that? I do not wish to use a dentist who has no true idea where natural, helpful fluoride comes from, or who tries to poison my children against my wishes. i have heard, although i have done little research on this, that there is enough fluride in an adult tube of toothpaste to kill a 6 year old! i am no scientist, but i did search out good nutrition facts about fluoride and calcium, and include these things in our diet.
Also, there is already fluoride in the drinking water, so you get plenty from just turning on your faucet!
I have read on other blogs to not spit the toothpaste down the sink if it had coconut oil. What is your procedure for using this? Thanks.
Hello Lacey, That is a great question. Just spit it into the trash instead. If coconut oil is spit down the drain, it will harden as it cools and can clog the pipes quickly.
Great recipe, except for the Stevia! Stevia has been used by native american, and south americans for centuries as birth control. It causes infertility. Just do a youtube search on stevia causes infertility.
So what organic natural sugar would you recomend? That is NOT manmade. Me and my boyfriend have recently got into the organic world and are trying to learn how to live this way because he has some major health problems and the Doctors want to chop his foot off, which we do not agree with. We need all the help we can get. We have done so much research. Thank you for your help. 🙂
I have been using this recipe for over 6 months now and had a beautiful dental appointment recently. My dentist asked if I was whitening my teeth and commented on the lack of plaque and tartar. I told him what I’ve been doing and he was actually shocked. He told new to continue what I’m doing! Thank you for this!
What is your recipe for the whitening of the teeth
Coconut oil whitens!
Made several kinds and all were great. I used cinnamon and Clove in the adult pastes and vanilla stevia and orange oils for the kids. They taste great, make your teeth look good and prevent bad breath even hours later. I now wake up w/o morning breath because the coconut oil inhibits the growth of bacteria.
Hello Wellness Mama,
I use Toothpaste=
Does it matter if the mixture goes into a liquid or is it best to keep it in the fridge?
I was trying to use:
Are these okay product ideas okay to use?
I made a lotion with coconut oil, vitamin E, and essential oil. I’m going to try the toothpaste.
Anyone used this with braces?
Just worrying if the baking soda might somehow loosen the brackets.
I use straight baking soda when I had braces with no problem, I was 18 at the time and had them for 2 years.
I make a similar paste, I did not add coconut oil but now do. I also use colloidal silver, rather than water. I also add food grade H2o2.
I am a big fan of silver peroxide and use it to clean most things in my home.