One of my personal goals for my thirtieth year, was a heightened focus on my own dental health. Now that I have a child’s dental health to consider as well, the pressure it really on!
Disenchanted with conventional toothpastes and what they don’t have to offer, I have been cruising the natural toothpaste circuit for years. I have been happy with a number of brands over the years, but what I am not happy with is the price! As always, in an effort to be more frugal, I set out to make my own toothpaste.
The first one was a dud.
The second try is brilliant!
Dear Husband and my Mom both liked it, and they are my super-duper-recipe-tester-critics who will always tell the truth, so, to get the seal of approval from them meant a lot to me. What is even better is that is my homemade toothpaste uses few ingredients, is very easy and inexpensive to make, stores well in a re-used toothpaste tube, and has unsurpassed dental health benefits. It helps remineralize your teeth, instead of stripping them with harsh abrasives.
Let us first celebrate what this toothpaste does not have in it!
It does not have:
- sodium lauryl sulphate
- foaming agents
- artificial colors or flavors
- chemical preservatives
If you agree that these things do not belong in your mouth, then this recipe is for you 🙂
The star of this show is an unsung hero of the health world and is highly effective in healing dental ailments and maintaining excellent dental health. (It also has numerous other internal and external applications and can be used to make many body care products).
Enter, Bentonite Clay!
An earthen wonder, bentonite clay is like a sponge, binding and absorbing heavy metals and toxins and leaving behind minerals including silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron and potassium in their place. A huge benefit for the mouth. It is alkaline, and a naturally occurring volcanic ash, that has velvety texture with a hint of coarseness. Perfect for a good tooth scrub-down. A good quality clay should be a gray/cream color; never pure white.
That being said, this is not your average toothpaste. It is a gray/brown color; meaning when you spit, you spit gray/brown. It takes some getting used to, but should less uncomfortable than spitting something blue, green, pink or sparkly, right? It cleanses gently, leaving teeth feeling clean and polished, and can be flavored any way you’d like. By adding xylitol, you can add a hint of sweetness if you so desire. Xylitol, derived from birch trees and the fibrous portions of many fruits and veggies, has been proven to help keep a neutral pH in the mouth, preventing bacteria and plaque. Like bentonite clay, xylitol has many great benefits for dental health, and many consume it in the morning and at night as part of their oral health regimen. In reusing an old toothpaste tube, you get the convenience of commercial toothpaste, but the benefits of a healing tooth powder. I just do not have the patience for tooth powders so I simplified the matter. 🙂
Homemade Toothpaste (In A Tube!)
- 1/4 C Bentonite Clay
- 1T Baking Soda
- 6 T hot water
- 5 drops tea tree oil
- 15 drops peppermint oil (or your essential oil of choice)
- Pinch of Xylitol (to taste)
Combine bentonite clay, baking soda and xylitol (if using) in a glass jar and stir with a chopstick or small spatula. (At the time of writing, I substituted stevia for the xylitol because I was fresh out).
Note: It is important not to use metals when making this recipe, because the bentonite clay can absorb the metals.
Add hot water and stir. Add essential oils and stir.
As for the toothpaste tube, I re-used my old Tom’s of Maine tube, and since they have switched to the plastic tubes, it has made reuse possible. I cut the crimped end off of the tube, washed thoroughly, and filled the tube with my homemade toothpaste by way of chopstick, small spatula, and my fingers. It was a bit of a dirty job, but not bad. I sealed up the cut end with packing tape, and though it may not be glamorous, it makes up for it in “awesome!”
I was afraid the clay might harden over time, but we have been using this for about a month, and have seen nothing of the sort. We have been more vigilant about putting the cap back on the toothpaste, which is great in it’s own right… (don’t even get me started… :))
I love the way my mouth feels when I use this toothpaste. I love knowing exactly what is in it and how it was made. I love knowing I can care for mine and my family’s mouths in a holistic, frugal and practical way, while not sacrificing taste or texture. I love the healing benefits of bentonite clay and all of it’s numerous healing benefits.
Do you use bentonite clay, xylitol, or homemade toothpaste or tooth powder? What does your oral care routine look like?
The conversation continues on my facebook page. Join us! I’d love to be your friend 🙂
**Remember, I am not a doctor or an expert. Nor am I a butcher, or baker, or candlestick maker, and I thoughtfully encourage you to do your own research on topics of interest to you. The remedies suggested are not a substitute for professional medical advice.
Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links that provide a small commission to me when purchases are made through that link–-at no extra cost to you. I only affiliate with companies whose products I personally use and can whole-heartedly recommend. Thank you for supporting Sustain, Create and Flow.
Shared with: Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Your Green Resource, LHITS DIY Linky, Frugal Crafty Home, Natural Living Monday, In and Out of the Kitchen, Fat Tuesday, Fight Back Friday
My mind is BLOWN! I am now going to add home-made toothpaste to my list of things to try! Thank you for paving the way and letting me know how, you’re a saint. <3
You’re going to love it 🙂
I love the idea of making my own toothpaste. My 4 year old daughter is hyper and I think it’s been worst since the pink bubble gum toothpaste came in the house. I bet it’s the dye in it. Got rid of it and turned to baby stuff but I might try yours. A suggestion: Next time you fill a tube with the tooth paste, dump the whole thing in a sturdy freezer bag and snip a little corner of it. Then just squeeze it in your reused tube.
What a great idea to get it into the tube, Suzanne! And I suspect you are right about the dye. You could use sweet orange essential oil for the kiddos. I bet it’d turn out lovely 🙂
I tried it yesterday and it was wonderful. My husband refuses to use the tooth powder I make, but can accept this toothpaste. No funky after taste or strange texture. Be careful with the tea tree oil, strong stuff.
I’m so glad he liked it 🙂
You’re welcome, Ash 🙂
You should check out the book, The Cure For Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel. I loved this book!
Hey Pretty Lady!
I have read AMAZING things about that book lately. It’s another one of the “Universe is yelling at me” things! 🙂 I really want to read it if I ever get a minute, which lately is never. *Sigh* I’m off to a good start with the clay though, I know. I have recently switched dentists too to a holistic dentist, and I’m really excited about what I might learn from him 🙂 Namaste, my friend.
I love homemade toothpaste. Store bought now feels foamy like frothing at the mouth and just gross.
How did you find your holistic dentist? I live where there are hundreds of dentists, but had some claim to be holistic when they weren’t. They still pushed fluoride and drill it out, etc.
I asked my naturopath for a recommendation. Is there anyone natural in your medical community that you trust and can ask? Good luck! I still hate going to the dentist anyway… 😉
What about people who still have metal fillings in their mouth, can they use this toothpaste??
Absolutely great question! As far as I can tell from my research, bentonite clay is perfectly fine to use with metal fillings. It will not harm the fillings in your mouth and will catch the harmful metals before they enter your system. So I think it’s actually the better option for oral care with that type of filling. I am not a doctor though, just an enthusiast, so what you chose to do is up to you 🙂 Be well! Jerica
I tried making some homemade toothpaste a couple years ago and my husband begged for the “natural” toothpaste from the health food store (which he always complained about before then). My homemade toothpaste was awful and I just haven’t tried making some since. The main ingredient was baking soda with the added xylitol, peppermint essential oil and coconut oil. I am curious about the bentonite clay. How does it taste?
Visiting from Your Green Resource 🙂
I don’t know how to describe the taste of it. It doesn’t taste overly earthy, or metallic, or bitter, etc. It doesn’t really have a taste– I think. All I taste when brushing is the peppermint oil. I mostly love the texture of it. It’s kinda creamy with just the right amount of coarseness. If you make it let me know what you think 🙂
Your post headline caught my eye “in a tube”, yea! My daughter has been asking me to make toothpaste again and I haven’t because we used it out of a mason jar and I wanted “the tube”. Looks like I’ll be recycling =)
Thanks for the inspiration!
I love that your daughter asks you to make homemade stuff. Nice job, Mama! 🙂
Hi Jer. You really inspire me with your talents and creativity. I was reading your blog and I got to the end and wanted to keep reading. You are an amazing writer and you are my inspiration. I look forward to introducing this to my family. Thanks for always being the beautiful person you are to me and everyone around you.
You are the sweetest sister a girl could ever have and I love you very much 🙂
The Mountain Rose Herbs website where I bought my kaolin clay says “external use only.” To be safe, I would use bentonite.
I have never heard of making your own toothpaste. I will have to give this a try!
I am so glad you shared this at the In and Out of the Kitchen link party. I look forward to seeing what you bring next week.
Cynthia at http://FeedingBig.com
Could you combine all the ingredients in a ziploc, mix, then cut a hole into the corner and squeeze it into the tude?
You absolutely could, Jody. Great idea. Another reader had suggested that as well. I didn’t think of it at the time. Let me know how it works.
Awesome> I really want to try this>
Another awesome recipe! I really appreciate the education I got reading this post about what is not in this toothpaste… pretty darn cool.
Thanks for sharing another great post on Natural Living Monday!
I have a question. I have been purchasing the ingredients for this, but the bentonite clay that I bought (and the one that you link to at Mountain Rose Herbs) says that it is for external use only. Is that okay to use for toothpaste? I am VERY excited to try this! 🙂
In my opinion, it is ok in toothpaste, because you are not swallowing it. Actually, I have read a lot that says bentonite clay is ok to ingest, but that is not what I am suggesting you do 🙂 It’s a personal choice. The clay is wonderful for the mouth and then you spit it out, so I think you are plenty safe. You decide though. I’m not an expert, just an enthusiast 🙂
Agreed. It’s probably ok if you aren’t swallowing any. There are swelling and nonswelling clays. Typically the clay for internal use is nonswelling. Bulkherbstore has it or you can buy food grade, nonswelling from Pascalite or EarthWorks. I’m sure there must be other suppliers, but those are the 3 I’m aware of.
I thought about what you might use to make it easier to transfer the toothpaste into a container. What about those plastic paint tubes? The ones with the tips that screw off, and you could make a cute label to put on it to sit on the countertop… I can’t wait to make this toothpaste & try it! Thanks so much for sharing!
Great idea, Christine!
I make a tooth powder similar to this. I love it. Thanks for linking up at Wildcrafting Wednesday!
This is another idea for a “tube” – how about the reusable pouches for baby food? You fill it through a ziploc type opening, seal it, and squeeze out as normal. A cap is included so no need to worry about it drying out either. There are adult versions of these pouches too on Amazon (if you don’t want cute characters on your pouches!).
I bought a very similar homemade toothpaste at our Earth Day festival and am so glad I found your recipe. Now I can make it myself when I run out. I love the stuff!!! It is much better feeling and tasting than the conventional brands. Despite my strong dislike for dentists, I am somewhat anxious for my appt in a few weeks – hoping that my teeth have improved!
I love it too! I hope your appt. goes well 😉
With the addition of water, how long will this keep fresh for? Do you think this recipe would work with aloe Vera as the fluid content?
Hi Sharron, I am not sure how long it will keep. We use it up in about a month it two with great success. It’s never around long enough 😉 I think the aloe might work. If I were doing it I’d start with a big glob of aloe and add the powdered to it, mixing it in until the right consistency. It’s a good idea. I’m curious on how that turns out. Let us know! 🙂
Thank you so much for the recipe. Just be careful with xylitol.
Check out this article:
Great article. Thanks for sharing!
Is it safe for my kids to swallow this toothpaste?
I personally would allow my kids to, but it’s definitely an individual choice. I’m not a Doc, so I don’t want to make strong statements, especially when it comes to children 🙂 Many people worldwide use clays internally for medicinal purposes, and Katie, from The Wellness Mama has a GREAT post on bentonite clay. Check it out, it may help you make your decision.
I company called Redmond makes a product called Earthpaste (similar to this) and on the container is says it is safe to eat 🙂
I would say it also depends a bit no what essential oils you use – some companies use nasty ingredients in their “pure” essential oils that I would not want to swallow!
I agree, Bev. (And I love that toothpaste) 🙂
I didn’t notice if this was already asked, but can coconut oil be added to this recipe?
I think that would be a great addition!
Just curious – do you think one of those toothpaste tube crimpers would work on the end of this instead of the tape? Maybe if you did not fill it all the way?….
Most definitely! My Husband had that idea, but we haven’t picked one up yet. If you try it, let me know what you think.
Hello I wanted to know if I have to add xylitol to the tooth paste? Also could I just put the mix in a jar instead of a tube?
No, you can totally omit the xylitol. I don’t sweeten mine at all anymore and I like it better in fact; but, I also HATE sweet toothpastes. You can keep it in a jar too, but if multiple family members are using this, give each person their own jar. Toothbrushes and mouths are great places to find bacteria and you don’t want to contaminate your paste.
Okay Thank you so much! I look forward to trying it!
Just wanted to say thank you for sharing this recipe. I just made it (just a half batch) to test it out. I added a touch of coconut oil, no xylitol and clove instead of peppermint. I plan to make another batch for my children with mint since that is their preferred flavor. They are old enough now that I am not worried about them swallowing it. At the moment, I have it in a jar with a small wooden stir stick to apply a small amount to the brush. Going to do a bit more research on fillings and the clay for my husband before he starts using it but I did see the conversation above about it. Thank you for your enthusiasm and spreading it around. 🙂
Glad to hear it, Lynette! Report back if you dredge up some good info 🙂
I have been make my own toothpaste for a while now. I tried another recipe using bentonite clay from another website and it hardened like concrete overnight! Not one of my best moments. I will try this recipe as I already have all of the ingredients.
Hi, thanks for the new toothpaste idea. I’ve been using a combo of baking soda and glycerine, but you say the latter is not good? Could you say what’s wrong with it? Also, regarding the clay, will it corrode a stainless steel spoon, if the spoon is left in a bowl of the stuff? Thanks for your help!
I have read that glycerine can “starve” teeth of minerals. Many people substitue coconut oil. In fact, I have been playing around with the recipe to include coconut oil. I’ll post it once I come up with something I like 🙂 You shouldn’t use metals with the clay because it absorbs heavy metals and toxins, so it will suck it right out of your spoon. You don’t want that in your mouth 😉
I was wondering if I could substitute tea tree oil with anything else?
The link to the clay that you shared says, “For external use only. ” None of the other clays on the webpage state this, so I’m curious about the safety of using this for toothpaste, especially for kids!
Do you have thoughts or research on this? Thanks! I’m really excited to try making toothpaste, just can’t figure out the ingredients to use.
I think that could be part of their labeling requirements. Not sure. Many people use bentonite clay internally and have for centuries. I saw that on the label also and it concerned me at first, but I personally feel comfortable using bentonite clay in this manner for myself and my family. It’s all about personal choice. Maybe a quick cruise on Google would ease some if your concerns. Best of luck to you 😉 I now include coconut oil, myrrh extract, propolis extract, echinacea extract and plantain extract in the recipe. I’m loving version 2.0! (Sorry, I haven’t had a chance to write it up yet) 😉
An idea – you could use one of those ‘squeezie’ reusable pouches for the toothpaste! http://www.pouched.com.au/pouch-packs/400ml-food-pouch-packs. You could even purchase some of the ‘animal’ styled one for infants.
In your opinion how long do you feel this stuff lasts in the tube/jar? I’ve always wondered how long the clay stays ‘activated’ after its been hydrated.
Thanks for the fantastic recipe
Our toothpaste batch lasts us a few months. Never any problems with it 🙂 Great pouch idea, btw!
We use reusable food tubes (such as the ones you would put condiments in to go camping). I found them at an outdoor supply store. They come with their own clamp on the end of the tube. For the thinner toothpastes it is better to use a ‘reducer’ in the mouth of the tube. I stole one from a condiment bottle. Works great. We’ve been using this recipe with a few tweaks for quite a while now. I know the tea tree is supposed to have antibacterial properties but my kids hate the taste. Anything I can substitute? Thanks.
Ive modified to include coconut oil, and mostly now use lavender, clove, peppermint and bergamot. The clove is only 2 drops. Ive also done just sweet orange. I bet the kiddos would like that. Mine does 🙂
Cool 🙂 🙂 🙂 ,but fluoride is essential for your teeth. otherwise,amazing!what is your Facebook page?
What are your thoughts on the toothpaste being stored in glass..since the clay pulls out the toxins..not sure I would trust any old plastic container..and some essential oils pull out toxins as well..may pull them from plastic!!?? Just a thought !!:)
What does C and T means in the ingredients? a legend would be nice. thx
Hi! Those are standard abbreviations in American recipes, albeit a bit antiquated way of writing it most likely. C is cup and T is tablespoon. That’s just the way we learned it in Home Ec… a hundred years ago! LOL
Hi. Thank u for the answer. European citizen here so I have no idea in American’s metrics ^^. Just order my bentonite from ebay, got baking soda powder as well, instead of pepermint essential oil i will substitute it with Black see oil extract. Gotta try this because Im sick of having chemicals in my body. Thank u very much for the idea, when I was looking for a recipe ur website was the first i saw.
Someday, (well maybe never), I will properly update this post to reflect that it is waaaaay easier to, once your mixture is combined, place this all in a plastic bag and cut the tip off to pipe it into the tube, like a baker would. Also, over time, I found some reuasable silicone squirt tubes, (on Amazon) and I have been using it for the tube. It’s working out GREAT!!!!