DIY

The Complete Guide to DIY Toothpaste (And The Recipe I Use)

There are so many great reasons to make your own toothpaste. Here are the best ingredients to use as well as the ones to avoid.

by Dr. Burhenne

homemade toothpaste

It’s funny how we can buy organic foods and shop for non-toxic sunscreen, but then think nothing of whipping out a blue, sparkly toothpaste for our kids to put in their mouths.

But even if you make your own toothpaste, it doesn’t mean you can’t do damage to your teeth.

I’ve seen plenty of DIY toothpaste recipes sent to me by patients and readers that are harmful to enamel or even the microbiome.

Here’s everything you need to know about making your own toothpaste, as well as how to choose the ingredients that will have the most benefit to your dental health.


Why Make Your Own Toothpaste?

Many mainstream brands of toothpaste contain harmful or even toxic ingredients such as:

  • Triclosan, a pesticide and hormone disruptor.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) which causes canker sores for many people.
  • Artificial colorings, which are linked to ADHD and hyperactivity in children. Toothpaste does not need to be blue!
  • Fluoride, which can be toxic if swallowed and doesn’t even work in toothpaste.
  • Titanium dioxide, which is added to make a toothpaste white. Most of the data shows it’s safe and is not absorbed by the skin, but I have yet to find a study done to measure absorption by oral tissues. The EWG has a good list of safety concerns around titanium dioxide, but the take-home message: it’s just there to make toothpaste white, not improve your health. So why bother with it?
  • Glycerin, which isn’t toxic, but has no place in the mouth as it’s a soap that strips your body’s natural oral mucosa and leaves a film. This film could coat the teeth, messing with the structure of the biofilm which could alter the microbiome in the mouth and impact the natural remineralization process — your body’s natural cavity-fighting mechanism.
  • Highly abrasive ingredients, which damage enamel, making teeth sensitive and more prone to gum recession and cavities. Toothpaste should be only a little bit abrasive — this graininess aids the brushing motion to remove the biofilm of the tooth.

homemade toothpaste

The Best Ingredients to Use in Homemade Toothpaste

  • Coconut oil, which can help boost the microbiome in your gut (remember, the gut begins in the mouth!) and naturally prevent candida in the mouth. There is limited evidence that coconut oil might help reduce cavity-causing bacteria — either way, it can only help, so long as it’s not used as a replacement for flossing, brushing, and tongue scraping.
  • Trace minerals drops, especially if you drink reverse osmosis water, which removes bad stuff from the water but also removes the good stuff too. I use Liqumins Trace Mineral Drops, which were recommended to me by integrative physician Elson Haas.
  • Crushed cacao nibs. Believe it or not, the ideal toothpaste would be a chocolate toothpaste, since compounds in cacao beans promote remineralization better than fluoride (and of course, much more safely). Depending on the grain size of the cacao nibs, it could be a safe abrasive to break up the biofilm — just like ground walnut shells are used to polish jewelry!
  • Bentonite clay, which is a natural polisher rich in minerals that isn’t too abrasive. It’s also alkaline, so it helps reduce acidity in the mouth. Don’t be afraid of putting “dirt” in your mouth — we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that we need to sterilize our mouths with mouthwashes that remove “99% of germs,” but vibrant dental health is actually about achieving a balanced ecosystem of bacteria in your mouth, which protects us from illness and promotes tooth remineralization. Clay is actually used to clean and polish exotic cars without damaging the finish.
  • Xylitol for its abilities to reduce cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. Just don’t add too much since it’s a sweetener — too much can reprogram your taste buds to crave too much sweetness.
  • Baking soda, for its alkalinity. Our teeth and mouths are constantly under attack by acids thanks to the foods we eat. Neutralizing these acids with vegetables and water is essential to maintaining proper pH in the mouth to encourage the right bacteria as well as protect enamel from decay. Baking soda has a pH of 9 to 11 (alkaline), so it helps to neutralize acids while not being too abrasive to teeth.

Leave it Out: Ingredients to Avoid

  • Anything acidic: I recommend grabbing pH strips from Amazon to test the acidity of any homemade toothpaste. Anything you make and use should ideally have a pH of 7 (neutral) or higher. Tooth enamel is built to resist acids, yes, but teeth are usually under constant acid attack — often in the form of constant snacking, the wrong foods, or even the right foods. Sipping on kombucha doesn’t give teeth a break from acid, preventing remineralization and making your teeth prone to decay.
  • Hydrogen peroxide. Yes, this is the same ingredient used in whitening products and it does work — just not in the form of toothpaste. In order for hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth, it needs to be held up against the tooth for an extended period of time — ideally with a custom-made tray, but also possible using whitening strips. You can’t just brush hydrogen peroxide on for a few minutes — it’s not long enough to have an effect. Hydrogen peroxide should be held up against only tooth enamel — ideally, it never comes into contact with gums, tongue, and soft tissues of the mouth, where it creates free radicals, which age us.
  • Essential oils. This one may be a surprise! Since essential oils have antibacterial properties, they ideally should not be in the mouth. We want to nourish and feed the delicate balance of bacteria in our mouths, not kill it off! Doing so can set the stage for poor oral health, bad breath, and other imbalances. Bacteria are important!

homemade toothpaste


FAQ

Q:

Can I just use baking soda?

A: Baking soda is completely safe to use as a DIY toothpaste. I like it because it’s non-toxic and increases alkalinity in the mouth by neutralizing acids, all while having a very low abrasion score.
Q:

Do I need to use toothpaste at all? How about using just water?

A: Using no toothpaste at all is perfectly fine. I dry brush without toothpaste all the time. The point of toothpaste is to add a little graininess to help the brushing motion of your toothbrush break up the biofilm. A polish, like toothpaste, helps you do this better than dry brushing, but if you’re traveling or away from the sink, don’t let a lack of toothpaste stop you from dry brushing!

Two DIY Toothpaste Recipes to Try Today

Now that you know which ingredients you should include when making your own toothpaste at home (and which ingredients you should avoid), I want to leave you with a two of my favorite recipes.

DIY Probiotic Toothpaste

Print Recipe
This recipe is made with cacao nibs, so it’s perfect for anyone with an affinity for chocolate. Cacao are the raw, beanlike seeds from which chocolate (as well as cocoa and cocoa butter) are made. And, as previously mentioned, cacao nibs contain compounds that promote the natural healing of cavities, in addition to providing a decadent, chocolate flavor. The addition of prebiotics and probiotics help to rebalance the oral microbiome, ensuring that new cavities can’t develop.Here’s how to make it:
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 5-7 days for a family of 4 people (used twice a day)

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, heat coconut oil over low heat until melted, about 1 – 2 minutes.
  2. Add bentonite clay, baking soda, xylitol, FOS, probiotic, cacao, ginger and cinnamon to a food processor or high speed blender and blend for 10-15 seconds until all powders are evenly combined, tapping sides and top of blender so powder will fall to the bottom.
  3. Wait a couple of minutes before opening to allow powders to settle, then pour one tablespoon of coconut oil into the blender. Blend for 10-15 seconds; mixture will be crumbly. Take the small end of a wooden spoon (a chopstick or small spatula will also work) and run it along the inside edge of the blender, making sure to combine all the powder with the oil.
  4. Add the vitamin E and remaining coconut oil, and blend another 10 – 15 seconds. A this point, the mixture will be runny. Again, run the wooden spoon end along the edge of the blender to make sure all the powder is incorporated. Blend again if necessary to create a smooth and creamy texture.
  5. With the blender running, slowly add the water and blend for at least 30 seconds, or until it is thoroughly mixed.
  6. Transfer to a glass container with a plastic lid or a nontoxic refillable squeeze tube.

Storage Tips & How to Use

Dip a clean spoon into the toothpaste and apply to your toothbrush. Store half at room temperature and use toothpaste within 7-10 days. Store the rest in the refrigerator for later use. Alternatively, fill a refillable squeeze tube with your toothpaste and squeeze about a quarter teaspoon onto your toothbrush twice daily for best oral hygiene. Store in your refrigerator for extended freshness.

If you are interested in healing gum disease using a food as medicine approach, here's a powered by neem leaf variation of the probiotic toothpaste.


DIY Kids’ Toothpaste

Print Recipe
kids' toothpaste
It’s important for adults to avoid store-bought, sparkly blue toothpastes, but it’s even more critical for children. The dental care products that are marketed to children are often designed for entertainment—not optimal dental care. With that in mind, I think it’s especially important to make your own kids’ toothpaste whenever possible.Here’s how:
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 5-7 days for families with 2 kids

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a bowl mix the calcium carbonate, the xylitol, the baking soda and the optional probiotic with a fork until they are thoroughly combined.kids' toothpaste
  2. Add water to form a paste, incorporating all the liquid.kids' toothpaste
  3. Slowly add the coconut oil in while mixing the paste vigorously.kids' toothpaste
  4. Add the anise essential oil and mix until smooth and no lumps remain.kids' toothpaste
  5. Paste should be smooth, creamy and closely resemble the consistency of commercial toothpaste. (Feel free to mix in a food processor if necessary, in order to achieve the desired consistency.)kids' toothpaste

Storage Tips & How to Use

Store in a glass jar or refillable squeeze tube. Keep out only what you’ll use within 5-7 days and store the rest in the fridge.

For kids who have a hard time changing routines, add a small amount of the DIY toothpaste to their brush along with the toothpaste they are used to. Gradually increase the amount of the DIY toothpaste while decreasing the amount of the commercial paste.

Consider discarding the used toothpaste (i.e., what’s left in the mouth after brushing) in the trash to avoid clogging sink pipes, as the coconut oil can leave a residue over time.


Don’t let toothpaste be an afterthought. The toothpaste you use can have a tremendous effect on not just your teeth, but your overall health as well.

Mark Burhenne DDS

read next: DIY Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste

Tired of cavities?

In 3 super easy steps, I'll show you how to hardly ever get another cavity without drastically changing your diet.

Dr. Mark Burhenne DDS

166 Comments

Leave a Comment

  1. Question for you: I live at the coast of california, and my coconut oil is very nearly always rock hard. Will adding these ingredients help it to retain a paste consistency? I’m really hoping this will work – something about the storebought “natural” toothpastes make me violently ill.

      • Hi, thanks very much for all your information. Just a bit confused about the bit about essential oils as you recommend in the comment above to use some essentials oils but in the main article above you say using essentials oils is bad for overall oral health. If I want to make my own toothpaste and flavour it with peppermint essential oil is it going to have a negative impact on my oral health?

          • Hi Ron and Brenda, this article has evolved as my opinion on the topic has evolved. New research I read about essential oils as well as through testing out the recipe on myself at home, I’ve changed my mind and caused me to remove it from this article, thanks to the antibacterial properties in the mouth. You’ll notice I’ve gone back and edited my comment about how to deal with rock hard coconut oil.

    • I like it when it’s a little pastier and you can just add more b.s. I’m in the Valley and these recent temps are should have liguefied that oil last week.

      • thank you for this article! as the wife of a dentist, i’ve been wanting to talk to him about using bicarb/ coconut (i plan to add cinnamon oil to mine, and maybe xylitol because i love cinnamon gum!) you should do an article about a paste for dogs, and perhaps some kind of anti plaque sticks, because i notice that the ones in the pet stores are not natural, and dogs do not spit!
        but thank you for this non dramatic, friendly, natural approach! 🙂

        • Add seaweed to your dog food. Prevents tartar build up. I found this after I had to have one of my dogs teeth removed. I don’t know how it works but it does ?

          • iodine in seaweed is an antimicrobial perhaps? Also there is salt water and minerals in seaweed. Just a guess. thanks for the post. raging canker sores for years. I’m fed up. looking for alternatives.

          • thanks anonymous!
            i used to add kelp to my dog food years ago….but stopped when i got dogs that liked commercial food. when my poodle got old however, he generally would only eat chicken and rice, and now his son prefers that too, so it should be easy to add the seaweed. does it matter if it is nori sheets, pulse, or kelp etc?

          • yes, Marlee! that is worth repeating!
            i was going to brush the dog’s teeth with a little coconut oil. they would probably gag if i gave them the bicarb, and i can’t blame them! but i shall add the kelp to the food for them. hopefully they will like it.

    • Find out what the source is for your sensitive teeth — is it grinding? Overbrushing? Bad dental work? I know that’s not the quick solution, but finding the source of your sensitivity is essential — if you don’t find the source, it could continue to get worse. If you want a quick solution, Pronamel is the best/safest stuff out there. If you have very sensitive teeth and need immediate relief, I would use a product called Prevident 5000, but only in the short term.
      You can read more about desensitizing toothpastes here: http://askthedentist.com/how-does-desensitizing-toothpaste-work/

      • Argin is a good natural additive to add into homemade toothpaste. As a matter of fact, in Signapore, Colgate’s Sensitive Pro Relief toothpaste uses argin instead of the typical potassium nitrate that is used here in the States.

      • I have had sensitive teeth for many years due to receding gums. I started mixing turmeric into my homemade toothpaste, and found that it helped. And, it is supposed to be good for whitening teeth, which is weird because it stains everything else so easily. I haven’t paid much attention to the whiteness of my teeth, but they are not turning yellow/orange either. Might be something to try!

      • What about ground eggshell calcium? Would that be safe and/or effective in a toothpaste? I plan on making one with coconut oil (about a cup), baking soda (two tablespoons), salt (teaspoon), and eggshell calcium (tablespoon) with small ground cocoa nibs (two teaspoons) and peppermint essential oil (like a drop or two) to make it more palatable. Does this seem realistic and helpful, or a bit unbalanced and/or dangerous?

        • I used a home made toothpaste with 1/2 cup coconut oil, 2 tbsp bicarb soda, and 20 drops of doterra peppermint oil. I could barely taste the peppermint through the bicarb (baking) soda, and that stuff is strong! So I would personally up the amount of peppermint if you want it to have any effect at all.

        • eggshell could have salmonella etc. i woukdnt do it. too porous i think. maybe a little d.e. food grade of course. some use turmeric weekly.

  2. Great information, thank you. The recipe specifying the amounts would be very helpful . Also, how should it be stored and how long does it keep?

    • Tracy, I have a blog post currently in the works that includes several of my favorite DIY toothpaste recipes from around the web. Stay tuned and subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook to make sure you don’t miss it 🙂

  3. Hi – wondering your thoughts around using pearl powder as a toothpaste agent? I use this with couple of drops of spearmint essential oil and seems to work well – no more abrasive than clay I feel….

  4. I would be careful with pearl powder since most of it comes from China and I’m worried about purity and quality control. I have not seen or read about any beneficial effects in the mouth and the claims I’ve read that it can whiten teeth I am highly doubtful of. I’d also warn against ingestion. Hope that helps!

  5. How about adding a couple of drops of lemon juice? I’m thinking about its whitening action…and I know it is alkaline so it should be good

  6. Dr. Mark,

    This is fantastic. I have been experimenting with various natural pastes for awhile now. This is the first time I have seen an actual Doctor come out and talk about the benefits of natural remedies, and the potential toxicity of mainstream dental products – Kudos to you! Thanks to this article, I am much more confident in my quest to create the ultimate natural home recipe.

    My question to you is related to oil pulling. Do you support the claims of oil pulling as an excellent all natural teeth whitener and/or oral detoxifier, or are the claims overblown on the web?

    Thank you for all the hard work that goes into this blog!

  7. Hi!

    I have gingivitis due to malocclusion. What kind of alternative to conventional toothpaste you recommend in this particular case?

    Thank you!

    Lucia

  8. Most regular and natural brands of toothpaste contain glycerin. Once again the information isn t crystal clear, but I tend to believe the data that describes how glycerin leaves a coating on your teeth which prevents them from being remineralized.

  9. Touch Brush works really well but it ocnaoiscally will fall off the mirror. It gets really good reviews on youtube. It’s really easy to use, all you really do is put the toothpaste in and put the cover on. That’s it! It’s really amazing!

  10. Hi Dr. Mark,

    I know this is months late! I’ve become very confused re: toothpaste recently. I had been using conventional toothpaste and then switched to EarthPaste. Recently, I’ve read about lead concerns related to Bentonite clay, which I noticed you recommended above. Do you personally have any concerns about the lead content? I’ve read articles that say the clay doesn’t release lead, but I don’t have scientific references on this topic.

    Thanks!

    • Tara, you’re getting more lead from other sources, like your drinking water. There’s even arsenic, which is a poison, in drinking water. The body has evolved to handle these things since they are naturally present in our environment, so I would say, don’t worry about it. Worry more about fancy chemicals like SLS.

  11. I was just wondering how you handle the coconut oil clogging the sink as you brush and rinse. Our sink kept getting clogged and my husband would have to snake the drain all the time. We couldn’t figure out why that was happening until I realized it must be the coconut oil. I now spit in a lined trash can which really grosses my husband out. Any better solutions?

    Thanks!

  12. I noticed that adding salt to homemade toothpaste is OK, but what about Epsom salt? Is it safe and can it help re-mineralize teeth? Also I have heard that adding Aloe vera gel to toothpaste can help with sensitivity – what’s your thought on that?

    Thanks,
    Lea Ann

    • Shoot, looks like I missed the show over at Athens and Jerusalem. Sure, there’s some good stuff left, but this comment by Withywindle makes me think I missed part of the story:Too true. I’ve deleted your latest map, and all future maps will be deleted, since I have a rough idea of your preferred destination.Can anyone here fill me in?

  13. Hi! I’m wondering about the order of brushing and flossing. Someone recently criticised me for brushing before flossing because then your mouth smells bad. But I’m more worried that if I floss before I brush, I’m opening up the space between my teeth and gums and exposing it to all the plaque and germs that are currently sitting in my mouth. Thoughs?

    • i think floss before brush, because all the filth coming off the floss will circulate in your mouth! and if it smells and…it’s dirty. the space you open will allow the paste and clean water in! 🙂

  14. Hi,

    This is an excellent article; thank you! Could I brush with baking soda if I have Invisalign? I read somewhere that baking soda could be detrimental to dental glue.

    Thank you so much!

  15. Thank you everyone for such wonderful and interesting comments. I am working on a formulation, and want it to be perfect. However, its ingredients may be a bit of surprise to many. For example, tea tree oil will not be included, as natural as it may sound, it can kill certain bacteria in the mouth.
    my DIY formulation will not set out to kill any bacteria in the mouth. It will cultivate and support the oral microbiome, stabilize pH, and promote remineralization (without the aid of fluoride. and, geez, I hope in the end it tastes good too!

    Stay tuned toothpaste DIYers!

    • And now, the recipe is available! I think you’ll find it absolutely delicious — we certainly do! Click the orange “Send it to Me” button at the bottom of this post to have the recipe delivered straight to your inbox. And tell me what you think of it, I’ll love to hear your feedback!

  16. what are the best essential oils to use in a toothpaste formula ? I heard some oils should not be used internally !

    • definitely! you can use a drop or two of lemongrass oil, grapefruit or other citrus, cinnamon oil, and a drop of lavender oil, but really, most oils are not for ingestion. take care, and read up about them first!

  17. This is an excellent blog and I’m grateful a dentist has stepped forward to offer such sage advise! I have two questions for you. 1) I do not have Bentonite Clay but I do have Azomite. Can I use Azomite in place of Bentonite Clay? 2) Speaking of ‘sage’ I’ve read in other places that sage powder “the plant derivative” has a great effect on keeping teeth healthy, would you say that’s true?

  18. I’ve read that turmeric, despite it’s bright yellow color, can whiten teeth. Any thoughts on this? Thank you for this dialogue.

  19. Glad to have stumbled upon this site. Enjoyed all of the comments, and am very much looking forward to your shared DIY recipe, Dr Burhenne. Thank you.

  20. Dear Dr. Burhenne,

    I just read your article re “Why Madke Your Own Toothpaste?” Is this the article you were working on to publish on your site ? I would like to try it. Seems better than Wellness Mama which ended up very runny – due to the added water I think.

    Thank you,

    Sh’reen Morrison

  21. IN the DIY website I found a few recipe but I was looking for one with Cocoa. Found this one that recomends coco powder. Could/Should I replace the powder with crushed nibs.

  22. Is a homemade toothpaste suitable for me?
    I was bulimic for 10 years and have worn down the enamel considerably due to acid damage. 8 Years after recovery my teeth are still super sensitive and the only toothpaste I can use is sensodyne. I don’t like the thought of all those chemicals in my toothpaste. “Ordinary toothpastes” make my teeth sore and even more sensitive. Help!

  23. I love your suggestions, and I am in the process of making a homemade toothpaste. However I do want to add some sodium fluoride, the reason being all the science that has shown it to be helpful to teeth. My son did not use it for the first five years of his life, and has very bad teeth problems now. However I strongly object to all the glycerin and SLS that is in commercial tooth products, and so am working on making my own. What do you think about this?

  24. Thanks for your article! It answers a lot of questions. One more: Wellness Mama’s toothpaste recipe calls for calcium powder. Do our teeth really absorb calcium this way? I don’t want to add this unless it will actually be of benefit (as opposed to, “it couldn’t hurt”). Thanks so much!

  25. Any advantage to expensive baking soda brands like Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda at $8/lb as opposed to the cheap brands $.54/lb?

    • No advantage in efficacy. Just in how it’s made. Arm and hammer is produced chemically and Red Mill is mined naturally. You can argue both methods are viable but in the end the product is the same. A personal decision.

      • Thanks for responding so quickly. My last x-ray of my lower front teeth looked very transparent. Is it too late to rebuild enamel?

  26. I’m so glad you tell that sodium laurel sulfate can cause cancer sores. I suffered from painful cancer sores from the time I was a young child and I am 60 years old now! About 10 years ago I switched to a more natural toothpaste that didn’t contain SLS. I didn’t notice that the cancer sores were absent (you only think about them when you have one), but then I bought a toothpaste with SLS and BOOM! Cancer sores! I sure wish I had known this about 60 years ago.

  27. Hello, A dentist said my daughter (who just turned 3) has hypoplasnia, but I don’t remember her having it when she first had teeth. I’ve been making her toothpaste for a while now. It has coconut oil, salt, a little baking soda (which I mix in with a warm water first), bentonite clay, stevia, essential oils, trace minerals, and a calcium lactate powder. I read somewhere that using a calcium that you can’t readily absorb is actually bad for your enamel. Could this be causing what looks like hypoplasnia in her teeth? Would it be better to use a liquid form of Calcium/Magnesium?

  28. Hello! So glad to have found your sure. This is excellent! Question about essential oils as a toothpaste ingredient: I don’t ingest any essential oils because I feel it hasn’t been proven that it is safe to do so, and i’m very worried about compromising my already not-so-happy gut flora. Because of that I stopped using essential oils in my toothpaste, because I figured i’m probably still ingesting some. What are your thoughts on all of this? Thanks!

    • you could do the smallest drop of oil of oregano mixed with 1 tsp coconut oil. it will reduce the candida. on a dietary note, consider the master tonic as well, or taking turmeric paste. obviously no breads, meat dairy etc.

  29. You recommend mi paste which has glycerin in it yet you discourage it’s use here. Bit of a contradiction ??

    • Hi Ciaren:

      yes, good catch. not a fan of glycerin, but there are some products out there that have other important benefits needed for people that are getting lots of cavities (i.e. after radiation therapy). At this point in time there are none of these products without SLS or glycerin. BTW, I don’t recommend MI paste anymore, as Prevident 5000 has been shown to work better. But it too has SLS and glycerin. The best toothpaste is no toothpaste (assuming the proper diet)!

      Glycerin probably has some effect on the makeup/formation of the biofilm, which is not good. I’ll be blogging about this in the future.

      Thanks for commenting.

      drb

  30. I’m absolutely in love with this post and am so grateful for the information you shared with us. Thank you so much. I’ve shared this post so many times since discovering it. My mind was blown to know that fluoride has absolutely no effect in your toothpaste! (I’m not a fluoride person in the first place, but hearing this from a dentist is simply amazing.)

    And this is actually where my question stems from… I finally convinced my boyfriend to switch to non-fluoridated toothpaste. One month later he had his first visit to his new dentist. The dental hygienist told him that he needs fluoridated toothpaste because:

    A. His teeth are weak and he has a mouth full of cavities and fillings due to the fact that he grew up in Oregon with non-fluoridated water. She told him that the reason I have strong teeth and no cavities is because I grew up in Washington. What she didn’t know is that I grew up on well water.
    B. Fluoride will help his fillings stick to his teeth (????)

    Any thoughts or wisdom there? I’m especially interested to know your reflection on whether fluoride will help the fillings stick to his teeth, because I’m positive his cavity issue is due to genetics and a high sugar diet.

    Thank you! Briena

    • Thank you Briena:

      Having cavities and fluoride (FL) in toothpaste is a complex topic. Yes, the propensity to having/getting cavities has a genetic component. The way your teeth form and the way the grooves of your teeth invaginate can make you more prone to getting cavities. However, diet is the big causative factor in determining one’s cavity rate. Teeth are not inherently weak if they do not have FL in them! If you want teeth that are less likely to demineralize (cavity) in the presence of a diet abnormally high in fermentable carbohydrates ( i just described the modern diet), then the profession of dentistry will tell you to brush, floss, and ingest fluoride while your teeth are developing and then brush with a fluoridated toothpaste to deal with the issue of cavities. Root cause is not being addressed with this approach, and as usual, we are just fooling ourselves.

      BTW, toothpaste has very low levels of FL. In Europe, they have efficacious levels in their toothpaste. Ask your dentist for a prescription toothpaste for the FL toothpaste that will work to help remineralize your teeth. But look to diet (Paleo), Vit K2, VIt D, and Vit A, and good habits to prevent cavities. Fluoride is merely a band aid in the process.

      Some observations: Well water may have ambient levels of FL present. You grew up on a farm, so were exposed to pastured meats and eggs (high Vit K2). Theres so much more to the equation.

      Also, I recommend reading the book “Vit K2 and the Calcium Paradox” for more info.

      Good luck, and thanks for being a reader.

      • I am so thrilled that you mentioned the book, “Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox.” This is a wonderful, scientifically-based book that changed many of the ways I shopped and cared for my family! I highly recommend it for everyone!!

        PS – I read it at the Public Library. It was easy to request and they had it for me within a few days!

      • Hello Dr Burhenne,
        I hope this isn’t too late but I have come across your recipe and all these interesting comments that I couldn’t help but add my own situation and ask a little advice. My son and I both suffer from Osteogenesis Imperfecta and he is now 5years old with the added curse of Dentinogenesis Imperfecta so the dentist that he sees recommends adult toothpaste with 1450ppm and fluoride painted onto his teeth every 6months but recently I’m becoming increasingly aware of harmful toxins and chemicals added to just about everything and therefore when I realized the harmful effects of some toothpaste ingredients I want to switch to something healthy and that will still strengthen teeth despite genetically vulnerable teeth. At the same time, I’m not a medical professional and therefore have to wonder whether I should keep allowing my family to be exposed in exchange for my son’s fluoride need or is there a way to make my own toothpaste and re-mineralize my son’s weakened and fragile teeth. Please help, thanks.

  31. I know this is a little off topic, but can you tell me anything about grinding teeth? Apparently I did this. Loud. Really loud. I worried about the effects and if there is anything I can do to to help stop it. And if there is anything I can add to my dental routine to undo and prevent to damage I’ve done.

    Thanks

  32. I was wondering about tooth sensitivity. I have had a minor problem off/on in the past (a meal, a day, couple days). I have been using a natural recipe for about 1.5-2 yrs now. No sensitivity at all, whiter teeth. No negative remarks from dentist (except for cavities I knew I had prior to making my own and never had filled).

    I ran out of the mixture (and the calcium powder to make more), so temporarily used the same store bought natural tooth powder I’d used before making my own. Had used it around 1 wk. I have NEVER had such tooth sensitivity. My entire mouth hurts from cold, hot, sugar, salt. This happened once before when visiting someone and using a different store bought natural brand for 3 days. Last time the sensitivity was just to sugar (even fructose) and went away in a few days. I just received the powder, so just stopped the store bought powder last night.

    Any thoughts or ideas as to why this might happen? Just curious.

    (I am definitely sticking to this recipe and will take it with me on any trip. FYI: It does carry well and goes through airport security just fine if in a small container.)

    Thanks

  33. Fantastic info! I’m online shopping for the ingredients now, and wondering . . . could cacao powder be used instead of the nibs? Thanks!

  34. I’m from Germany, where they only sell baking powder instead of soda (the difference is as long as i know baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate and in baking powder contains mainly sodium bicarbonate, an drying agent like starch and an acidifying agent) would you still recommend me using the baking powder or is it too acid? Any alternatives?

    Thanks

    • I can’t imagine that the corn starch in baking powder could be good for your teeth. Starches turn to sugars.

    • can you get “bi carb”? or “bicarbonate of soda”/ “sodium bicarbonate”?
      i live in australia and we don’t have “baking soda” either; but we do have what i just referenced above, which is what you want. all three are the same thing ( even say so on the box).

  35. Chocolate consumption can lead to staining from the tannins in chocolate
    Is this less likely in the form of toothpaste or could the ground and fermented cacao lead to discoloration over time? How long have you been using nibs? Notice any difference?

  36. I see it’s been a while since this post was created and perhaps someone has already asked this question, but what are your thoughts on adding activated charcoal powder to the homemade toothpaste? I personally use a mixture of coconut oil, charcoal, baking soda and essential oils. Occasionally I might add a little bentonite clay. I’m interested in getting a professional opinion on the use of the charcoal powder. Note, I use this daily. Thanks!

  37. Are you aware of any scientific studies on bentonite clay? All the info I’ve found online seems to be anecdotal or testimonial in nature, without much actual science to back it up. I noticed your post linked to another post about Cocoa Nibs, but nothing further on the Bentonite. Thank you.

  38. Are all essential oils bad in toothpaste? What about peppermint, surely that’s not bad? Can I use peppemint to give diy toothpaste a nice flavour?

  39. In the article you mention that liquid trace minerals are a good component to homemade toothpaste. How much would you add to your recipe? Thank you for all the helpful information!

  40. I used baking soda and water for 3 months or so and it made my teeth sensitive for a long time after that. Maybe even up to two years. I don’t know how you can say that baking soda is perfectly safe to use alone. I’m not sure what to think. Maybe if it had coconut oil to dilute it it wouldn’t be so abrasive, as that is a suggested ingredient too.

  41. Hi Dr. B,

    My teeth have great sensitivity, is there any ingredient I can use for this purpose? And how about using probiotics such as PB8 in the toothpaste? Many thanks in advance!

  42. My daughter has a coconut allergy. Are there any suitable substitutes you can recommend? Practically every do-it-yourself recipe I find uses coconut oil as a base, understandably but, given our situation, I’m wondering what alternatives would work to create our paste.

  43. Hi, I have been researching making my own tooth powder for a while now and would love some input on some ingredients that have been recommended by others but I’m a little unsure about. Some background: I have a few fillings and some small cavities but nothing that pains me; I would grade my oral health a B. 🙂 The ingredients I am not sure about are: lemon peel powder (possibly less acidic than EO? I’d like to use it for flavor & for whitening), myrrh gum powder, cinnamon powder, & clove powder (all antibac, but again maybe less so than EOs?) Thanks for your thoughts on these. They are each recommended by so many people but I am hesitant… My second question is whether there is anything concerning about brushing with activated charcoal for whitening (2x a day until white, then 2x per week or so to maintain)… I don’t plan on mixing this with my tooth powder, rather using it solo or mixing it with coconut oil for pulling. Thanks so much for your help!

  44. Hi, just as someone who has a sincere question about this toothpaste. I started trying this coconut oil and baking soda toothpaste a few days ago and every time and I mean every time I have brushed my teeth since using this stuff my gums bleed and not just a little bit but my saliva is dark red and blood pools in my mouth. I swish with water for a few minutes after brushing and that seems to help a little bit to get the blood out of my mouth. But, throughout the day my gums are still very raw feeling and my mouth is sore. Is all of this due to just starting with this toothpaste and my mouth adjusting? Or is this a big sign that I should not continue using this toothpaste? Note: I have used coconut oil and coconut oil products for various other uses and I have never had a bad reaction to it before.

    • Hi Courtney, all you have to do is sign up at the bottom of the blog post and the recipe will be emailed right to your inbox.

  45. Hi, I am unable to find most of the ingredients in this recepy, might have some thing to do with the fact that i live in the middle of nowhere in norway and I am not comfortable buyng stuff like this online (it often comes after most is out of date), wich of the ingredients are absolutely necerery?
    (I can only find the spices and the coconut oil). I also have truble with the enamel, (i often have cavities) and evan used toothpaste I got from the dentist and it only helped a little would this toothpaste help?

  46. The link for the ‘Get the Recipe’ button only transfers me to a web ad for a pop-up application. Lots of useless ( to me) advertisement & no actual info for DIY Toothpaste. What a disappointment.

    • Hi Torri, sorry you’re having trouble! That pop-up is actually exactly how you can get the DIY toothpaste recipe—you enter your name and email, we confirm your email address for the newsletter, and once you click the link to confirm, you’re taken to the page where you can download the complete recipe. Hope that helps.

  47. I have been using a product called Dirty Mouth which has cinammon. Suddenly I have develooed dry mouth which I never had before.

    • Hi Joyce:

      Listed below are the ingredients. I think the essential oils are drying out your mouth as they have bactercidal properties. I’d also be wary of the high aluminum content of the Kaolin Clay. Go to my DIY toothpaste post for more info.

      DrB

      ps thanks for being reader!

      INGREDIENTS: Bentonite Clay**, Activated Charcoal** (Black formula ONLY), White Kaolin Clay, Baking Soda (aluminum free)**, French Green Clay**, organic Essential Oil of choice. **Food Grade

      Bentonite Clay is nontoxic and rich in vital minerals that are very beneficial for our teeth and gums – like calcium and potassium. It is a very mild abrasive clay that gently scrubs and beautifully polishes the teeth. Bentonite Clay has been used for decades as a treatment for numerous health conditions and acts as a detoxifying agent to help fight gum disease by strengthening the body’s natural immunity. It works as an astringent by helping to remove tartar and clean the gums.

      White Kaolin Clay is very rich in aluminum and is high in calcium, silica, zinc and magnesium. It helps to whiten and polish the teeth.

      Baking soda (aluminum free) is alkaline with a pH of 8.1 and will neutralize the acids in the mouth and promote tooth remineralization making them cavity-resistant. Baking soda acts as a very mild abrasive for cleansing and polishing the teeth, kills germs, removes odors and can help freshen the breath.

      French Green Clay (also known as Illite Clay or Sea Clay) is very absorbent, and literally “drinks” oils, toxic substances, and impurities from the tissues. Mined from bedrock quarries in France, it is sun-dried, completely natural, unscented, and fragrance free. French Green Clay is a bio-mineral, and contains decomposed plant matter as well as many trace minerals, including: silica, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, copper, zinc, selenium, cobalt, manganese, phosphorous, silicon, micro-algae, kelp, and phyto-nutrients. French Green Clay also has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which may be helpful with some periodontal conditions.

      Organic Essential Oils are used for their antiseptic qualities and to freshen the mouth and make you forget that you are brushing your teeth with Dirt!

  48. I made toothpaste using your recipe yesterday and I love it — thank you! A couple of questions:

    1) How long will it last in the fridge?
    2) Can it be frozen? Does it freeze well?

    Answers to these questions might already be in past comments, but there are so many that it would take a long time to sift through them 🙂

    Thanks!

  49. Hello! I’ve been using a homemade toothpaste for a few weeks now, and I switched for safety (of conventional ingredients) and environmental reasons. It’s coconut oil, baking soda, xylitol and bentonite clay. I’ve noticed that all of my teeth have a faint ache most of the time, and occasionally I’ll get shooting pains in random teeth. This happens when I’m not eating or drinking. I don’t catch myself grinding, and I’ve never really had this issue before. I’m also making sure that I’m not brushing too hard. I had gone 20 years using conventional toothpaste and just got my first cavity a few months ago, so I was hesitant to change, but once I’d read about the harmful ingredients I couldn’t un-read it! I see my dentist for a check up next month but I’m worried to tell him about the toothpaste because of its lack of fluoride. I’m also worried that I have another cavity because a dark shadow he wanted to keep an eye on seems to have gotten more prominent. What is your stance on fluoride? And is it common to experience sensitivity after using homemade toothpaste? Am I ruining my teeth by using this toothpaste and should I go back to the Crest or Colgate that was working before? Thank you!

  50. When i click on send me recipe it takes me to blank page. What about salt? So many homemade recipes ask for it.
    My holistic dentist told me to stay away from anything with baking soda as it oxidises in your mouth. Causing your teeth to get yellow stains after a while

  51. I’m wondering about amalgam fillings and your toothpaste, as the recipe says to only use stainless steel, etc. Does this recipe interact with the metal in the amalgam fillings?

  52. Hello! The link doesn’t seem to be working at the bottom of the article and I would love the recipe. Thanks!

  53. Do you like the product called DIRT? I am always a skeptic, but know that I need to investigate less harmful ways to brush my teeth and do mouthwash, but I still need my teeth to be as white as they can be.

  54. Good morning.
    I’d love the recipe. I am getting into making my own natural products. This is what I need.

    Thank you and have a great week.

  55. I purchased a jar of homemade toothpaste that was just coconut oil, baking soda and mint, which got me searching for a recipe, which led me to this page. I would love a copy of the recipe. The stuff I have is melt in hot weather, but last night was cooler and it is now rather solid. I’m also concerned about the how to apply it to my toothbrush in a sanitary way (no double dipping) and would like your opinion on this. Thanks!

  56. I’ve made my own toothpaste for a while now, happening to use most of the ingredients you suggest, including coconut oil. I use a very pure, organic, non-GMO and cold pressed coconut oil. Within a short time the coconut oil causes the toothpaste to have a bad smell, kind of putrid-like. Is there any way you know to limit or prevent that smell from the coconut oil or must one simply live with the unpleasant smell?

    • What about calcium carbonate? It happens I have several lbs of food grade material and I know it remineralizes cave roofs. The remineralizing material in saliva is Hydroxylapatite, which is not easy to buy. I found an easy recipe but one stage requires cooking at 600c (1112F). I’m really not going to spend $50 for one tube from Japan. Any good news about calcium carbonate (limestone)?. Here’s a tip, add vitamin E to the coconut oil to keep it from going rancid.

  57. How long will diy toothpaste keep? Store bought make my mouth feel like it’s on fire. Isn’t something needed to stop bacterial, mildew and other bad stuff from growing in the toothpaste? Not fond of later find out that I’ve brushed with something looking like a bad petri dish.

  58. hi! thanks for this good information and discussion.

    i live in ecuador and stevia is plentiful and pretty cheap here. Can stevia replace the Xylitol you recommend in homemade toothpastes? Also, what would be appropriate portions of the above ingredients? Can using ground up cinnamon bark (not powder) to replace cacao ?

    I have easy access to coconuts, but not coconut oil. is there perhaps a replacement for coconut oil?

    many thanks for helping me on my multiple questions!

  59. I’ve been using coconut oil with baking soda for the last couple of weeks and am satisfied with the results. I’d like my daughter to try it but she hates coconut oil – could I try it with pumpkin seed oil which she loves? Also, I like the cocao nibs idea but they are very expensive here in Germany – could I use cocao powder?

  60. How long will this formulation keep for? Would you recommend any kind of natural preservative such as grapefruit seed extract or otherwise?

    • I personally haven’t tried using olive oil to make the DIY toothpaste. Olive oil has a lot of wonderful anti-inflammatory properties so it might be soothing to the gums, although not the same profile as coconut oil. Coconut oil has lauric acid that is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. See this: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4382606/

      High quality olive oil has a strong taste due to the polyphenols and the flavor might not blend well. But if you are allergic to coconut oil or you only have olive oil available at the moment and you want to experiment, why not!

      DrB

  61. Hello, I have been reading some of your pages and it is hard to fathom what your latest recipe/opinion is. I see you say click the link at the bottom of the page but I still don’t know how old that link is. So is it your opinion that it is best not to use essential oils in home made toothpaste or not? I had become convinced that it was best to leave them out and then I saw a further comment saying to someone that they would help with the idea of using earth/dirt in your mouth. So sorry to ask you this, which is probably asked over and over, but in your opinion are essential oils best in or out?

  62. Hi! Thoughts on glycerin. I saw you say you don’t like it. But Jason’s toothpaste is in your shopping area. That has glycerin. Are certain types of glycerin ok?

    Thanks!

  63. Could I substitute sorbitol for xylitol? I have pets, and I prefer to stay away from xylitol as a precautionary measure.

    Thanks so much for all the useful info!

  64. This homemade toothpaste is also very helpful to parents to ensure that the toothpaste that their little kiddos used will never be a harm to their bodies with every chemical that is already present in the market.

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