Like cereal or fruit drinks, toothpastes marketed to children are often found in colorful, fun packaging that masks the harmful ingredients they contain. One quick look at the ingredients lists of popular kids’ toothpastes will reveal dangerous substances like Triclosan, which can alter hormones (1), or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which can cause canker sores in some. They also contain fluoride, microbeads, artificial sweeteners, Diethanolamine, Aspartame, and much more.
So what’s the solution? Well, since making your child love brushing their teeth is battle enough, I believe that choosing a healthy toothpaste that your child will actually enjoy shouldn’t be. That’s why I’ve created this kid-friendly toothpaste that’s quick and easy for both parents and great-tasting for kids.
The best thing about this recipe is its simplicity—it takes no more than 10-15 minutes to make, and each of the ingredients are easy to find in a local health food store or online. Have older kids chip in to help make this homemade toothpaste, and they’ll be even more likely to fall in love with it!
Before we get to the recipe, let’s take a look at some of the ingredients and their health benefits:
Coconut oil—Helps kill bad breath, prevent cavities, reduce gum inflammation, and whiten teeth.
Baking Soda—Antibacterial and antifungal and has been proven to kill Streptococcus mutans, which is linked to tooth decay. (2)
Anise—Known as Pimpinella anisum, anise is an antifungal, antioxidant and antiviral ingredient that can help to naturally balance the oral microbiome. It is also known for polishing the teeth. (3) Aniseed (anise), unlike most essential oils found in toothpastes, is totally acceptable because it is not very antibacterial.
Xylitol—Has been shown to reduce early tooth decay. (4)
- In a bowl mix the calcium carbonate, the xylitol, the baking soda and the optional probiotic with a fork until they are thoroughly combined.
- Add water to form a paste, incorporating all the liquid.
- Slowly add the coconut oil in while mixing the paste vigorously.
- Add the anise essential oil and mix until smooth and no lumps remain.
- 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.)
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.