Have you ever thought about what's in your toothpaste? Turns out, there are some not-so-wholesome ingredients in most commercial toothpastes. Since it's something we use every day—and it goes in our mouths—it's wise to take control of what's in your toothpaste. In the article The Best and Worst Toothpaste Ingredients, Dr. Mark Burhenne, D.D.S. of AskTheDentist.com explains which ingredients to avoid in store-bought toothpaste. He also shares a recipe for homemade toothpaste that is both safe and effective.
Many commercial toothpastes contain harmful and toxic ingredients such as:
- Triclosan, a pesticide and hormone disruptor
- Sodium lauryl sulfate, which can cause irritation and canker sores
- Artificial colorings, which some are linked to hyperactivity in children
- Fluoride, which can be toxic if swallowed
The best ingredients to use for homemade toothpaste are:
- Coconut oil, which can prevent candida in the mouth
- Trace mineral drops
- Crushed cacao nibs – compounds in cacao beans promote remineralization better than fluoride
- Bentonite clay, a natural abrasive that's rich in minerals
- Xylitol, which reduces cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth
- Baking soda for its alkalinity (it helps neutralize acids in the mouth)
- 4 tablespoons cold-pressed organic coconut oil
- 4 tablespoons food-grade bentonite clay
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons xylitol
- 1/2 teaspoon prebiotic powder, like this one
- 1/2 teaspoon cacao powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil
- 4 tablespoons filtered or distilled water, divided
- In a small saucepan, heat coconut oil over low heat until melted, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add bentonite clay, baking soda, xylitol, prebiotic, 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.
- 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.
- Add the vitamin E and remaining coconut oil, and blend another 10 – 15 seconds. The mixture will be runny. 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.
- With the blender running, slowly add the water and blend for at least 30 seconds, or until it is thoroughly mixed.
- Transfer mixture to a small container.
How to Use + Storage Tips
Dip a clean spoon into the toothpaste and apply it to your toothbrush. Toothpaste can be stored at room temperature for 7-10 days. Store in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for up to one month.