29 October 2011

Day 29: Adventures in Home Making - Toothpaste

I've been meaning to try to make our own toothpaste for quite some time, so when I was planning my 31 Days to Home Made series, I knew I had to include it in the posts.

I've never liked store bought toothpaste.  For one, I hate that you have to use just a tiny pea sized amount for kids.  The reason is that too much fluoride is dangerous to ingest.  Then why are we giving it to our kids???  And now that we know that there is no evidence that fluoride prevents tooth decay, there is really no reason to have fluoride toothpaste.  I have even heard and read about cities that are taking fluoride out of their water for the same reason.

Add to that the fact that many common chemicals used in toothpaste are at best skin irritants and at worst carcinogenic.  Natural toothpaste can be an alternative, but it is very expensive and might still contain some irritants.

And so my toothpaste making adventure began.

Be warned, though, that the recipe I used called for Stevia powder, which is


The picture on the recipe page was spinach green.  Mine looked more like guacamole, because we don't regularly use stevia, and I didn't want rebellion right off the bat.  There are recipes that don't use stevia, or you can use xylitol in place of stevia.  The color doesn't bother us, considering all the chemicals needed to make commercial toothpaste white, red, orange, and blue.

The taste was a little on the salty side, so I think next time I will use a recipe that calls for less baking soda (too much baking soda might also wear away at your enamel, so consider this when making your paste).  The peppermint essential oil and stevia definitely helped make it taste like toothpaste, though, so don't get scared off before you begin.

Ok, now that I've fully disclosed all that I felt necessary, on to the recipe. Once again, it is amazingly easy to make. It took about 3 minutes to combine the ingredients.  Husband was the first willing participant, but Big #2 quickly joined the party.  The paste did a great job, as far as I could tell.  My teeth felt very smooth, but of course time (and a dentist visit) will tell its long term effectiveness.

Homemade Toothpaste

2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil (softened or liquified)
3 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
10 drops of Essential Oil (use a combination of Peppermint & Spearmint, Tea Tree, Cinnamon, or another of your choice)  or 1/2 tsp. Natural Mint (or other) Flavoring Extract (such as for baking)
A pinch of Stevia Powder*
1 tsp. Myrrh Powder (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a small container. Spoon out a little bit onto a toothbrush to use. Cost per batch to make seems to be approximately 50 cents for me.
*Yes, the unrefined stevia is green, and will make your toothpaste green. My daughter thinks this is hilariously fun. It’s more of an adjustment for those of us accustomed to white or “fun-colored” toothpaste. :)


  1. Love the photos of Husband & Big #2. :-) This would be an interesting one to try. I don't think I would have J#3 use it at this point, but on a side note we have a hard time getting him to spit (so he must be swallowing some of the little kid toothpaste we get him), but seems like in general the natural toothpaste would be good. Curious where you find the Stevia powder? Online?

  2. I buy natural ingredients in bulk from a website called Mountain Rose Herbs. It is also where I get essential oil, castile soap, etc. I think, though, that you can buy stevia in some groceries, as it is an alternative sweetner, or at a health food store. But if you don't want green toothpaste, I did see some recipes on pinterest that don't use it at all, so check those out.

  3. I really need to get off my butt and make some!

  4. You know, I'm just thinking - some commercial toothpaste is blue. So why do we think blue is normal but green is weird? Those crafty marketers!

  5. I just made toothpaste a couple weeks ago too...I didn't add the stevia though and I'm fine with the non-sweet taste, but I know my kids would never go for it. I'll have to try a batch with stevia next time for the kids.

  6. I think the stevia both hurts and helps the cause. It does make it a weird green, which, yes, when you think about it is no weirder than blue. But it also sweetens the taste. Although, be careful, because stevia has a unique flavor too and might be too much if you aren't used to it. I tried it on my least picky child first and got the approval, but the other two haven't used it yet. I've heard some people simply using mint or cinnamon essential oil for the flavoring, and I even ran across one recipe with honey in it. I have a hard time cleaning my teeth with honey, though, so we'll stick with the stevia for now. Thanks for hopping over!

  7. this is great! I just use plain baking soda and while I like it, there is no way the kids would do it! I'm pretty sure the boys would love the green!!

  8. how many brushings did one batch make?

  9. Amy - yeah, the boys like the green. They still say it's too salty, but we're all getting used to it. I went really light on the stevia the first time because i wasn't sure, but now I'm adding more and it's helped to balance the baking soda.

    Juliecache - I"m not sure. It made a fairly big batch. Right now one adult uses it regularly, one adult uses it most of the time, but the kids are still using up our leftover commercial paste mostly. We still have over half the batch left. It is very cost effective compared to store bought, and even more so if you are springing for the natural stuff.