Homemade All-Natural Toothpaste

My family hasn’t used regular traditional toothpaste in quite some time now. Conventional toothpastes include toxic ingredients like triclosan, which can disrupt the hormonal system, aspartame, which can cause cancer, fluoride, which could lead to brittle and broken teeth, and propylene glycol, which can lead to numerous serious health effects[1,2,3,4]. These ingredients can absolutely wreak havoc on your body, and conventional toothpastes have even been documented as being abrasive and damaging to teeth[5].

After much research, I finally made the decision to step away from these harmful ingredients, and factory-made toothpastes. I did a lot of testing, and studying to come up with this easy, homemade gem. This 6-ingredient DIY toothpaste will protect and heal your teeth like no toothpaste ever has, and keep your mouth feeling fresher than ever!

toothpaste2

To make this toothpaste:

1/2 cup distilled water (to help prevent bacterial growth)
1/2 cup Diatomaceous Earth (DE) – order here
1/4 cup Bentonite clay – order here
3 tbsp Coconut Oil – order here
20 drops peppermint essential oil (optional; for taste) – order here
3 tbsp Xylitol – order here

Mix everything together by hand, or in a food processor, until smooth like paste. Use daily like regular toothpaste – store at room temperature with a lid.
So, why do I choose the ingredients I do?

Diatomaceous Earth

Many years ago, there lived an ancient type of algae organisms called diatoms. Over the course of millions of years, these diatoms fossilized and accumulated in the sediment of freshwater. Today, this is mined and collected and is, what we know as diatomaceous earth (DE). It’s a very fine, but very abrasive and tough, substance. If there was a number scale of hardness, and diamonds were Number 10, DE would sit somewhere around an 8. This characteristic alone already makes DE a great candidate for teeth cleaning and plaque removal. Fine, abrasive powders (like DE and baking soda) are great for removing food trapped between the teeth and plaque formation. Before going any further, it is so important for me to point out that only food-grade diatomaceous earth should be used on or around living beings. Industrial DE is superheated and is deadly to humans. A high percentage of DE is silica, and this is vital to tooth and enamel health[6]. It is a naturally occurring substance, so there is very little concern about the body rejecting it.

There has been a lot of talk about remineralizing your teeth by naturally supporting them, and DE is at the top of quite a few lists. Another interesting feature of DE is the fact that it has a strong negative charge. This unique factor causes things like chemicals, viruses, bacteria, and heavy metals to be drawn to it. You can see why drawing these toxins out, and then spitting them into the sink with the toothpaste could be greatly beneficial for oral (and overall) health[7].

toothpaste3

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite Clay is a huge name when it comes to drawing out toxins, maintaining pH, and addressing gastrointestinal concerns. It’s pretty obvious that clay attracts toxins, because it is so popular for face and body masks.

The incredible properties of bentonite clay can be seen the moment it is mixed with the water[8]. Bentonite clay is actually aged and weathered volcanic ash, and it changes right down to the molecule when moisture is added. Once it becomes wet, bentonite clay becomes somewhat of a sponge, soaking up every bit of moisture, and multiplying in size. This “soaking up” action continues when you brush your teeth with it. Bentonite clay is super porous and once the toxins are sucked in, because of the magnetic attraction, they remain within the clay. Bentonite clay has shown ability to fight toxins generated through food consumption, as well as decreasing the number of cavity-causing microorganisms[9].

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a potent natural antibacterial. There are certain types of bacteria specifically related to biofilm (plaque) formation on the teeth, and coconut oil helps in breaking these down and decreasing their count in the mouth[10].  Coconut oil on the teeth helps reduce plaque, lower the chances of developing gingivitis, while also inhibiting tooth decay[11,12].

Xylitol

Like the peppermint oil, the xylitol is mostly for taste – but it also possesses many oral health benefits. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is made from the fibrous material of many different fruits and vegetables. Traditional refined sugar basically feeds the bacteria on your teeth. The sugar throws them into overdrive, causing them to multiply even more rapidly. That’s why more sugar = more cavities[13].

This rapid growth of bacteria causes your body to respond by making your saliva more acidic, resulting in the downfall of oral health. Thankfully, though xylitol as a sweet, pleasant taste, it does not react with your body in the same way as sugar. Instead, because xylitol does not ferment by oral bacteria, it helps counteract low-pH levels, reduce the number of plaque-forming bacteria as well as inflammation, and benefits can last for years, and years, after cessation of the sweetener[14,15] The fact that microorganisms are unable to process xylitol helps, in and of itself, because it disrupts the production process and leads to cell death.

Peppermint Oil

Though peppermint was chosen purely for taste, I was pleasantly surprised to find that a little research yielded some interesting information about the oral use of peppermint oil. In regards to oral bacteria, peppermint oil exhibits “significant inhibitory effect” on harmful microbes in the oral cavity. It’s an excellent antiseptic, and can help reduce bad breath[16].

Conclusion

Personally, I keep my toothpaste in a container on the bathroom sink, and use a little dipping stick (or sometimes my finger when I’m feeling lazy – ha) to transfer to the toothbrush head.

The mint and xylitol really help with the strong earthy flavor from the clay or DE. The first time I brushed, a little of the clay did begin to coat my tongue, but once I got some saliva and water working in there, it quickly washed away. When switching from conventional toothpaste, it can be an adjustment, but stick with it and it will become normal for you quickly!

This toothpaste left my teeth feeling smooth and clean for hours. Even after I ate lunch (and a cookie), I found myself running my tongue over my teeth because they felt so smooth.

I hope you love it as much as I do!

Until next time,
Savannah

References:

1. UC Davis Health Anti-Bacterial Personal Hygiene Products may not be Worth the Potential Risks 
http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/welcome/features/20080903_anti-bacterial/
2. NCBI The Carcinogenic Effects of Aspartame: The Need for Regulatory Re-Evaluation
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24436139
3. NCBI Water Fluoridation: A Critical Review of the Physiological Effects of Ingested Fluoride as a Public Health Intervention
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3956646/
4. NCBI Propylene Glycol Toxicity in Children
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4341412/
5. NCBI Influence of Toothbrushing on Enamel Softening and Abrasive Wear of Eroded Bovine Enamel: An in Situ Study
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16878209/
6. Science Daily Tiny silica Particles Could be Used to Repair Damaged Teeth, Research Shows
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150916112604.htm
7. NCBI Use of Modified Diatomaceous Earth for Removal and Recovery of Viruses in Water
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC183610/
8. NCBI Bentonite, Bandaids, and Borborygmi 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2895274/
9. International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology Clinical Use of Calcium Bentonite Clay in Dentistry and Natural Medicine
https://iaomt.org/wp-content/uploads/Clinical-Use-of-Calcium-Bentonite-Clay-Scientific-Review-5.10.16.pdf
10. NCBI Comparison of Antibacterial Efficacy of Coconut Oil and Chlorhexidine on Streptococcus Mutans: An in Vivo Study
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5109859/
11. NCBI Effect of Coconut Oil in Plaque Related Gingivitis – A Preliminary Report
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4382606/
12. British Dental Journal Coconut Oil Inhibits Caries 
https://www.nature.com/articles/sj.bdj.2012.856
13. Oxford Academic Sugars and Dental Caries 
https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/78/4/881S/4690063
14. NCBI The Effect of Xylitol on the Composition of the Oral Flora: A Pilot Study
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3037192/
15. NCBI The Effect of Xylitol on Dental Caries and Oral Flora
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4232036/
16. NCBI Antimicrobial Efficacy of Five Essential Oils Against Oral Pathogens: An in Vitro Study
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4054083/