My kids would eat toothpaste on their toast if I let them. They dollop it on their toothbrushes like it’s chocolate topping, and spitting is a concept that makes no sense to them. Toothpaste is yummy. Why shouldn’t it have it’s own corner of the food pyramid?
Well, because commercial toothpaste may not be all that good for your teeth with. It’s often full of sugar, sulphates, sulphites, triclosan, artificial sweeteners and other synthetic dubiousness; aside from the fluoride debate, glyceryn, a common ingredient, is a sugar and therefore not an ideal choice for your daily tooth care, especially as it clings to the surface of the teeth.
And because it’s fun to make, and gives a pleasantly self sufficient feeling.
The basic recipe I use is this:
1T Coconut oil, melted
1T Bi carb
1/4t Xanthan gum
Mint oil, to taste
Chlorophyll – for fresh breath, and also makes a great natural green colouring. Brands vary in strength, so add to taste/visual preference. I use about 3 drops. (Interestingly Colgate used to add chlorophyll way back in the 50’s)
Cinnamon – adds a great flavour, but also has protective properties for the mouth.
Stevia if it needs to be really sweet, or you don’t have xylitol.
Some recipes use a pinch of salt as an antibacterial agent and preservative.
Clove oil or myrrh would both be beneficial, and add flavour.
Mix the dry ingredients together. Breaking up lumps now will probably be easier than doing it later. Don’t ask me know I know this.
Add oil and water gradually.
Stir in colouring and flavouring, to taste.
This is definitely not the same as commercial toothpaste. It doesn’t contain anything detergenty so for better or worse, it doesn’t foam up into a big mouthful of froth. It creates a surprisingly clean feeling in mouth though – squeaky clean with a residual coconutty flavour – even the following morning.
- Xanthan gum helps to make the consistency more stable. Before this I tried using coconut as the base, but it was runny in summer, and set hard at the first cool streak. Probably other types of gum would work too, but how often do you get to use to ingredients beginning with x in the same recipe?
- This recipe is fairly sweet because normal toothpaste is also surprisingly sweet, so thats what the kids are used to. I plan to sneakily reduce the sweetness over time once they stop paying attention. Bicarb is has strong flavour, very salty and a little fizzy.
- Some use either bicarb alone (as a tooth powder or mixed with water) or straight coconut oil to brush their teeth. The bicarb helps neutralise acidity in the mouth, and the antibacterial properties of coconut oil are thought to be useful.
- Some add bentonite clay or charcoal, for polishing and toxin removal.
- Find the best mint flavouring you can too. I used the el cheapo supermarket one and you can really tell.
- The family informed me that fancy packaging was required to convince them to make the switch, so the little white tube in the frontisphoto was searched for and discovered here. Camping, outdoors and travel type shops often have similar stuff too.
- I played with making stripes for the kids, layering in green, white, and cinnamon, but they liked the extra cinnamony recipe best, so now we have brown toothpaste here usually. It does look peculiar until you get used to it!
And finally, I’m well aware that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. I may be a researchoholic, but if you have doubts or questions about anything you read, that’s wonderful! Teeth are important. Do your own research, and then please come back and tell me because I’d really love to hear about it. I’m no expert, just perennially curious.
Also, note to self, never leave photography til a rainy day. Either that or practice all that f stop guff you learnt in highschool.