I’ve had some issues with my teeth in the past. I’m not so fond of the dentist. It didn’t start as a full-blown phobia, but when I became an adult and suddenly got to choose whether or not I made and kept dental appointments, I just didn’t. For ten years. And by the time I needed to go to the dentist, it was a Big Deal. I had some major anxiety, and it didn’t help that my income wasn’t so great and I had no dental insurance. All the low-cost/affordable dentists seemed to think I was faking my fear to get my hands on some happy pills. Bad times.
Anyway, it turned out that my ten years of no dental checkups (and drinking lots and lots of soda and eating lots and lots of processed, sugary, and otherwise not-so-healthy
food stuff), I had managed to develop more cavities than I had teeth. So there was much drilling and filling, followed by a renewed determination to take care of my teeth.
But despite everything I thought I was doing right (brushing with a Sonic Care toothbrush, flossing, using a water pic, and using mouthwash), I developed a few more cavities. Of course, now that I’ve gone the natural route, I’ve stumbled across articles and blog posts about how soda can damage teeth as bad as meth and how diet plays a huge part in dental health.
I started making our toothpaste shortly after Magic Spark was born. I didn’t want to have anything in the house that would result in a call to Poison Control if she decided to eat some. And when I thought about it, why would I want to put something in my mouth twice a day (or more) that isn’t safe to consume? How weird is that?
In my homemade toothpaste, I used tea tree oil, clove oil, and cinnamon oil, because I’ve found them to be beneficial. Specifically, cinnamon oil has antibacterial properties and clove oil can relieve tooth pain. But don’t take my word for it. When it comes to essential oils, you should always do your own research or find a reputable source you trust, because you’re dealing with some potent stuff and anybody can say anything on the interwebs.
I loved the toothpaste I made, and so did Magic Spark. She almost always remembers to brush her teeth because she wants to taste a little bit of the toothpaste. We always have to tell her that it’s not for eating, it’s for scrubbing toofers. I can’t imagine trying to explain to her, if we were using conventional toothpaste, why she couldn’t eat it but was required to put it in her mouth.
More recently, I’ve read about remineralizing toothpaste. It turns out our bodies can heal our teeth. It makes perfect sense to me. If you give your body the tools it needs, and if you get out of the way, your body can heal itself. I read here that if you eat a diet low in phytic acid (hello, paleo!) and supplement with vitamin D3, your teeth can remineralize. And a remineralizing toothpaste that coats your teeth in the vitamins and minerals necessary certainly can’t hurt.
I started looking for a DIY remineralizing toothpaste recipe, but they all had xylitol. Again, if I wouldn’t put it in my belly, I’m not putting it in my mouth (or on my skin). And Magic Spark will put it in her belly, so that’s out. Other recipes had stevia, which I’ve not researched much, but putting a sweetener in a toothpaste doesn’t sit well with me anyway. And other recipes had bentonite clay, which is great, but it’s not something I typically have on hand. A good toothpaste recipe in this house has to have ingredients that are always on hand, because I’m not making an extra trip to town just to make toothpaste.
So I found a workable recipe and tweaked it a bit. A substitution here, an addition there. And the results are fantastic so far. It’s magic goodness for your teeth! While it’s a bit too early to tell if my teeth are remineralizing, I can tell you they feel better. My gums were super happy with the first brushing. After two days, I noticed my teeth weren’t sensitive to cold anymore. I ate a popsicle, and my teeth didn’t hurt. That hasn’t happened since long before I had all those cavities filled. And Magic Spark still loves the taste, so yay all around.
I used Coral Calcium, baking soda, essential oils, coconut oil, and salt. The salt didn’t make it into the picture, but we use Redmond Real Salt, which is full of minerals. It’s like Himalayan salt, but it’s mined in Utah and doesn’t have to travel as far to get to me. You can use any salt you want, as long as it’s not white. Himalayan salt is pink, and sea salt should be gray. White salt doesn’t have the minerals, so it won’t be much help in this recipe.
This is the powdered calcium supplement I chose to use in our toothpaste. I like simple, minimal, easy to understand ingredients.
First, I mix the dry ingredients together in a jelly jar. Then I add the coconut oil and stir and stir and stir. It starts out looking like this:
I suppose I could melt the coconut oil and it would all go smoother quicker, but it always seems like such a hassle. So I just keep on stirring until it’s smooth.
Then I add in the essential oils, give it one last stir, and cap it off. The recipe uses parts instead of measurements, so you can scale it up or down to suit your needs. I used teaspoons for the batch pictured, and it lasted about two weeks for the three of us. Here’s the recipe:
Magic Goodness Toothpaste
5 parts calcium powder
2 parts baking soda
1 part mineral salt
7-8 parts coconut oil
essential oils (I used 10 drops tea tree, 8 drops clove, and 5 drops cinnamon for this batch)
1. Mix calcium powder, baking soda, and salt together.
2. Add coconut oil and stir.
3. Add essential oils and stir again.
4. Brush, brush, brush those toofers!
5. Smile. Your teeth are happier now.
Note: There are some recipes for toothpaste out there that include water. Water may give you a squeezable toothpaste, but it will also drastically shorten the shelf life of your toothpaste. If you’re worried about introducing germs to the toothpaste by dipping your toothbrush into it, you have a few options. You can use something clean to get the toothpaste out of the container and onto your toothbrush (like a spoon or a butter knife) or you can split the batch into smaller containers, one for each family member. If you do go with a squeezable version, make smaller batches.