Homemade toothpaste is happening today! Now before you think I’ve gone completely nutty, just hear me out. I think you guys know me well enough to realize that I just like making stuff. Homemade deodorant? Check. Vanilla extract? Check. Bread from scratch? Check (I even have a grain mill now, so I’ll be milling my own grains… recipes to come!) I get extreme satisfaction from taking something, like toothpaste, & figuring out a way to make it so that:
a) I don’t need to buy it
b) I can save us some money
c) I can have control over what ingredients are being put into our bodies
There’s all kinds of controversies over fluoride & whether or not it should be in drinking water & toothpaste. Some people are super passionate about that issue, but for me it’s not on my “top 5 bothersome topics” list. But, as my daughter neared the age where she would actually start brushing her teeth with toothpaste instead of just gumming a bare brush, I looked into it a bit more.
I knew for sure that I wasn’t about to give my kid bubblegum flavored whatever. There’s no shame if you choose to get that for your kids, but I didn’t feel comfortable about it. I’m sure it encourages kids to brush, but it probably just results in the kids eating the toothpaste because it tastes like candy. In one brand of said toothpaste, I found this ingredients present: water, sorbitol, hydrated silica, glycerin, PEG-12, flavor, cellulose gum, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium saccharin, sodium benzoate, mica, titanium dioxide, red 33 (source).
Yeeeeeah. So I figured since most children, mine included, do not actually spit a lot of the toothpaste out, that swallowing it wasn’t going to do anyone any good, even if it is just a “pea-sized” portion. It has warnings right on the label that say, ”Keep out of reach of children under 6 yrs. of age. If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.” Poison Control for toothpaste? Yikes!
This inspired me to attempt to make my own paste. Up until now, John & I have been using one brand of toothpaste & I’ve been buying Ruby another brand, & even though the ingredients in her toothpaste look better than the bubblegum brand, they still aren’t fantastic. The more I’ve read about glycerin, the more I feel like we should try to avoid it when we can (it’s the first ingredient in Ruby’s toothpaste!)
John & I have been using this recipe for a couple of weeks & have been really enjoying it. John has missed the “extreme mintiness” of our old toothpaste, so he’s been doing a mouthwash chaser, which probably is just helping his overall dental health anyways. Ruby still has a bit of her old toothpaste left, but then I will slowly transition her to using ours. Here’s to hoping!
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/8 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/8 cup hydrogen peroxide (4%)
- 1/4 tsp stevia (liquid or powder)
- 2 tsp peppermint extract
- *for an additional foamy lather, I like to add 2-3 drops of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint castile soap to the toothpaste when I brush, but John found this to be too soapy.
Mix everything in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid (make sure your jar has been sanitized first). If the toothpaste begins to dry out, just stir in a bit more peroxide & mix.
To use, scoop out a bit of the paste on your brush & brush as normal.
Recipe adapted from Artistta
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