Kitchen Hint: Homemade toothpaste powder

By Catherine Haug, September 9, 2015

This kitchen hint comes from Dr. Mercola (1). He provides two different recipes you can make with ingredients found in your kitchen or bathroom cabinet. He also provides a list of harmful ingredients found in commercial toothpaste.

When I was a small child in the early 1950s, commercial toothpaste had not yet made it to NW Montana (neither had commercial laundry detergent or dish ‘soap’). Most people ate home-cooked food, made from scratch, a diet that was good for the teeth, leaving them naturally clean. If a bit of meat or other food got stuck between the teeth, one used a toothpick. For special occasions such as a date, you used baking soda on your fingertip to clean your teeth and freshen your breath.

But, along with processed foods introduced in the late 1950s, and with the increasing popularity of soda pop, came the need to clean your teeth on a regular basis to avoid cavities. Commercial toothpaste became a ‘necessity.’ The early versions were much like homemade toothpaste; but as time went on, chemistry provided synthetic ingredients such as SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), along with chemical salts such as sodium fluoride that were touted as good for your teeth (but were really only good for the manufacturer’s bank account). Now most commercial toothpaste is laden with harmful and questionable ingredients (1):

  • Triclosan (antibacterial chemical that contributes to antibiotic-resistant bacteria);
  • SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate, a detergent). There are many reasons to avoid SLS, but the most important is to avoid exposure to carcinogenic dioxane that is formed in the SLS during its manufacturing process;
  • Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, which breaks down in your body to produce methanol (wood alcohol), a toxic substance;
  • Fluoride supposedly provides a protective barrier for your tooth enamel, but it is easily removed when chewing. If the fluoride is swallowed (as many children do), it is a major risk factor for disfiguring dental fluorosis. When swallowed, it accumulates in your body tissues, building up over time, wreaking havoc with your body’s enzymes and hormones.
  • Propylene glycol, better known as antifreeze;
  • Diethanolamine (DEA), a known hormone disruptor;
  • Microbeads, microscopic plastic beads that are a threat to the environment, food chain, and your mouth.

Here’s Mercola’s recipes (1), which he reprinted from Mind Body Green (2):

Homemade Peppermint and Coconut Oil Toothpaste

This makes up a batch that will serve for 3 months of brushings (or 1 month for a family of 3). Store the jar in the fridge if it will not be used within 14 days.

Note that coconut oil has documented antibacterial and antifungal properties. Bentonite clay draws out toxins from the gums and tongue.

The original recipe does not specify the form of stevia, whether green powder (ground, dried stevia leaves), extract powder, or dark liquid tincture. The green powder would be the best, but you may need to play with the amount. If using stevia extract powder (white), 1 tsp would be way too much, as it is equivalent in sweetness to 1 1/2 – 2 cups sugar! Start with a tiny pinch (less than 1/16 tsp) and add more as needed.

  • 1/2 cup bentonite clay
  • 1/8 tsp. unrefined sea salt (or table salt)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2/3 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. stevia (optional)
  • 1 to 4 drops peppermint essential oil

Mix the clay and salt in a bowl. Add the water. Mix well. Add the rest of ingredients. Mix well again until it forms a paste. Store it in a jar with a lid. Every time you go to use it, spoon some onto your toothbrush. Dampen the paste by putting your brush under some gently running water. Brush as usual. 

Homemade Baking Soda and Peppermint Toothpaste

This version is mixed in a cup, and makes enough for 3 brushings.

  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 drop peppermint or lemon essential oil
  • A few drops of water

Mix in a bowl until the paste is formed. Then brush your teeth.


  1. Mercola:
  2. Mind Body Green:

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