I never thought I’d be the girl to make her own toothpaste, let alone write about it but in my quest for reducing my single-use waste, I got extremely irritated by throwing my toothpaste tubes away. I wondered if I there was a solution to this other than very pricey toothpaste capsules which cost double or triple my usual toothpaste and so I started researching. A DIY toothpaste with some special ingredients came out tops as my first thing to try.
Researching toothpaste had me learn a lot to start with. I’d been using a toothpaste by an Ayurvedic brand that is cruelty-free and available at a variety of health stores and pharmacies, big and small. I was really happy with it but my logic was that if there is a way to have a few products which stay in my home over months before the containers are reused, it would be better than the tubes going into the recycling without the guarantee that it would be recycled. Next, I had to make sure that the toothpaste would actually benefit my oral health and leave me minty fresh. The ingredients I’ve chosen are based on recipes by Mapel Alps and Weed em Reap.
This was because both emphasise what teeth need and have an ingredients list that isn’t overcomplicated or long. They also touch on how different cultures have used these natural methods, now considered alternatives, for oral health through the ages. My key ingredients are bentonite clay, calcium and magnesium, activated charcoal and coconut oil which I got from Faithful to Nature along with a great bamboo toothbrush.
Bentonite Clay is an aged volcanic ash, also called ‘Montmorillionaire”, that’s popular in skin care products, mud packs and detox baths. Different clays have been used throughout history for their detox properties, to purify water and even treat insect bites or wounds. Bentonite Clay has detoxifying properties, both internal and external. It has been proved to remove and absorb toxins and heavy metals, it also contains minerals like calcium, silica, potassium, iron and magnesium. A study done at Arizona University to investigate clay having been used to treat bacterial infections with anti-biotics found a specific mineral in clay was effective in killing salmonella, e-coli and a host of other major bacteria. There are do’s and don’ts for Bentonite Clay, which I’ve listed at the bottom of this post.
Calcium is one of the building blocks of healthy teeth and bones, so it’s important for a healthy mouth. Magnesium aids in calcium absorption, which helps in maintaining strong enamel. The Viridian Calcium and Magnesium with Zinc powder I used from Faith to Nature also contains zinc, malic acid and vitamin C to further aid absorption.
Activated charcoal is commonly used to treat overdoses and in emergency poison treatments by medical professionals. This is because it binds to toxins and it can’t be absorbed by the body, so it takes those toxins with it on the way out the body. How? Activated charcoal is made from coconut shells, date and olive pits, coal, sawdust and sometimes bone meal (watch out if you are vegetarian or vegan) processed at a very high temperature, which is what activates it. This high heat process also makes it very porous and this is why its able to bind to toxins so well. While it removes toxins, it does not neutralise residual toxins. We’ve all seen the pics of Instagram-models with black teeth and gums from at-home charcoal tooth whitening, something I never managed to consistently do for two weeks straight! Many people swear by it, so I hope the charcoal in this does help because my oral health is good but I would like my teeth to be a shade or two whiter.
1/4 cup Bentonite clay
2 tbspn Calcium & Magnesium powder
1/4 tspn Baking powder
1/4 tspn Salt
4-5 Charcoal capsules
1/2 cup water (filtered, if you have a home filter)
3 tbspn melted coconut oil
10 drops peppermint oil
Stevia to taste (start slow and build up)
*Trace mineral liquid
In a glass or plastic bowl, combine your ingredients using a wooden or plastic spoon.
Add the water and stir, then add the coconut oil and continue to stir. The baking powder should react with the liquid to bubble and expand but the size will reduce.
Decant into a glass or plastic container. I’ve seen people find plastic tubes online, but I used a glass jar I had already. I use wooden tongue compressors to apply my toothpaste to my toothbrush. To see why not to use metal, refer to the notes on Bentonite Clay below.
Notes for Bentonite Clay and Activated Charcoal
*Be sure not to use metal with Bentonite Clay as it affects the minerals found in it. Rather use glass or plastic to store and wood or plastic to stir.
**There have been reports of US brands of Bentonite Clay containing led, which eliminate any health benefits completely. Be sure to get yours from reputable stockists who take care to stock high-quality products. The powder should be very fine, not abrasive at all.
***I’ve purposefully stuck to a relatively low amount of activated charcoal here, it won’t look like some charcoal toothpaste brands on the market due to this. There is worry that activated charcoal is abrasive on tooth enamel, so find one that is a high quality and very fine in texture. If you are using activated charcoal was a tooth whitener, rather smear it on wet teeth and leave it, than brushing it into teeth and rinse thoroughly after 2-3 minutes. Also opt of a softer bristle toothbrush if you can.
There are links to products throughout the post if you would like to try this yourself. Faithful to Nature kindly sponsored this post but these are not affiliate links with earning potential for me, nor was this a paid post. I am not a medical professional and nothing here is a substitute for medical advice. As I’ve stated, my teeth are in relatively good condition and I do visit the dentist yearly. Every individual’s health needs are different, so please respect your particular health concerns by visiting a dentist or GP.