For months now, I’ve been cleaning my teeth with a combination of coconut oil, salt and baking soda.
Conventional store-bought toothpaste actually contains a bunch of nasties I’d rather not put anywhere near my mouth. Like sodium lauryl sulfate, which is also found in engine degreasers, floor cleaners and car wash soaps. No thanks.
Instead, I’ve come up with a natural homemade toothpaste recipe that requires only four ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your pantry. Then it’s just a matter of mixing them all together. Done.
Admittedly, it is a bit strange at first. But you quickly grow accustomed to the salty taste and no-foam texture.
Then you start to notice how clean your teeth feel. The gentle grittiness of the salt (which has antibacterial properties) and bicarbonate soda removes plaque while the coconut oil leaves your tooth enamel feeling silky smooth and your gums nourished.
I still do use store-bought toothpaste occasionally, especially when travelling. But I’ll never go back to chemical-laden supermarket brands. (Unconvinced? Read this article by a dentist, detailing all the nasties in conventional toothpaste, and why they’re unnecessary.)
Instead, if I buy toothpaste, I stick to all-natural brands. Health food stores usually offer several good options and some supermarkets now stock natural toothpastes, too. So if making your own doesn’t float your boat, at least consider swapping to a more natural brand.
Of course, the benefit of making your own toothpaste is that you know exactly what’s in it. No need to decipher complicated ingredient lists or research brands to ensure they truly are ethical.
Plus, you cut down on packaging. And when you run out, you can quickly whip up more without ever having to leave your house.
While we’re on the topic, a quick word about toothbrushes.
Over 4.7 billion plastic toothbrushes are produced worldwide every year. Most end up in landfill. Or polluting our oceans.
Sadly, compostable toothbrushes aren’t so easy to find here in Spain. (Correct me if I’m wrong, Spaniards?) So for now I’m using an EkoTec plastic toothbrush with replaceable heads.
Now to the recipe.
Easy homemade toothpaste
5 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
10 drops essential oil **
** My favourite essential oil is peppermint but you can get creative. Cinnamon, clove, tea tree, lemon and rosemary all work, too.
Throw everything together into a small bowl and mix well. If you’re in a particularly cold area, you may need to warm the coconut oil a little first to soften it.
Store in an airtight container.
To use, just spread a small amount on your toothbrush as you normally would. You may need to use a spoon if you’re in a cold area, as the coconut oil will harden.
Brush as usual.
12 steps to cosmetics so natural you can eat the ingredients
This little how-to is the seventh instalment in our series on how to green your bathroom by swapping to completely natural and cruelty-free cosmetics.
Stay tuned for part eight, where we’ll share how to cleanse your body of toxins from the inside out with morning oil pulling.
We’re also volunteering to be your human guinea pigs, so if there’s something natural cosmetics-related that you’ve been a-ponderin’, hit us up in the comments.
Check out the other steps via the links below:
- Step 1: Bathroom stocktake – get our handy free worksheet to help you work out how naughty or nice your current cosmetic brands are.
- Step 2: Homemade exfoliating coffee and cinnamon soap – how to recycle used coffee grounds into a luxuriously exfoliating and all-natural homemade soap.
- Step 3: How to cleanse your face with nothing more than oil (and a little apple cider vinegar) plus tips on dealing with adult acne.
- Step 4: Whipped organic chocolate body butter – how to create an intensely moisturising body butter using only three-ingredients.
- Step 5: How to go no ‘poo – ditch store-bought shampoo and wash your hair using only bicarbonate soda and apple cider vinegar.
- Step 6: Menstrual cups – less wastage, less stink, less toxins. The better alternative to pads and tampons.
- Step 7: Natural homemade toothpaste – whip up your own toothpaste using everyday ingredients you probably already have floating around your pantry.
- Step 8: Oil pulling – swill a little oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes each day to improve dental health and a whole heap more.
- Step 9: Dry body brushing – get healthy, glowing, soft skin using this simple exfoliating technique.
- Step 10: Healing face and body butter – how to make your own naturally-scented and powerfully healing face and body moisturiser.