Finding a good toothpaste can be difficult. Detergents, artificial colors, and chemical sweeteners have been added to most of the commercial toothpaste on store shelves.
Allow me to make this simple for you – some of those chemicals and additives that reside in store-bought toothpaste can be toxic to your health. (Check out our recent article on toxins in your toothpaste to learn more.) If you’re not already making a simple homemade toothpaste, we encourage you to consider it as a way to avoid harmful chemicals in your personal care routine.
Powder on your teeth?
We are currently learning more about the subject of our oral health, and have found Ramiel Nagel’s book, Cure Tooth Decay, to be an invaluable resource.
In his book, Nagel recommends a simple tooth powder to use for brushing, consisting of only baking soda, sea salt, and a bit of essential oil. I had seen tooth powders in the past as I perused shelves of my local health food stores, always wondering, “Why in the world would you brush with a powder???” I saw several brands of natural tooth powders and noticed a range of natural products on the ingredient lists — clay, activated charcoal, several different types of ground herbs, and essential oils.
As I researched other herbs that may be beneficial for teeth, I found that sage has been used for years by other cultures as a natural tooth whitener. I gave it a shot in my own tooth powder concoction, and once we began using the homemade powder for brushing we realize the draw of brushing with a mineral-rich powder.
Our tooth powder contains only a few ingredients that can all contribute to a healthy smile and promote fresh breath.
Before you decide tooth powder is too strange for you, allow me to show you how easy it can be to mix up your own. If you’re still not convinced after seeing the recipe, keep reading to learn more about the awesome benefits of each ingredient!
Peppermint Sage Tooth Powder
(Makes ½ cup of tooth powder)
- 2 tablespoons bentonite clay (find clay here)
- 2 tablespoons baking soda (find baking soda here)
- 1 tablespoon dried, finely ground sage leaf (find organic sage here)
- 1 tablespoon xylitol (optional, for adding sweetness)
- ½ tablespoon pure sea salt (find unrefined sea salt here)
- 15-20 drops peppermint essential oil (find 100% pure essential oils here)
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly with a non-metal spoon. Drip essential oils into the mixture and stir well to combine. Transfer to a small container or jar with a tight fitting lid. Particles of the tooth powder are fine enough that a small squirt bottle like this can also be used (as long as you don’t get the squirt-tip wet, which will cause clogging). Note: Bentonite clay loses its beneficial properties when it comes into contact with metal, so it’s best to use plastic or glass when mixing and storing your tooth powder.
To brush with tooth powder, simply dip your toothbrush into the powder, or carefully squirt some onto a wet toothbrush. Brush teeth as usual. Follow with homemade mouthwash if desired.
Note: If using the dip method to get powder onto your toothbrush, you may want to consider giving each family member his/her own container.
Benefits of ingredients
Bentonite clay – This natural clay has the unique ability to bind to toxins in the body. It is especially useful in eliminating toxins from heavy metals in your mouth, like mercury from mercury fillings. This clay will never bind to any of the beneficial elements in your body. Bentonite clay is also rich in minerals that can nourish teeth and gums.
Baking soda – This ingredient has been a trusted tooth cleanser long before it was added to the tubes you’ll see on store shelves. Baking soda gently polishes teeth and naturally whitens your smile. This chart, which shows the Abrasiveness Index of some common brands of toothpaste, lists baking soda as less abrasive than most commercial toothpastes.
Sage – Sage has been recognized by many cultures for its natural tooth-whitening abilities. Known for its astringent properties, sage is perfect for oral health and whitening discolored teeth.
Xylitol – This ingredient is optional, but can be added to sweeten the finished product. Research has shown that xylitol has many benefits for oral health. A pinch of stevia powder can be used as a substitute for the xylitol in this recipe if you wish.
Sea salt – Pure sea salt is full of tooth-nourishing minerals, and is especially helpful in healing irritated gums.
Peppermint essential oil – This essential oil has antibacterial, antiseptic, and pain-relieving properties. Peppermint is said to be beneficial for mouth and gum infections (although you should consult your dentist if you suspect a serious condition). In addition, it adds a cool, minty fresh flavor to this tooth powder. If you don’t like peppermint you can substitute spearmint to create a different minty twist. (find 100% pure essential oils here)
I should also add that, this is now our favorite homemade tooth cleanser! It’s the least time-consuming to mix up, has the longest shelf life (since there is no water added), has a nice flavor, and produces dazzling results.
As always, we encourage you to play around with the proportions to create a tooth powder that is perfect for you.
Share your favorite natural tooth cleanser with the community!