Until you had children you probably never thought much about your toothpaste and what was in it. You probably had a brand you grew up with that you used and never thought much about it. Then that little bundle of joy comes. They grow a bit older and you suddenly realize adult toothpaste, ingested into their tiny tummy, might not be so good. Geez, if it’s not good for them, what should we be using?
In our house, myself, and my son, have mouth ulcers that come with chronic illnesses we have and so a toothpaste alternative was in order for both of us. We needed something that wouldn’t irritate the gums or tissue any more than it already was, but was tolerable to taste as we brushed.
The good news here is that if you are looking for a children’s alternative and your child is still so young they don’t know any better, introducing a home-made or natural alternative is all they ever know. My son has never used a commercial brand toothpaste and he knows nothing other than what I make. Of course, he has tried brands with his Nana or once with Daddy, but it’s not what he uses and he knows why.
What’s in commercial brand standard toothpaste?
Ingredients like triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), artificial sweeteners, fluoride, and diethanolamine (DEA) are a few things that can cause toxicity. Other ingredients are baking soda and various color dyes. The toothpaste does work of course. But if you are looking for something less toxic, easy on the wallet and to make here is what I have put together.
Our Toothpaste Recipe
This recipe is a compilation of several recipes online and books combined to make this my own. It contains calcium for strong, healthy teeth, peppermint for flavor, bentonite clay powder to pull out impurities from the teeth, coconut oil to help with consistency and it’s health benefits and a bit of baking soda for breath and scrubbing power. It’s safe for children if they swallow it!
- 2 tbsp. of coconut oil (extra virgin organic is what we use)
- 2 tbsp. bentonite clay powder (we use NOW brand). This is added to pull out the impurities in the teeth (that is what this is known for).
- 1-1.5 tsp of distilled water
- ½-1 tsp of peppermint flavor (we use organic); qty based on your flavor needs
- ½ tsp of calcium carbonate powder (to add calcium and strength to teeth)
- ½ tsp. baking soda (we use Bob’s Red Mill brand, it’s finer and softer than other brands)
- Mix these in a plastic (or glass would be fine) container with a plastic/rubber spatula.
- (DO NOT USE ANY METAL WHILE MIXING - it makes the bentonite clay powder useless).
- I put this in my own small glass jar and I scoop it out with a clean finger.
- I recommend a clean spoon as well - I do not recommend sticking your brush into the mix due to risk of germ contamination of the whole batch.
This makes a small batch (about 4 oz) – probably enough for a small tube of toothpaste. If you have more than two children, you could make one batch per set of two children. This lasts quite awhile. I actually don’t keep track, but I would say it lasts about two months per person. Note: if your kids brush their teeth without adult supervision you may find they use more toothpaste than needed so batches go faster.
Although our kids (young ones) don’t use mouthwash, our older kids or we do ourselves. If you have used commercial brands you have found they burn your gums and mouth. If you have used specialized mouthwash they might just have a horrible flavor. The good news again is that this is even easier than the toothpaste. All you need is baking soda and water.
Use a pinch (¼ tsp or so) of baking soda, add a couple tablespoons of water and swoosh the mixture in your mouth. Spit.
Time to make this: (mix when needed) 20 seconds.
I use a small four-ounce travel container to hold the baking soda in. I open the cap and tip out a bit into the cap, and add a small amount of water and swoosh it all around. Remember – clean your cap after you sip off of it to avoid contaminating your container and keeping your germs hanging around.
Neither one of these alternatives is expensive or time-consuming to make. You can purchase all the ingredients at a local health food store, or online on amazon.com. The larger sizes of each ingredient can last a year or longer. Be sure to watch for expiration dates on the ingredients and dispose of them as they expire. Most ingredients have a long shelf life, so they can be stored in the pantry.
What do you use for natural toothpaste and mouthwash?