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I used to think tooth powder was weird.
In hindsight, I don't know why, as it's even been in recent history where tooth powder has been the norm:
But nonetheless, like much of the Western world, I've gotten used to squeezeable toothpaste that presses easily out of a tube and foams in my mouth.
After reading about a cleaning technique called “The Secret” by Dr. Ray Behm, however, and after seeing more and more recipes for tooth powder around the natural living community in the last couple of years, I decided to give it a try.
And let me say, y'all, that I really, really like it. I don't know why it took me so long to try something new!
So, of course I want to share it with you all.
Also, since our regular homemade toothpaste recipe is one of the most popular posts on this site, I figured you, like me, want to find the best way to take care of your teeth naturally. And not only that, but Ramel Nagel in his popular book, Cure Tooth Decay, promotes tooth powders as effective ways to remineralize teeth, so this tooth powder is both natural and an excellent way to promote long-term dental health.
UPDATE: Due to an overwhelming number of e-mails requesting brand recommendations, here are a few brands I use. These are all Amazon links so that you don't have to pay for shipping at multiple sites, and yes, they are affiliate links, so if you purchase your products through these links, I will receive a small commission. As always, thank you!
By no means are these the only brands that are good or reputable, they are merely the ones I tend to use, so feel free to get them at your local natural foods store or at other retailers online that you trust.
Activated Charcoal (these are in capsules, which are easy to pull apart)
Cinnamon & Clove Tooth Powder
makes approximately 2/3 cups, which lasts our family about 1 month
4 tablespoons bentonite clay
4 tablespoons calcium powder (if you're making your own, make sure it's ground extra-fine)
1 teaspoon baking soda (omit if the mixture is too salty for your taste or if you have metal braces)
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon activated charcoal (optional)
Mix all ingredients together well and store in an airtight container (or individual containers, if you prefer).
To use, scoop up a mounded heap of the tooth powder with a dry toothbrush, then place in the mouth without wetting the brush. Your saliva will quickly provide more than enough moisture. As you brush, pay extra attention to getting the mixture into the space between your teeth and your gums as well as the usual scrubbing on both the front and back of each tooth.
Brush lightly, as there's plenty enough abrasiveness with the salt, baking soda, and clay to clean well without heavy-handed scrubbing. If I scrub too hard, I find my gums feel a little beat-up….
Spit or swallow as desired, then rinse with water.
Don't want to make your own? Primal Life Organics has an absolutely gorgeous tooth powder – available in multiple flavors and with or without charcoal – so just click here to buy tooth powder rather than gather supplies and make your own.
Calcium is an essential mineral for proper and healthy body function. By ingesting it, we ensure adequate amounts are available for proper body function. By using it in toothpaste and tooth powder, it is a mild-but-effective abrasive.
Bentonite clay is an edible clay that is not only chock full of essential minerals our bodies crave, but it helps rid our bodies of toxins. In toothpaste, it also functions as a gentle abrasive and cleanser. Interestingly, it's also alkaline, which is important in toothpaste and tooth powder. As bacteria grow through the day by feeding on the sugars of food debris in your mouth, their wastes create an acidic environment, which eat away at tooth enamel, create halitosis, and can enflame gums. The alkalinity of the clay balances that that acid, which slows the effects of the acid.
Unrefined sea salt & baking soda are both gentle abrasives. (If you’re worried they might be too abrasive, check out their RDA values here.) More than that, however, they are crucial for neutralizing the acids around your teeth. The salt and baking soda do the very important job of neutralizing acids and making your mouth an inhospitable place for those acid-creating bacteria.
Cinnamon & cloves are spices that not only make the tooth powder taste so very refreshing, but are known for their their antibacterial properties. Obviously, the ground versions here are not nearly as potent as the essential oils that are derived from the same spices, but they act similarly, even on a lesser scale. If you'd like, you may also add a bit of five-spice powder for flavor or a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper for a bit of pain numbing if you've got extra-sensitive gums.
Activated charcoal, like clay, draws toxins out of the body and in this usage, acts as a natural tooth whitener. Thus, it's great in homemade tooth powder because it helps create an inhospitable environment for bacteria, draws out any toxins in the mouth, freshens breath, and whitens teeth.