Cinnamon Nutmeg Toothpaste
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Okay, okay… so making your own toothpaste may not be at the top of your “To Do” list, but I assure you, it's totally worth it.
Conventional toothpaste – like so many other things in our modern world – includes questionable ingredients, which is particularly disconcerting considering that one of the fastest ways to absorb pretty much anything is through the mouth.
Sodium laurel sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, flouride, and artificial sweeteners top the list most certainly. Even “natural” brands aren't necessarily natural.
Is It Even Possible to Make Your Own Safe and Effective Toothpaste?
Well, let's take a look at the marks of a good toothpaste. A good toothpaste must:
- scrub off plaque and food residue without scratching the tooth's enamel
- make the mouth an inhospitable place for bacteria
- invigorate and stimulate healthy gums (for an enlightening look at gum health, read “The Secret” by Dr. Ray Behm Jr., DDS)
- avoid toxic ingredients
Optimally, a toothpaste will also:
- whiten and polish the teeth (again, without damaging the enamel)
- strengthen the tooth itself and assist in remineralizing the tooth, including filling in cavities and abcesses (read more about remineralization)
Homemade toothpastes can absolutely do all these things, and we'll go into the role of each ingredient further a bit later.
With the exception of the contentious ingredient xylitol, all the ingredients here are not only safe to swallow, but actually nourishing if you happen to do so (as well as being safe for young children and those with sensitive teeth), and all of them actively promote a healthy mouth, gums and teeth alike.
It should also be mentioned that eating nutrient-dense food, especially those rich in calcium, is the first and most fundamental part of having healthy teeth, as that provides the body everything it needs to build and maintain strong teeth.
Calcium, for example, is used for muscle contraction, nerve communication, and cell formation. If we don’t take in what we need through our diet, our bodies have no problem pulling what they need from our teeth and bones, which then cause the teeth to quickly erode in the presence of acids and sugars.
So, making your own toothpaste is an easy, (mostly) frugal way to provide a non-toxic brushing option.
Cinnamon Nutmeg Toothpaste
As you can see, there are two versions of this recipe. There's no great difference in their performance or in their taste, but the textures differ: the calcium carbonate base feels and acts more like “regular” toothpaste, while the clay base is much smoother.
The ease of finding ingredients may vary from location to location as well, so go with whatever's easy. I found all these ingredients at my local health food store, but Amazon.com and Mountain Rose Herbs are good resources as well.
Cinnamon and nutmeg not only make you think of yummy pumpkin pie while you're brushing, but they're both strong antibacterials and offer pain relief when applied topically, which can particularly help if you have sensitive teeth. Adjust the amounts to your own preferences, but if you choose to use the essential oil versions of both of those spices, heed the safety notes at the end of this article.
Each recipe makes about two days worth of toothpaste for our family of six (well, #6 just got his first teeth last week, so he doesn't count).
What's in homemade toothpaste?
Before we get to the recipes, let's take a closer look at what's in homemade toothpaste – that is, what exactly we're putting in our mouths….
Calcium is an essential mineral for proper and healthy body function, as I mentioned above. By ingesting it, we ensure adequate amounts are available for proper body function. By using it in toothpaste, it is a mild-but-effective abrasive and it creates a lovely creamy base.
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. (Read 10 Reasons Clay Should Be in Every Mama's Cupboard)
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. As bacteria grow through the day by feeding on the sugars of food debris in your mouth, their wastes create an acidic environment, which eats away at tooth enamel, creates halitosis, and can enflame gums. The salt and baking soda do the very important job of neutralizing those acids.
Coconut oil gives a nice “mouthfeel” to the toothpaste and provides a good consistency to the mixture, but more importantly, unrefined coconut oil has strong antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help keep bacteria at bay.
Xylitol is included as a sweetener to make the toothpaste more palatable. Typically sweetener in a toothpaste would be a big no-no, as we're specifically trying to reduce the sugars on the teeth, but xylitol is a bit unique and there are a number of holistic dentists who recommend it specifically to prevent tooth decay.
Xylitol is a slightly contentious ingredient, however, for how it is metabolized by the body when ingested and because it is very highly processed. I am NOT comfortable using xylitol in any instance where its intention is to be ingested, but I am comfortable using it in this recipe, as it's intended to be applied topically and the research showing its topical effectiveness convinces me of its value. It's definitely a grey area though…..
Also, as many have mentioned in the comments, xylitol is fatal to dogs if swallowed, so any product using it should be treated as any medication around small children: out of reach and extremely difficult to open.
If you prefer to avoid xylitol, you may use stevia, either the homemade liquid kind or the green powdered variety. The store-bought liquid versions and the white powdered versions are highly processed and are about as far from “natural” as you can get, so they're not recommended.
If you only have access to a liquid commercial kind, however, also be sure to check the stevia's ingredient list for glycerin, as glycerin is generally undesirable in toothpaste. Glycerin coats the teeth to prevent stains (yay!), but it simultaneously prevents teeth from repairing themselves. It takes up to 30 times longer to brush off, as well.
Now, given all that information, maybe we should just skip a sweetener all together!
Xanthan gum makes the paste more “gummy” and more like conventional toothpaste. It is optional and is included just for texture.
Essential oils and/or spices are included for flavor. (See the important note about using these particular essential oils below.)
Cinnamon Nutmeg Toothpaste – Calcium Carbonate Base
- 2 tablespoons calcium carbonate
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum, optional
- ½ teaspoon xylitol, optional
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
- 1-2 teaspoons water, hydration rates may vary greatly according to region and personal preference – start with 1 and go from there
- 1-2 drops cinnamon leaf essential oil OR 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, cinnamon bark essential oil is too “hot” for this use – use cinnamon leaf ONLY
- 1 drop nutmeg essential oil OR 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, see important note about nutmeg essential oil below
- Whisk together the dry ingredients: the calcium powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and xylitol.
- Using a fork, blend in the coconut oil until uniform.
- Add the water and the essential oils and use a whisk to stir it very briskly. Make it as smooth as possible and add more water or calcium a bit at a time, if necessary.
- Spoon into a small pastry bag fitted with a screw-on cap, a small sandwich baggie with the corner cut off, or other squeezable container. You may also thin it with an extra teaspoon of water and place it in a pump bottle.
- Use within 3 days due to the water content.
Cinnamon & Nutmeg Toothpaste – Clay Base
- 4 tablespoons bentonite clay
- 1 teaspoon xylitol, more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 2 drops cinnamon leaf essential oil OR 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, cinnamon bark essential oil is too “hot” for this use – use only cinnamon leaf
- 1 drop nutmeg essential oil OR 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, please see note about nutmeg essential oil below
- Whisk together the clay, xylitol, and sea salt.
- Add the water and essential oils and whisk vigorously with a fork until a thick, uniform paste forms. This may take a couple of minutes, as the clay will initially want to clump.
- Spoon the paste into a small pastry bag fitted with a screw-on cap, a small sandwich baggie with the corner cut off, or other squeezable container. You may also use a small mason jar, if desired, but something squeezeable is preferable. Be aware that the clay will thicken over the course of a few days.
- Use within three days due to the water content.
An important note about essential oils
Essential oils are potent. When you're making homemade toothpaste, they are being used in the mouth (with the possibility of being accidentally swallowed), so there are three criteria to keep in mind:
- Absolutely ensure that you are using high quality essential oils that have been tested to show there are no adulterants present in the oil, AND
- Some essential oils are especially “hot,” meaning they cause a burning sensation when they're exposed to sensitive tissue, such as gums, cheeks, and the soft palette. Cinnamon Leaf essential oil, even though it's milder than Cinnamon Bark essential oil, is still a very “hot” oil. AND
- Pay attention as you drip your essential oils into the toothpaste mix – there are only a couple of drops used in this recipe and you don't want to overdo it in this case. In homemade laundry detergent – no big deal. In homemade toothpaste – big deal. Err on the side of caution.
Also, while the essential oil amounts listed here are well within the “acceptable” range, I STRONGLY STRONGLY recommend you use the ground spices in place of the essential oils if:
- you are using this toothpaste with children,
- you are pregnant,
- you are taking aspirin or other blood thinners, or
- anyone who will use it is taking any pharmaceutical drugs.
I state these so emphatically simply because:
- Essential oils are potent substances – wonderful, yes, but powerful – and children's bodies are much more sensitive than adult bodies.
- Essential oils can interact with certain pharmaceuticals when ingested, and cinnamon in particular.
- These *particular* essential oils can potentially have side-effects. For example, did you know that nutmeg essential oil is on par with certain heavy drugs and can cause delirium and hallucinations when taken in large doses? This does NOT apply to nutmeg eaten as spice, since it is nowhere near the same concentration, but the essential oil form is not to be trifled with. (Don't worry – amounts in this recipe are nowhere NEAR the amounts that would be hallucinogenic. I'm simply trying to emphasize that caution should be exercised.)
Now, don't get me wrong, lest I've gone too far in pointing out the potential dangers of cinnamon leaf and nutmeg essential oils in my desire to have you see the whole picture. Essential oils are amazing and highly effective in homemade toothpaste! I call for essential oils in this recipe for a reason, and that's because they're a very beneficial boon to supporting oral health and helping maintain proper microbial balance inside the mouth.
I geek out about how amazing essential oils are, but I'm also extremely passionate about helping you use essential oils safely. I've created multiple tools to help you do exactly that, and in this case I highly recommend keeping a copy of our Essential Oil Reference Guide (aka “the ultimate Essential Oil Binder”) on hand so that you can have all the safety information at hand if you decide you want a more strongly flavored homemade toothpaste and so you can confidently experiment with other flavors. 🙂
All the Flavors of the Rainbow
Remember to use pure essential oils with any of these formulations, and please adjust amounts to your family's preference. Just be sure to keep our Essential Oil Binder on hand and consult them before adding or changing the types of essential oils in these recipes, to be sure you're not using an oil that may be unsafe for you or a family member.
Vanilla Mint – 4-5 drops spearmint essential oil + 3-4 drops vanilla absolute (alternatively, pure vanilla extract may be substituted for the water in the recipe)
Sweet Orange & Cocoa – 6-8 drops each of sweet orange essential oil and cocoa absolute
Juniper & Tea Tree Oil – 6-8 drops of juniper berry essential oil + 4-5 drops of tea tree oil
What is your favorite toothpaste tip?
Do you have tips for teaching your children to brush well?
Do you have a favorite toothpaste recipe? What has worked well for you (or NOT so well)?
What's the craziest flavor you've ever seen in a commercial toothpaste?
Cant wait to try this! Loved the post. It was very informative and I will be saving my eggshells from now on! Question though, what brand of EO’s do you use?
Y’know, I’m not very knowledgeable about brands, so it’s hard to recommend one or another. Essential oils vary widely in their quality and efficacy, so I tend to look for therapeutic-grade oils and a description of how their oils are made. Mountain Rose Herbs has a good reputation for their quality, and they *almost* always have the scents I’m looking for, but there are certainly other excellent brands as well. If other readers in the know can chime in, I’d appreciate it!
Young Living oils are medical grade (if memory serves). I love love love Mountain Rose Herbs, and Young Living leaves them in a cloud of dust. However, YL is also leaps and bounds more expensive in a lot of cases, so it’s more expensive on the front, but would last you longer. I’ve never had a YL oil turn, even after 5 years, but a couple of my MRH oils turned after about 2 years.
NO such thing as medical grade or safe for ingestion. Good oils though.
Yes, there is such thing as medical grade AND safe for ingesting! Research YoungLiving Oils. I have been using them for 7 years and ingest all that I use! I would never ingest any other oil though. You do have to be careful and knowledgable in what you are using. There used instead of and in conjuction with Rx medicines in my family.
Quack, quack! You might read about it on the YL or doTerra sites, but that doesn’t make it so. Professionals in the industry such as certified aromatherapists, not salespeople (like those plugging YL), will tell you that there is no such thing as medical or therapeutic grade essential oils. That’s a marketing ploy. Consider the source – the background of the YL & doTERRA founders is very sketchy – check out quackwatch.org.
Just curious, where can I purchase Xylitolb from???
You should be able to find xylitol at any health food store or at Amazon.com. I’ve even seen it in a few well-stocked drug stores in my area, so hopefully it won’t be terribly hard to find.
I hope that helps!
What about using Splenda as the sweetener? Any thoughts on that?
No, I wouldn’t recommend Splenda, either for oral health or digestive health.
Splenda is a highly refined sugar alternative concocted in a laboratory and despite Splenda’s claims that it’s perfectly safe, there is mounting evidence that that’s simply not the case. So, as usual, to promote healing in our mouths and our bodies, I prefer to avoid anything that can’t be found in nature.
The one exception I make is xylitol – and only for toothpaste. This is for two reasons:
1. It’s a “better of two evils” kind of option. I want to make the toothpaste taste good so that children will use it, but every other option (honey, maple syrup, etc) literally paints sugar onto the teeth!
2. Xylitol has been shown to significantly reduce cavities in studies as far back as 1971, but as with most refined sweeteners, it’s not beneficial to the body.
Stevia is a natural alternative to Xylitol or Splenda. It’s made from the Stevia plant and before it was used as a sweetener it was used medicinally by the native people of South America.
Hi! Your toothpaste recipes look great, I have a ton of allergies so I will be trying them. How do you store and dispense the toothpaste? And one more thing, xylitol is great, but make sure it hasn’t been made from corn. Can’t remember the other source, but corn isn’t as good and is a big allergen.
I store the toothpaste in various containers depending on what’s available. 🙂 Sometimes I just put it in a small mason jar, sometimes I refill an old toothpaste tube that I’ve cut the bottom off of and cleaned out, and sometimes I put it in a travel-size squeeze bottle from the drugstore (the kind they sell for shampoos and lotions and things).
I hope that helps!
You probably don’t need any sweetener. I like plain baking soda….but flavor is nice.
You are not going to be swallowing it so any kind of sweetener would be good as long as it doesn’t cause bacterial growth. i.e. non-nutritive (some bacteria can adapt to these and metabolize it into acids…..cariogenic or cavity making). Agave is a nutritive sweetener….causes decay.
You really don’t need to or even WANT to kill too many bacteria. Fortunately, most mouth rinses don’t penetrate and sterilize the mouth. Do you want fungus instead? (new study shows bacteria even help control blood pressure). What you really want is to disrupt bacterial colonies so that your immune system doesn’t respond with inflammation (gingivitis, periodontal disease) .
Finally, you don’t get decay from not brushing bacteria away thoroughly and you don’t get it from just feeding sugar to bacteria . You get it from feeding the bacteria sugar frequently. If you eat the sugar quickly your teeth will soften and harden back to normal in 3 hours without any damage. It is the re-feeding of the bacteria while the teeth are already soft (or sipping on sweet drinks or sucking cough drops with honey in them) and repeating this over and over….that is the recipe for decay.
Oh, and one more thing…it is the spaces between the teeth and gums that are most affected by the immune response to bacteria….poke the spaces with your brush. It is better than floss and less damaging.
Joseph Shawa DMD
There is quite a bit of research coming out now that relates higher instances of pancreatic and other types of cancer to the use of splenda. It is apparently very similar to aspartame ,which causes brain tumors along with a myriad of other health problems and was banned by the FDA twice in the eighties before a giant pay off allowed them to sell again. I try to avoid all the chemicals I can, Of course we can not avoid them all, in this day and age, we are, quite simply surrounded by millions of chemicals. But avoid as many as you can.
Cherry Essential Oil http://www.ancienttreasures.com/lrgtext.php3?product=L-48&CA=113
Be cautious with Xylitol. It is highly toxic to dogs! Keep this away from your pet!
Does anyone know much about Now essential oils? I know they are much less expensive. I just can’t see spending 20, 30 or more bucks on a tiny bottle of oil, to me it’s just crazy but I do want to try this recipe, it sounds great. I threw out our fluoride toothpaste and have just been using baking soda. Thanks.
I myself use Now oils in this recipe, for exactly the reason you cite. I trust them, as I’ve been pleased with all the products I’ve used from Now for the last 15+ years, but I really have no basis to state or evaluate their quality, other than the fact that I use them and quite like them.
Enjoy the toothpaste! It’s a nice break from plain baking soda. 🙂
Thank you Kresha, can’t wait to try this 🙂
I make my own toothpaste, as well, and want to try your recipe as it looks yummy. Currently, though, I am just making mine by simply putting baking soda in a mason jar and adding a few drops of wintergreen and/or pepperment essential oil, though I have made it using others, as well. I don’t add any sweetner at all to mine, and I love the way it makes my breath feel fresh in the morning! No more “morning breath”!
I have read that both clove oil and peppermint oil are dangerous for young children and that peppermint oil can actually stop a young child’s heart from beating! Do you know if this is true?
I haven’t read that myself, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. If you have concerns, definitely be safe rather than sorry! That said, the concentrations in this recipe are quite low, since you only use a small amount at a time.
Another idea is to flavor it another way – for example, you can make your own peppermint extract by stuffing a jar full of fresh mint and covering it with vodka and letting it sit in a cool, dark place for several weeks. Then, use the extract in place of the water in this recipe. If you’d prefer not to use alcohol in a child’s toothpaste, let the extract sit out loosely covered for a few days, as the alcohol will evaporate. I’m not sure of the exact evaporation rates, but it is another option if you’d like to avoid the potent oils.
Thanks for a great comment and a heads-up!
Here is another source for essential oils among other things.
I like it because you can buy EO’s in small qtys to try (in case you’re not sure of the scent).
I also use Aura Cacia EO’s, reasonably priced and easy to find IMO (Whole Foods, Sprouts/Sunflower Market) and I believe most main stream herbal stores even grocery stores now.
Hi Trish I also use NDA for my body and facial products and they are lovely BUT please keep in mind that none of their oils are considered safe for human consumption. Check with them if you like but I know they advertise all over the site that all of their products are for external use and are not fit for ingestion. I would not want anyone to get sick using an oil that is not of medicinal quality.
You can use glycerin in place of alcohol for homemade tinctures. As long as it’s diluted that should help. I think it may involve sugars too though. Maybe try looking it up? If you’re worried just try a different flavor or only use 1 drop of peppermint E.O.
Peppermint, in large quantity, can affect respiration in infants and very young children, but highly diluted peppermint water in sometimes used in babies as a gripe water for stomach upset, I think as long as they weren’t infants (that would be kind of uncool to give a baby mint anyways-some of my older kids hate that cold feeling it gives), and as long they aren’t swallowing it, very small amounts could be safe. I’d give my four year old mint toothpaste (she likes mint), but not with tons of mint in it. Only do what you feel safe doing, and always do your own research. Don’t just take other peoples word for it. Good luck! (0: This looks awesome! I can’t wait to try!
Oh – I didn’t know that about glycerin and homemade tinctures! Thanks for the heads-up! Although now that you mention it, I’m sure I’ve seen commercial tincture preparations in glycerin, so I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. Thanks so much for sharing that!
One word about glycerin in toothpaste, however. I purposely left glycerin out of this recipe as there is a fair bit of research showing that glycerin actually PROMOTES cavities, merely because it very stubbornly coats the teeth and inhibits the saliva from rinsing bacteria off the teeth. Whether or not that’s true, I thought I would play it safe with this recipe by leaving the glycerin out.
Please ad to your homemade toothpaste that Xylitol is deadly to dogs. Although it may be in your opinion the best sweetener for toothpaste.. if you have small kids that are trying to learn to brush and a small dog is around.. it would be all too easy for that small dog to get a hold of it.. A very small amount to a small dog has proven deadly in just a matter of a few minutes. Awareness of such poisons can prevent unnecessary tragedies. As a dog lover, and someone who has experienced this first hand, there is no Xylitol in my house, much less any going into my mouth!
Thank you, Patti, and to Mary Sousa, who commented above, for pointing out this toxic danger. We certainly want to keep our homes as toxic-free as possible, and that’s certainly true for our pets as much as our families. Thank you!
I’m thinking that you could actually cut the end off an old toothpaste tube, rinse out any left over toothpaste, then refill it with your DIY recipe and seal it with one of those rollers you use to push the paste up on the tube…I’m going to try this! Thanks!
I am quite surprised that no one has suggested whole leaf (green) Stevia as a sweetener for this toothpaste…. It is an herb and the dry leaves are crushed into a powder… I have made toothpaste for young people and used this… All my research has pointed to it being healthy for the mouth etc.
I am a Registered Dental Hygienist. Small cavities can be remineralized with different products, but you CAN’T “fill in” an abcess with ANY toothpaste. A dental abcess is an infection in the bone around the root of the tooth ( a periodontal abcess is in the gum tissue around a tooth) and must be treated by a dentist or endodontist to resolve it.
Hi, I am also a licensed hygienist and am very happy to read through this recipe and comments. I do appreciate the research into the safety and efficacy of homemade toothpastes. I have had some patients who are very sensitive to toothpastes, and one ingredient I often recommend they avoid is the sodium lauryl sulfate. Yet, sometimes I recommend a dry brush, because you don’t exactly need toothpaste to remove plaque. But, so often I don’t like that there isn’t more options and began learning about this recently. I think I will soon try to do this. Wonder how you store it and how you dispense it as well?
Jennifer, thanks for your comment!
I store this toothpaste either in a jar, in a pastry bag, in a squeeze bottle, or in an old toothpaste tube that I cut the bottom off of and washed out. I then dispense it according to whatever works for the container. (If it’s a jar, I just use a little spoon or tongue depressor to scoop some out and pile it on the toothbrush.) 🙂
Hope that helps!
Anyone else have ideas for how you dispense homemade toothpaste?
This looks like a great recipe, and thanks for your research on all the ingredients! Dental treatment is such a contentious issue, and it’s SO hard to stand up to your dentist who recommends a fluoride toothpaste 🙂 I’ve got most of these ingredients at home except for the nutmeg oil, so I’ll get started with just cinnamon flavour, or maybe cinnamon and orange, or maybe clove oil……………! (looking forward to experimenting with this.)
Great tips here & I love your ethos.
Just want to offer up a small correction about coconut oil.
It’s not antiviral. It’s antimicrobial. It is, though, as you say, antibacterial.
Thank you, Ellie!
I’m curious why you state that coconut oil is not antiviral. According to various articles by Dr. Bruce Fife, CN ND, Dr. Joseph Mercola, and Mary Enig, Ph.D,:
“Laboratory tests have shown that the MCFAs (medium chain fatty acids) found in coconut oil are effective in destroying viruses that cause influenza, measles, herpes, mononucleosis hepatitis C, and AIDS; bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers, throat infections, pneumonia, sinusitis, urinary tract infections, meningitis, gonorrhea, and toxic shock syndrome; fungi and yeast that lead to ringworm, candida, and thrush; and parasites that can cause intestinal infections such as giardiasis.” (Quote from Dr. Fife’s The Coconut Oil Miracle. (aff) )
HOwever, I’m certainly willing to look at other sources if you’ll share them with us.
Thanks for these yummy sounding recipes. For the flavouring, would it be much the same using the powdered cinnamon and nutmeg used in food? At present, I use just baking powder and stevia powder mixed together but after reading this, I might try adding the calcium carbonate or the coconut oil (I love coconut flavour). I don’t know what it’s like elsewhere but it’s expensive buying essential oils in Australia. I’ve never tried buying the oils that is safe for internal consumption.
For flavor, using the powdered version of the spices might be just fine. I haven’t researched that, but off the top of my head, I can’t think of any reason why that wouldn’t be okay on the tooth’s surface.
However, the essential oils of those spices are what carry the antibacterial properties for cleaning the whole mouth – and they pack a bigger flavor punch too. 🙂
I’m currently researching homemade toothpastes so I can make my own. Cinnamon powder is indeed antibacterial but I did read (in one article only so far) that it irritates the mucous membranes (and the mouth is one big mucous membrane!) and it may also lead to inflammation. For some people. Like anything I suppose. Some people can’t tolerate baking soda.
Personally, I don’t use essential oils as the production of them can be quite harmful to the environment and I’m all about being as eco friendly as possible.
I did read somewhere that ground, dried peppermint can be used. . . I’ll try that once I get a new coffee grinder 🙂
Yes, in regards to ground cinnamon – you’re absolutely right. Along with any other “hot” herb or spice, cinnamon definitely can cause inflammation, so if the ratios in this recipe have too much cinnamon, by all means change it! 🙂
And the dried mint is a FANTASTIC idea, although you will want to make sure you can grind it to a very fine powder – sometimes I’ve had better luck with a small, high speed blender (like a Bullet or the Blendtec Twister Jar).
And while I’m absolutely not saying you *should* use essential oils, if the only thing keeping you from using them is unsustainable practices, then I would urge you to look into a wide variety of brands. Just like food and other products, there is a wide range of practices for creating essential oils, some of which include environmental degradation and some of which are very sustainable. Several of the smaller brands in particular handcraft their oils or use environmentally-friendly practices.
I hope the toothpaste works well for you!
my son is allergic to coconut so I am not willing to use coconut oil in the toothpaste. is there an alternative oil that may work?
No, there aren’t any oils I can think of, but feel free to skip it and just add enough water to make it into a paste. 🙂
Just double-checked….Sesame oil does have anti-bacterial properties.
I checked out the above noted website, Ancient Treasures. If you are thinking of ordering from them, please be aware that what they sell are not “Essential Oils” no matter what they claim. In fact, a cherry or strawberry or other fruity type essential oil does not exist, except for the citrus oils of course. Also, Rose essential oil runs between $600 – $700+ an oz; there is no way that they could sell pure, uncut Rose essential oil for $6.00 for .4 oz. It is possible that their fruity oils are “flavor oils” and suitable for toothpaste but since they have lied about so much else I wouldn’t count on it. There are reputable companies that sell flavoring oils, if that is what you want to use, but they are still made in a lab and not really “natural”. Sorry for the rant but this kind of stuff makes me nuts.
Judith, I was going to say the same thing! There is no such thing as ‘cherry’ essential oil. And rose oil for $6? Not even close! It’s amazing to me the dishonesty of some people/businesses. I highly recommend Mountain Rose and New Directions Aromatics for buying your supplies. I’m sure there are others but these two are probably the most reputable. 🙂
These are the best looking toothpaste recipes that I have seen anywhere, Kresha. I love the variety of flavors that you have provided here! They all sound wonderful!
It was interesting to see that you recommended Dr. Behm’s book. He happens to be my dentist! 🙂 In all my years of being a dental hygienist, I had never heard of anything like what Dr. Behm talks about in “The Secret .” This was not something that we were taught in dental hygiene school. His technique is one well worth learning for good oral and systemic health.
Thanks so much for your recipes! I look forward to trying them out sometime.
Thank you so much for your kind words and your recommendations. I really really appreciate you sharing them! I’m so impressed with Dr. Behm, having never met him, so it’s encouraging to hear from someone who works with him on a regular basis. 🙂
I put mine in an empty clean Mio container. Squeeze it on your toothbrush and you have no contamination 🙂
I just made the calcium version and it was smooth until I added the water. It immediately started to fizz and clump up, and I was whisking vigorously. It then became rock hard in a matter of minutes. I had to toss the batch.
What did I do wrong?
Hmmm…. you said it fizzed. Are you by chance using calcium citrate? If so, that’s the issue. You’ll want to use calcium carbonate for this, which is basically like ground up chalk.
Ahh, mystery solved. I was using Calcium & Magnesium Citrate Powder.
I know brushing your teeth should feel refreshing, but not fizzy foaming at the mouth kind of refreshing 🙂
Ha! That’s a great description! Maybe I should see if I can come up with “Fizzing Mouthwash” that would fit the bill. 😉
Where can I find bentonite clay? Can you still use it for toothpaste if it says “for external use only?”
You can find bentonite clay from Redmond Clay (which you can find either online at http://www.redmondclay.com or in many health food stores), from Mountain Rose Herbs (www.mountainroseherbs.com), or at your local health food store, just to name a few. I know that Redmond Clay labels their clays “for external use only” merely because they’re required to do so by law, but their clay is certainly excellent for internal use and works brilliantly in this toothpaste (it’s the clay I used when developing the recipe and I devised it based on their Earthpaste). I haven’t talked with Mountain Rose Herbs about the source of their clay, although I would assume it’s of high quality, but I would call them to ask about using it internally before using it in this application.
I hope that helps!
How long do you think the toothpaste would last before needing replaced?
Is there any reason tat I could not use clay and calcium in the recipe with coconut oil?
I used dolomite calcium.
Yes, absolutely. Go for it. 🙂
Could you add freshly ground nutmeg to your Cinnamon & Clove Tooth Powder and still get the antibacterial benefit mentioned above that the nutmeg essential oil gives? And do you think it would be okay to possibly add raw organic cacao powder to the tooth powder? (I see that you have cocoa essential oil as a flavoring option above.) I am new to essential oils and making homemade natural beauty products and cleansers, but I am trying to learn all I can before investing in a bunch of ingredients. Think you for all of the comprehensive information you have compiled here! 🙂
Thanks for some great questions!
Well, essential oils are very concentrated, so there’s no way to replicate the strength of the antibacterial with ground nutmeg. However, ground nutmeg isn’t devoid of those antibacterial properties, so it’s certainly better than nothing. I don’t have any studies to point to that would show the amount of difference, though, so we’ll just have to go with those general estimates. 😉
As for cacao powder, no, unfortunately it won’t work, largely because it is such a concentrated color itself that it can make the teeth dingy over time. 🙁
I hope that helps!
I am currently living in Germany, but I’m new here, so finding sources for some of these things is my new hobby. (Right now, my best source seems to ship from the UK.) It seems like, for all your flavor combos, there is one in each pair that is majorly expensive or hard to find. Since this is new to me, I’m trying to stick to the recipes until I get the hang of it. Any other options aside from the oils for flavors? I decided to start with the Tea Tree/Juniper, as that was the least expensive option, but… I’d like to investigate further.
For us, the various mint essential oils have been the easiest to find (wintergreen, peppermint, or spearmint), so if any of those are easy and inexpensive for you to find, perhaps just use one of those alone, or paired with green tea. Does your family like mint? (I hope!)
Wintergreen essential oil is not safe for ingestion! (methyl salicylate) And while toothpaste shouldn’t be being ingested, it can be ingested accidentally and small amounts being absorbed over time. If you’re going to suggest using wintergreen EO in toothpaste, please at least add a warning! People have died from ingesting wintergreen EO not knowing its toxic.
I have been using my own toothpaste for about 6 months and I love it. So, I am excited to try this, I do have a few questions. I use bentonite clay in my current toothpaste. I have read that once it gets wet it will start to absorb the particles and toxins from metal and plastic. I have my toothpaste in a glass container right now but I would love to put it in a squeezable tube or something. Have you heard of this happening?
In my toothpaste I used cinnamon, clove, and sage. I just boiled the real stuff and used the water to make it. Could I use clove and sage oils in this? Thanks for the recipe and the info!
I haven’t heard any concerns about storing homemade toothpaste that uses moistened clay in plastic squeezeable containers, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Obviously, choose a good quality plastic or silicone that’s BPA-free, wash it well before use, don’t leave it in the direct sunlight, and follow all the other typical recommendations for using plastic to keep it from leaching. Even Redmond Trading puts Earthpaste in plastic tubes, so again, I wouldn’t let this be at the top of your Things to Worry About list. 🙂
And yes, feel free to use clove and sage oils in your toothpaste if you’d like, even if you’ve already used the water from decocting the herbs and spices. Sounds lovely!
I regularly brush my teeth with salt water
Sometimes I also use green tea, are good for your teeth
You used to have a recipe here for tooth powder, with cinnamon and cloves. I loved it. Did you move it?
Nope, it’s still here. 🙂 https://nourishingjoy.com/cinnamon-clove-remineralizing-tooth-powder/ Glad you like it! I do too. 🙂
I have a couple of comments after reading through everyone else’s. Someone said that stevia is a natural sweetener to use instead of xylitol. If she was talking about green powdered stevia leaf, then she’s right. However if she’s talking about the white powder or liquid stevia you get at the store, she’s sadly mistaken. It is no more natural than aspartame. It is made in a lab and is so processed that it is far from a ‘natural’ product despite the (false) advertising. Regarding xylitol, it is actually a sugar alcohol, from birch sap. While it starts as a naturally occurring ingredient, it is processed in a lab. However, it is an excellent ingredient for toothpaste as you have suggested. People should be warned that it it highly toxic to dogs. I have an inside dog. I am prone to dropping things (I have fibro and my hands give out at any given time), so I don’t have xylitol in my house in case my dog licks up spilled granules. Recently I heard of a dog that ate a pack of xylitol gum off his owner’s table and was dead within a few hours. 🙁 my last concern is with the water in your recipe. I’ve been making natural bath and body products for almost twenty years (as a business) and typically when a product has water in it, it needs to be preserved. Water facilitates the growth of bacteria. If you read labels, lotions have water as a base and are preserved against microbes. Body Butters typically contain only oils and butters, they are not an emulsion, and therefore, do not need to be preserved. Same with lip balm. I’m concerned about the growth of nasties in this recipe with the addition of water. Coconut oil, although antibacterial in nature, is not an effective antimicrobial in this case. I would think this formula, once mixed, would last only a couple of days safely. Maybe a few days longer if refrigerated. Have you had your formula stress tested by a lab? Not trying to rain on your parade here, I really am trying to come up with an alternative to commercial toothpaste for myself and my family, and I applaud everyone who is coming up with these great ‘recipes’. I just know too much about the science behind this stuff to be comfortable. Maybe passing on the water formula and using a powder formula would be safest? Or omitting the water altogether and just using the coconut oil to be safe?
Of course. Just leave the water out if it concerns you. Its only purpose it to make it more like a texture that people are used to in a store-bought toothpaste. Other than that, it has no function, so the mixture will just be thicker and will need to be scooped out. And you’ve made an excellent point about water breeding bacteria – this is a fairly small batch, so it would be used up quickly, but if someone doubles or triples it or uses it only occasionally, that’s a very valid point.
If you’d prefer a powdered version, we also have this tooth powder: https://nourishingjoy.com/cinnamon-clove-remineralizing-tooth-powder/
By the way, you’re not raining on anyone’s parade. I don’t share natural remedies in order to show off as if I’m on a float like royalty – I share your exact concerns, safety-wise, but also know that many who are new to alternative remedies and personal care products want their “new” recipes to look and act just like what they’re used to.
Thanks for sharing your experiences.
For how long this paste will be good to use with no bacteria growing?
It all depends on how you store it, how you scoop it, and how else you expose it to bacteria. If you put it in a small jar that gets opened every time you use it (especially if you scoop directly with your toothbrush), then I would only use it for 2-3 days. However, if you put it in a squeezeable tube where it’s not coming into constant contact with bacteria from your mouth or breath, I’d use it for 2-3 weeks.
I hope that helps!
I have been making my toothpaste for a while. I switched containers and then realized – it’s metal! I think stainless steel; one of those round tins with a lid that I bought for homemade lotions… Am I completely counteracting the benefits of the clay???
Yes, likely. When bentonite clay gets wet, it sets up an electromagnetic reaction of sorts with the metal, which would then make it less effective in your mouth. 🙁
Can toothpaste be thinned with anything other water (thinking of the bacteria issue)? If not, can a natural preservative be added – tea tree oil? alcohol (for the adults)?
Yes, it could be thinned with vodka, if you’d prefer. You’d be adding a very small amount, so unless you prefer to avoid alcohol 100% in your house, it wouldn’t be an issue in terms of how much alcohol gets into your system. And yes, tea tree oil would be fine too, provided you don’t swallow it.
I hope that helps!