I make my own homemade natural toothpaste which is completely free of fluoride, preservatives, and any other chemical substances. It tastes good and can be safely swallowed, which makes it a good training toothpaste for little kids. It has become our official family toothpaste of choice.
Initially, I was looking at commercial options. I didn’t want fluoride in the toothpaste because I was concerned about its toxicity and I had doubts about its benefits (but that’s another story). I also wanted something that would be safe to swallow, as I was about to train our baby to brush her teeth. All the commercial brands I found seemed to have some kind of preservatives or other chemical substances and I was not exactly sure that these substances were completely nontoxic.
So I did a lot of online searching and gathered some tips here and there, and finally put together a recipe to make my own toothpaste, which would at least guarantee the quality I was looking for. Also, most homemade toothpaste recipes I saw seemed to be a little complicated and time-consuming. I wanted to create a very quick and easy recipe, with very few ingredients.
It is a very simple recipe, requires only 3 ingredients, and is a breeze to make!
Just take equal parts of sodium bentonite clay, xylitol and water. To make a solid, thick toothpaste, first you mix xylitol and bentonite and then add water. (I use water from our filter which blocks fluoride and a bunch of other toxins). You cannot add too little water – always add a bit extra if in doubt. You’ll see this when you start mixing it: if it is too dry, add more water. Mixing should be done in a porcelain, glass, or wood bowl using a porcelain, glass or wooden spatula or similar utensils.
Why porcelain, glass, or wood? Because clay has strong absorbent qualities, and if you use plastic (even BPA-free) or metal utensils, your clay may draw out unwanted plastic or metal particles.
The resulting toothpaste mixture looks like clay. Xylitol is a natural sweetener so it tastes good. If you’re feeling adventurous you can mix in veggie-based dyes or flavors.
How to use it
Open the jar, scrub with your toothbrush in a circular motion to get a good chunk of the paste smeared onto your brush. Brush one jaw, rinse and repeat. Or experiment to see what works for you. The idea is to smear a good amount of the paste onto your teeth. After you rinse your mouth, don’t worry if some of the paste is still stuck to your teeth. It will dissolve but in the meantime in will collect the bacteria.
How to store it
The toothpaste can be stored in a glass jar or a wooden/bamboo container (I’d say glass is better around sink moisture). It shouldn’t go “bad,” but it is a good idea to cover it up, not airtight though. What works best for us so far is the jar pictured in the photo above. The lid is a little loose and allows for some air circulation inside the jar. You might want to experiment to see what works best for you to prevent mold.
For hygienic reasons each person should have their own container.
As for the toothbrush, it might be hard to completely rinse off the sticky paste. What I do is rinse the toothbrush a little bit and then put it in a glass of water and keep in there. The water in the glass will get a little “muddy” because of the clay but it’s ok. I think that the clay, due to its antibacterial qualities, will cleanse your brush the same way it cleanses your teeth. Eventually most of the clay should dissolve in water by the time of your next tooth brushing.
Where to buy the ingredients
Both bentonite and xylitol can be bought in bulk in 5-pound bags. Make sure that both are made in the USA (and that xylitol is not from corn but rather from birch, which is another sign it is made in the USA). Bentonite can be bought from BestBentonite.com. Please note: although it may not be immediately clear from the description on that website, they sell sodium bentonite, which is what we are using in the recipe.
Or you can buy on Ebay from the same supplier. As for xylitol, it looks like it is getting more popular, hence competitive pricing on Amazon.
Why bentonite clay
Bentonite is known to have some antibacterial properties, but how these work in a toothpaste is not presently known. It is a mild abrasive and therefore has cleansing qualities. Basically, the clay sticks to your teeth and draws out plaque and bacteria. You can do your own research on the benefits of bentonite using these sources:
I am not a chemist or a dentist and I don’t guarantee that my recipe works for everyone. It seems to work for my family and my dentist doesn’t complain. According to my research, bentonite has cleansing and antibacterial qualities and is good for the gums, and xylitol is known to help prevent tooth decay. So I’m sharing this recipe with the hope that it would work for you or inspire you to try your own. Please don’t expect this toothpaste to heal your teeth in case you already have cavities. I personally don’t believe ANY toothpaste can heal existing cavities. This toothpaste is for preventive care only and doesn’t replace other important ways to care for your teeth, such as frequent flossing and good nutrition.