Confession: I haven’t used toothpaste in 3 years.
Honest. And I still have my teeth. I haven’t scared away my friends with bad breath. I haven’t got a six foot radius around me everywhere I go. In fact, my teeth have been much healthier since I stopped using toothpaste.
Here’s why I quit the toothpaste.
Most commercial toothpastes contain harmful ingredients like:
- Fluoride – Even many of the “natural” toothpastes contain fluoride. According to Mommypotamus it’s possible to keep your teeth cavity-free without this chemical:
According to Dr. Hardy Limeback, DDS, PhD, who has served as head of the Department of Preventive Dentistry at the University of Toronto and president of the Canadian Association for Dental Research, “You can get perfectly healthy teeth with resistant enamel without having any kind of fluoride exposure.” (source)
- Glycerin – Used in most conventional toothpastes to prevent the paste from drying out. However, glycerin can coat teeth and prevent them from benefiting from the minerals in saliva. New research suggests that minerals can be returned to teeth, strengthening their structure. But when they’re coated in this chemical barrier, it stops this tooth remineralisation process.
- Titanium dioxide – The same ingredient used to brighten paints and make sunscreen. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles are used to make toothpaste look white. When we ingest particles that small, they can interfere with cells and natural processes in the body. While they may be labelled “safe” at macrolevels, nano forms of this compound exhibit very different properties and should be properly tested before being labelled as safe for human consumption.
- Triclosan – This antimicrobial chemical has been linked to a number of health and environmental problems (dioxins leak into the water supply, and when mixed with sunlight, can have severe impacts on the environment). Triclosan is believed to contribute to health problems like hormonal issues, allergies, and cancer.
- Surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate – Used widely in products like toothpaste and shampoo for its foaming ability. However, more and more research is finding that SLS can cause mouth ulcers (canker sores) and stomach issues.
Rather than using chemical-filled toothpastes, I make my own tooth whitening powder using a range of natural ingredients specifically chosen for their antibacterial, antimicrobial, and stain-removing properties:
- Bentonite clay – Binds to and draws out heavy metals and toxins – a big plus for the mouth as it’s a gateway for viruses, pathogens and bacteria to enter the body – and delivers a hit of minerals as well as alkalises the mouth.
- Baking soda – Helps remove stains.
- Calcium powder – Provides an extra boost of calcium – essential for healthy teeth – plus helps to whiten.
- Ground cloves – Provides antibacterial properties and gives a more pleasant taste to the tooth powder.
- Cinnamon – Antibacterial and also gives a nice taste.
- Mint – Soothing on gums, and provides a nice taste to the powder.
- Turmeric powder – Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, with some studies showing it to be helpful in preventing gingivitis.
- Activated charcoal – Attracts heavy metals and toxins to its porous surface like a magnet so they pass straight through the body without being absorbed. (Warning: activated charcoal can be quite abrasive so use with caution).
Before we get started in learning how to make this activated charcoal tooth powder – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!
If you make this tooth powder, please let me know! Leave a comment below, and if you take a picture and share it, please tag me on Instagram @simplynaturalnessa or use the hashtag #simplynaturalnessa so I can see! I’d love to know how you went!
Activated Charcoal Tooth Powder
Feel free to adjust or add ingredients to cater this tooth powder to your needs. If your main focus is removing stains, add a little more activated charcoal to the tooth powder recipe (just be cautious with it as it can be abrasive). If you don’t have peppermint leaves on hand, just grind up some peppermint tea leaves in a small blender until a fine powder forms.
- 2-3 tbsp bentonite clay (do not use a metal spoon when mixing because it interacts with the clay)
- 2 tbsp calcium carbonate powder
- 2 tsp baking soda (omit if you have sensitive teeth)
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground mint or 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon or 4 drops cinnamon essential oil
- 1-2 tsp ground cloves or 5 drops clove essential oil
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp activated charcoal
- 1 tbsp xylitol powder
- 1/2 tsp ground sage or 4 drops sage essential oil
I rarely add xylitol to my recipes, but it can help with taste – especially for kids. It’s an antibacterial and neutralises pH, helping to prevent tooth decay.
Using a non-metal spoon, add all the ingredients to a glass jar and mix well to combine.
Add a little powder to a wet toothbrush, then brush and rinse as normal.
DIY activated charcoal tooth powder tutorial
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction.
Have you used a activated charcoal before? Do you make your own toothpaste too? Share in the comments below.
Lots of love,