12 Natural Toothpaste Alternatives


Natural toothpaste alternatives are all the rage these days.

So, what’s wrong with toothpaste?

Well, like most commercial health and beauty products on the market, toothpaste has been industrialized over the years.

Here are just a few of the questionable ingredients commonly found in commercial toothpastes:

The Case Against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics That Keep It ThereFluoride. While fluoride is supposedly the ingredient that prevents cavities, it doesn’t do that job very well and can actually be very toxic to the body. In fact, if you suffer from acne outbreaks around the mouth and chin area, fluoride toothpaste may be the cause! (If you haven’t already, check out The Case Against Fluoride and The Fluoride Deception for more information.) Fluoride-free toothpastes are becoming more common, but unfortunately it’s not the only ingredient in toothpaste you should be avoiding. Read more about fluoride dangers here.

Titanium dioxide. There are some concerns that titanium dioxide is carcinogenic. The biggest problem is that nano-sized particles of titanium dioxide can be absorbed through the mouth and may cause toxic damage in the cells of the body.

Glycerin. This is found in almost every toothpaste on the market (even the natural ones). Glycerin helps give toothpaste its pasty texture and keeps it from drying out. But it can also leave a coating on your teeth that prevents them from remineralizing.

Sodium lauryl sulfate. It gives you the foamy cleaning action we all expect from toothpaste, but sodium lauryl sulfate is also a strong chemical surfactant that doesn’t belong in our bodies.

Artificial sweeteners. I don’t know about you, but I generally avoid chemical sweeteners like sorbitol and saccharin. Unfortunately, these are commonly used in commercial toothpaste to make them taste sweet.

So, what are some natural toothpaste alternatives?

I asked you on The Nourished Life Facebook Fan Page what you use instead of commercial toothpaste.

And as I expected, you all gave some great responses–so many that I really couldn’t list them all! But here are twelve ideas to get you started:

12 Natural Toothpaste Alternatives

1. Sea Salt

How much more natural can you get than brushing your teeth with salt from the sea?

It’s easy, too: just dab your toothbrush in sea salt and brush away as usual.

Concerned about abrasion?

Me, too. You can also dissolve the salt in water first and then dip your brush in the saltwater before brushing.

2. Baking Soda

This has got to be one of the most popular natural toothpaste alternatives.

Like sea salt, you can just dip your toothbrush in baking soda and brush like normal. Or you can dissolve it in water first and use the brine for brushing (just like the sea salt).

A lot of people use baking soda as a base for homemade tooth powder. You mix it with a few drops of peppermint essential oil and stevia to give your mouth a minty fresh feel.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is known for keeping teeth clean and white, and many people use it instead of toothpaste.

Jessica on Facebook suggests, “Dip your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide and then in a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and fine sea salt.”

The only potential problem with hydrogen peroxide is if you have amalgam fillings: peroxide may leach mercury from your fillings.

4. Herbal Tooth Powders

Herbal tooth powders can be used in place of toothpaste.

They do a good job of cleaning, and the herbal ingredients can also help ease inflammation, pain and infection throughout the mouth.

5. Dry Brushing

It doesn’t get much more simple than this.

Tired of looking for a natural toothpaste alternative?

According to some, there’s no need to use anything at all: dry brushing does the job. But while it does seem to work well enough, there’s no minty mouth feel (like we’re all used to, of course) and might feel a little strange.

6. Brush with Pure Water

If dry brushing doesn’t quite cut it for you, try brushing with pure water.

This also works surprisingly well for clearing debris from the teeth, but you still don’t get that minty mouth feel.

7. All Natural Soap

Yes, you can brush your teeth with soap.

I’ve tried this one a few times, and while it does work, it also tastes pretty, well, soapy.

Not exactly the natural toothpaste experience I was looking for personally.

But if you decide to try it, trying a natural soap like peppermint castile soap.

8. Tooth Soap

For those who aren’t keen on using actual soap in their mouths, there are quite a lot of brands of specially designed tooth soaps on the market as a natural toothpaste alternative. Just try to find one without additives.

9. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another great natural toothpaste alternative.


Its antifungal and antibacterial properties come in handy for mouth cleaning.

Coconut oil can be used alone and combined with other ingredients listed here (like baking soda and essential oils).

Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser10. Oral Irrigation (Waterpik)

Getting a Waterpik has been on my to-do list ever since I read Cure Tooth Decay by Rami Nagel.

But I don’t have one yet, so I can’t speak from personal experience about using one.

According to user reports, however, this little device can work some wonders cleaning teeth and gums. Some say the results are nothing short of miraculous.

Rami Nagel suggests in his book that you use salt water for oral irrigation, which can enhance the benefits.

11. Essential Oils

These can be bought at a local health food store or from a reputable online store. Learn where I shop for high quality therapeutic essential oils online.

Sometimes I just use a drop or two of peppermint oil on my dampened toothbrush if I want a quick and easy way to get my mouth feeling clean and minty fresh.

12. Oil Pulling

Never heard of it?

Here’s a post that explains what oil pulling is and how to do it.

Basically you swish about one tablespoon of oil (I use coconut oil) for several minutes. Then brush with plain water or use one of the methods listed above. Trust me, your teeth have never felt this clean!

Want to learn how to brush your teeth? Check out this post about the Bass brushing technique!

Do you have a favorite natural toothpaste alternative? Please share in the comment section below!

More natural toothpaste recipes:

12 Natural Toothpaste Alternatives  from The Nourished Life

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  1. I’ve been using a mixture of coconut oil, baking soda and peppermint essential oils for a couple months now and I have to say that it works amazing. I never get that fuzzy teeth feeling anymore even if I go 24 hours without brushing (it does happen sometimes!). I use it on my 22 month old as well, although he often prefers the dry brushing or water brushing as the homemade “toothpaste” can take some getting used to. Hope whoever reads The Nourished Life’s post tries it out, its pretty great (and a whole lot cheaper).

    • I like this recipe Angela. The coconut oil has so many healing/restorative properties, the soda works well (just be careful to not brush the gum line too much with it as soda can irritate gum tissue). Peppermint oil is also an effective anti microbial for some of the bacteria that cause gum disease.

      We prefer to use our Brushing Blend as it is formulated with both warming and cooling Organic essential oils. Not only does the formula more broadly address all the bacterial strains that cause gum disease and tooth decay, it also will not imbalance the system by using it over time. That’s my one warning using just peppermint oil. It’s very cooling and can cause imbalance (cool the body’s fire) over time.

      Check out http://www.OraWellness.com. I think you would like it as an addition to your homemade paste!

      To your health!

  2. I just started keeping it simple. No need for toothpaste! I brush with water, floss, swish with a natural mouthwash and baking soda sometimes, or peroxide. I think baking soda is too abrasive to brush with, but good to swish!

    • While you can brush with baking soda, you must be cautious to only brush the teeth and not overdo it on the gum line as baking soda can irritate gum tissue and actually cause gum recession!

      We recommend to also be cautious using hydrogen peroxide in the mouth. Again, it’s very effective. First off, be sure you dilute it with water AT LEAST 50%. If you begin to have greater tooth sensitivity, it’s the peroxide, guaranteed. Peroxide can increase tooth sensitivity, so use sparingly! Occasional use is suggested…

      To your health!

  3. We recently switched to Pascalite Clay. It is amazing! Our teeth get so very clean and stay clean all day long.

    • I use a mixture of dolomite, baking soda and just a few drops of cinnamon leaf oil. You can use other oils (such as spearmint or peppermint) too. Helps with remineralizing teeth.

      • We use something similar combined with our Brushing Blend, a formula of organic essential oils that effectively addresses the ‘bad bugs’ involved with gum disease and tooth decay.

        To your health!

  4. Love this post!! I’m in the middle of reading “Cure Tooth Decay” with Rami Nagel, and it has been amazing to have new insights into the care of our teeth!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Rami’s books are great tools to help folks take better care of their oral health, as well as whole being health! We at OraWellness encourage a two prong approach to addressing oral health. 1. Like Rami’s work (essentially Dr. Price’s work reformatted), address whole system immune support first. 2. Reduce the bacterial load in the mouth using SAFE (aka organic) products that efffectively kill the bacteria that cause gum disease.

      To your health!


  5. each day, after i put a bit of toothpaste on my brush, i dip it in a glass of baking soda i keep on the sink space. i swear by baking soda a whitening aid. i’ve drank coffee for years, and get compliments on the whiteness of my teeth quite often. so glad i found your site. i’m recovering from (what appears to be) a mild case of adrenal fatigue. i’m so grateful i’m able to make these food/lifestyle changes now and begin the healing process.

      • @790852805f6c47627b611b2f43f05ecd:disqus Toosday Adreanl fatigue is a biggie and most of us have it in our fast paced lives. A good arenal support supplement is a good idea as well as all the healthy eating. Have you read the book Adrenal Fatigue by James Wilson? Lots of info inthere.

    • @790852805f6c47627b611b2f43f05ecd:disqus , just please use caution when brushing with baking soda. Soda is an excellent abrasive to clean the surface of the teeth, but when applied to the gum line, baking soda can irritate the gum line and cause gum recession. Be gentle on the gums!

      To your health!

      • I used baking soda on my gums ignorantly. Now the dentist says I have irreversible pulpitis and will have to have a root canal. The pain is constant and severe. He says there is no sign of infection in the tooth.
        Any help you could give would be great as I don’t think root canals are safe.

  6. Liz, I used your recipe for several months and loved it! But….my hygenist said my gums were spongey….so I went back to icky store bought and the gums weren’t “spongey” at my next visit. I was so disappointed! I think I’ll have to try one of the other alternatives.

    • @e7e442552ce17cf788c773ee0f3462b2:disqus , you have to be careful using baking soda when brushing the teeth. While I do recommend using baking soda, one must be careful to only brush the teeth with it and not the gum line. Baking soda is very abrasive and can irritate sensitive gum tissue. It makes sense that your gums were soft. We encourage anyone looking for oral care solutions to check out http://www.OraWellness.com. We offer Organic solutions to many dental challenges.

      To your health!

  7. In the past, I’ve used baking soda, oil pulling and a homemade toothpaste with coconut oil, baking soda, stevia leaf and essential oils. I recently started using another homemade toothpaste that I started making (planning to post soon) that I had my holistic dentist look at. He said it could quite possibly remineralize teeth… either way, it tastes great!

    • @christyirc:disqus , please apply caution when using sea salt in the mouth. While salt is an excellent anti microbial, it is very strong, so start with just a little. Salt can damage gum tissue if used in too high of concentrations.

      To your health!

    • Hello, I am a Dental Hygienist with a ton of experience and have been enjoying all this exciting oral care discussion! I’d like to weigh in on a couple things. I support Ora Wellness comments about baking soda staying away from gum tissues. It will feel abraded if you brush there. Sometimes will not come back if damaged. Be gentle with ANY abrasives. I recommend using a small thin terry cloth like babies washcloth and after you’ve brushed scrub teeth with cloth. You’ll actually see stains coming off. It’s rewarding and Safe! I also absolutely believe in and teach waterpik’s care products. The water flosser is proven more effective than string. I’ve turned many patients oral health around with their compliance and an excellent water flosser. There’s a learning curve. Ask your hygienist. She will be glad to give you lessons. Or he! I’m glad to see the remineralization talk and applaud the concoctions. When using peroxide for its great whitening and healing ability remember to dilute, use occasionally, and always rinse it out completely! Never swallow it. Sea salt is sharp under the microscope and gouges enamel and fillings. It should always be dissolved and used as a rinse. Go to bed bath and beyond for great deals on a water flosser and smiles to you all!

        • I am making a toothpaste and could use Brenda’s the hygiene’s support and other educated people. NEW HERE

          I have sensitive teeth. Also the amounts to use of each would be great support too.

          bentonite clay
          arrow root
          Myrrh powder
          grounded to powder: anise seed and fennil seed
          Grounded to powder: basil leaf, sage leaf, spearmint leaf, thyme leaf, meem leaf
          aloe verg gel
          1 ts peppermint essential oil

          not into stevia or xylitol, baking soda or charcoal. smiles

  8. We use xylitol. My 7yo who has had terrible dental problems in the past, has a perfectly healthy mouth now. I flavour it with cinnamon or peppermint oil.

    Xylitol is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and can help to remineralize teeth.

  9. I did dry brushing before adding my toothpaste for a few months and at my next dental appointment the dental hygienist was very impressed with how clean the surface of my teeth were. Can’t say the same for in between, though, as I hate flossing. Now I use ecodent which I love and a little bottle lasts forever. I may try making my own tooth powder next or switching to some [url=http://www.etsy.com/listing/71025742/peppermint-tooth-powder-4oz?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=App_Seller&utm_campaign=fb_seller_item&utm_content=items]peppermint tooth powder[/url] a friend carries in her etsy shop which I’ve tried and really liked.

  10. I did dry brushing before adding my toothpaste for a few months and at my next dental appointment the dental hygienist was very impressed with how clean the surface of my teeth were. Can’t say the same for in between, though, as I hate flossing. Now I use ecodent which I love and a little bottle lasts forever. I may try making my own tooth powder next or switching to some http://www.etsy.com/listing/71…peppermint tooth powder a friend carries in her etsy shop which I’ve tried and really liked.

  11. This is so timely for my family since I had just started using a vegan toothpaste called Dr. Fresh but my store stopped carrying it. I’ve been searching for another brand and was using plain baking soda. My kids have been complaining loudly about the taste was trying to figure out how to mask it. Some great ideas here. Thanks.

  12. I’m sorry but really? really? The fluoride comment reminds me of some old political cartoons. Fluoride is naturally found in ALL water and foods. Titanium dioxide is in oreos and plenty of other foods. Glycerin is the backbone of all triglycerides in your liver. Sodium Lauryl sulfate is merely a sodium salt of a natural fatty acid, your body contains tons of it already. And artificial sweeteners are all you are left with to complain about.

    • You’re absolutely right. Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance. No argument there. But so is lead and arsenic. Just because something is found in nature doesn’t mean we need to be adding it to our water supply and dental care products.

      And there’s a lot of things in Oreos I don’t want in my body. That’s not really a convincing argument for the safety of titanium dioxide.

      As for the sodium lauryl sulfate, you raise a good point. Some surfactants can be highly irritating and others are better tolerated. Some are naturally derived, and some are chemically derived. And you often can’t tell by what’s on the label unless they specify.

      The concern about glycerin is mainly that it can leave a coating on your teeth that prevents saliva from naturally remineralizing teeth. Of course, this is just a logical concern and hasn’t been verified by research yet. But it’s worth considering, whether or not glycerin is a natural substance.

      • Gonna reiterate a few things. Fluoride is in ALL food and water. Lead and arsenic are not. You don’t have to add fluoride to water for it to be there.

        Titanium dioxide is in alot of other food products as well. Milk for example. If they want to make food look whiter chances are they use titanium dioxide.

        Whether synthetic or natural sodium lauryl sulfate is sodium lauryl sulfate. You could argue about the trace components, but they are trace components. As for the effects of SDS I direct or attention to:
        CIR publication (1983). “Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate”. International Journal of Toxicology 2 (7): 127–181.
        Healy CM, Paterson M, Joyston-Bechal S, Williams DM, Thornhill MH (1999 Jan). “The effect of a sodium lauryl sulfate-free dentifrice on patients with recurrent oral ulceration”. Oral Dis. 5 (1): 39–43.
        Which state it is neither a carcinogen nor does its addition to toothpaste cause ulcers as it was once thought.

        I’ll yeild to your empirical observation about glycerin. Different people may have different experiences. Glycerin is found in small amounts in fruit and vegetable oils so one could have the same experience with your suggestions. There is no question glycerin is a natural substance, simple biochemistry.

        • I understand what you’re saying. Believe me, I don’t like to demonize ingredients nor is my goal to strike fear in the hearts of anyone using fluoridated toothpaste or commercial products in general. That’s just not me.

          But when it comes down to it, I like to avoid unnecessary additives in my food and in my health and beauty products. Just because titanium dioxide makes commercial milk white doesn’t mean I want to put it in my body. If I can avoid it, I will. And just because fluoride naturally occurs in water doesn’t mean I want even more fluoride added to my water supply (one of my mantras is that more isn’t better!). Again, if I can avoid it, I will.

        • It was my understanding that the type of fluoride they use in toothpaste and city water supplies is a synthetic version that acts differently in the body than the natural version acts…

        • One of the mindless brainwashed (thinking he’s a debunker) has chimed in to reiterate the mass media propaganda. Fluoride is one of the biggest scams ever pushed onto the population.

          While fluoride might be found naturally in some foods or in trace amounts that is much different than adding processed fluoride. Cyndie is deadly and is also found in certain foods as well as many other natural substances that change when processed and concentrated.

          Fluoride also a waste by product from the aluminum industry, it is not needed to for dental health, many dentist have come out an said so that were brave enough to go against the establishment. In fact where heavy usage of fluoride was added to water supplies there was modeling of the teeth found in children. Yes the fluoride causes damage to the teeth.

          It also causes calcification of the pineal gland, and is known to make people weak willed and easily controlled. Gee I wonder why it was put in the water and tooth paste people use every day.

          Sodium Laural Sulfate is banned in many countries. It is also known to cause cause canker sores in the mouth, and is bad for the scalp in shampoo and has been linked to as one of  the causes of hair loss.

          And before you point to the ADA or ADHA. Remeber these are the same people that say it’s ok to put Mercury amalgams into peoples mouths.

          Yes let’s put a massively toxic substance into a person mouth,  of course the doctor and nurses  have to wear masks and gloves it’ so toxic and if you have the removed there are even more precautions.

          But this is perfectly safe to put into a person mouth. In spite of ton of evidence of cases studies of people that developed diseases after getting Mercury fillings and after having them removed their health improved.

          Yes the establishment is who I want to trust with my health.

          • Excellent points! I agree with them all. I knew that Hitler used fluoride during WWII but never knew why. To make everyone “weak-willed” and “easily controlled”!

          • Fluoride was put in the water supplies of Soviet and Nazi concentration camps. I think that makes it questionable. I doubt they did so for the health of their inmates…

        • Do your research, I can’t use anything with SLS in it, or any chemicals for that matter added fluoride isn’t necessary. I don’t believe everything the FDA approves is safe. Just because they say it’s safe doesn’t mean anything.

  13. Great suggestions in the blog. If we may make some suggestions.

    1. We completely agree about most commercial toothpastes having questionable ingredients. Number 1 principle for us to create greater health/vitality is ‘stop putting toxin into the body’. Fluoride, SLS, glycerin, artificial flavors and colors all fall into this toxic load on the body.

    2. Please exercise caution when using baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and sea salt in the mouth. While they each have their place, they are all very strong and can irritate conditions.

    Specifically, make sure you dilute peroxide AT LEAST 50% with water (maybe even more) when using it in the mouth. Full strength 3% peroxide irritates gum tissue and increases tooth sensitivity.

    Baking soda is a great abrasive as well as anti microbial agent. However, baking soda is so abrasive that it can irritate gum tissue and increase receding gums. So, brush your teeth with baking soda, but stay clear of your gum line with it.

    Sea salt is fantastic but must be used in moderation (again) as salt can burn gum tissue. To prove this, just put some salt on your tongue and leave it there for a few moments. It will start to feel like it’s burning (because it is!). So, again, dilute the sea salt…

    3. Dry brushing is an excellent idea. When you consider that saliva really has everything our mouth’s need to create optimal health, brushing with saliva starts to really make sense! Here’s a link to a free instructional video on the healing benefits of saliva titled “Mouth Probiotics”. http://www.OraWellness.com/Videos/video-tutorials.html (you’ll also find a video there describing a brushing technique helpful to reduce gum disease)

    4. Coconut oil is fabulous to use in the mouth! Oil pulling is an excellent protocol to help create and maintain oral health.

    5. Irrigators are great as well. Two points on irrigators, first, only use them on low pressures as high pressure can literally push the bacteria in gum pockets into the bloodstream. Second, irrigators only get 4mm down into gum pockets. So, if you have receding gums, chronic bad breath or know you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you need to be able to kill the bacteria in the base of the gum pockets. Here is a link to Susan’s story and how she reversed a 10+ mm pocket to only 3mm! http://www.orawellness.com/OraWellness-HealThy-Mouth-System/susans-story.html

    6. Last, be careful using only peppermint oil in the mouth. While peppermint is an effective anti microbial, it is cooling and may cause imbalance in the system over time if used by itself. Our Brushing Blend is a very effective formula of both warming and cooling oils (so neutral). Also, it’s all Organic and wildcrafted, so you know you are getting the best possible quality.

    If you have read this far, please consider checking out our site, http://www.OraWellness.com. Here is a coupon for 10% off our products. Just put 10forfriends in the coupon code when checking out.

    We wish you all increased health and vitality!

    To your health!

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting! These are really great suggestions and address a lot of the common concerns about natural dental care. The points about baking soda and sea salt are important, since this is where a lot of folks run into trouble.

      If any of you haven’t had a chance to check out the Ora Wellness site, go take a look. They have some excellent information about natural dental care!

    •  Thanks for a great post and reply – I’m learning a lot! I’m a soap maker (professionally) and I’m now keen to now start making my own toothpaste. I had a lot of questions that you’ve pretty much now answered :) In addition to brushing my teeth I also use the ayurvedic technique of oil pulling to maintain good oral health.

        • The State dentist wanted to fill a large cavity in our handicapped son’s #12 tooth with a mercury filling. I said, No! After learning that glycerine coats the teeth and prevents natural healing, we had him brush with natural lye soap for at least one year. Then had the State X-rays sent to our dentist. After only 15 min. in the dental chair the doctor said, “The cavity is down to a pin point. We don’t consider it a cavity.” It’s been 3 years now and still no cavities!!! It’s also important to eat whole foods and take good supplements so the teeth can heal. We’ve learned much from our precious boy that doctors said would never sit up, etc. God had another idea.
          http://www.TheLittleBoyThatCouldbook.com (Books sold out … working on an e-book).

    • Thank you for your comments. We use your brushing blend with great success, but our kids can’t stand it. We’ve been dry brushing their teeth but it looks, from your comments, like it would be a good idea to use coconut oil (which they love). Do you think that is the best option for small children (ages 2 and 4)?

  14. I like the Tropical Traditions teeth cleaner, which only contains: purified water, organic virgin coconut oil, baking soda, xanthum gum, wildcrafted myrrh powder, stevia, and organic essential oils of cinnamon and clove, if you get the cinnamon flavor, as I do because I take homeopathics so need to avoid mint (which is surprisingly difficult to do). I’ve tried tooth soap but it kind of burns my mouth and tongue so I find it is too harsh for me. I also lilke Peelu dental fibers, which are fibers from a tree and I find it very effective at cleaning my teeth, as well as my partial denture, which can be difficult to get clean.

  15. This is amazing. Even though I make soap with coconut oil I never dreamed I could clean my teeth with it. Cool, weird but really cool. Thanks for the tips. BTW I love the pic you put with this post!

  16. I’ve also been using the coconut oil/baking soda mixture, and I’m happy with the results!
    I’ve been enjoying  reading the various natural recipes/remedies on this site. Thank you for creating awareness around the power of going raw and natural vs blindly following the commercial hype!


  17. I use an excellent product (mentioned above) called Tooth Soap, with a Sonicare electric toothbrush.  First, to get rid of that “fuzzy feeling”, I’ll brush with the dry Sonicare.  Then I’ll wet the Sonicare and use the Tooth Soap.  My teeth and gums have never looked or felt so clean and strong.   Sometimes I’ll also use magnesium gel before or after brushing with Tooth Soap to whiten my teeth, and it works very well.   I found out about this by reading “The Magnesium Miracle” by Dr. Carolyn Dean.   Yes, using a soap product to brush my teeth was weird at first, but I’ll never go back to toothpaste, which definitely does leave a film as there is vegetable glycerin in it.     One of these days, I want to try the “oil pulling” technique.


    • Update – I’ve done the oil pulling technique with e v olive oil. Then I tried it with the e v coconut oil. Both worked very well for me in taking the fuzziness off my teeth along the gum line. I have found baking soda to be too abrasive.

      There is a Himalayan market down the street from me, so I stopped in there one day out of curiosity. They carry all kinds of Ayurvedic products. I picked up some Meswak ayurvedic toothpaste, and some ayurvedic Monkey Brand tooth powder. I don’t use the toothpaste every day because I use Tooth Soap shreds most of the time, but I have to say that this particular brand of toothpaste is excellent and it tastes fantastic if you like the taste of licorice and basil. A couple of times a week and also if I’m going on a date, I’ll combine this toothpaste with the Monkey Brand tooth powder and regular plain cinnamon,(which whitens teeth) and brush with the sonic care. Wow – this is an awesome formula and my teeth look so white and my gums are nice and pink and very healthy. I’ve always gotten compliments on my teeth my entire life, now I get even more.

  18. I make my own soap, with lard I rendered from healthy pigs, olive oil and coconut oil.  I use that to brush my teeth. You could also use Kiss My Face olive oil soap, or another soap that has all natural ingredients, no additives. On occasion, I rinse with sea salt and/or baking soda dissolved in water, or diluted hydrogen peroxide. But not every day — maybe once a week.

  19. Not dissing waterpiks, but a cheaper alternative way to ‘pik’ is by swishing!  You can get some serious jaw exercises in here plus clean out stuff between your teeth.  I swish after meals, coffee, first thing in the morning, before bed time.  Mostly anytime I drink water.  For a mouth wash I put 10% peroxide, 90% filtered water and a few drops of my favorite essential oils, clove, peppermint, licorice.  I like to brush my teeth with just plain ol’ finely ground licorice root!

  20. Wow, what great suggestions. I have been struggling to find a natural toothpaste that we like and doesn’t have the “yuck” in it. Thank you for this post – I am going to try several of these and see what I can get my family on board with :)

  21. I have combined sea salt with baking powder. Does a great job. For oral rinse a few drops of peppermint oil and hydrogen peroxide with a pinch of sea salt.

  22. I brush with magnesium oil. I put some in a dropper bottle added a bit of peppermint extract for flavor and minty freshness…then put a few drops on my toothbrush and brush like normal….and it is super good for your gums too!

  23. It was recommended to me that the hydrogen peroxide be food-grade: this was well reviewed — http://www.amazon.com/35-Food-Grade-Hydrogen-Peroxide/dp/B0050DS18U/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    • Please be careful using lemon on enamel. If you are brushing with an acid it brushes into micro pores and will etch and acid weaken. It doesn’t take long for damage to show. Baking soda is ok if it stays off the gum tissue. Acid erosion is non reversible so maybe drink the lemon and rinse after it! That’s what I tell my patients. Good ideas here

  24. I like using clay on my teeth. Earthpaste is simply bentonite clay, sea salt which is flavoured with cinnamon essential oil. It is surprisingly effective at whitening the teeth.

  25. I found Ipsab tooth powder does not clean very well. My teeth were pretty stained from coffee/teas.

    I got it because it does not contain glycerin. Not worth it, though.

    I have temporarily gone to standard toothpaste because of that.

  26. Remember not to spit the coconut oil in the drains! The oil is solid in room temperature so as soon as it meets anything temperate or warmer it will go solid and ultimately clog your pipes. Spit in the toilet instead.

  27. So I usually use a well-known toothpaste brand made with baking soda. I’ve been meaning to get a different type because for some reason, my mouth just tastes horrible after I brush. Something about the after flavor left from the toothpaste really bothers me. I tried sea salt with some ground clove to brush initially, then I added a couple drops of peppermint oil to some bottled water and rinsed my mouth with it. My teeth feel amazing and the only aftertaste I have now is mint with a hint of clove. The initial shock of salt in your mouth is slightly off-putting, but I think I may stick to it from now on and ditch the commercial toothpaste. It didn’t strike me as overly abrasive, maybe because salt seems to dissolve pretty quickly.

    Thanks for the sea salt alternative idea. :)

    • Cool! I love how effective these simple, natural combinations are. I don’t know what it is about salt, but it really does make my mouth feel clean. Like you said, the initial salty sensation is kind of odd, but it really feels clean afterwards!

  28. My four kids and I have used a variety of the above toothpaste ideas. My concern is our dental appointment this month. What kind of polish do we allow. I am sure what they use is not at all natural. I also would like to tell her we will not be doing floride treatments anymore….and all those X-rays…well.

  29. I concur about the water pik! It gets back there in the molars where you can’t reach very well with the floss, and behind your teeth too–I have some overlap, and it gets in all the hard to reach places–my gums are super healthy now too because of it.

  30. Brushing without anything didn’t work for me. After about six months I had brown spots on my teeth which went away with a single brushing with toothpaste.

  31. This might sound a little crazy to some, but I actually brush my teeth with a mixture of powdered cloves and cayenne pepper.

    When I’m done, I add a couple drops each of cedarwood essential oil, cypress essential oil and spearmint essential oil to a glass of water and use it as a rinse.

    Can’t believe how much whiter one or both of those processes has made my teeth!

  32. As an economy measure, I began brushing my teeth with only baking soda and water about a year and a half ago. Suddenly about a month ago I began experiencing such pain in one tooth that I feared another abscess…until ALL the teeth became so temperature and pressure (chewing) sensitive that it was dreadful. So many times I’d read that baking soda (clay, as well) are too abrasive, but I figured I wasn’t having any problems so it’s all good, right? Well, I had to do something about the pain. First thing I did was return to oil pulling (sesame oil). This reduced the pain almost immediately. Then I researched homemade toothpastes and decided on the toothsoap recipe at Homestead Wannabes (coconut oil, Dr. Bonner’s soap, natural sweetener and essential oils). I wanted to put clove and cinnamon in but didn’t have the oils so I just used them ground from my kitchen spices (it makes the paste a bit darkish but works fine). There are some consistency issues as the weather warms and cools, and the taste of the soap in the recipe took a little getting used to at first, but I find that it does a good job regardless of that day’s consistency. On warm days I shake the container I have it in (a refillable tube that came in a travel kit I bought way back and had not previously had a use for) and on cool days I just use whatever squeezes out (sometimes when it’s cool it separates somewhat if I didn’t shake it to brush after oil pulling in the morning that day). Economical, and I get to choose my sweetener and flavorings. :)

  33. Thanks for posting Elizabeth!
    My family and I use Arbonne’s Pure Mint toothpaste:
    • flouride-free
    • all natural ingredients (flavored with natural mint, containing antioxidants from white tea, pomegranate, ginger, cranberry and grape)
    • vegan
    Please feel free to check it out at http://www.jillkay.myarbonne.com and let me know if you have any questions.

  34. regarding the Oral Irrigator. I have one. I love it. I talked to our uncle, a dentist, he and his wife are more than a little crunchy. He said that there are 2 things to remember when using a water pick or oral irrigator.
    1. When it comes to the water speed, most people think that a little was good, so a lot must be better. A lot will only yield a cut on your gums. Keep the water flow very low.
    2. He says that using a water pick exclusively will not give you good results. Its like having a concrete driveway. imagine that the driveway is caked with mud and leaves. You use a water hose to wash away the big stuff, but its not until you apply a brush that the really sticky stuff comes off. so he recommends that if you are going to use an oral irrigation tool, to also use a brush.

  35. This is all very interesting. I just heard from friends of ours who visited us from Denmark about an issue relating to the toothpaste we’ve used for years: Colgate Total. Apparently, it was tested in Denmark and found to contain many times the allowed amount of something dangerous (I wish I could recall what). As a result, Colgate Total Toothpaste was taken off the market in Denmark. According to our friends, however, many Danish stores have stopped carrying anything by Colgate Palmolive as a result!

      • Meanwhile Fiji has caved in to corporate pressure and passed laws that only toothpaste containing flouride can be sold. All that rejected Colgate has found a ready, exclusive market in the third world. That’s why i am seriously reading this post and comments. May 2013 Thank you.

  36. The chemical in question might be triclosan which is in certain toothpastes. Triclosan was first licensed as a pesticide in 1969, according to the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/REDs/factsheets/triclosan_fs.htm Triclosan is now used in many products, in particular antibacterial household soap and sprays. However the US Food and Drug Administration will, later this year, announce their update on the use of triclosan and whether it is safe. Many hope its use will be greatly restricted.

    I find clay surprisingly effective at cleaning the teeth. I like Redmond Clay’s Earthpaste, which is bentonite clay, water and a few essential oils. I think many brush their teeth too vigorously, Bass brushing is more of a gentle approach. OraWellness.com discuss the Bass brushing method on their website.

    • Great comment! I am definitely concerned about the use of triclosan in toothpaste. Clay is a good idea for brushing! I link to the Bass brushing technique above, I agree that gentler is often better when brushing.

  37. This is a Awsome blog I really like it! If anyone is having truble finding products like tooth soap I suggest shopping on etsy. There’s a community of Awsome people making the best toothpaste alturnitives out there. I like clear conscious care the best because it combines a mild tooth soap with a tooth powder containing a considerable amount of xylitol. Xylitol is natural and helps provent cavitys while giving you that sweet flavor you want in a toothpaste

  38. If anyone is having truble finding products like tooth soap I suggest shopping on etsy. There’s a community of Awsome people making the best toothpaste alturnitives out there. I like clear conscious care the best because it combines a mild tooth soap with a tooth powder containing a considerable amount of xylitol. Xylitol is natural and helps provent cavitys while giving you that sweet flavor you want in a toothpaste

  39. I have very sensitive gums, and most toothpastes (even natural ones) are too harsh. I make my own toothpaste with Redmond clay, kelp powder, and myrrh essential oil. It’s very soothing and does a fine job without irritating my gums.

  40. Many people forget that activated charcoal powder is awesome for teeth. Seems counter intuitive to brush your teeth with something black, but it is very effective, and provides a myriad of benefits.

    • Yes, that’s a great method as well! I didn’t know about it at the time of this posting, but activated charcoal can definitely be used. It’s even known to help whiten teeth (surprising, since it’s so black, but it really helps!).

  41. Castor oil is good instead of coconut oil or glycerine, dont think it solidifies – blocks up the drains?

    I tried Bentonite clay but came out in a rash around the corners of the mouth.

    Find the bicarbonate soda too salty and kids wont use it… Thinking of trying chalk but not sure where to get it from?

  42. If anyone is having trouble finding products like tooth soap I suggest shopping on Etsy. There’s a community of Awesome people making the best toothpaste alternatives out there. I like clear conscious care the best because it combines a mild tooth soap with a tooth powder containing a considerable amount of xylitol. Xylitol is natural and helps prevent cavity while giving you that sweet flavor you want in a toothpaste

  43. I use activated charcoal and rinse with Oxygen Essentials Brushing Rinse, plus floss and Waterpik Water Floss. Since using this combination my teeth are no longer sensitive and my “numbers” have all improved.

  44. […] Use what feels right for you.  Some recipes I have seen include ingredients like charcoal, coconut oil and baking soda.  There are no set rules to making your own toothpaste.  It isn’t complicated and is something that anyone can do with a small amount of effort or no effort at all. Living the  Nourished Life has a post on 12 Natural Toothpaste alternatives. […]

  45. I use a redmond clay recipe with spearmint and tea tree EO, but I never thought about using magnesium oil or gel! So many great, natural options!

  46. Wanted to share this. It attaches to the shower head (or somewhere up there, my husband installed it and I know it doesn’t work without the shower running. They also have a faucet mounted model). I purchased it because my 13 years old daughter refuses to floss. She uses this every day because it’s in the shower when she is. It doesn’t cause her the irritation of floss. I use it every day, also.

  47. Great post, although all the warnings by OraWellness now have me second guessing everything. I do want to comment on the suggestion to get ingredients from a “reputable” company like iHerb, though. I bought some things from them last year after seeing a recommendation for them on an Amazon review. I didn’t realize that every iHerb link has an affiliate code so the poster gets a cut of your purchase. After I made my purchase (which ended up pretty big because it seemed like I was getting deals and discounts), I got an email from them that was very suspicious, saying, “Unfortunately the billing address you provided does not match the credit card. Please respond to this email with the correct billing address so we can process your order as soon as possible.” I checked and the billing and shipping addresses were EXACTLY the same and were correct, and there had never been a problem with them at any other company (I order online a lot). I kept getting form letters saying my order wouldn’t go through until I dealt with it, but I checked my bank account and the money had all been deducted immediately that night and had not been put back. I cancelled my order online and they still didn’t return my money. It took about a week of me emailing and dealing with a run-around before they finally put my money back. I researched them at the time and found hundreds of complaints of fraud. I know that some people have had fine luck with them but many of us were not so lucky and I wanted to put that out there for others.

  48. Hello wellness mama i just want to say thank you for all your great information i have been reading a lot of your articles especially the dental care ones, i have just recently found you while looking for alternatives on taking better care of my teeth since my dentist recently found 7 cavities in my mouth despite the fact that i have always taken care of my teeth by brushing 2x /day, flossing, oral rinsing etc. as a matter of fact too much care maybe thats why im in this situation :(
    ok so long story short i need to know if the molars that have been filled or “fixed” (the way dentists like to call it!) are possible to be reversed and naturally filled in gradually on their own despite the fact that theres a filling or will that not be possible at all. Also 4 of my fillings are the silver ones, should i remove those and replace with white ones since ive read an article a while ago talking about those containing mercury. Also on top of that one of my molars that i had gotten a root canal on a few years ago in which i hugely regret is now infected! I feel pain (ironically!) as i write this it lately often gets swollen, sometimes bleeds and my molar has chipped on some parts. My dentist wants to charge me $1100.00 since i dont have insurance but i refuse to spend that amount of money i rather spend on the ingredients for my homemade toothpaste. I am now using bentonite clay mixed with baking soda and himalayan pink salt and i can def feel the difference oh and plus i do coconut oil pulling every now and then in the morning. On my infected molar i have been using manuka honey and that seems to help a lot with bringing down the swelling and some pain. Wellness mama please reach out to me and help me figure this out i am in desperate need of help i just wish i wouldve found you sooner.
    Ps. i have a dentist appointment tomorrow and like 5 more two months from now how lovely for me =::(

    • Wow, Adriana, I’m so sorry you’re going through all this! I’m not a dental expert so I can’t make any solid recommendations. I know once dental decay goes so far, it’s possible for it to heal over but not totally “fill in” the decayed area. I recommend reading Rami Nagel’s Cure Tooth Decay book.

  49. Hi, there. I need some help.

    I’m 19 years old and as a child, I rarely EVER brushed. I still can’t for the life of me work out why. My teeth problems magnified when I was a young teen with bad gingivitis, weak/yellow teeth and severe erosion.
    Will using these natural cleaning methods repair my sensitive teeth or will I have to use something else? If so, what should I be doing?

  50. Hi,

    I use a mixture of green Clay (for remineralization) , a little bit of baking soda and two/three drops of the Thieves oil mixture (you can make this mixture of essential oils yourself, find it on the internet by searching robers oil). Thanks fir sharing!

  51. Has anyone tried activated charcoal? I’ve read that it’s great for cleaning up stained teeth. My preference is the Philipps blotting brush that requires no toothpaste.

  52. OK, I did not see an area to post on you original toothpaste recipe. I followed the recipe and it came out hard and very very gritty so I came up with the brilliant idea to add a little alcohol (I’m not a fan of adding water to anything that will be stored) and give it a good whirl in a small blender/mixer. while the consistency came out great, leave it in the mixer for a while because I immediately put it into an old baby food jar only to find about 5 minutes later that it expands to about double volume before reducing, lol. Needless to say I just threw out a paper towel full of toothpaste.

  53. I am so glad I found this blog. I have been reading all of your information on tooth care alternatives. I”d like to know do these alternatives work if you already have had some issues like 2 root canals etc? Also, where can I find the ingrediants for the remineralizing toothpaste,the ready made tooth powders and tooth soap etc? I am really anxious at getting my dental issues resolved. I will be purchasing the book you have mentioned and plan to change my diet and resume my exercise. This is my year for positive change! Thank you so much.

  54. I was getting these red bumps all over my eyes, it stung, sometimes there were white bumps associated, I went to dermatologists and allergists who gave me creams to remedy it but all that did was treat the symptom not the cause. As soon as I stopped using them I would flare up again. I was at the end of my rope when I came across a post that stated someone was having the same issues due to Tom’s of Maine toothpaste . . . containing Sodium lauryl sulfate, which oddly enough is what I had been using, I stopped using it and guess what, voi-la! No more red bumps. We poison our bodies without even realizing it sometimes. Know your ingredients folks! Thanks for the post wellness Mama, I love your site!

  55. Flouride can also suppress thyroid function. I have hypothyroidism and am now avoiding flouride as much as possible!

    I just ordered some activated charcoal toothpowder with essential oils! Excited to try it! :)

    • Sarah, what brand is that activated charcoal toothpowder w/essential oils? I’m very interested. I might make up my own but curious as to what brand so I can look up it’s ingredients. Thanks

  56. I started oil pulling and using dry Living Clay (bentonite clay). I found a recipe using the clay and she based it on Redmonds Earthpaste. I decided to try the Earthpaste to see what it was like and IF I wanted to make my own. The cinnamon flavor is wonderful ! Strong flavor but not hot. Even on days I don’t have time to oil pull I use a little to swish around before brushing –just seems like my teeth are cleaner than when I don’t use the sesame oil at all. I believe the oil cuts the plaque so it brushes away. My last cleaning I had hardly any plaque and no tartar — after only 2 or 3 weeks of using the dry clay — yay! Just need to floss more often and I’ll be really good next visit. Just need to get Cinnamon Essental Oil and mix up my own. By the way the Living Clay has no real taste to it and not gritty or muddy in your mouth–can be taken internally for detoxification, upset tummy, etc. Sorry that the one commenter broke out around her mouth — could be a detox reaction not an allergic reaction.

    • In India we use this salt, rock salt (Pot chloride), rice bran charcoal (made by closed combustion), ash of Termialia arjuna, dried gooseberry pulp etc in tooth powder. The scientific validation is unavailable butmuch time tested.

  57. Hello All,
    The enamel on my teeth are eroding and it makes my teeth sensitive, I am new to this group and wanted to know what should i do, I wont be able to make anything as I am single and wont be able to get all the ingredients also, so please help me with natural products to restore the enamel and also for healthy teeth.
    I am going to try oil pulling this weekend..

  58. […] Crunchiest: Make your own toothpaste or tooth powder!  I’ll admit I haven’t attained this crunch level because I can’ t yet justify purchasing some of these very specific ingredients.  But if you want to go full-DIY or happen to have myrrh gum and xylitol lying around your cupboard, here are several recipes from one of my favorite bloggers: Wellness Mama’s Homemade Squeezeable Toothpaste and Herbal Tooth Powder.  Many more great dental & beauty recipes are available in the Mommypotamus DIY Organic Beauty Recipes e-Book.  This e-Book enabled me to systematically transform my medicine cabinet from a chemical factory to an herbal oasis! And if you decide that clay isn’t your jam, check out this list of other natural toothpaste alternatives from my friend Elizabeth at Living the Nourished Life! […]

  59. Is there any company that produces toothpaste that is not a hazard to our health? Great post, if we can replace toothpaste with alternative natural methods, then we can enhance our dental health and lives. Thanks.

  60. Just wanted to say I’ve heard good things about Vicco tooth powder (from India) can find it on Amazon. Also, just learned about Miswaki sticks (also from Africa and middle east) they are used like a tooth brush. I just ordered some, but have not used it yet so cannot say from personnal experience, just thought some might be interested and want to look them up. I will post again in a bit to say how it’s working for my family.

  61. Finely powdered quality coal, mixed with a bit of salt, and olive oil to make it into a paste, makes a good toothpaste, and a shiner too. !!!

  62. Good suggestion for natural toothpaste. How long will it keep? I tried a natural toothpaste on my own soda and myrrh EO. I just dip toothbrush in mix and brush. Myrrh is good for keeping gums healthy thus healthy teeth. I still have mix left will and peppermint to it for fresh breathe and digestive ease.

  63. I have sensitive teeth. Are there any products to help with this. My teeth hurt a lot from cold & hot foods. Just went to the dentist(no cavaties)

  64. A question… why is it necessary to do oil pulling first thing in the morning on an empty stomach? I have to take a medication first thing, on an empty stomach so which takes priority? Medication or oil?

    Love this site. I have always hated toothpaste with a passion and therefore have not cared for my teeth as well as I might. I have on occasion, with huge guilt feelings, used just water so what a delight to find I was not as remiss us I thought!!

    • This is the traditional recommendation and I believe it has to do with the morning being the best time to “detox” — but frankly I don’t buy into that too much, and I think it’s fine to do any time that works for you.

  65. Curious about others opinion on using Activated Charcoal … I started using Activated Charcoal to brush my teeth. It costs pennies and is available at my Health Food Store. It whitens and cleans. I have the activated charcoal in a small glass (spice jar size) that my toothbrush fits into to coat the toothbrush. I then brush my teeth (keeping my lips semi-closed to prevent the powder from being sprayed everywhere). I sip water from a paper cup and rinse the mouth and spit into another paper) while I continue to clean my teeth, rinse a second time and spit into the paper cup. Now I can finished cleaning my teeth in the usual manner directly into the sink and while I am rinsing, I drain the paper cup rinses into the sink as water is flushing it down. Then I wipe down the sink with water to remove any charcoal dust.

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