Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

The basis of homemade toothpaste is baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.  Either one in huge doses can be dangerous, so DO NOT INGEST!

Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is a mild abrasive and has anti-bacterial properties. 

Hydrogen peroxide helps by break down bacterial films with its foaming action.  I used a 3% solution, but anything you can find at a local drug store should be ok.

Vegetable-base glycerin liquid lends a nice consistency and sweetness, but is completely optional.   You should be able to find this at a drug store, or specialty foods shop, but I got mine online from a soap-supply store.

I definitely recommend using some kind of flavoring.  It's totally optional, but adding a drop of peppermint oil will leave your mouth feeling super fresh.  Tea tree oil boosts the anti-bacterial properties and tastes good.  A few drops of cinnamon oil (my favorite!) will definitely spice things up.  Food-grade grape or bubble gum flavor oil may entice your kids to brush more regularly - just be sure to supervise them and make sure they're not ingesting it! 

Basic Ratio:

6 parts baking soda : 1 part vegetable based glycerin : 1 part hydrogen peroxide solution : flavor to taste

This makes a nice paste.  To make a smoother mix, reduce the soda.  To omit the glycerin, increase the peroxide.

Most over the counter hydrogen peroxide solutions are not suitable for ingestion.  Make sure to use supervision with children.
I'd be weary of including tea tree oil in something that children could potentially use, especially in male children. Tea tree oil has been discovered to inhibit hormonal changes in children, most evident in those of the male persuasion. It can permanently retard the growth of the sex organs in males, reproductive tracts in girls and halt sociological development in both sexes of pre-hormonal children. Now obviously tea tree oil has been around along time and plenty of children I'm sure have seen no ill affects, but... It wouldn't hurt to wait a little to add the tea tree oil in just the children's paste. One of my best friends is a pharmacist, & my wife's best friend is a bio-chemist and they both concur. Awesome as usual instructable though, as usual, hope this helps.
To add to this - essential oils shouldn't be ingested by children as their livers and immune systems are not fully developed. There are plenty of nice flavours in the baking area - lemon, peppermint, cinnamon oils which are NOT highly concentrated essential oils. Also when you kill off ALL oral bacteria you are killing off the BENEFICIAL bacteria as well! Same as the gut bacteria, the good bacteria play a role in your mouth as well. My dentist advised me against using peroxide 30 years ago for this reason. He said occasional use would be fine but not daily use as it would cause more caries and gum problems than it helped. Another point... liquid peroxide is deactivated upon contact with oxygen so wouldn't you just be left with the water base? Commercial tooth pastes use a powder peroxide such as Oxyclean used to use - percarbonate or something like that.
"liquid peroxide is deactivated upon contact with oxygen so wouldn't you just be left with the water base?" I would like to see where you got this information? Hydrogen peroxide is H2O2 exposing it to oxygen (O) will not deactivate it. Oxygen is a by-product given off when hydrogen peroxide is acting as a reducing agent... Maybe this is what you were think of?
I'm so glad you posted that, I was about to post the same thing. Lavender oil is equally estrogen mimetic and should not be used in any way around or on children. They may be natural, but they are also highly chemically active in your body!
Beergnome5 years ago
as far as I know.. the glycerine is not necessary. apparently the tooth paste people add these detergents to create a foamy feel and effect to the product for custamer expectations of soapy foam = cleaning stuff. but I may be mistaken so.. carry on
You're probably right functionally but like scoochmaroo said people don't like most home made toothpastes because of the baking soda taste. If you left out the glycerin, you'd have flavored baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
that was pretty much my thinking on the whole soapy thing, that its cool but not necessary to the overall effect. not dissing the instructable, it's very nice, just throwing out that little bit of useless information if its helpful
EmmettO5 years ago
We've been contemplating doing precisely this! My wife wants to put tea tree oil and oil of oregano in a toothpaste. I'm pretty sure it will taste absolutely horrific but can't deny it would be effective since those two kill almost anything.
wsecomp EmmettO5 years ago
Oil of Oregeno is very strong, as is the Tea Tree oil. I can't imagine when they're combined. I would start by making small batches with a single drop of either and test your reactions. Then do a small batch with a drop of both and see what the difference is. If the baking soda content is too high, it will start wearing away at the enamel. Many people suggest getting a 10% mix for healthcare needs, rather than the 3% drugstore purchase. I believe you can get the 10% concentration at beauty supply places.
EmmettO wsecomp5 years ago
It'll work but it'll taste like the worst pizza flavored toothpaste imaginable.
nickfank5 years ago
Here's a way to make the container part easier & cheaper: Re-use empty condiment squeeze bottles. Use the type that have a wide cap so you can store them with the opening down. The opening on these squeeze bottles is just right, and you can fit a year's supply in there, so effort is reduced. Just be sure to clean them well... ketchup and peppermint flavors do not combine nicely. I haven't worried about the UV problem for the H2O2. The sun doesn't get into my medicine cabinet.