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Picture of How to Make Toothpaste
The average person will brush their teeth around 68,430 times in their life. Thats a lot! But how many times will we wonder what exactly is cleaning our teeth? Many store-bought toothpastes promise not only a healthy, white smile, but also claim to provide germ protection that rivals armored vehicles.

But what if we could have all that without chemicals like "blue 1 lake" and "Sodium Lauryl Sulfate"? Sounds like a good deal! Here are the ingredients and the 'how to' on how to make your own toothpaste! Simple, natural and economical. This stuff will leave your mouth (and breath) thanking you for a change!

Step 1: Gathering the Goods

Picture of Gathering the Goods
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You will need

3 tbsp Baking Soda
2 tbsp Boiling Water
4 tsp Dr. Bronner's castile soap
1/2 cup Coconut oil
1 tsp Peppermint leaf extract (or any natural extract like cinnamon or clove etc.)

blender, food processor, or hand beater
squeeze bottle or mason jar for finished product
 
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The baking soda also helps with whitening. If you mix baking soda and peroxide into a paste, you can create a safe tooth whitener.

i wouldn't mix it with peroxide. It actually weakens the enamel and can cause sensitivity. If you want to use peroxide, simply cut it with water and use as a mouthwash.

Hmmm.....but how much Peroxide for this particular recipe?
wpayan1 year ago

Thanks for the instructions, I have a question, I tried a recipe very similar to this one and we like it but when we rinse our mouth we have a residue in our mouth, it seems it's from the Castle soap oils, we have rinse a lot with worm water and the tooth brush has to be clean with hot water and sometimes we have to hit it against the sink to get everything out. Is this happening to anyone else? I love it but this problem is turning me off. Thank you

try the recipe (or any other) without the castille soap. I use a mix a of baking soda, olive oil and essential oils. Works fine for me. No residue and leaves my mouth feeling quite clean.

konfab1 year ago
You have contradicted yourself a bit.
The wikipedia page for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, states that is is derived from coconut oil, which happens to be one of your ingredients. So you are still making toothpaste with these "evil" chemicals.
metqa konfab1 year ago
There is NO contradiction. The coconut oil would have to be saponified and THEN combined with Sodium Hydroxide to form Sodium Laureth Sulfate. In other words, you would have to add LYE to the a different type of processed coconut oil DERIVATIVE in order to be worried that it would even POSSIBLY contain SLS. I didn't see Lye on the list of ingredients, so, yeah, not possible . Even if you did mix your coconut oil toothpaste with Lye you wouldn't get SLS, you'd get soap. So ... Nah, We are NOT making toothpaste with these "evil" chemicals, just simple basic ingredients.

I personally don't use any soap in my paste, just coconut oil, peppermint oil, Xylitol, Baking soda, powdered salt, and Diatomaceous Earth. I'd been looking for a better dispenser than the lidded jar I use, and I have those Wilton dispensers, so I'm going to funnel mine into a dispenser tube now.

The active ingredient is whatever you are expecting the paste to do. If you expect it to remove debris from your teeth, the active ingredient would be the abrasive, if you want it to kill germs, it would be the baking soda or salt, or in my blend, the xylitol.There is no need to add flouride, you drink it everyday in the tap water.
metqa metqa1 year ago
Also, you can get natural Flourine from Tea, much better and not harmful when absorbed by the body.
fluoride is fluoride once it's dissolved in water. it doesn't matter the source, only the amount. It's only in tea, if it's in your tap water.
Right, but my point was that you don't have to supplement with it cause it's both in the tap water and in plant material like tea leaves. If you make your tea, even with distilled water, the fluorine ions in the tea itself will go into the water. You will be getting fluoride regardless. And you don't have to worry what the "original source" of the fluoride Atom came from ( if it's the basest element, it's that element regardless of source, but you have to speak to the fear of the masses. My Step Dad, for example, won't eat gelatin products because it might come from pigs, even though there is not any biological markers or proteins left to identify what animal it comes from once it is in powdered gelatin form. So rather than worry about the source, he just avoids it altogether. I wouldn't want people avoiding Tea because they are afraid of fluoride or overdosing on it cause they don't know how prevalent it already is in our daily lives.
If your water is fluoridated, and If you drink tea that was grown with fluoridated water.

Just gonna disclose, I am a dentist so that automatically (to some people) makes me part of the conspiracy theory that's secretly poisoning society and disposing of the toxic waste that is fluoride by hiding in peoples mouths and bodies...)

Fluoride may have a systemic effect, but the major effect is topical. It's easier to overdose systemically so they keep tap-water at or below 1ppm in half of the US which is enough to give the topical effect drinking tap-water without causing any stress on your body. There's some fudge room, of course. 0.5-1.5ppm are still acceptable. Topically, toothpastes have 1,000ppm (cuz you don't eat it) while prescription toothpastes have 5,000ppm and varnishes that some dentists apply contain up to 25,000ppm (it's a slow release wax they smear on your teeth). And it WORKS. I've seen plenty of patients who have a mouth full of cavities on all their adult teeth except miraculously their 6-year molars which are spotless and which got fluoride treatment while they were kids. (plenty of other patients come in with spotless adult teeth except their bombed-out 6-year molars that they didn't take care of as a kid).

You didn't ask for this whole treatise, thanks for reading all the same. Good luck with the gelatin :-)

or maybe it has to do with the fact that back when they were 6, there wasn't as much high fructose corn syrup being put in everything? I'm not sure anecdotal evidence proves anything. I got lots of fluoride as a kid and had a mouth full of cavities. I've see lots of studies that do not support your stance. Still, even if what you say is true, then it is better to have fluoride treatments, not treat the drinking water. Then people can choose and we are all happy.

Ha, ha, and of course I was making the assumption, being in the U.S. That all water is fluoridated! No, thanks for the details. I love information, but I'm curious for your opinion about the bottled water I've seen sold in the supermarket, fluoridated bottled water for babies. If what you say about it being ubiquitous and most effective topically, what do you think is the purpose of giving babies extra fluoridated water to drink, since they they don't even have teeth yet to be affected by it topically? or does this baby fluoride water have the same amount as the regulated tap water, I didn't check personally, I think it's just marketing.
Bottled water, generally is not fluoridated. I've never actually seen fluoridated water for babies, though I've heard of it. Yeah, not necessary. I wouldn't do it for my kids, cuz, you're right, there's no real point. I'd imagine (though not sure) that it's like tap water in content.

brilliant!

Sodium Hydroxide (Lye) is a base/alkali, much like sodium bicarbonate, though baking soda is much weaker. There will still be some saponification with baking soda.

But I'm with you, SLS is like the HFCS of the cosmetic world. Super strong detergent that's super cheap so it's used in EVERYTHING and it's super harsh to living tissue in stripping them of ALL natural oils. (which is why just about all soaps/shampoos these days have to advertise they are just adding moisutrizers/oils BACK into the soap, bcause the SLS is too harsh.
amalkhan (author)  metqa1 year ago
Metqa, I concur. Thank you for your informative response.
plznoxqzs10 months ago

What is the castile soap actually used for? Does the castile soap contribute to the sudsing action?

I think yes, plus makes it softer. It's glycerin though, and some people think it's not a good ingredient for toothpaste. All commercial toothpaste have it, but, well, that doesn't mean it's good for you! Either way, this recipe is definitely better than any tube you can buy. :)

juffin1 year ago
thanks for this! but like someone else asked.. does it go rancid?

Thanks to the author for this detailed
and informative Instructable.I wonder if flavoured plant/fruit oils
other than Coconut Oil could be used in the same way?

I'm not sure about the Castille soap (my grandmother was a 'wash out your
mouth with soap' advocate, LOL) - the smell alone puts me off - but the
rest sounds perfectly do-abe, and I'll be giving it a try.

I'm curious about making toothpaste for sensitive teeth, similar to
Sensodyne or Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief. Both have been a great help
to me - but they are expensive, especially for those on fixed incomes.
Also, it's fun to make my own stuff.

An earlier poster suggested, for "sensitive teeth toothpaste", taking 10 parts of this toothpaste recipe,
and adding 1 part Lysine, and 1 part (or a bit less) ground calcium
carbonate (Caltrate or similar, ground very fine in a mortar and pestle). I'll try this as well.

I'll say at this point that I'm an engineer, although not a civil or chemical engineer
concerned with water systems. I do know - from my own experience, and having the finished product analyzed in a lab - that even distilled water, made in a copper still contains mineral trace elements - copper in particular.

Perhaps a still made from Borosilicate Glass (Pyrex) would eliminate this, as it is pretty non-reactive at any ordinary temperatire. Likewise, water purified using high-intensity Ultraviolet light to kill bacteria, and particulate filtration (charcoal
and similar) still contains trace amounts of various minerals found in natural water, which ones and how much depending on the source.

Much so-called "pure" bottled water is in fact straight municipal tap water,
or worse, river or stream water with only the larger particles filtered out. The latter can contain all sorts of interesting (!) bacteria, such
as that which causes "beaver fever". It may be "natural source", but it
is not "pure".

As to fluoride, there are many areas where ground water pumped from wells
contains small (trace quantities - fractions of a microgram per decalitre {about 2-1/2 U.S. gallons). So there is such a thing as "natural fluoridation and - surprise surprise - it was the fact that people who got their water from those sources (before the days of municipal water systems) had few or no cases of dental caries (cavities) that drew attention to fluoride in drinking water as a cavity preventer
in the first place.

There are many trace elements in groundwater, some of much more concern than fluoride - fact, not opinion. Local well water in my area contains very high levels of iron, for example. If you doubt the fact of trace elements in groundwater,
either go to the library, or have a sample of your own well water analyzed. If you get your water from a municipal water system, most will be only too happy to provide you with a full listing of everything in your water.

Whether you like it, or not, is your personal preference.

Thanks again to the author for this interesting and very useful post!

grinnin1 year ago
Where do you buy coconut oil?
Online they want you to buy huge amounts.

Coconut oil can be found in the oil/baking aisle of most supermarkets or in the ethnic section. It can also be found at some Costco stores.

ArticAkita1 year ago
anything that don't NEED floride in it sounds good to me to clean your teeth with! exellent insructable very clear instructions with beutifully taken photos Good job!
While there is a lot of evidence that systemic fluoride is terrible for your bones and health overall, topical fluoride that you don't ingest is one of the few, most effective compounds at keeping your enamel hard enough to resist the crunch, scratchy foods we all eat.

Actually your body can absorb various things through the skin and mucus membranes(including your mouth) so your body will absorb the flouride whether you ingest it or apply it topically. And it has been proven in scientific studies that flouride doesn't do anything to tooth enamel.

bsnyder31 year ago

It tastes pretty good. It's too viscous for a bottle like that though. I have to use a chopstick to get it out.

abreiling1 year ago
Thank you for this - can't wait to try it. I like that you use coconut oil.
ewillyp1 year ago
hey, great I use baking soda and salt alone and then rinse w/Dr. Tichenor's antiseptic. I like this recipe alot. One question though (and it's not about floride;) do you have to worry about it expiring, going bad or rancid with the coconut oil in it, or does it keep well. Or is the above recipe perfect amount so that it gets used quickly enough so it doesn't go bad, but not quickly enough to where one is cursing that "there's no damn toothpaste already AGAIN!?" thanks.
my mum makes my toothpaste with bentonite clay and so its a blue grey color and its a bit grainy.
I will tell her about this thank you.
Is there a more common type of soap I could use to replace the castile soap?
Thanks!
Have you tried other flavors, like cinnamon?
cahebayx1 year ago
Baking Soda is an Abrasive cleaning the surface as well as neutralizing acid
Salt kills Germs and is an abrasive
fluoride is a poison and very bad for you and has been shown not to help prevent cavities . Fluoride was used until 1959 as Rat poison when it no longer worked and some genius decided to add it to water,, it was also used in Nazi and Russian prison camps in the water supply as it dumbs down the drinker of it and keeps them passive.
they replaced fluoride as rat poison with warfarin a dangerous blood thinner used on humans to prevent clots in large dosages the subject hemorrhages and bleeds out.
Fluoride is not used to prevent cavities. It is used to create a stronger and tighter enamel matrix by replacing the natural OH groups in the enamel with fluoride groups. This makes it harder for the acids produced by the fermenting organisms in your mouth to permeate. On the other hand, it also makes your teeth more brittle and the naturally occuring fluoride in teas is enough to add strength and density without causing too much brittleness.
There are lots of poisons used in daily activities. What's poisonous to one thing in one amount is not in other situations.

The best way to think of fluoride is as a trace mineral. It's naturally occuring and very beneficial and harmless (unless you have kidney problems and then fluoride is your last concern) in the correct amounts (.5-1ppm). The early days of fluoridation were rough since no one knew what what the best amount was and there were adverse effects.
philby1 year ago
The active ingredient in toothpaste is sodium fluoride. It is this that strengthens teeth against decay. So while I love this idea , unless we can find a way to add fluoride...
g_Bear philby1 year ago
Fluoride is NOT the natural form for tooth enamel. While it is true that sodium fluoride hardens your enamel by replacing the OH groups with Fluoride in the hydroxylapatite mineral making a stronger matrix, it also makes your teeth more apt to chip. Think of metals, The softer metals are less likely to break. The baking soda provides the necessary OH groups for NORMAL tooth enamel, and the naturally occuring fluorides teas and the fluoride in most city water is sufficient to provide some added strength without creating a strong but brittle matrix.
I am just wondering what did our ancestors do before this got known. Fluoride is only needed up to the age of seven years after that the effect on people's body is hair raising . Now I can make my own and be safer Thanks a googal for this instructable!
seidl84811 year ago
If you want to check the safety of ingredients, go the the website of "Environmental Working Group." If you think something has been "proven" safe, I have 2 acres of swamp land.
amalkhan (author) 1 year ago
Castile oil soap isn't necessary. Your mouth will still get plenty clean with the other ingredients =)
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