In my dental practice, I get asked many questions, but there’s one that patients seem to ask the most.
“Is there a natural toothpaste I can use?”
I’ll be honest, toothpaste isn’t my favorite topic. My practice is focused on helping patients eat a diet for dental health. When you eat the right foods and practice good basic dental hygiene, your teeth never get a disease in the first place.
The way I like to think about it is this: if there is a problem with the engine in your car, would you take it to the carwash? No, you wouldn’t. That’s what toothpaste really is. A nice polish, which is great, but it’s not what you need for healthy teeth. Eating foods to strengthen teeth is the real way to get a great smile.
So what does that mean?
Well, you don’t need toothpaste with all their fancy claims, you don’t need toothpaste at all. But you may want the fresh feeling of clean teeth and breath without all the unwanted additives.
What To Use Instead of Regular Toothpaste
There are some great natural dental remedies that work as great toothpaste alternatives if you have a clean bill of dental health.
So here’s of ingredients I’ll suggest for a natural toothpaste.
- Coconut oil
Nearly every problem in the mouth is driven by bacterial imbalances. Often, these are caused by simple carbohydrates from sugar and flour. Bad bacteria feed on these simple sugars and produce acids. Fats and oils help prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria.
- Baking soda
Baking soda is one of the best acid neutralizers out there. Its alkaline properties may help to prevent dangerous lowering of pH that can damage teeth.
- Sea salt
Salt helps to increase healing, promote healthy vascularity and decrease harmful bacteria in the mouth.
- Peppermint oil
This is a great essential oil not only for its minty taste, but because it contains anti-bacterial properties. Try using small amounts to make sure that you’re not decreasing diversity in the oral microbiome.
- Ginger powder
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Ginger is prebiotic that encourages the growth of friendly bacteria in the mouth. These also help to prevent the overgrowth of disease-causing bugs.
- Distilled water
Pure water removes any trace minerals or other
The recipe is at the bottom of the page. But before we get to that, here are some questions I often get about toothpastes.
Which brand of toothpaste should I use?
If you read a toothpaste package you’ll see claims that their toothpastes are necessary in order to have clean teeth. TV ads suggest that you would not be able to clean your teeth and your mouth if you were not using their products.
These statements are false. There is no component of toothpaste that your teeth or mouth need.
Are there organic toothpastes?
Toothpaste regulation is a very grey area, however the USDA does have strict regulations regarding the use of the word “organic” on toothpaste products.
Read packaging carefully, if you don’t see organic, it’s not.
Are there chemicals in my toothpaste?
In short, yes. There are many ingredients that get added to toothpastes that don’t provide any benefit to oral health.
Here’s a few that standard toothpastes can contain.
- Aluminum hydroxide
- Food coloring
- Sodium benzoate
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- Sodium saccharin
- Titanium dioxide
Natural toothpaste Recipe
- 5 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 2-3 teaspoons sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2-3 drops of peppermint oil
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 5 tablespoons of pure distilled water.
- Heat coconut oil over a stove or in a microwave until liquid.
- Mix sea salt, baking soda, peppermint oil, ginger powder, and water together in a small food processor or blender. Pulse 5-10 times until it forms a paste.
- Add half of coconut oil from pan.
- Blend for 15-20 seconds until their texture is smooth
- Take a wooden spoon and remove mixture from sides of the blender.
- Add water and blend for 30 seconds until mixture is smooth.
- Store in a container at room temperature for immediate use.
- Excess can be refrigerated in order to keep fresh.
- Dip the bristles of your toothbrush into the mixture to apply a small amount for brushing.
Toothpaste is a great polish for shiny teeth. But it doesn’t replace eating for great teeth.
You can check out my full 40-day food program in my book The Dental Diet.
Dr. Steven Lin is currently the Principal Dentist at Luminous Dentistry, a dental practice on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia, that strives to give individuals of all ages the best possible smile.
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