Rethinking Oral Health Care: A Homemade Toothpaste Recipe for Tooth Remineralization

Rethinking Oral Health Care: A Homemade Toothpaste Recipe for Tooth Remineralization

Written by Courtney, Contributing Writer

Several years ago, I started to question some of the ingredients in commercial toothpastes as well as the approach of modern dentistry in general. I view some modern dentistry practices as appropriate and beneficial. Yet, the foundation of today’s dental philosophy is similar to the mainstream medical model in that it focuses on treatment and not prevention.

I believe the focus of dentistry (like medicine) should be prevention of decay and disease through sound nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

This begins in utero (even pre-conception), when the teeth and jaw structure are formed, is well established through breastfeeding, and must be adhered to for one’s lifetime.  Avoiding dental decay and disease through diet is challenging, as it means one must stray far from the standard American diet.

Remineralization

When most dentists detect a cavity, they suggest filling it, usually without thinking twice. However, what if teeth could be remineralized through a proper diet and oral hygiene routine? I believe they can.

Once drilled and filled, teeth are weakened and susceptible to further decay, but I believe that if we focus on prevention, we can avoid most cavities and subsequent oral health decline as a result of filling cavities.

Most of my teeth were drilled and filled in childhood and young adulthood, but I don’t want my children to go down the same path and struggle with susceptibility to decay for a lifetime because of it. I’m trying to learn more about prevention and remineralization so that my children can reap the benefits of a healthy mouth, which contributes to overall health.

Image by makelessnoise

There are several factors involved in tooth remineralization, mainly diet, Ph of saliva, and oral hygiene practices. Diet and saliva are inter-related and quite complex, I encourage you to dig deeply into the link between nutrition and oral health and possibly re-examine your own assumptions there. I hope you will take a closer look at your own oral hygiene routine as well, as what I’m sharing with you today is based solely on my research and conclusions as a mom. I am not a dentist!

Toothpaste cleans teeth and remove plaque, which is beneficial, but if your goal is to maintain healthy teeth through a proper diet, mainstream toothpastes will work against your efforts. Furthermore, they contain questionable ingredients that may do more harm than good.

Glycerin – Certainly not bad in and of itself if properly sourced, but its use in toothpaste may not be ideal. Some suggest it may leave a layer of film on the teeth that prevents remineralization. It can also be dangerous to our health if processed with dangerous chemicals, and I assume most toothpastes contain the cheapest possible source.

Sodium Laurel SulfateSLS is a known carcinogen. Some natural companies still stand behind it’s use and claim it is safe, but I prefer to stay on the safe side here.

Saccharin – This was the first ingredient I questioned when I started to re-think my approach to dental health and toothpaste several years ago. I avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague, as most of them are proven carcinogens, several contribute to obesity and other health problems, and some are excitotoxins, meaning they cause rapid firing and death of brain cells. And yet, we see the artificial sweetener, saccharin, in our toothpaste.

Fluoride – You knew I’d get to this one. I don’t claim to be an expert on fluoride, but from my basic understanding, fluoride is highly toxic in the form found in toothpaste and never found in nature in this state. If you’re trying to rebuild tooth enamel, just like with glycerin, a “protective” layer of fluoride is not ideal. It is also suggested that the layer it forms on teeth is much thinner than originally thought and is useless against protecting teeth from decay anyway.

homemade-toothpaste-koth

A Safer Alternative

If you’re looking for a safe alternative to the common toothpastes, there are many options, from the more expensive natural toothpastes (be careful– some contain some of these questionable ingredients) to simple recipes you can make at home.

I’ve been experimenting with my own homemade toothpaste recipe for a while now, after I realized how easy it is to make on my own and that I don’t need to spend a fortune on store-bought brands.

The most basic toothpaste alternative is a simple tooth powder. You can use baking soda alone or combine it with salt for a gentle yet abrasive clean, or you can use a mineral powder such as calcium and/or magnesium. I use Natural Calm brand. Some prefer to add hydrogen peroxide to their tooth powder right before use. I rinse with hydrogen peroxide, so I don’t add it to my powder or paste.

I began to add coconut oil to my recipe to form a paste (and for its beneficial antibacterial properties) and essential oils for flavor. For a while, my recipe included coconut oil, baking soda, a dash of salt, and essential oil.

I’ve since been searching for a solution to the salty taste of the baking soda and salt, which my children aren’t crazy about, and have recently decided to add xylitol to help combat the saltiness. I’m new to the use of xylitol, but it does appear to be safe and even looks promising for cavity prevention. I also recently added trace mineral drops to my paste. I use these to add minerals back into our reverse osmosis filtered water when making water kefir and I thought it would be a great addition to our toothpaste as well.

Homemade Toothpaste

2 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 Tbps. baking soda
2 Tbsp. calcium magnesium powder
2 Tbps. xylitol or green stevia powder
2 tsp. real sea salt
20 drops essential oil (I use peppermint)
10 drops trace minerals
 

My style recipe would simply read: equal parts coconut oil, baking soda, calcium/magnesium powder, xylitol with a dash of salt, a few drops trace minerals, and essential oils to taste.

This toothpaste is a great follow up to oil pulling. Have you looked into oil pulling? Both oil pulling and a natural toothpaste like this one, in addition to flossing, can keep your teeth clean and healthy. With a proper diet that supports the necessary minerals for re-mineralization of teeth, I believe teeth can be healthier and whiter.

From what I understand, yellow teeth can be the result of reduced/demineralized enamel that allows the dentin beneath to show through. By strengthening that enamel through re-mineralization, teeth are not only healthier and free of cavities but also naturally whiter.

Stephanie’s note: For more on the importance of diet for both preventing and reversing tooth decay, and the process of remineralizing teeth, I would highly recommend the book Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel. I’m currently reading it and even though I had learned some of these things previously (through Weston Price, etc.) I wish that I had looked more specifically into this topic long ago!

Rethinking Oral Health Care: A Homemade Toothpaste Recipe for Tooth Remineralization {Keeper of the Home}

What are your thoughts on using a homemade toothpaste?

Top image by Rodrigo_Amorim

About Courtney

Courtney is passionate about natural and simple living. She believes in taking the time to nurture her family with nourishing food and healing through nature, knowing that God is the giver of life and that he has supplied us with ample resources for health and healing. She blogs at Simply Nurtured, where she shares her thoughts on raising a healthy family, with the belief that the foundation for a healthy life begins in the womb and in the early years. She also owns the Simply Nurtured Shop, where she sells natural products for mom and baby.

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Comments

  1. I have to disagree with Lexi. I’ve never had a cavity in my life, yet I received four drills and amalgam fillings in my brand new molars as a child, because the dentist said the grooves in my teeth were “too deep.” I’ve since learned this was standard practice in the eighties, to pad the dentists’ pockets. So if they will drill healthy teeth, they will drill a tooth that can remineralize.

    Also, my toddler has clearly visible dentin on a front canine, yet that tooth is remineralizing through the use of cod liver oil, butter oil, a grain free diet, and brushing with virgin coconut oil. I have photographed the healing process weekly, and I can tell you, the enamel is “growing” back. (How he got the cavity is no mystery to me. I’m sure he is intolerant to grains. His apraxia is completely “cured” in a matter of months, and all signs of autism are gone. Grains are poison to some folks.)

    Google “how to heal dental caries” and “how to remineralize teeth.” You’ll find published research stating it can be done and how.

  2. I am a Registered Dental Hygienist, and I have access to and read many dental related EVIDENCE based research papers and find this article grossly inaccurate. The only helpful piece of information in this article is oil pulling as it has been shown to have great benefits in clinical trials. Baking soda and salt should NOT be used as a toothpaste as it is far too abrasive and leads to increased enamel wear and gingival recession which increases your risk not only to cavities, but to root caries as well, which decay much faster and often result in the tooth having to be extracted if it has moved below the gumline. SLS is a detergent and is found in many other products around the home I don’t advocate for it as quite a few people have allergies to it, but if you’re going to speak against it you should be mentioning all the products that contain it as well if it’s in the interest of public awareness. As for fluoride, when it was first introduced into the drinking water system caries rates decreased by 53%… that’s massive! Fluoride is toxic if taken in large amounts, but you’d have to drink about 4 litres of it. That’s why you’re not supposed to swallow toothpaste and kid’s toothpaste does not contain fluoride as they don’t have as much bodily control. Furthermore most big cities and many towns have a government regulated fluoride limit in their drinking water which must be kept between 0.7 and 1.2 ppm, which is even more than contained in your toothpaste which is usually around 0.02%. Fluoride helps to remineralize your teeth by drawing minerals- mainly calcium from your saliva and diet back to the tooth surface, helping to strengthen enamel and prevent sensitivity. There are oodles of trials and research supporting this! As a dental hygienist MY ENTIRE JOB is PREVENTION!!! That’s what we do, unless you are the perfect brusher and flosser, which even I am not, and all your teeth are perfectly aligned, you will always develop a calculus buildup and no amount of brushing will ever take that off- professional care is required. Also, your insinuation that dentists will just fill any lesion is inaccurate and goes against their professional code of ethics. An incipient lesion (one that is not through the enamel, also the type that CAN be remineralized) will not be filled- this article explains nothing about this, and any cavities already having reached the underlying dentin will only get worse and by discouraging a visit to the dentist you are encouraging poor oral health which is directly linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and the list goes on! Also having a filling does NOT put you at an increased risk to more cavities… breakdown of the filling over many years combined with poor oral hygiene may lead to recurrent decay around the filling but that is in no way caused by the filling. I would expect the author of an article like this to have significantly better research skills- AND REFERENCES and to present the facts, not a one-sided personal opinion as it may have the ability to seriously affect someone’s health.

  3. MrsRiggins says:

    Obviously prevention is super important but I’d like to know what these dental “experts” would recommend for those of us who can’t afford to go to the dentist at this point or have insurance at a new job which won’t start for some time but are worried about tooth decay? Obviously getting treatment from a dentist would be good but what can we do at home.

  4. I am a dental hygiene student in my senior year now and we have had our brain pounded about this stuff. I am very proud of all the hygienists for sticking with their guns and continuing to educate those not in heir office. Fluoride is very very very important! It not only helps your teeth develops but gives your teeth the chance to remineralize by slowing or stoping the pregression of plaque buildup. Also, a dentists whole job is based on treatment. That is what they are there for. If you are visiting your dental hygienist every 6 months to 1 year, you should know this is her job. If you visit and still don’t know this, get a new hygienist. She is there to educate you on prevention. Yes the dentist should let you know this too but it is not his job. That is why he hires a RDH. People just need to start caring and realize that their mouth is connected to the rest of their body and can help or hurt many diseases in the body.

  5. I can’t use coconut oil.. What could I replace that with?

  6. Doesn’t Baking Soda strip the enamel off your teeth?

  7. I couldn’t help but notice there aren’t any references to back up all the “evidence” you presented in your post. I don’t think I’m the only one who is interested in where you got your “facts”. A lot of comments sound like a similar scenario of having a broken leg and praying it will heal itself because you heard that doctors are bad people who only went into their profession for money. As a Registered Dental Hygienist my job is to educate my patients and ensure they go home with correct knowledge on how they can prevent cavities. Notice I’m placing the responsibility on each and every one of my patients because I’m not at their house every day to brush and floss their teeth for them. I commend people who stand up for what they believe in, but I think it’s unfair and cruel of you to let your readers believe things based on your personal opinion when their overall health and well-being are at stake…

    • Concerned says:

      Thank you for your comment here Jen. I too, am a Registered Dental Hygienist and completely agree with your statement. I am offended by the statement that “the foundation of today’s dental philosophy is similar to the mainstream medical model in that it focuses on treatment and not prevention.” I dedicate a HUGE portion of my time teaching my patients how to care for their mouths and better their overall health through good oral health. Dentistry is one of the only professions which consistently works to put itself out of business (by trying to teach people how to PREVENT cavities!) I understand your concern over what you put into you body, but please do not suggest that dental professionals are concerned about our patients and their overall health.

  8. I have found a dentist that focuses on remineralization and has a specific program to follow that she has done a lot of research on and has used on her own family. Your teeth feel wonderful and what she says makes a lot of sense. You might want to check out her website and blogspot where she will answer your questions. http://www.drellie.com and askdrellie.blogspot.com

  9. I would add bentonite clay in there as well. :)

  10. Natural calm gives me horrible nightmares.

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