At my local dentist office, I am the girl that makes my own toothpaste. True story, it’s written in my file. And every time I visit the dentist, the hygienist always asks me why and how I make my own toothpaste. I always tell them that I make my own because regular toothpaste tubes go straight to the landfill. It always a new concept to them! They never thought about it like that before. They are also pleasantly surprised– and reassured– at the simple ingredients! Plus it’s effective and healthy for your gums.
This recipe is simple, inexpensive, and whitens your teeth. I posted this recipe/blog post when I first started this blog a year and a half ago. I’ve kept most of the content the same, but I’ve updated the pictures and added my favorite zero waste dental products that I use with my homemade toothpaste.
Time: 10 minutes
For a pint or 16 oz double portion size (pictured in this post):
- 1 cup of coconut oil
- 2/3 cup of baking soda
- 1-2 tablespoons of peppermint extract (if you prefer a mild or strong taste)
- 2 pinches of sea salt
I store my toothpaste in an elite pint mason jar. This serving size lasts me 2-3 months!
For a half pint or 8 oz single portion size:
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 2-3 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 pinch of sea salt
This amount lasts me 1-2 months.
For a 4 oz travel size:
- 6 Tbsp coconut oil (1/3 cup)
- 4 Tbsp baking soda (1/4 cup)
- 1/2-1 tsp peppermint extract
- sea salt to taste (just a dash will do)
- Melt coconut oil in a double boiler until slightly melted.
- I just take my glass mason jar (where I store my toothpaste) and put it in an inch of water in a pot on low.
- Combine all ingredients and mix until the mixture resembles a creamy paste.
- You can put the toothpaste in the fridge to help it solidify faster– make sure to stir the contents as they cool so the oil and baking soda don’t separate. After the mixture has completely cooled, I usually whip the mixture with a spoon to give the toothpaste a creamy texture.
With a spoon or with just your toothbrush (my preferred method), put some of the toothpaste on your toothbrush and brush those teeth. This toothpaste does not foam like a normal toothpaste. The coconut oil will melt in your mouth and you essentially have a gritty oil. Do not be deterred! This toothpaste still works wonders. I use about a quarter sized amount and brush as normal.
This recipe is shelf stable! If you add water to a DIY beauty project then it won’t be shelf stable because you’ll get this thing called mold. I would not recommend adding water. If you have trouble with it being too solid, warm the toothpaste in your hands for a minute or microwave it for 10 seconds.
Understandably, some might be concerned about the price of making their own toothpaste. But it really is cost effective. It’s the same price, about 3 dollars, as a regular tube of toothpaste. Making 16 oz also takes the same of time to use (brushing your teeth twice a day) as a normal tube. It might even last a little longer!
$2.35 (coconut oil) + $0.13 (baking soda) + $1.17 (peppermint extract) + $0.06 (sea salt) = $3.71
There is an upfront cost making your own products. For example, I have to fork out $7.00 for peppermint extract up front. But it will last me many (about 6) batches of toothpaste.
Now the real kicker here is the peace (or should I say price) of mind I gain when making my own toothpaste. I can make this with essentially no waste!
So a little about the ingredients. I’m not an expert about store bought toothpaste but I do know it is full of chemicals (some are probably are okay but…). I know exactly what’s in my toothpaste. And it’s easy to make!
Coconut oil is antibacterial so it helps fight any nasty bacteria. After I switched to making my own toothpaste I noticed that I had better smelling breath. Really!
Baking soda has amazing whitening properties. Even my dental hygienist recommended buying a baking soda based toothpaste. I drink copious amounts of tea so my teeth gain stain. Not only does stain looked unpleasant, but its sticky property makes bacteria and plaque stay on your teeth which can lead to cavities. The baking soda is gritty which will break down that stain and whiten your teeth at the same time! Win, win.
Peppermint extract tastes great and will leave you smelling minty fresh. You could use peppermint essential oil if you want. (I have used it before but essential oils are pricey). Essential oil also has to be properly diluted. Peppermint extract is just safer because you know it can be swallowed. This makes it practically edible! But please don’t eat this… I’m just saying that if accidently ingested, it won’t hurt you.
Why add a pinch of salt you say? Adding salt also adds a bit of grit to help break down stain, plaque, and particles. But like in baking, adding a small amount of salt helps it taste sweeter. Same concept? Definitely, but only if you don’t add too much. You can experiment to see how much you like. I’ve definitely added way too much salt before.
Zero Waste Dental Products
Unlike some other beauty products, toothbrushes and floss need to be replaced often. I switched to a bamboo toothbrush and compostable dental lace within the first month of going zero waste. In my experience, these are the best zero waste dental products. Both come in completely compostable packaging!
I use a bamboo toothbrush from Brush with Bamboo. Their toothbrush has an organic bamboo handle, plant-based bristles (that feel like regular bristles), and completely plant-based compostable packaging! They are also a family owned company!
Dental lace is the original zero waste floss. The floss is 100% silk covered in a vegan wax. The floss is stored in a cute glass and metal tube that can be refilled with floss refills.
Another zero waste toothpaste option is tooth powder or toothpaste tabs. Has anyone used either of them before and have experience to share? I know many zero wasters buy their tooth powder in bulk or order dental tabs online. Both sound effective and sustainable! Plus convenient since you don’t have to make them yourself! They could be a great travel option. But I do love my homemade toothpaste. I always have the ingredients on hand anyway! What’s your favorite zero waste recipe?