Despite doing all the “right” things as far as my children’s oral health care, my oldest two still ended up with some cavities and swollen inflamed gums.
I couldn’t understand it — our kids’ teeth were brushed (with a dentist-recommended fluoride toothpaste) and flossed every morning and every night before bed, we were a (mostly) sugar-free home, and we took our kids to every bi-annual dentist appointment where they had regular cleanings done.
My husband and I thought we were doing everything right and just couldn’t understand how they were still getting cavities despite our best efforts at keeping their teeth and gums as healthy as we possibly could.
And then I stumbled upon two incredible books that changed everything for us.
The first was Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition by Ramiel Nagel. The second book was Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston A. Price.
These two books really opened my eyes to what actually causes oral health problems. For instance, I’ve always been led to believe that sugar is the main cause of cavities when in reality, cavities are actually caused by infection.
How Diet Affects Oral Health
I also learned that cavities are often not prevented by simply brushing and flossing — there are other important factors that influence whether or not cavities form in your mouth.
Did you know that your diet plays a major role in oral health care?
We were already eating healthy, nutritious foods in our home but there definitely were some gaps in our nutrition that I found were possibly contributing to our sons’ teeth and gum issues.
After reading more about this topic, I learned that foods such as organic grass-fed butter, raw dairy, pasture-raised meat, low-phytate foods, and cod liver oil help immensely in strengthening teeth and gums and can even reverse oral health problems.
The Concern with Fluoride
After some easy adjustments to our diet were made, we also decided to eliminate toothpaste containing fluoride from our home.
I had done some research on the effects that fluoride has on the human body (you can read some great information here, here, and here) and found that fluoride is a known neurotoxin that can do some serious damage to your brain, especially to the growing brains of children.
“The truth, now becoming increasingly evident, is that fluoridation and the proclaimed benefit of fluoride as a way of preventing dental decay is perhaps the greatest ‘scientific’ fraud ever perpetrated upon an unsuspecting public. Even worse, the relentless promotion of fluoride as a ‘dental benefit’ is responsible for the huge neglect in proper assessment of its toxicity, an issue that has become a major concern for many nations.”– Weston A. Price Foundation
I had read enough information about the dangers of fluoride for both my husband and me to decide that we weren’t comfortable with continuing our use and our children’s use of toothpaste made with fluoride.
So we made the switch to a fluoride-free toothpaste a few years ago, and have never looked back.
Unfortunately, fluoride in toothpaste isn’t the only harmful ingredient to watch out for. We were very selective in our toothpaste choices and even tried several different brands before settling on our favorite one.
Improvements in Our Oral Health
Our dietary changes along with our continued oral hygiene routine have resulted in ALL of our teeth and gums being the healthiest they’ve ever been!
That means we haven’t had any more cavities, gum inflammation, teeth sensitivities, or any other kinds of oral health problems since making these changes.
Our family’s dentist is extremely impressed with our oral health and has told us to keep on doing what we’re doing!
Homemade Coconut Oil Toothpaste
We love our natural fluoride-free toothpaste, but with six people in the house, using this toothpaste can get a little expensive.
So, in an effort to reduce the cost while continuing to provide my family with a safe, natural toothpaste to use, I came up with my own recipe for an easy DIY coconut oil toothpaste that works really well!
Oh, and it tastes great, too!
My recipe uses natural ingredients that can help improve the health of your teeth and gums while also freshening your breath. The best thing about this DIY coconut oil toothpaste recipe is the smooth, creamy texture that makes it so easy to use and won’t crumble on your toothbrush.
Ingredients Needed for Your Own Homemade Toothpaste
Brushing your teeth with coconut oil is great for your oral health. It’s the perfect choice for homemade toothpaste because it naturally has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, which is the most effective of all fatty acids at killing bacteria in the mouth (it’s especially effective at fighting an oral bacteria strain called Streptococcus mutans, which is a leading cause of tooth decay).
I particularly love this brand of coconut oil.
Baking soda neutralizes the acid in your mouth, which helps prevent the build-up of bacteria. Baking soda is also great for your gums and helps remove plaque from your teeth. As an added bonus, it helps make your teeth whiter and brighter, too!
This is the baking soda I usually buy.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that’s used in this recipe for two distinct purposes.
First, it helps sweeten the taste of the toothpaste. Second, it has wonderful oral health benefits. Xylitol raises the pH level in your mouth, which helps fight bacteria. It also helps repair tooth enamel by increasing saliva production within the mouth, reduces inflammation of the gums, and fights plaque.
Always make sure to buy non-GMO xylitol made from birch trees, rather than from corn.
Also, it’s important to note that xylitol is very harmful to dogs, so make sure to keep it out of reach from your furry friends.
MCT oil is another excellent ingredient for homemade coconut oil toothpaste. MCT oil (which stands for medium chain triglycerides) is derived from coconuts and gives you the same oral health benefits as regular solid coconut oil.
The reason why MCT oil works so well in this recipe is because it helps create a rich, creamy texture of toothpaste that is easy to scoop out of the jar and spread on your toothbrush. Regular coconut oil is hard and crumbly, but adding in some MCT oil keeps this mixture nice and smooth.
This MCT oil is my favorite and is the one I normally buy.
Essential oils are a great addition to your DIY coconut oil toothpaste. Not only do they help give this toothpaste a refreshing taste, but they also have many healing benefits when it comes to oral health care.
Essential oils are very effective at killing bacteria and infections in the mouth, healing cavities, and eliminating halitosis (bad breath).
Some great options for essential oils to use in this toothpaste recipe are:
- Peppermint *
- Tea Tree *
- Pink Grapefruit
- Sweet Orange
- Cinnamon *
- Clove *
- Thyme *
Choose your favorite essential oil to add to your DIY coconut oil toothpaste, or pick two or three to blend together.
Orange, cinnamon, and clove would be a great combination. Pink grapefruit and spearmint would be another good blend. Personally, I love peppermint mixed with tea tree.
Feel free to experiment to come up with your favorite flavor combo!
*Essential oils above marked with (*) are not kid-safe essential oils for use under certain ages (source).
Reader Reviews of My Coconut Oil Toothpaste
Since first sharing this recipe for my handmade coconut oil toothpaste back in 2018, it’s been shared online more than 7,000 times!
People will often write in to tell me they’ve made the recipe and to share how much their family loves it. Here’s what some of my readers had to say:
“I have made my own toothpaste for the past couple of years using someone else’s recipe, and it was good, but the taste and texture left a lot to be desired. I was running low, so went on the search again, and found your recipe. I ordered the ingredients I didn’t have…and just made it and used it. I LOVE it! Thanks so much!”– Liz
“Just made a batch! I didn’t have the xylitol on hand, so I used Monk fruit sweetener by Lakanto. LOVE this toothpaste recipe. Thanks for sharing!!!”– Piper
“Easy to make. Consistency of store bought toothpaste. Taste is pretty good.”– Paul
My Homemade Toothpaste Recipe
- Measure out all ingredients and add them to a tall, wide-mouth mason jar.
- Using an immersion stick blender, blend all the ingredients together until the mixture is fully blended and has become smooth and creamy. (Alternative: If you don't have a stick blender, you can also melt the coconut oil and stir in the remaining ingredients by hand.)
- Pour mixture into two clean 4-ounce ball jars or other small glass jars and cover with a lid. I personally like and use these colorful lids in our house to color-code each person's jar of toothpaste.
- When ready to use, scoop a clean, dry toothbrush into the toothpaste jar to get a bit of toothpaste onto your toothbrush. Brush your teeth and enjoy!
*Baking soda makes this recipe taste a little bit on the salty side (it IS sodium bicarbonate, after all) but the essential oils should help mask this saltiness slightly. If the saltiness bothers you, try adding a bit more essential oils and/or drop the baking soda amount down to 3 tablespoons. I've found that our kids were not a huge fan of the saltiness at first but easily got used to it after a few days. Now they love the taste of this toothpaste!
**Xylitol is added to this recipe not just for the health benefits to our teeth and gums, but also as a natural sweetener to help with the taste. Our family's preference is 2 tablespoons in this recipe, but feel free to add more or less to get the sweetness to your liking. Warning: Be sure to keep xylitol safely out of reach from dogs as it is toxic to dogs.
***Essential oils are included in this recipe for both oral health benefits as well as flavor, but you can absolutely omit them if you prefer. Also, the reason for the recipe calling for 10-40 drops is due to personal preference (you may like more or less) and also due to which essential oil you choose for your toothpaste. You might want to use fewer drops for stronger oils (such as menthol oils like peppermint and hot oils like cinnamon). Adjust the amount according to your preference.
A FEW MORE THINGS WORTH MENTIONING:
While mixing the ingredients, the mixture may liquefy when fully blended and that's okay -- leave it on your counter for a bit and it will become a nice thick, creamy texture.
If you live in a hot climate or it's summertime, this mixture may soften a bit or even melt into a liquid. If this happens, simply put the jar into the refrigerator for a little while to thicken back up.
In the winter months, your toothpaste may firm up a little too much and make it a bit difficult to scoop out of the jar. If this happens, mix in a little more MCT oil to bring the mixture back to a more creamy state.
Be careful to not introduce any water into this jar! Doing so may cause mold to grow. We always dip a dry toothbrush into the mixture and then wet our toothbrush in the sink, and we've had no problems with mold forming. If that worries you, a clean spoon or popsicle stick can also work to scoop out your toothpaste.
Get All the Ingredients Here
Try a Natural, Eco-Friendly Toothbrush
We’ve switched to natural charcoal bamboo toothbrushes and we love them! They’re plastic-free and biodegradable. Plus, they’re very affordable!
Get yours here:
Bonus Tip: A great way to disinfect your toothbrush and keep it clean is to place it in a 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide with one drop of tea tree essential oil. Let your toothbrush sit in this solution for a minimum of 10 minutes and then remove, shake off the excess moisture, and leave it out to dry. This can be done once a week.