Stuff You Can Make Yourself: Tooth Powder
I’ve had a lot of requests for a natural alternative to toothpaste that actually works, and while I won’t be selling my tooth powder, I do think it’s easy enough for anyone to do at home. I’ve been using this tooth powder for almost two years now, and my teeth and gums have never been healthier. Best of all, my minor tooth sensitivity is gone–a result which I didn’t expect! My dentist is very pleased, and said that if it had added fluoride, he’d endorse it in a heartbeat for me! However, I’m glad there are no nasty chemicals, no sudsing agents, no fluoride except from your rinsing water. It is a little weird getting used to brushing without foamy suds, but once you feel how clean your teeth are, I don’t think you’ll mind!
Each ingredient in this recipe has a purpose:
Powdered kaolin and/or bentonite clay is wonderful for drawing toxins and mildly scrubbing. I really believe this ingredient has been the cause of my sensitivity going away. It really helps purify your gums!
Baking soda…well, we all know how good that is! People have been using it to clean teeth forever! It acts as both a gentle scrubbing agent and an antiseptic.
Ground sage is one you didn’t expect, isn’t it? Did you know that sage is a natural whitener? Well, it is!
Table salt is also a well-known antiseptic and cleansing/scrubbing agent! Best part about this one is that it dissolves so you can’t over-scrub!
Stevia powder is purely for taste. I’d say to use sugar, but we’re brushing our teeth here…let’s don’t be silly! I like the Truvia brand, myself, but do your thing. Any sugar-free sweetener will be fine.
Peppermint essential oil–again purely for taste.
This recipe makes about 2 oz of powder, which lasts me a couple months.
2 Tbsp. powdered Kaolin or Bentonite clay. Either will work well, and I like to use 1 Tbsp. of each! Bentonite is gray and a bit more scrubby. Kaolin is white and finer. (Available in most health food stores.)
2 Tbsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. ground sage
2 (scant) tsp. table salt
1 tsp. sugar-free sweetener of your choice
15-20 drops of peppermint essential oil
In a glass bowl or large measuring cup (don’t use metal), mix thoroughly, pulverizing any lumps made by the essential oil…you want that thoroughly distributed throughout the mix, not clumped at all! If you’re nervous about it, you can run it through a sieve, and pulverize anything that doesn’t make it through, and mix again. When it’s thoroughly mixed and smooth, store in an airtight plastic container (I use a little tiny 2 oz. tupperware-like container I found at the grocery store.)
To use: Tip a little bit (maybe a teaspoon or so) into the palm of your hand (the hand that doesn’t hold your toothbrush!). Wet your brush and dip it in the powder in your palm, and brush. I usually get a good job done in about 3 to 4 dips. Rinse thoroughly with water once or twice. Note: the clay and the sage will turn dark when wet, so don’t be alarmed when you spit!
A note on the taste: It will taste rather salty while you brush, but you’ll feel the clean finish of the peppermint when you’re done! Oh, and it doesn’t foam or get sudsy…you’ll just have to get over that one. 😉
Notes on other recipes you may have found. Adding oil can make this seem like a paste, but it will prevent the clay from drawing impurities from your gums to full effect, and reduce the shelf life of your mixture. I like to keep it a powder for these reasons. Also, a coating of oil on your teeth can feel like smoothness, but it’s really just a coating of oil. Eep! Second, do NOT add cinnamon! It is unduly harsh on sensitive areas like the inside of your mouth, and can be a serious irritant!
So there we are! First recipe I’ve posted in quite a while! Enjoy your new brushing method, and feel free to stand in front of the mirror afterward, running your tongue across your front teeth and pretending you’re in a tv commercial.
Everyone does it.