Wholesome, Healing, Homemade Toothpase and Mouthwash

For several years now, I’ve been trying to get away from fragrances and strong chemicals in order to improve my allergies and physical health. My desire is to not burden my immune system any more than necessary so I will feel better and have more energy.

Part of my methods include using natural products like vinegar and baking soda to clean our home.  I have been attempting (unsuccessfully at times) to eat better, exercise more, and get at least seven hours of sleep per night.  Certain herbs and essential oils have also benefited me and my family’s health in several ways.

In a previous post I explained how frankincense essential oil has made a positive impact on my health.  It is one of the ingredients in the recipes I’m sharing today.  So, on with today’s topic…

Did you know teeth can “remineralize” (regrow enamel)?  It’s true!  A few years ago, I saw for myself more than once that with careful, gentle brushing and good general health, small cavities that are beginning to form can actually heal and go away.  I’ve read that this is accomplished when your body uses minerals in your saliva to repair tooth enamel.  The recipes below should help speed that process along without hurting your wallet or putting harsh chemicals in your body.

I waited to share this information until I had thoroughly tried it myself.  In the five months I’ve been using the homemade toothpaste, my teeth have lightened several shades…all except for one tooth on the bottom (which gives me a reliable gauge for how much whiter my other teeth have become). This week I had a great checkup at the dentist. The tartar buildup was a little less than usual, and I had no sign of cavities.

I asked the hygienist about the one tooth that did not brighten in color.  She said the dentin under tooth enamel is a yellowish color and that thinning enamel can cause teeth to look either more yellow or more see-through.  (Does that mean one of my teeth is unable to whiten/remineralize?  Why would that be? I have no idea!  Please share your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.)

Are you interested in trying the recipes?  I’ll list them for you, along with tips on how I made and used them.  Click the links (words in red) to learn more information about ingredients. (Also, if any of the links fail to work, please let me know so I can repair them.  Thanks!)

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homemade toothpaste by Merry Hearts Medicine

homemade toothpaste basic ingredients list

2 Tablespoons baking soda

Used for cleaning and whitening. Yes, this is safe for your enamel. It is usually the lowest item on abrasiveness scales that compare toothpastes. Here is a more detailed article about how the RDA abrasiveness values are tested and what it means.

2 Tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil

Used for cleaning, whitening, and killing bacteria in the mouth.  This is one example of the many articles discussing the health benefits of coconut oil for oral and physical health.

calcium carbonate and magnesium (I use 4 capsules.)

Used to help remineralize teeth.  See if you can find capsules or powder in order to avoid the fillers and chemicals used to hold tablets together.  The minerals inside the capsules I found were not as fine of a powder as I expected.  For my second batch of toothpaste, I grabbed the spice mortar and pestle from my kitchen and ground the tiny lumps out of the powder before adding it.  (Some people replace this ingredient with drops of liquid trace minerals.)

2-5 drops of thyme essential oil

OPTIONAL — Used for teeth and gum health.  This oil contains high levels of thymol, which is one of the main germ-killing active ingredients in most mouth washes. Don’t get carried away with this one because it will sting your mouth.

2-3 drops of frankincense essential oil

OPTIONAL — Used for teeth and gum health.  This oil has done a lot for me since I discovered it at the beginning of this year.  It’s an immune booster and has antibacterial and antifungal properties.  A clinical study showed the oil reduced gingivitis inflammation.

15-25 drops of peppermint essential oil

OPTIONAL — Used for teeth and gum health and for flavor.  Don’t think this essential oil is only for making your toothpaste taste better, it’s a proven antiseptic that kills the bad bacteria in your mouth.

stevia (I don’t use this, but thought most people would want their toothpaste sweeter than mine.)

OPTIONAL — Used for flavor.  This comes from the leaves of a plant containing compounds that are over 100 times sweeter than table sugar.  It does not, however, encourage tooth decay like sugar. It may, in fact, actually help reduce the buildup of plaque.

1/2 teaspoon distilled water

Approximate amount used to get the paste to the desired consistency.  This is the amount I used in the winter (when our house stayed 65-70 degrees) because coconut oil hardens when it cools.  Now that the weather is warming and our house is closer to 80 degrees, I’m thinking I may not need to add water at all.  Filtered water would probably work just fine, too.  I felt like distilled would keep it fresh longer.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Stir your ingredients together (a fork works well) in a bowl and transfer the finished product to a small glass container with a lid.  A smaller container will help it stay moist longer.  If your toothpaste ever does get too firm/dry, stir in a few more drops of water as needed.

Essential oils don’t hold up well when exposed to light, which is why they are sold in dark-colored glass bottles. It’s best to store the toothpaste container in a dark place so the essential oils will not degrade.

I keep a fork in the bathroom to apply it to my toothbrush.  After scooping a pea-sized amount onto the toothbrush, I give the fork a quick wash and dry and leave it in the medicine cabinet near the toothpaste.  (Some people simply dunk their toothbrush into the container of paste, but that grosses out the germophobe in me.)

Don’t forget before you rinse to brush the roof of your mouth and your tongue, too!  The surface of your teeth is only a small portion of your mouth, and other areas need attention as well.  Have you ever noticed a white-looking coating on your tongue?  That is (typically) a colony of bad bacteria that are multiplying happily and adding to halitosis problems.  The essential oils in this toothpaste, combined with the friction of your toothbrush, will help eradicate them and make the surface of your tongue pink and healthy again.

This toothpaste doesn’t foam up like commercial varieties, but it really gets the saliva flowing.  After using my first batch for a month, it suddenly smelled a little bad, so I went back to regular toothpaste for a few days until I could make a fresh batch.  The foaming action of the store-bought paste was unpleasant to me.  I never gave a second thought to the foam my entire life, but now it seems a bit offensive.  It feels like I can hardly brush with all those bubbles in the way.

A little of this homemade paste goes a long way!  When my first batch went bad after a month, I still had close to 1/3 of it left.  The next time I made a batch, I left half of it in the fridge until I needed it and had no problems.  Now I’m on round three.  At the moment, it seems that I will have to mix up more about every two months.

I recommend doing the majority of your spitting into the trash can.  Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, and I wouldn’t want to risk having it build up inside the pipes beneath your sink.

Enjoy your whiter teeth with that slick, fresh-from-the-dentist feel!

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homemade mouthwash by Merry Hearts Medicine

 

homemade mouthwash basic ingredients

1 cup distilled water

Filtered water would probably work just fine, too.  I felt like distilled would keep it fresh longer.

2 teaspoons baking soda

Used for cleaning and whitening. Yes, this is safe for your enamel (see the links to this ingredient in the toothpaste recipe above). This helps create a more alkaline environment in your mouth which reduces plaque buildup.

calcium carbonate and magnesium (I use 3 capsules.)

Used to help remineralize teeth.  See if you can find capsules or powder in order to avoid the fillers and chemicals used to hold tablets together.  The minerals inside the capsules I found were not as fine of a powder as I expected.  For my second batch of mouthwash, I grabbed the spice mortar and pestle from my kitchen and ground the tiny lumps out of the powder before adding it.  (Some people replace this ingredient with drops of liquid trace minerals.)

5-7 drops of thyme essential oil

OPTIONAL — Used for teeth and gum health.  This oil contains high levels of thymol, which is one of the main germ-killing active ingredients in most mouth washes.

3-5 drops of frankincense essential oil

OPTIONAL — Used for teeth and gum health.  This oil has done a lot for me since I discovered it at the beginning of this year.  It’s an immune booster and has antibacterial and antifungal properties.  A clinical study showed the oil reduced gingivitis inflammation.

15+ drops of peppermint essential oil  (I use 25 drops because my hubby likes extra minty mouthwash.)

Used for teeth and gum health and for fresh breath.  Don’t think this essential oil is only for making your mouthwash taste better, it’s a proven antiseptic that kills the bad bacteria in your mouth.

stevia (I use 2 packets of the powdered type.)

OPTIONAL — Used for sweetening the flavor.  This comes from the leaves of a plant containing compounds that are over 100 times sweeter than table sugar.  It does not, however, encourage tooth decay like sugar. It may, in fact, actually help reduce the buildup of plaque.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

I prefer to store the mouthwash in a glass bottle.  I washed an empty vinegar bottle and sterilized it with boiling water.  Then I poured all the ingredients into the bottle, with the help of a funnel, and shook it for a while.  In my experience, some of the calcium will always settle to the bottom, now matter how much you stir everything together.  I filtered the last batch through a small strainer and liked the end result much better.

I have read that it is best to make it in small batches like this because the essential oil flavors can blend together and change over time.  Also, essential oils don’t hold up well when exposed to light, which is why they are sold in dark-colored glass bottles.  It is best to use a dark-colored bottle for your mouthwash or to store the container in a dark place so the essential oils will not degrade.

Each time you use it, shake the mixture well before swishing an ounce or two in your mouth for 30 seconds or more.

Enjoy your minty fresh mouth!

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Thanks for reading! Please share any thoughts/questions you have in the comments below!

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