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Homemade Non-Toxic Toothpaste

Homemade No Fluoride Toothpaste

I have a history of lots of painful dental work and orthodonture. As a child, I wore braces and other orthodontic appliances for seven years, so once my daughter grew some teeth, we were particularly concerned that they remain healthy, straight and strong.

The good news is that having healthy teeth is not so much a matter of genetics, but of diet.

Because tooth decay and crowded teeth are usually symptoms of nutritional deficiencies, a whole food, nutrient-dense diet is the best protection against tooth decay and bad orthodonture.

Toward that end, we have never given my daughter cane sugar, fruit juice, soda, or processed foods at all. We also eat a whole food GAPS diet, that includes plenty of bone broth, leafy greens, and high-vitamin cod liver oil, which have lots of vitamins A, D and K, tons of minerals, as well as Omega-3s—all crucial for healthy brain, teeth and bones. (Where to find cod liver oil online)

Lastly, we help her brush her teeth with a pea-sized dab of our homemade toothpaste recipe, which, like many kid’s toothpastes, has no fluoride. But unlike most kid’s toothpastes, this recipe also has no glycerine, no SLS, no artificial flavors or colors or other chemical additives. She’s eight now, and has beautiful, broadly spaced, cavity-free teeth so far!

The Problem with Fluoride

Ever wonder why most kids’ toothpastes have no fluoride? Because kids inevitably will swallow some paste, and fluoride is extremely TOXIC. In fact, eating a tube of toothpaste will kill a child (and seriously harm an adult), so be sure to keep any fluoride paste or mouthwash out of reach of little ones, just like you do with bathroom cleaners and medicines.

For me, this begs the question:

Why are we putting a toxic chemical that everyone agrees should not be swallowed into our food and water supply in the first place?

Most people don’t know that the type of fluoride added to water supplies, toothpastes, and many beverages and foods is typically a waste product of the nuclear, aluminum, and phosphate (fertilizer) industries. The EPA has classified fluoride as a toxin. Fluoride is so toxic that, in addition to being a primary, active ingredient in rat and cockroach poisons, pest fumigants and crop pesticides, fluoride is also an active ingredient in anesthetic, hypnotic, and psychiatric drugs, as well as nerve gas used by the military.

Under the U.S. Safe Water Drinking Act, it is illegal to dump fluoride in lakes, streams and oceans, but, for some strange reason, it’s OK to dump fluoride into our food and water supplies and then rub it into our teeth and gums twice a day. Hmmmmm.

Do we really want this stuff in our bodies at all, especially when there are non-toxic alternatives that work just as well?

Fluoride Is Not Safe or Effective

You might be worried about how removing fluoride from our drinking water or toothpaste might affect our teeth, but you needn’t be.

While topically-applied fluoride can help prevent tooth decay in people who eat poorly, all of the recent large-scale studies of water fluoridation have shown that there are no proven, positive effects from the practice.

None. No proof.

But there is plenty of proof of harm, including dental fluorosis, osteoporosis and bone scarring, brain tumors, fluoroderma, and more. In fact, the most recent Harvard study found that fluoride exposure can impair the neurological development of children!

According to statistics from the World Health Organization, the tooth decay rates of countries which do not fluoridate their water supplies are just as low, or even lower, than those countries which do. Furthermore, several studies published since 2000 have reported that there has been no increase in tooth decay rates noted in communities which ended water fluoridation.

Water fluoridation is illegal, banned or just not used in an overwhelming number of countries, including most industrialized countries. Despite pressure from the dental industry, 97% of continental western Europe has rejected, banned, or stopped fluoridation due to environmental, health, legal, or ethical concerns. And yet, their children’s teeth are just as healthy as children’s teeth in the U.S! In fact, in many parts of Europe where traditional, whole food diets prevail, they are healthier.

The good news is that the voice of concerned, unbiased science is beginning to overwhelm all the pro-fluoride industry propaganda. For example, in November 2006, the American Dental Association advised parents to avoid giving fluoridated water to babies or using it to make formula.


Take the advice, and protect yourself and your children by avoiding the consumption of fluoride.

Here’s more about the dangers of fluoride and how to keep your teeth healthy:

The Case Against Water Fluoridation – The not-so-nice history of fluoridation, health problems caused or worsened by fluoride, and how to reduce your exposure from the many unexpected sources of fluoride in your life.

The Real Cause of Tooth Decay (and How to Stop it Naturally) – What really causes cavities? It’s not what you think! Can you cure a cavity without a filling? Yes!

This is our family recipe for fluoride-free toothpaste. It helps remove stains, leaves a fresh feeling in the mouth, helps relieve sensitive teeth, and saves money.

Homemade Non-Toxic Toothpaste
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  1. 3 Tbsp. baking soda (mild abrasive)
  2. 1 Tbsp. finely ground sea salt (mild antibacterial, whitener and good for the gums)
  3. A few drops peppermint, spearmint, anise, clove or cinnamon bark essential oil, according to the taste you want (be sparing, they are very strong) (where to get essential oils online)
  4. 1 tsp. xylitol or a few drops of liquid stevia (optional but highly recommended; xylitol helps prevent tooth decay naturally)
  5. organic virgin coconut oil, softened but not liquified (where to find virgin coconut oil online)
  6. 1/2 tsp. finely ground dried sage (optional; sage is antimicrobial, but it has a strong taste)(where to find organic sage online)
  1. Grind sea salt in a small coffee grinder, if needed, to make as powdery as possible.
  2. Mix all ingredients except the coconut oil to taste. You can stop at this stage and use this as a tooth powder if you wish.
  3. Mix in a teaspoon of coconut oil at a time until you find the right consistency for your paste.
  4. Put into a small, sealable jar or squeezable container and keep in a relatively cool place.
  5. Brush.
  6. Don't forget to floss!
  1. Do not use this toothpaste with dogs, or allow them to eat it. Xylitol and other sugar alcohols can harm or even kill them.
Small Footprint Family
Recommended for This Recipe

If you still have doubts, this movie from the Environmental Working Group expertly sums up how and why to avoid fluoride wherever you can.

This article was excerpted from my book Sustainability Starts at Home – How to Save Money While Saving the Planet. For more money-saving, planet-friendly tips, check out the book by clicking below.

About the author

Dawn Gifford

Dawn is the creator of Small Footprint Family, and the author of the critically acclaimed Sustainability Starts at Home - How to Save Money While Saving the Planet. After a 20-year career in green building and environmental sustainability, chronic illness forced her to shift her expertise and passion from the public sphere to home and hearth. Get the whole story behind SFF here.


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  • Might want to cut the peppermint if your going to be using on anyone under 6. Not considered safe for kids. Cinnamon would be better

  • Awesome, as a kid my mom used to hv us kids brush w baking soda ( arm n hammer) I never had a cavity til I started drinking soda. Now I’ll change my kids tooth brushing habits cuz their dentist says their not brushing enough & that’s not true, the florid sodium ion is destroying their bby teeth which r highly sensitive to any & all sources of sugar & their dentist is by way of advocating crest kids ( the really sickening sweet toothpaste) aiding & abetting the falsehoods of florid. Back to gd old tried & true arm n hammer n ty for ur eye opener. enjoy ur day .. Mike n kids

  • Hi! I’d like to know if it is possible to use some replacement for the coconut oil. Or maybe I could just add a little water to the mixture? Hope you can answer and thanks for the recipe!

    • Coconut oil is the primary active ingredient in the recipe. It is a powerful anti-microbial and it is what makes the toothpaste work. Without it, this recipe just won’t care for your teeth the way you want it to.

  • Also, I’m not sure if you’re still answering questions on this post, but I would be very grateful for some recommendations of filters that will remove the flouride from our water? It’s time I get that done.

  • I didn’t read through the comments to see if it was mentioned, but just to confirm what you were saying, I’ve recently gone to a new dentist due to an out of state move. He is not a holistic dentist, but naturally minded. He said he still does fluoride treatments because his patients expect them, but he doesn’t believe in it’s absolute need, and told me, if I should get pregnant out here, to not drink the water because of the fluoridation. He’s seen many cases of flouroses in the area.

  • I have found that baking soda is too abrasive for my teeth, so I’ve replaced it with bentonite clay which is sold in the bulk bins at the health food store. It costs about $3 for a 6 month supply for one person.

  • This sounds like a fabulous recipe! I just have one question: does the coconut oil have to be virgin coconut oil? Will regular coconut oil work the same?

  • baking soda,coconut oil, and a small amount of castor oil (to prevent the coconut oil from becoming too hard in cooler climates like here in Holland) makes a fabulous squeezable toothpaste. DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE CASTOR, it won’t cause a digestive reaction since the paste gets spit out. Also add mint oil and a sweetener if desired. I’ve noticed that within 2-3 w eeks of use plaque buildup has not happened on my teeth, in fact it has visibly reduced the plaque. Feels great and healthy from all sides including due to castor oil… read up about its multi-benefits.

  • Thanks..I will try your recipe.

    However ALL childrens’ toothpastes contain fluoride….ALL of them.
    A cursory glance at them and you will see, clearly printed on the tubes, anti-cavity which is fluoride. This is why they have poison warnings on all commercial toothpastes.

    It is too bad we consumers do not get a choice in the matter though

    • There are a number of toothpastes for children that contain no fluoride and specifically state “fluoride-free” on the tube and don’t have poison warnings. Here is one of them. However, there might be other additives, like flavorings, preservatives, or BPA-lined tubes that you want to avoid. This is why we make our own—and it’s cheaper too.

    • Well, in your country, at least there are poison warnings on the tooth paste packages.

      Come to Ireland, and neither you will find a tooth paste without fluoride, nor will you find any poison warning, label or anything that tells you that the stuff might be harmful.

      People on this island are not told anything and kept stupid. I feel sorry for those who are not informing themselves.

  • Hello — I am having a hard time convincing someone why flouride is bad. Would you mind sharing your sources for the information you offer here, especially comments like “the type of fluoride added to water supplies, toothpastes, and many beverages and foods is typically a waste product of the nuclear, aluminum, and phosphate (fertilizer) industries. The EPA has classified fluoride as a toxin. Fluoride is so toxic that, in addition to being a primary, active ingredient in rat and cockroach poisons, pest fumigants and crop pesticides, fluoride is also an active ingredient in anesthetic, hypnotic, and psychiatric drugs, as well as nerve gas used by the military.” Thank you so much!

    • I suggest you read the two posts about water fluoridation and tooth decay linked within the article as well as watch the movie at the end. There are also many links to primary sources within this article and within the linked articles too. 🙂

  • Do you know if this is safe to use with braces? I mean, will it somehow corrode them? I hope that makes sense.

    • Check with your dentist, but I can’t imagine why any of the ingredients in this recipe would corrode your braces. They can handle soda after all, and there isn’t anything more corrosive than that! 🙂

  • It’s Informative post for me! I made the paste with Stevia and peppermint oil, tasted, adjusted and it is very good. Makes my mouth feel better for quite a while. Thanks for the tip.

  • I just read that fluoride makes free radicals in the brain and helps to cause Alzheimer’s, and other brain degeneration diseases. I need a sensitive toothpaste without fluoride. This sounds painful.

  • I recently made a baking soda toothpaste and I just want to caution everyone – BAKING SODA IS VERY ABRASIVE! (Duh – I use it to scrub my bathtub!!!!) My gums are very sensitive and I didn’t think it through, so I ended up scouring my gums raw (and I do mean RAW – red, bloody and oh-so-sore!). Some people may find it necessary to alter the amounts here. To be fair, I was not using this recipe and the coconut oil in this one may reduce or eliminate the problem, but I figure it must happen to other people too!
    Love your blog.

    • Start out gentle: gum tissue adjusts quickly to how you’re treating it. I know several dentists (as well as other people with great teeth) who use baking soda to brush their own teeth and recommend it as well.

  • I made some of this toothpaste yesterday and I love it! My teeth feel as clean as when I leave my dentist’s office!

  • I’m really interested in trying this recipe! I was wondering though if I could use table salt or if it was necessary to use sea salt, I’m sure I could go without but would like to include it. Just curious

    • You can use table salt and it will function in the recipe, but common table salt contains anti-caking and machine-processing additives that I don’t recommend that anyone consume. Unrefined sea salt has no additives, and also contains trace minerals that are important to your health. Personally, I’d rather go without the salt than use common table salt, but it’s up to you. 🙂

  • Love your blog and this great recipe! Thank you!

    We have been fighting our local city council for over 2 years now over the whole fluoridated water issue. We have a well and septic system but they’re trying to force us to hookup to the city water and sewer “for the health and safety of all residents.”


    So far, we’ve been charged $800 for a connection fee for the toxic water and $750 for a connection to remove the toxic water from our property, plus an additional $25 processing fee and a monthly water/sewer charge….we still refuse to actually hook up, though. It’s extortion, plain and simple, and a tiny part of UN Agenda 21. They will have to shoot me before they will ever be allowed to pump that garbage into my home.

    Thank you so much for helping get the word out about the dangers of fluoride.

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