DIY Whitening Toothpaste
Dental hygiene has always been important to me. Maybe it's because my parents drilled into my brain how much money those braces cost all those years, but anyway I try to keep my teeth clean and healthy. Visiting the dentist brings me anxiety always, not because I don't take care of my teeth, but because I was born with poor dental genetics. I work hard, brush at least twice a day and floss (not everyday) more than most. I know some people who brush their teeth once a day and have never had a cavity in their lives. Me on the other hand, I have at least one cavity almost every dentist visit. This past month though, I had a dental checkup and passed with flying colors. You can't even imagine how stoked I was leaving my dentist's office. The hygienist wanted to know what my secret was because my teeth were so white and strong. She said everything looked great and complimented my brushing and flossing, even said my gum health had improved since last visit. The only thing I have changed in my routine is my toothpaste!
I tried and failed with a few toothpaste recipes before finally coming up with this one that has worked for me. I have been using this specific recipe for about 5 months now and it seems to be working great. There are just a few simple ingredients, all of which can be used in a number of other recipes as well. So, no worries on buying one ingredient that you'll have in your house forever because you don't know what else to do with it.
This recipe makes about 4oz. So, depending on the size of your jar, you could half it or double it.
4 tbs coconut oil, whipped
Spearmint/Peppermint essential oil
2 tbs baking soda
10 capsules of activated charcoal
Whip the coconut oil with a whisk or hand mixer. Once the coconut oil is whipped, it should have a somewhat mousse-like consistency. Add about 50 drops of essential oil. This is just for flavoring. So, if you would prefer, you may omit this step. After adding the essential oil, whip the mixture. Then add the baking soda and whip the mixture together. Finally, add the activated charcoal and completely whip the mixture together. Store in an airtight glass jar. This lasts me about 6-8 weeks.
The coconut oil has antibacterial and anti fungal properties to help fight bacteria and in your mouth, reduce plaque buildup, prevent tooth decay, and fight gum disease, as well whitening by pulling stains from your teeth. The baking soda is a mild abrasive that helps remove surface stains from your teeth and helps them appear whiter. The activated charcoal helps whiten your teeth as well by attaching to the surface stains and plaque.
If you have never used coconut oil toothpaste before, heads up the texture is very different from "normal" toothpaste. Since coconut oil becomes a liquid at 76 degrees F (24C), the toothpaste will be more runny than your average toothpaste once in your mouth. This may take some adjusting to at the beginning, but I promise you get used to it. I don't even notice anymore. And actually had to use some "normal" toothpaste" while traveling one time because I ran out of mine, so I borrowed a friend's and the store bought toothpaste seemed weird to me. Also, don't be alarmed, but the toothpaste is black. So that means when you brush your teeth, your mouth is going to be black.
As I stated above, this recipe works for me. But not everyone is the same and the amount of baking soda in this recipe could agitate some people. If this recipe seems to be irritating your gums, try reducing the amount of baking soda and see if that helps.
For extra zero waste, I also use a bamboo toothbrush with my toothpaste. The bamboo toothbrush is compostable afterwards. The brand I bought mine from is The Green Root. I bought one of the four packs of toothbrushes. It came packaged in a paper based box, which is compostable. I bought the toothbrush with the charcoal infused bristles since my toothpaste is black. As of right now, the bristles are still made of plastic, but can easily be pulled out and thrown away before composting the handle. Ultimately this is much less waste produced than your average plastic toothbrush that comes wrapped in plastic. So, whenever it's time to buy a new toothbrush, opt for a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic toothbrush.
Comment below or email me if you have any questions!