A reader named Alicia recently tipped me off to a growing niche of homemade toothpaste makers. Google around and you'll find all kinds of health-nut websites with techniques for doing it yourself and why it's better than the commercial stuff. I won't make any health claims, but I will say that it is a big money saver. All of the ingredients are inexpensive, and it's nice knowing where they came from. Look at the ingredients on your toothpaste tube lately?
I made some alterations to the formula at Mizar5.com (see below) and came up with my own formula. We have been using it for a week, and we give it great reviews. Like Amanda, whose photo of ingredients on Flickr was sent to me by Alicia, I think it makes my teeth feel polished as if just professionally cleaned.
Yes, it's a bit salty, but we got used to that quickly. It also breaks down more quickly so you have to watch for dribbling and just stay stationed over the sink (no tooth-brushing and vacuuming anymore, for example.)
I found glycerin by accident at a cake supply store, actually. It is used in icings. I have also seen it at Whole Foods and other health food stores. The mint oil is from Whole Foods, made by Aura Cacia (found with the other tiny oil bottles like Patchouli.) You can also use extract.
The only big challenge is storage. For now it's in a ramekin covered in plastic wrap. We use a little spoon to spread it on our brushes. I welcome any suggestions for DIY toothpaste storage.
makes 1/4 cup
6 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons glycerin
20 drops peppermint, spearmint or cinnamon essential oil
Mix all the ingredients together into a smooth paste. Store in a covered container.
• An article on the benefits of these ingredients in toothpaste (Mizar.com)
• Now brand Glycerin (4oz, $2.60)
• Aura Cacia Spearmint Oil (.5oz, $3.54)
(Thanks, Alicia and Amanda!)