So, you brush your teeth with dirt?
Questions like this are music to a natural gal’s ears. Why? We’re awesome like that. We know that if you use the right kind of dirt your teeth will be thanking you for it.
What’s this special dirt you might ask? Bentonite clay. It’s pretty awesome and powerful stuff. It is used to detoxify the body, cleanse the gut, clean the hair, clean the teeth, and so much more! (We recently wrote about how to use clay internally for stomach upsets.)
I quit conventional toothpaste about 9 years ago. It all started with a coconut oil and castile soap blend, progressed to a squeezable bentonite clay paste, and then on to toothpowder. Let me just say, cleaning your teeth with “dirt” is where it’s at.
Beth created a bentonite clay toothpaste recipe with coconut oil several years ago, which is pretty awesome. She covers the reasons why you should consider ditching commercial toothpaste, and why you may want to avoid many “natural” varieties as well.
Erin also has an “improved” version that includes calcium/magnesium powder, trace minerals, and essential oils.
Bentonite clay toothpaste is great! I’ve used it for years and still do at times. Yet, sometimes, even though it’s easy enough to make I want something even easier – enter toothpowder. I started making a basic recipe a few years ago, that I love. Then I decided that a version that helps whiten your teeth as well would be even better.
Toothpowder can be made in less than five minutes, does not create a mess (well unless you dump the powder all over the place…), and is perfect for traveling! Generally, I store toothpowder in a small glass jar, but if I am traveling, I switch to a small plastic one instead. Toothpowder is perfect if you aren’t checking luggage and need to be mindful of the number of liquids that you carry on.
Are you ready for the inside scoop? Here are the ingredients and why they make this toothpowder so great:
Bentonite clay gently polishes your teeth while adding beneficial minerals such as calcium and potassium, silicon, and magnesium, to your body. Its detoxifying properties allow it to aid in riding your mouth of harmful bacteria while freshening your breath and healing your gums. Best of all it is safe for women (pregnant or nursing moms included), men, and children of all ages! It’s available in multiple sizes on Amazon.
Activated charcoal balances the mouth’s pH which in turn helps prevent cavities. It is also slightly abrasive, aiding in further removing plaque from your teeth. As a bonus, activated charcoal helps whiten your teeth because it binds to tannins found in coffee, black tea, herbal tea, wine, blueberries, and other foods that stain your teeth.
Unrefined salt, such as Real Salt, has 70+ trace minerals that aid in tooth remineralization! Salt is antiseptic, helping keep the bacteria in your mouth in check. It is also a mild abrasive.
Diatomaceous Earth, is a fine powder made from fossilized phytoplankton called diatoms. It is rich in silica which is essential for healthy teeth, nails, bone, and skin. Diatomaceous earth is gently abrasive, so it is best used in small quantities, or only on occasion. It is excellent for removing stains from your teeth.
Stevia is used to “sweeten” this toothpowder. While providing a sweet taste, this whole leave plant powder contains no sugar at all. It is up to 200 times sweeter than sugar, so only a very small amount it needed. Many recipes call for xylitol because of its ability to help maintain a natural pH level in the mouth. I don’t keep it on hand, so for my household, stevia works just fine. There are many forms of stevia on the market. I prefer to stick to the more natural verities, in this case, the straight green dry powdered leaf. If you have xylitol, by all means, use it instead.
Essential Oils are a wonderful addition to toothpowder for their health benefits and for flavoring this toothpowder. Peppermint, spearmint, clove, and cinnamon are all good oils for a healthy mouth.
Peppermint essential oil (menta piperita) is effective at killing bacteria in the mouth, plus you are left with a minty fresh taste! (It should not be used while pregnant or nursing, or if you have epilepsy. Some suggest not using with young children.)
Spearmint essential oil (menta spicata) is an antiseptic, kills bacteria, and helps promote healing. (It is less strong than peppermint, and is a safer option for children.)
Cinnamon Bark essential oil (cinnamomum zeylanicum) has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is excellent for alimenting bacterias that cause tooth decay and gum diseases. (You should not use this oil with children, or if you plan on swallowing the toothpowder. It should also not be used while pregnant, or if you have liver or kidney conditions.)
Clove essential oil (syzygium aromaticum) has analgesic properties, similar to the idea of anesthesia. It is helpful for tooth and other oral-related pain. It helps eliminate many harmful bacterias that are found in the mouth. (It should not be used while pregnant, or if you suffer from kidney or liver conditions.)
Are you not a fan of essential oils? That’s not a problem, try adding small amounts of the powdered herbs instead or simply leave them out. This toothpowder will still be beneficial without them, though I am personally comfortable with the small amount used.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can modify it to fit your needs and preferences. If your teeth are more sensitive, you may want to leave out the diatomaceous earth and charcoal, or consider only using them for a week or two. You can adjust the sweetness to fit your preference. The essential oils can be used as a single oil, a blend, or left out entirely. Make it your own!
To use this toothpowder you can dip a damp toothbrush right into the jar or add a couple pinches to the damp brush. If you are sharing it, or are worried about building up bacteria your best option would be not to dip your brush in the jar. Since I don’t share mine, I dip my brush right in and have not had a problem with it going bad, probably thanks to the power of the bacteria-killing essential oils in it.
What are you waiting for? Gather your ingredients and get a jar of this easy-to-make toothpowder made today!
- 3 TBS bentonite clay
- 1/4- 1/2 tsp powdered stevia/ 2-3 tsp xylitol
- 1/4 tsp activated charcoal
- 1/4 tsp food-grade diatomaceous earth
- 1/8 tsp unrefined salt
- 10-15 drops essential oil peppermint, clove, spearmint, or cinnamon*
- Add all the ingredients to a jar. Screw on the lid and shake well.
- Dip a damp brush into the jar of toothpowder or add a couple pinches directly to the toothbrush.