The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
I Switched To DIY Toothpaste
Ever since I was a little and introduced to the idea of brushing my teeth, it is just something that I have naturally done, accepting the idea that you go to the store, you buy toothpaste, put it on your toothbrush, and brush your teeth. The issue with toothpaste for me has always been: I have never found a “taste” that I like. Maybe the supermarkets where I live do not sell the flavor I prefer, but I have lived in several places and even another country, and the toothpaste has always been the same. Less overwhelming is the children’s toothpaste, which my mom uses, because she prefers the cherry-like bubble gum flavor. There is no doubt that as you brush your teeth, your tongue and taste buds will get a few drops that allow you to taste the toothpaste. In most cases, from any of the major specialists in toothpaste making, the flavor is always the same: mint.
Unless it is after dinner and I am trying to have fresh breath, I really never cared for mint in the morning after brushing my teeth. Mint basically renders you useless after you brush your teeth, which is a great trick for training yourself not to eat again if you are on a diet, but if you are not on a diet and you brush your teeth and drink something like orange juice, it is probably the most disgusting possible combination ever. There are things you can do to get the minty taste out of your mouth fast, but you will still have the taste in your mouth for a while.
Aside from the taste, I never felt like toothpaste ever actually cleaned my teeth. If it cleaned my mouth, my teeth were still yellow or far from anything white. They were passable by everyday standards, but having white teeth shows a healthy smile and when you have good looking tooth, you feel happier and want to smile. It seemed that toothpaste was always temporary until you could get a real cleaning at the dentist. In order to get your teeth white, you have to use some sort of tooth whitening, which most toothpastes come with nowadays, but they rarely work as they should, and if they do work, it takes weeks to months to see any of the results.
We really brush our teeth out of habit, to remove the taste and smell of “mouth” out of our mouth. Our body is a complex system with our tongue, saliva, and throat leading to everything that would begin the processes of our entire digestive system. This “smell” is often noticeable in the morning and sometimes throughout the day, especially if you have gone without food, or even drank coffee. This smell is horrifying and reminds us of putrid, puke, and all things nasty. They are things we do not want to think about and things we do not want to smell. Therefore, we have the desire to remove it from our mouth.
Fortunately, I have discovered a secret that allows me to finally brush my teeth with something else while still having decent smelling breath afterwards. The ingredients that make this DIY toothpaste are things that you would find in any grocery store, but not in the health care or toiletry aisles. Instead, you will find these items in the spice aisle or the baking aisle. These items alone contain some of the highest antibacterial and antioxidant properties, and together, make an excellent combination to fight the bacteria and any diseases within your mouth, including gingivitis and gum disease, freshen your breath, whiten your teeth, and leave your teeth feeling amazingly clean.
These items are:
- baking soda
- coconut oil
- organic turmeric
Whether you want to go with organic turmeric or regular is up to you. I went with organic just to ensure I was buying quality turmeric. None of these items contain any mint flavor. Though the combination is not minty tasting, turmeric would be the overpowering flavor since coconut oil and baking soda do not really have any noticeable flavor. This is not to say that it is very overpowering, but rather, turmeric is not sweet at all and has a slightly more bitter and dense flavor, and when brushing with it, it almost tastes like you are brushing your teeth with a meat-flavored toothpaste. This may sound gross, but it is far better than having to taste metallic mint that you normally get with store-brand toothpaste. Since turmeric has the potential to stain clothing, you should wear a shirt that you don’t mind getting dirty when creating the mixture or remove your shirt completely. When creating the mixture, just put the ingredients into a plastic Tupperware container that you do not mind having stained or might have to throw away if necessary. The Tupperware container should have a lid so you can cover it.
This is what the mixture will look like after sitting overnight, and depending on the room temperature, the coconut oil may harden up:
It is not as nasty as it looks and if you can get over the fact that you are just seeing hardened oil, one of the healthiest oils on this Earth, which is the same thing that happens to bacon fat once it cools, mixed with baking soda and turmeric, than the gross factor goes away completely.
If you like turmeric, you will love this toothpaste. Fortunately, if you do not like the turmeric taste, and prefer the more sweet flavor or mint flavor, you can always sweeten it with some Stevia oil or peppermint oil. As for the other ingredients, baking soda is the white powder you normally use in baking and sometimes to clean things, along with tons of other uses, and coconut oil also has many medicinal properties, antibacterial properties, and cleaning properties, and when combined with turmeric, which is a miracle spice, all work together as the ultimate teeth and mouth cleansing cocktail.
Many other websites give specifics, but I found that what I did works just fine too. Here is how to actually create the cocktail mixture:
- Shake the turmeric bottle into the empty plastic Tupperware container until you no longer see the bottom of the container. This layer should be very thin.
- Give the baking powder 2 to 3 shakes on to the turmeric.
- Add in about a tablespoon or two of coconut oil into the powders.
- If your coconut oil is solid: mix it together until the chunks absorb the powders.
- If your coconut oil is liquid: mix it together until the powders are soaked with coconut oil.
The white powder from the baking soda will disappear quickly into the turmeric. This all reads like a lot of work, but the actual time to make this is about 2 to 3 minutes. It is very simple and straightforward. Even if you did not follow this order, you would probably still end up with the same results.
This is the same mixture above, but I just scraped some of it on to my toothbrush:
You can use as much as little as you would like. As you can see, the coconut oil is not really “hard”, it just thickens. If you follow the formula above, this mixture should last about a month or two, depending on how many times you brush your teeth a day. If you factor in the costs, they are probably equal to the cost of toothpaste, but you will get much more use out of the baking soda, coconut oil, and turmeric for other things.
Speaking of costs:
- Baking Soda: $1 – $2
- Coconut Oil: $6 – $8
- Organic Turmeric: $3 – $5
Sometimes, coconut oil thickens slightly and is not oil. It is completely up to you how you want your toothpaste to be. If you want oil-like toothpaste, you can actually put the container into the microwave for about 10 seconds. Afterwards, you can mix the ingredients together to form the powerful liquid substance. Otherwise, you can leave the coconut oil in its solid state and just mix the ingredients together. You will notice that the turmeric and baking soda will begin to stick to the coconut oil. Stir this around until you have absorbed most of the powder on to the coconut oil. Add more coconut oil as desired until there is no more dry powder left in the container.
If you are not a fan of coconut oil, you could use:
- extra virgin olive oil
- hemp oil
- avocado oil
- spearmint oil
- clove oil
- myrrh oil
All of these oils help to fight bacteria in the mouth with peppermint, spearmint, clove, and myrrh oil serving as antiseptics for teeth and gums. All of these oils will work and have their own medicinal properties that may work beyond just cleaning your teeth and gums. They are all 100% natural and good for your health. If there is an open wound, such as an abscess or broken tooth, these oils will not harm your body, and in fact, will most likely fight against the bacteria in those areas. You can also add about a tablespoon or two of hydrogen peroxide for more severe infections or cleanings, which is safe to brush your teeth with, but do your best not to swallow any of it, though a small amount will probably not do any harm to you.
Next comes the fun part: Brushing your teeth! If you are experimenting, you may want to just go out and buy another toothbrush. The turmeric will stain your toothbrush indefinitely to an orange color. It will also temporarily stain your teeth to an orange color while brushing. Don’t worry about this, as a quick rinse with some water will bring your teeth back to their normal color again, hopefully even whiter than they were before.
Brush your teeth all over, front, back, sides, and even brush your gums and your tongue. Your teeth and gums may actually start bleeding. Don’t panic. This is normal. The ingredients are a bit rougher than regular toothpaste and as your teeth and gums become less sensitive, they won’t bleed as much. It is just blood and you will be rinsing that out anyway. The bleeding should stop once you rinse your mouth out.
It is not a pretty sight and you might think you look like Shrek:
This is what brushing your teeth with baking soda, coconut oil, and turmeric actually looks like and the mirror was just fine, with maybe a slight crack:
After you rinse your mouth out, look to see how white your teeth become. Years of plaque, years of stains, years of bacteria that you may have missed will be gone. You may even want to brush multiple times just in case. Your teeth should actually be whiter than you have ever seen them and look more natural than what teeth whitener does, and your teeth will probably become even whiter over time. Run your tongue over your teeth to feel how clean they are. There is a huge difference between what this mixture did and what regular toothpaste does. It feels good and it far exceeds anything that store-brand toothpaste could have done. Best of all, there is no fluoride or any supposedly harmful substances in this toothpaste. It is 100% natural and 100% organic. You may find that many of your oral problems may disappear over time while using this new toothpaste.
I began brushing my teeth this way in 2016 and never looked back. I will never buy store-brand toothpaste again. Not only do I brush my teeth with enthusiasm, but I enjoy brushing my teeth so much with this toothpaste that I find myself brushing my teeth multiple times throughout the day. It was hard for me to brush even twice a day because despite it just being an automatic process of knowing: I have to brush my teeth to keep them clean, I really could not stand the mint flavor. That was enough to make me sometimes “forget” brushing my teeth before I went to bed, which probably made it worse, considering food and bacteria was sitting there overnight in my mouth, un-brushed. With this new toothpaste, however, I find myself wanting to brush at least three or four times a day.
One of the primary reasons for my wanting to brush my teeth that many times a day, including after meals, is because while you are encouraged to brush your teeth after every meal, in the process, you remove the savoring of the flavor of the meal you just ate. Why eat only to brush your teeth and lose the savory meal you just ate? While the mint flavor removes the taste of your previous meal, the DIY toothpaste of baking soda, coconut oil, and turmeric not only leaves the original flavor of food in your mouth, but sometimes enhances the flavors from food that you already ate earlier.
Shrek was somehow able to get his teeth white again and I bet he stopped using store-brand toothpaste and started making his own:
This is what the results look like after brushing my teeth with baking soda, coconut oil, and turmeric:
I forgot to take a photo of myself before I began this whole process, though these pictures are just Day 2 of brushing with baking soda, coconut oil, and turmeric. Before that, you could say, my teeth were just slightly stained yellowish white, about the average shade of most people, though I could pass a smile in photos or talk to people without anyone noticing, but my teeth have since become much whiter on Day 2 and it certainly makes you feel more confident to show off your smile!
Until someone comes up with a better name, we will just give it a name and call it BCT Toothpaste.