Homemade Baking Soda Toothpaste - Dr. Axe

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Homemade Baking Soda Toothpaste


Baking soda toothpaste - Dr. Axe

If you care about your health and that of your family, then you are really careful about what you put on the table and what they put in their mouths. That includes toothpaste.

Commercial toothpastes are loaded with ingredients you wouldn’t feed to your worst enemy, and they don’t belong in toothpaste either. Luckily, it’s cheap and easy to make a good, basic homemade baking soda toothpaste.

The recipe below will work at least as well as a standard commercial toothpaste. You may already have all the ingredients in your pantry. Plus whipping up a batch will cost you a lot less than buying a tube of natural toothpaste at your local health food store.

Commercial Toothpaste Ingredients to Avoid

First, let’s look at some of the questionable ingredients that are often found in commercial toothpastes (some are probably dangerous; others are just unnecessary), which you can avoid by making your own homemade baking soda toothpaste:

  • Artificial colorings. Food dyes have been linked to cancer, skin rashes and behavioral problems. Who cares what color your toothpaste is, anyway?
  • Artificial flavorings. We’d rather stick with natural flavor, thank you.
  • Fluoride. The ADA swears this stuff prevents cavities. But recent studies suggest the opposite may be true. Plus it has a lot of nasty side effects.
  • Glycerin. This is a natural food byproduct used to give a smooth mouthfeel. It is probably reasonably safe to consume, but it may interfere with tooth mineralization. So it may be a good idea to leave out of toothpaste.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide. This has a reputation for whitening teeth. But it takes a long time to have that effect (much longer than a typical brushing session). Plus it can be harsh on the soft tissue of your mouth.
  • Propylene glycol. Used to give a smooth mouthfeel, this fossil fuel processing byproduct is also used to make antifreeze. It doesn’t belong in your mouth.
  • Saccharin and other artificial sweeteners.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate. A foaming agent, which has been linked to an increased risk of developing canker sores. It’s not what we want in our mouths.
  • Titanium dioxide. This white powder is used to make toothpaste bright white. Recent studies have linked it to poor gut health. Off-white toothpaste is just fine with us, thanks.
  • Triclosan. An antimicrobial chemical linked to numerous health and environmental problems. Don’t even think about using a toothpaste (or anything else) with triclosan in it.

Why We Brush Our Teeth

Let’s start by talking a little about why we brush our teeth and what a good toothpaste homemade baking soda toothpaste should offer. We brush our teeth to remove any acidic or sugary/starchy food particles and every smidgen of plaque — that slimy biofilm that can coat our teeth and lead to tooth decay.


Brushing — the mechanical process — is the No. 1 way to protect your teeth from decay. It’s far more important than toothpaste, mouthwash or any other product! You may be surprised to learn that you can brush your teeth without any toothpaste at all. Just give all the surfaces of your teeth (plus your tongue and all the other surfaces inside your mouth) a good rubbing with a soft-bristled toothbrush. This “dry brushing” is a great way to brush when you’re away from home or between meals.

But adding the right toothpaste can make brushing extra-effective.

What Makes a Good Toothpaste?

Adding just a little bit of something gritty (a very mild abrasive) makes brushing away that plaque a bit easier. But keep in mind that too much or too strong an abrasive is not a good thing, as you may start removing more than just plaque and food particles!

Baking soda is a cheap, readily-available and very effective mild abrasive. Dipping your moistened brush in plain, dry baking soda is quick, easy and effective for basic tooth cleaning. But no one is going to rave about the flavor (salty) or mouthfeel (mildly gritty) of brushing with plain baking soda. Also, it’s hard to get it to stay on your brush.

How to Make Baking Soda Toothpaste

This is where making a homemade baking soda toothpaste comes in: creating a product that not only helps gently remove plaque, but also stays on your brush and feels/tastes good in the mouth. You can just mix baking soda with enough water to make a paste. But a few other additions make a much nicer paste with a smoother mouthfeel and flavoring to mask some of the salty aftertaste. In fact, you don’t have to use baking soda at all.

You can find a good basic homemade baking soda toothpaste recipe at the end of this article. But feel free to experiment with different combinations and proportions until you get a toothpaste that works for you and your family.

Here is a list of good ingredients for making homemade baking soda toothpaste, including readily-available ingredients, mild abrasives and liquids to blend them with. Plus I’ve included tooth-friendly flavorings and sweeteners to make the paste more appealing.

Potential ingredients:

  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Baking soda has many uses. In toothpaste, it acts as an ideal mild abrasive, which dissolves, leaving no grit behind. It is alkaline, so it has the added benefit of helping to neutralize excess acid in the mouth.
  • Bentonite clay. This finely powdered product is a mild abrasive, alkaline so it helps neutralize excess acid in the mouth, full of trace minerals, and helps draw toxins out of the body. If you have silver fillings, you may want avoid clay as the drawing property could draw out mercury.
  • Cacao nibs (or powder). Not to be confused with cocoa (a chemically-treated product), cacao is raw chocolate and it is loaded with nutrients and trace minerals. In toothpaste, it also acts as a very mild abrasive. And it tastes yummy.
  • Coconut oil. This amazing substance may be the most versatile food and health aid on the planet. In toothpaste, it gives a smooth mouthfeel, holds other stuff together, and helps kill nasty microorganisms — including candida and tooth decay bacteria — while supporting beneficial ones. Organic, cold-pressed and unrefined is the best kind to use, if possible. Coconut oil has one odd characteristic: it melts at about 76 degrees Fahrenheit, which means your toothpaste will be very stiff in cool conditions and runny and prone to separating if it gets warmer than 75 F. This changeability doesn’t affect how well your toothpaste works. But it does mean that it’s better to keep homemade toothpastes containing coconut oil in a jar than a tube. This way you can scoop it out when very firm or dip your brush in it if it liquefies (and re-mix it if it separates). Take advantage of coconut oil’s low melting temperature when mixing up a batch by warming the jar in a container of hot water for 10 or 15 minutes before measuring out the now-liquified oil and mixing it with other ingredients.
  • Diatomaceous earth (DE). These sharp bits of silicon are the remains of the shells of tiny aquatic animals called diatoms. It is a mild abrasive and contains trace minerals.
  • Essential oils. Essential oils are a good way to mask flavors while adding nicer ones. Plus some offer additional benefits. Clove oil is antibacterial; peppermint boosts energy and is a familiar flavor for toothpaste; and cinnamon oil fights inflammation and viruses.
  • Guar gum. When mixed with liquid, this natural product creates a gluey substance that helps thicken toothpaste and keep it from separating. Blend the dry powder with the other dry ingredients before adding any water. Otherwise, by itself, guar gum powder is hard to mix with water without making lumps.
  • Sea salt. Sea salt is a mild abrasive and rich in trace minerals.
  • Spices. Powdered spices, such as cloves, cinnamon, ginger and mint, are a good way to add flavor and some gentle abrasive to homemade toothpaste. Be sure they are finely ground to avoid a gritty paste.
  • Stevia. If you want tooth-friendly sweetness, stevia is a good choice. Choose powdered extract, powdered stevia leaf, or a plain or flavored liquid stevia extract.
  • Water. If coconut oil doesn’t appeal to you (or you are out of it), water is a good basic moistening agent for dry powders. It also has the advantage of remaining liquid down to 32 F. So once you mix up a paste, it is going to stay the same firmness regardless of changes in room temperature.
  • Xylitol. We aren’t fond of using this as a sweetener in food because of the possible health issues and side effects associated with consuming larger quantities. But, being a sugar alcohol, it has a unique quality that may make it a good sweetener for toothpaste. Sugar alcohols are attractive to bacteria. But they can’t metabolize them, so they die after consuming them. Sugar alcohols may also support re-mineralization.


  • Adding more baking soda helps keep your paste firmer in warm weather. Adding less baking soda makes it less firm, which makes dispensing it easier in the winter if your house is cool.
  • Baking soda toothpaste tastes really salty.
  • Adding the full measure of xylitol makes it a salty-sweet, which kids may find more acceptable.
  • Adding strong-flavored essential oil(s) doesn’t change the flavor much while you are brushing, but it does make for a pleasant aftertaste (instead of just saltiness).

How to use:

Scoop/apply about a ½ teaspoon of toothpaste onto your brush and give your teeth, and all the other surfaces in your mouth, a good brushing. The paste will liquefy almost immediately when put into your mouth, so there is no need to add water. Swish the liquid around when you are done to get it into all the nooks and crannies your brush can’t reach. Then spit out the remainder and rinse with water.

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Baking soda toothpaste

Baking Soda Toothpaste Recipe

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  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 30 uses 1x


There are a lot of questionable ingredients found in commercial toothpastes. Instead, make your own homemade baking soda toothpaste!


  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 24 tablespoons baking soda or a combination of baking soda and sea salt
  • up to 1 tablespoon xylitol powder (optional)
  • 20 drops cinnamon or clove essential oil (optional)
  • 20 drops peppermint essential oil (optional)
  • small glass jar


  1. Place coconut oil container in a bowl of hot water to liquefy it (depending on your room temperature, this may take up to 15 minutes).
  2. Measure all ingredients into bowl and stir until completely blended.
  3. Store the finished product in a lidded glass jar.


Adding more baking soda helps keep your paste firmer in warm weather. Adding less baking soda makes it less firm, which makes dispensing it easier in the winter if your house is cool.

  • Prep Time: 5 min

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  1. Lee Ann on

    Stevia can be bitter and is used in south america by some peoples as a natural birth control when the plant is ground and added to drinking water. Added to too many products now days to suit me. Not always listed as stevia but as reb a or its scientific name.

  2. Nina Shukin on

    I like the idea of some of the ingredients BUT, the only reason we need to brush our teeth is because we no longer chew food. As a species, we used to have larger, straight teeth without cavities because we had larger jaws (more bone). This is achieved by chewing meats and fibers, beginning in very young childhood, before teeth even erupt. Of course, breast feeding is the best developer of strong bones, and muscles of the face. Like all species, we used to chew our food. We did not have smoothies, bananas, avocados, soft bread, soft french fries, fancy waters, the softest meats and cheeses. We actually had to rip and tear and subsequently had strong jaws, straight teeth and no cavities. You don’t need to brush, you just need to chew. Oh, and also to nasal breath. If you haven’t read Breath, by James Nestor, do yourselves a healthy favour and read this book and then pass on the message to the planet. We can literally shut down the dental industry and all have healthy mouths and teeth.

  3. Velma Chappell on

    Is it safe for the enamel of the teeth, to brush daily with baking soda? I’ve read that it breaks down enamel. Don’t need another problem.

  4. Martel on

    I’m looking to put MALIC ACID in it, it’s a a NATURAL TEETH WHITENER found commonly in STRAWBERRIES. Any idea on how much to mix?

  5. Emily on

    I need to buy a jar for this. How much does it make so I know what size jar to use? I will be using the following ingredients in my recipe – coconut oil, baking soda, and peppermint.

    • Emily on

      I need to buy a jar for this. How much does it make so I know what size jar to use? I will be using the following ingredients in my recipe – coconut oil, baking soda, and peppermint.

      • CJ on

        No need to buy a jar. A Green Giant glass mushroom jar should be more than enough as the recipe only calls for 8 tablespoons of ingredients.

        For example: a 4 oz jar holds 24 tablespoons.

  6. JS on

    I live in the country and thus have a septic system instead of a municipal sewer system. I am, therefore, concerned about spitting coconut oil down the drain and causing an eventual buildup and blockage. Is there any reason not to just swallow after brushing?

  7. DSQ on

    The optional oils are all very strong so 20 drops seems like too much especially if someone used 20 of both. Also this recipe is in the article about wintergreen benefits which isn’t listed in the recipe. Is the recommended amount of wintergreen for this recipe 20 drops?

  8. Claudette KROOK on

    I was thinking of trying to sweeten it with Honey instead, did you ever try that? Best regards, Claudette Care for Natural African Beauty, The Gambia

    • Kim Muller on

      You don’t want a toothpaste with honey in it. Honey is basically a sugar. Xylitol on the other hand will actually prevent tooth decay.

    • CJ on

      Honey is anti-microbial, just like coconut oil and since you spit toothpaste out after brushing and then rinse, there’s absolutely no reason to worry about using it.

  9. Marean Marean on

    Do not spit this down your drain. It will clog it up. I have used a similar recipe (unsweetened) for years and love the salty taste.

  10. Barbara on

    I’ve heard mixed reviews about adding essential oils in products that will be put in your mouth or body…I was wondering about ground cloves and cinnamon. Sure, it would change the color of the paste, but it would wash away.
    Also, I was wondering if you should spit it out in a separate container to save on any plumbing issues down the road. Coconut oil solidifies when not warm, and I don’t want an expensive plumbing bill down the road. I know it is a very small amount that is used, but over time…a blizzard is made up of many small snowflakes!

    • Russ on

      Honey? I wouldn’t recommend any honey, syrup or sugars of any kind in a toothpaste since the acid from sugars is one of the destructive things toothpaste is being used to remove. Adding anything that’s destructive to tooth enamel and promotes tooth decay is probably not advisable in toothpaste.

  11. Nancy B on

    Love everything about it, the smooth feel of my teeth after brushing, the freshness of my mouth, and most of all using ingredients that are non toxic and natural!! Now I’m looking forward to seeing my teeth in time become a bit whiter again. For my 70+ age they’re not bad, but maybe?…..

  12. Grace Stachurski on

    Thank you very much Dr.Axe.
    I love your site and very much appreciate the work you are doing to help people take care of their health.
    You are my main go-to advisor because I trust your advice.
    May God guide you and protect you and may He bless your work.
    In regards to this lovely recipe I have a question which is: Is there a way to make this recipe sensitive teeth friendly?
    Thank you in advance for your reply good Doctor.
    Grace from Australia

    • Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CN on

      Thank you Grace! Surprisingly, baking soda can actually protect your teeth from becoming sensitive. But if your teeth are already sensitive, then you probably should go with a natural toothpaste for sensitive teeth, such as “hello see ya, sensitivity toothpaste”

  13. alexandra on

    You mentioned bentonite clay in potential ingredients, but I do not see it in used ingredients…
    I love these all components

  14. Kathleen on

    I love this. Similar to my own. <3
    I would however, ad a foot note; "Do not spit anything with coconut oil into your sink/drain." Coconut oil will solidify on your pipe's. It will not wash down with hot water, soap, or anything else. I had to replace pipes because of this.
    Always spit into the garbage. <3

    • De on

      So I have a few silver fillings in my mouth so does that mean I should not use Bentonite clay toothpaste because I would be releasing mercury into my body by using the toothpaste that contains bentonite clay??? Please help me figure this out

      • Julie booth on

        It’s already in your mouth which absorbs things quite easily…they might come out of your teeth which would likely require a trip to the dentist and be uncomfortable or even painful …is my take …but I’m not sure the clay is most excellent for detoxing your body of heavy metals and other toxins etc plus it remineralizes your body in a nice soaking bath or you can grind it super fine ad small amounts to your drinking water a gallon at a time only drink one glass a day also makes excellent first aid paste face mask makeup deodorant endless uses doesn’t the Bibke say God Made us of Clay ? Interesting because our mineral s match both the clay and the sea salt . you are the salt and light of the world.

  15. Lora on

    For those who don’t want the coconut oil mess in their sink, spit into your (lined) garbage can. This is also recommended for oil pulling. Any oils/fats that solidify can eventually clog your drains. Also a drop of dish soap and running hot water in both kitchen and bath sinks helps to combat this. A little more work, but the good effects of going natural are worth your efforts!

  16. Cathy on

    Just watch out for coconut oil as it CAN clog your sinks. Did not see that caution here. You may want to spit it in a waste basket.

  17. Don Duston on

    I always keep the oil to baking soda at 50% to 50%. In the winter due to keeping the house cold I add a small amount of coconut MCT oil to keep the tooth paste at a good hardness/softness level. It does not take much. No additions, just coconut oil and baking soda in the summer and in the winter coconut oil, MCT oil and baking soda.

  18. Stacy on

    What is the benefit of the xylitol powder? Is is just for the taste? I just made some toothpaste with what I have on hand which is baking powder, coconut oil, and peppermint essential oil. My teeth feel very clean and my 2-year-old wanted to try it and had no problem with the taste. Thank you for the recipe :)

  19. Jennie on

    I use a sensative toothpaste. What can I use to make this recipe into the same ? Can one purchase potassium nitrate…the active ingredient? Is this a safe way to go or is this toxic?

  20. Aimee on

    Is there a clinical value to the cinnamon oil? Just wondering if it could be left out, or if it contains a specific function other than taste. Thanks!

  21. anna on

    hi dr Axe ,thank you all times for helping us and give us from your time to answer our questions ,I have bone loss all over my mouth ,Iwas so depressed when i found that through the xrays ,dr said no cure and at certain time my teeth will start to fall down , I did a homemade tooth past ,and start to visit dr for cleaning every four months ,is there anything can help in rebuilt the bone around the teeth ,what should i add to my toothpast to prevent my teeth from falling ..

  22. Cyd on

    My mouth seems to be allergic to cinnamon. I’ve tried the thieves oil and that didn’t work either. Can you suggest a different eo? I’m not sure if Clove will make me sore also (afraid to try!). I really have a tough time with my teeth and have to get one pulled tomorrow. I really hope this stuff works!! Any other suggestions I can do to make my teeth stronger? I’m also a grinder. Thanks!!!

  23. Rina on

    Hi Dr. Axe, can I replace trace minerals with calcium plus (carbonate with vit D) I bought from Costco (Kirkland brand), I plan to make powder from it?

  24. Misty Harvey on

    Dr Axe,

    Thank you so much for this! I am unfortunately one of those that has had several dental issues over the years and I have had horrible experiences with dentists (my experiences with dentists is the reasons for my dental issues – I hate going back, even for cleanings!). On the minor side, my experiences have been very painful (a root canal that was worked on repeatedly for 5 years before I finally told them to take it out) and on the major side, my experiences have been physically chronic (my wisdom teeth being pulled and not clotting for 18 hours despite following directions to the letter, has left me intollerable to metal silverware and the sound of metal scraping as 19 years later it still gives me a physical reaction). Because of my experiences, taking care of my teeth is more of a chore than a joy and I avoid the dentist like the plague as I can’t handle having my teeth cleaned without being sedated. Anyhow, I digress.

    I’ve tried to get better at taking care of my teeth, but being health conscious makes it hard with all the crap on the market that isn’t good for us, or that is straight up poisonous to us, and all the supposed better products being financially unfeasible when raising a family. So, I was grateful to find your recipe yesterday and decided to take a chance.

    My husband and I did our first oil pulling this morning followed by brushing with your toothpaste. The taste during the pulling is something we will both have to learn to deal with (him more than me lol), and even though he didn’t care for the taste of the toothpaste, I can honestly say that for the first time in forever, my teeth actually feel clean! I mean a REAL clean! I couldn’t afford the cinnamon oil this time around, so I subbed in tea tree oil and added more peppermint oil for taste. But whether he likes it or not, we’re going to keep doing it (he hates going to the dentist, too) and I will just do my best to modify the taste for him.

    Thank you for giving me a real flouride-free option that is healthy, natural, and will actually give me better oral health that I can stick with than what all the propaganda out there tries to push on us!

    Truly yours,

    Misty :)

  25. Jay on

    i am yet to try this recipe . But this is by far the easiest recipe and the ingredients are handy. But i have Q do we need to add calcium mag powder to this or trace minerals would provide for calcium and magnesium?

  26. David on

    I mixed everything as instructed, and I personally have on problems with the toothpaste, in fact i can already feel it effecting my teeth after only a week of use. My wife however has a problem with the taste, so if there anything i would add that would safely make it taste better without ruining the toothpaste? More peppermint oil for example?

  27. Amy on

    My daughter was prescribed sodium floride toothpaste (prescription) because she doesn’t brush well (hypotonia). Is this harmful for her?

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      I don’t recommend using products with fluoride. Check out this articles on why:

  28. Dirrie on

    What is the equivocal measurement of one drop in the mineralizing toothpaste recipe. How much will that be converted in teaspoon?

  29. Patricia on

    How can I make this without the coconut oil? All the “healthy” DIY
    Recipes have coconut something in them, and I am allergic to coconut.

      • Karis on

        Why the oils at all? I’ve read on other sites where people have complained of the mess that the coconut oil leaves in their sinks, so I leave it out and moisten my paste with water. However, I’m curious about the recommendation of shea or olive oil instead of coconut oil. I’m chronically tired (Dr. Axe, I wish you were my doctor :) ), and frequently washing out my sink is not my first priority, but are the health benefits worth it?

      • Dr. Josh Axe on

        I personally like to use coconut oil in the recipe because baking soda alone can be hard on your teeth and also because of the antimicrobial benefits of coconut oil. You can use less coconut oil if you are worried about it making a mess but it shouldn’t be a problem in your sink because you are using a very small amount of the mixture on your toothbrush.

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