Our first experience with an all-natural toothpaste was a couple of years ago when I took my son, then 5 years old, to the dentist. He had more cavities than candles on his birthday cake and I was devastated.
Our diet was good. There was very little processed food and we bought the highest quality real foods we could afford.
My son has always been my fruit and vegetable kid, choosing clementines over cupcakes and making requests for olives while grocery shopping. So when the dentist said it was because of too much juice (which we typically don’t buy) and too many snack-y foods like goldfish and graham crackers (which we also don’t buy), I knew her comments based on conventional dentist knowledge were wrong.
Around the same time, my husband was diagnosed with periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. He was 26 years old, and while his habits in college weren’t exactly the best, I wouldn’t have considered him an unhealthy person. He rode his bike to work, ate good food like the rest of us, and didn’t smoke or drink soda.
But between the cavities in my 5 year-old and gum disease in my husband, clearly, there was a bigger problem at hand.
When Real Food Isn’t Enough for Healthy Gums
All Natural Toothpaste
With real food already in play, we turned to our dental routine and switched to an all-natural toothpaste. We tried Earthpaste first, which is based on bentonite clay and contains no fluoride, glycerin, artificial colors, or foaming agents.
Earthpaste has just a few ingredients: clay, water, essential oils, real salt (for taste and minerals) and xylitol (for dental health and flavor). It’s safe enough to eat (which is a huge plus when you’re dealing with kids) and the customer reviews were raving. I hadn’t heard a single bad thing about it, so I figured it was worth a shot.
Brushing with Earthpaste is an entirely different experience than brushing with typical toothpaste.
First, it’s brown. To me, thinking that a brown toothpaste will clean your teeth is weird.
Second, it doesn’t foam. At all. It’s almost as if the toothpaste disappears after you’ve been brushing awhile… but you know it doesn’t because you haven’t swallowed it. It’s weird.
The strangest part though, is that it gave us the cleanest, freshest mouths we’d EVER had.
We were sold on that first brushing, and I threw out every other conventional tube of toothpaste in our house that weekend – including all the free samples we from dentists and mail-offers over the years – and never looked back.
Homemade Natural Toothpaste
We used Earthpaste faithfully for about nine months and even cut the ends off the tubes to scrape out every last bit. When we ran out, I tested the waters of making our own toothpaste using bentonite clay (the same clay that Earthpaste is made of) and we loved that version even more. It’s super easy to make, we can make it in any flavor we want (orange is my favorite – it tastes like an orange tic tac!) AND it costs 60% less.
In this time frame of using Earthpaste and eventually switching to our own homemade toothpaste, my husband worked on healing his gum disease naturally and we had some of my son’s cavities filled. We know that natural remedies for good health is more of a life-long commitment than an overnight fix, so we struck a balance by fixing immediate concerns now and implementing new routines for good dental health going forward.
Meanwhile, I stopped going to the dentist.
A Simple Daily Routine for Healthy Gums
Let me clarify. This wasn’t a conscious decision. This was more like the side-effect of being a busy work-at-home mom who homeschools her two children and juggles a full schedule on a weekly basis. Our dentist is 45 minutes away, and with a pretty full schedule as it is, no day was ever a good day to go to the dentist.
So I didn’t. I took my son to have his teeth cared for and I supported my husband in his quest to heal his mouth. All while mostly neglecting my own.
My Original Routine
For about two years, my dental routine consisted of faithfully brushing my teeth every morning with our homemade toothpaste. I brushed my teeth on the nights when there was just enough energy left to stand in front of the sink for two minutes… but that didn’t happen very often.
I flossed occasionally with non-fancy mint dental floss, but never enough for it to become a habit.
When my husband got his clean bill of health from the dentist, he told me it was my turn. I procrastinated, knowing that I hadn’t been taking care of my teeth as I should have and that my teeth were not in “going-to-the-dentist” shape. Plus there STILL was never a good time to spend half the day driving to and from the dentist with two kids in tow.
About six months later, when I still hadn’t made an appointment, Mr. Crumbs lovingly took matters into his own hands. He called the dentist, made an appointment for himself, and then immediately made an appointment for me too.
I was stunned. Shocked! Who does this man think he is, making a dentist appointment for me? Doesn’t he know that I’m too busy taking care of the house and the kids and this blog to go to the dentist?!
But I knew he was doing it for my own good, and my issue wasn’t with him – it was with me. I hadn’t been taking care of my own teeth and I didn’t want to confess this to the dentist.
Actually, I didn’t have to confess it. They’d take one look and see that the lack of effort I’d put into my mouth. It was embarrassing.
My Improved Routine
With the big appointment a month away, I finally put effort into my dental health.
- I brushed every morning and every night, still faithfully using my homemade toothpaste.
- I flossed on a daily basis, making sure to really get out all the particles stuck in between my teeth instead of a quick swipe of the floss.
- Sometimes I brushed a second time after flossing, just to be doubly sure my mouth was as clean as I could make it before bed.
And then the day came.
The hygienist asked me if I had been flossing regularly. I said yes, but that it was a fairly new habit. I confessed that I hadn’t flossed my teeth regularly for a long time.
She asked me more about my dental routine, and I told her about our homemade clay-based toothpaste. She smiled, and said she had only heard of one other person who made their own toothpaste.
The hygienist continued to clean my teeth, took x-rays and then called the dentist in.
I braced myself for bad news.
The Dentist’s Opinion
He took a look at the x-rays, looked in my mouth and said,
For someone who hasn’t been to the dentist in two years, your mouth looks pretty good! I don’t see any issues. We’ll see you again in six months!
I sat there with a huge smile on my face, feeling as if I just cheated death-by-cavity by the skin of my teeth.
No pun intended.
After the dentist had left, I asked the hygienist if she thought it was weird that I made my own toothpaste. Here’s what she said.
We have another patient whose teeth were in pretty bad shape and had gum disease. He used clay too, possibly packing it in his mouth or maybe in a toothpaste, and all of us in the office where shocked when he came back for his follow-up appointment and found no issues with his mouth. It was as if there was never a problem in the first place, which is practically impossible given how bad his mouth was.
That patient she was talking about? Was my husband!
Our Secret to Healthy Gums and Teeth
I admit that we’re not perfect in our dental routine. Some nights I go to bed without brushing my teeth.
If one of the kids moves the dental floss to the play kitchen… or to the pitched tent in the living room… or pretends it’s a present and wraps it in a box and puts it under the Christmas tree… I don’t necessarily muster the energy and go on a scavenger hunt for it that night.
I just go to bed.
But despite my shortcomings, I am convinced that bentonite clay has been pivotal in our dental health for two major reasons:
- The shape of the clay attracts toxins in two ways, through adsorption and absorption, and removes them from the mouth and body.
- It’s full of natural minerals, replenishing those lost in the daily grind and helping to restore the health of our teeth.
The fact that I didn’t go to the dentist for two years, neglected my teeth and gums and STILL didn’t have any cavities shows me that clay toothpaste is good for my dental health.
It also confirms what my gut tells me about fluoride not helping dental health: Conventional toothpastes don’t really help or heal or offer anything positive for teeth, and that the glycerin found in conventional toothpastes might actually prevent the teeth from healing, despite a real food diet.
Here’s the best part though: Bentonite clay is incredibly affordable.
Where to Find Bentonite Clay
One 10 oz tub will last you seemingly forever. I’ve had one jar for well over a year and I’ve made several batches of homemade toothpaste AND I’ve started adding bentonite clay to my homemade tinted moisturizer and powdered foundation. When the 10 oz tub is $10 or less (which happens pretty frequently), that’s your buy price. It’s SO much more affordable than buying toothpaste, and it’s multi-functional too!
In addition to the bentonite clay, all you need is water, xylitol, and essential oils! Find the full recipe HERE.
One thing to note: I get questions all the time about the Proposition 65 and lead warning labels on Redmond Clay. I did some research and found what they have to say about it. Check it out here.
What steps have you taken for natural dental health? Have you tried clay toothpaste before? How do you feel about fluoride, glycerin and typical conventional toothpastes?
More Ways to Heal & Care for Your Body Naturally, at Home
- Reset high blood pressure with a 10 day water fast
- Remove a Mole with Apple Cider Vinegar
- How to Heal a Spider Bite with a Potato
- Homemade face lotion bar
- Homemade Tinted Moisturizer
- DIY Homemade Facial Cleanser
- Heal acne naturally
- Homemade Powdered Foundation
- Heal gum disease naturally
- Homemade shampoo bar
- Homemade lip balm and lip scrub
This post is sponsored by Redmond Clay. Obviously, I love Redmond Clay and have been using their products in my home long before this blog was born. As always, I would never recommend anything on Crumbs that I wouldn’t recommend to a close friend or neighbor, and all opinions here are my own.
Hello Tiffany! I was trying to look up the recipe for your toothpaste that is like Earthpaste, but I keep receiving Error 404, when I click on the link. I really enjoyed your articles on the bentonite clay and your family’s experiences, and I would love to try your recipe, if it is still available. Thank you very much. Blessings to you and your family! :o)
Omg! This is amazing! I’m so glad I stumbled upon this post, as my gums have been in bad shape lately! I just started using natural ingredients hoping it would help! Im def going to order this bentonite clay and start making my own toothpaste, thank you for writing this!!!
I really enjoyed reading this article about using Bentonite clay and I myself have been making a lot of DIY hygienic products at home as well, I started with making hair DIY protein treatments to get my hair to stop shedding and braking off an then I went full on DIY crazy with anything else I could find to improving my overall health. I’m 27 years old and I spend all of my time at home pretty much every day. I currently am dealing with getting rid of my paridontal gum problem, since I got my braces off last year in 2017 so far the two teeth I have with small cavities or holes in them are now getting smaller an closing up which I’m happy about I think oil pulling helps out a lot with the majority of my teeth an gum problems I’m definitely glad I made bentonite clay one of my positive healthy changes. I do have an important questions I wanted to ask you about what kind of job do you have? An how did you find the right stay home job for you?
Hey Aysia! Teaching families how to eat healthy food on a budget, and how to afford a natural living lifestyle IS my job. I didn’t intend to make blogging and my course my income, but God’s plans are bigger than ours could ever be! ♥
I agree it’s good to put myself around like minded people I value an enjoy people like you because when it comes to life you get it💖 in the future I do plan on having kind of lifestyle that your currently live today.
Hello I did not find the recipe for your homemade paste. Can you please share?
SJ - Team Crumbs
Our recipe is https://dontwastethecrumbs.com/homemade-toothpaste-thats-just-like-earthpaste/. Enjoy!
Back in the day dentist used to do deep hand scaling. For many years now they just don’t do that anymore. I have had deep pockets for years and nothing being able to be done about it. I have been aware of bentonite Clay for quite a while. I finally sifted some clay, added water to make it the consistency of whole milk. I mouthwash with it twice a day for 10 minutes. I have been at it for two weeks now and I do know my teeth and gums feel really great. I really think I am onto something here.
I’m late to finding your blog, so I hope you’re still active at it. I came looking for other people who had gone the clay toothpaste route because I’m really discouraged at it. My story is like yours only backwards – we chose clay toothpaste for the whole family when my kids were still growing their first baby teeth. We eat what I’d consider a healthier-than-average, lots of whole foods diet and are pretty active and health conscious. I eat a low-carb diet and keep a close eye on what sugar my kids eat, opting for stevia whenever possible. I read heaps of info about Weston Price’s research and followed the Sally Fallon wisdom about properly preparing grains, if we were going to eat them, as best I could. Now my kids are 7 and 9 and a trip to the dentist (which I also procrastinated about) showed their teeth positively riddled with cavities and in need of 5 crowns in my daughter’s case. I feel horrible and so discouraged. She had to undergo two VERY costly appointments under sedation! I hated putting her through that. And now I find we’ll have to repeat it with my son. We switched back to fluoride toothpaste because I have no idea what’s going on and don’t want to risk this again. I’m so disappointed. I really wanted to avoid the SLS and fluoride and glycerine, and whatever else they’re putting in conventional products, but I feel I can’t continue with clay. If my kids continue on without developing more cavities, I’ll have to (sadly) chalk it up to an failed experiment. Hopefully the cavities don’t continue to develop anyway! Then I’d be devastated!
Hi Kelly! I want to encourage you, because making all the decisions as a parent as we try to do what’s best for our kids is not easy! Every mouth is different, and there are MUTLIPLE contributing factors to kids getting cavities. My kids are older and they get cavities too, despite doing “all the things” that we believe are correct! I 100% believe in doing what YOU think is best for your family, which may change over the years. If that includes going a more traditional route, then so be it. Don’t feel guilty for taking care of your family! ♥
I would love to connect with you about this. Please contact me if interested [email protected]. I am going through similar and would love to share my findings.
Kelly, I have no idea if you will see this but we had the same problem with my family. My kids have been using Earthpaste since they were 1 & 3. They mostly got good reports at the dentist. Most recently at ages 9 & 11 my daughter showed a ton of cavities and one tooth even needed to be pulled. This is with a holistic dentist. I am also so discouraged and now have no idea where to turn. They also seem to have pretty bad receding gums on the bottom front teeth. I was like you just trying to avoid those other items as well as my son had fluorosis when he was little while caused me to go this route. Now I feel like I ruined their teeth! I would love an update on your children…..
Really enjoy all your tips. I recently began making my own toothpaste with bentonite clay also, however, it seemed to irritate my gums. Is it the brand of clay, because I didn’t rinse my mouth afterward, or another ingrediant? I used the clay peppermint essential oil and avacado oil in place of the coconut oil that was suggested.
Hi Ruthie! I wouldn’t think the clay is what bothered your gums, but you can do an elimination test to see. Mix a small amount of clay (less than 1/4 tsp) w/water in your palm and brush your teeth. If there’s irritation, then it’s the clay. Otherwise, it’s something else in the recipe. How much peppermint EO did you use? Sometimes that can be irritating, depending on the brand and how much you use.
SOUNDS GREAT?…would love to try it….would you consider giving me your recipe? KATHY
Absolutely – here you go Kathy!
can you please post the recipe?? My teeth are horrible and I hate the dentist. This would be a huge help!
A whiter smile could be as easy as throwing out your old toothbrush. Replace a toothbrush every three months, or as soon as you see the majority of the bristles begin to bend and look worn down. After the bristles are worn down, your toothbrush isn’t cleaning your teeth properly.
Are you able to share the recipe that you make? I have had such dental issues and would love to try it! Thanks!
You have shared a lots of important secrets about healthy teeth gums. I like the way you have shared.
Hi there. I’ve been making my own toothpaste for about a year now. It all started because of an abcessed tooth. My dentist couldn’t get me in so I did research on natural remedies to help with the pain. I saw a pin on using Thieves oil. Worked like a charm and I’ve not been back to the dentist! Cleared the whole problem up. Anyway, that led me down the path of making my own toothpaste. My 1st one had the coconut oil, clay, xylitol, and essential oils. I make a different one now with out the coconut oil since it can clog pipes. Instead I do my oil pulling and then spit it out in the garbage instead of the sink or shower. (It might take awhile but sooner or later it will clog the pipes. Just a thought:) Then I use my toothpaste. I’ve seen a huge difference in my teeth. I won’t be going back to reg toothpaste!!
Do you have any concerns of clogged pipes using just the clay? I knew you couldn’t put the coconut oil down the drains, but wondered about the clay. I think I’m going to go back to oil pulling, and then using the clay toothpaste, too, since my oil and clay won’t stay mixed together.
Just tuning in to your website and am enjoying it very much! Check Azure Standard for bentonite clay – the 10 oz jar is less than 8 and 6 lbs is less tan $35!!
Wow – that’s a great deal! Thank you for sharing Tangela!
I love this! I have a tube of earth paste which I used once and wasn’t too keen on the texture etc. But this has inspired me to use that then make my own as you have done. I have holes in my teeth I know I hope I can heal them. I’m also a busy mum who avoids the dentist lol. I love your story about your clinic talking about your husband and his homemade toothpaste & healthy mouth. Thanks for sharing ☺️ Kelly
Thank you for leaving such a kind comment Kelly! You CAN heal your mouth, and clay toothpaste is a great start!!
Do you know if there is any concern with using bentonite clay while having amalgam fillings? Would the clay make the mercury leech out of the filings or would it just absorb all of it. Would it lead to additional mercury getting into my system? I have lots of filings from childhood and wouldn’t want to compound their toxicity on my system using something like this. Do you have any amalgam fillings?
Do you just dip your damp toothbrush into a small amount of bentonite clay and brush with it, or do you make a paste first?
I’ve been making my own toothpaste for about 8 years now, I started out with a baking soda/salt combo, then I added in bentonite clay, and now I have added coconut oil as well. I don’t go to the dentist often, but they always comment on my teeth – asking if I have them professionally cleaned (never have), and saying how healthy my mouth is. No fillings in that time and my teeth are quite pitted and were susceptible to cavities.
Homemade is the way to go (and also means I can have clove and orange flavour)
I tried mixing coconut oil with the bentonite clay, salt, and EO, but found the coconut oil kept separating out. I had put my toothpaste in a nice squeeze tube, so it was frustrating that it didn’t stay mixed. Have you had that problem?
I was having issues with sensitivity, mostly to cold. I was already using a natural toothpaste so I switched to one for sensitivity. My teeth were still hurting so I tried making my own toothpaste with bentonite clay. Now my teeth are whiter, shinier and the sensitivity is gone. I have my checkup soon, so we will see how that goes. But I’m pleased so far. Thanks for this blog post, it’s what made me decide to get he clay and try making my own.
Can you recommend any other brands of Tea Tree oil other than YL. My little one breaks out in hives with tea tree oil from YL. Oddly enough this doesn’t happen with the NOW brand. The only reason I ask for another brand is my local health food is out of stock of the NOW brand but has may other brands. Just trying to get a recommendation for any other brand.
Hi Kildan! I’ve had great experience with Spark Naturals (just poor customer service). Tea tree oil is one of the most commonly produced essential oils. If your little oil can’t tolerate YL, I would experiment (and research!) a few of the other brands you can find locally!