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Last week we talked about DIY Peppermint Mouthwash, and in that post, I mentioned that we love to use a tooth powder here in our house. As promised, I am sharing our tooth powder recipe with you today! When I made my first batch of tooth powder, about 6 months back, I was looking to try something new and herbal. After reading through one of my Rosemary Gladstar books, I decided I wanted to try out a tooth powder.
The idea sounded fairly easy to make and use. I must admit, going from toothpaste to a tooth powder, I was a little apprehensive about brushing my teeth...with mud. The first time that I used my tooth powder, I was most definitely weirded out. It even LOOKS like you are brushing your teeth with mud...but please don't let that detour you! Seriously, once you get past the fact that you no longer need foaming soapy bubbles in your mouth, and realize how fresh and clean your mouth is, you will be hooked on tooth powder!
Ingredients for a healthier mouth
Most people are quite aware of the use of baking soda in oral health care (I even use it in my homemade toothpaste recipe), but there are many other natural and effective herbal remedies to use alongside baking soda, for a fresher and cleaner mouth.
- Bentonite clay - Rich in bone feeding minerals such as calcium and potassium, bentonite clay is a fabulous non-toxic teeth cleaner! Not only can you take bentonite clay internally for detoxifying purposes, but the high mineral content that this clay contains also helps to re-mineralize the teeth! NOTE: Do not house this in anything metal (including the lid) or use metal utensils when using bentonite clay. Bentonite clay is negatively charged (the reason it's able to absorb and purify toxins in the body) and when it touches metal, the positive charge deactivates some of its amazing benefits.
- Myrrh gum powder - This highly antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic gum resin has been used for centuries to heal many different diseases, but one thing that it is well known to help with is dental care! Using Myrrh in your tooth care routine can help to prevent gingivitis, heal all sorts of gum problems, and is known to be an immune booster.
- Peppermint leaf - The use of mint in oral hygiene is actually rather new. Over time, many cultures used what was around them in their natural habitats for breath fresheners and tooth scrubs (i.e. parsley, rosemary, sage, fennel seeds, cardamom, star anise, clove, etc.) but the idea to use mint came about with the introduction of toothpaste in the late 1800s. Peppermint leaf is a known digestive aid, making a cup of peppermint tea do double duty when you drink it after dinner!
- Whole cloves - Highly anti-fungal and antibacterial, this fragrant and spicy herb is well known in the dental world. It's known to help relieve tooth and gum pain and is even used in teething oils for babies.
- Baking soda - A wonderful abrasive to help clean teeth, baking soda has many benefits to using it in oral health care. Baking soda not only helps to clean teeth but can be used, dissolved in water, as a mouthwash as well.
- Xylitol - According to xylitol.org “research done in widely different conditions confirms that xylitol use significantly reduces tooth decay rates both in high-risk groups (high caries prevalence, poor nutrition, and poor oral hygiene) and in low-risk groups (low caries incidence using all current prevention recommendations).” Note - Keep out of reach of DOGS and CATS. Xylitol is TOXIC to DOGS and CATS.
Why a tooth powder over a toothpaste?
Tooth powders have actually been around a lot longer than toothpaste. Many ancient peoples used to cleanse their teeth by chewing on chalk and clays. This eventually evolved into a tooth powder, and now today with all of our herbal knowledge, they are easily adapted for oral health and hygiene.
The great thing about a tooth powder is that it does not change its state depending on the weather, it's very easy to take with you in a small jar no matter where you might be traveling to, and it keeps for longer than toothpaste because it's made with dry ingredients. You can even combine this recipe with coconut oil for a remineralizing toothpaste if you just can't handle the powder.
Remineralizing Herbal Tooth Powder
- 1 cup bentonite clay
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 2 Tbsp. myrrh gum powder
- 2 Tbsp. finely ground peppermint leaf powder
- 2 Tbsp. ground stevia leaf
- 2 Tbsp. finely ground xylitol powder (optional - can be substituted for stevia leaf powder )
- 5-10 drops peppermint essential oil
- Grind your herbs and xylitol into a smooth powder. Combine all of the powdered ingredients and then mix in essential oils. I personally find it easiest to mix the essential oils in with my fingers. Store in a mason jar with a plastic lid. (I use these.)
- To use, apply a small amount of tooth powder to your toothbrush, wet gently with a few drops of water and brush teeth normally as you would with toothpaste. Rinse well. (I usually get a couple drops of water on my toothbrush just to get it wet, then dip it gently into the powder and then get a couple more drops of water onto my brush to wet the powder completely. Then I brush away!)
- Follow with your homemade mouthwash!
Alternate flavor choices
You don't have to use peppermint flavor for your tooth powder flavoring! There are all kinds of flavor options, simply replace the herb and essential oils in the recipe with one of these options:
- Spearmint - spearmint leaf and spearmint essential oil
- Minty Fresh - (1/2 each) spearmint leaf and peppermint leaf, spearmint essential oil and peppermint essential oil
- Peppermint Sage - (1/2 each) peppermint leaf and sage leaf, peppermint essential oil and sage essential oil
- Cinnamon & Cloves - clove powder, cinnamon essential oil (6 drops) and clove bud essential oil (2 drops)
- Cinnamint Spice - (1/2 of each) clove powder and peppermint leaf powder, peppermint essential oil (8 drops) and cinnamon leaf essential oil (2 drops)
- Oranges & Clove - orange peel powder and clove powder, sweet orange essential oil (8 drops) and clove bud essential oil (2 drops)
- Citrus Mint - orange peel powder and spearmint leaf powder, sweet orange essential oil (3 drops), grapefruit essential oil (3 drops), and spearmint essential oil (4 drops)
- Vanilla Mint - peppermint leaf powder, peppermint essential oil, and vanilla extract
- Rosemary Lime - lime peel powder and rosemary leaf powder, lime essential oil (6 drops) and rosemary essential oil (2 drops rosemary essential oil
- Citrus - Any single or combination of citrus peel powder, sweet orange essential oil (3 drops), grapefruit essential oil (3 drops), and lemon essential oil (3 drops)