Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Arrowroot Toothpaste

I have been using my homemade toothpaste and loving it, but a few months ago a friend of mine suggested finding an alternative to coconut oil. He didn't think it was necessarily bad, but wondered if there was something different I could use both because he wasn't convinced he wanted to brush his teeth with an oil and because of the cost of coconut oil.

After some searching I discovered this Sage Mint Toothpaste Recipe. The recipe called for arrowroot powder and orris root powder, two ingredients I had never heard of. After some more Internet searching I learned that arrowroot powder is a thickening agent, kind of like corn starch, and orris root is a fixative. Feeling that I didn't need both of these ingredients, I decided to only purchase arrowroot. I was also unhappy with the Sage Mint Toothpaste recipe, because while mint is great for your breath and sage is great for your gums, it didn't really have a cleaning agent. My previous recipe used baking soda, which is known both as a teeth whitener and cleaner.

With that information in mind, I created the following recipe. While I liked the coconut oil recipe and also used just baking soda, sage and mint, I think the arrowroot cuts the salty taste of the baking soda which makes this one my favorite so far.

1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/4 cup baking soda
1 tbsp sage
peppermint oil
1/4 cup water

Mix arrowroot, baking soda and sage. Then add peppermint oil drop by drop. I added 20 drops because I like my toothpaste strong, but I recommend starting with 10 and adding more until you find a balance you like.

If you have a large family or will be using the toothpaste frequently, mix in the water while stirring. The mixture will become a paste, which should be stored in an airtight container.

While the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of water, mix the water in slowly and stop when the toothpaste has reached a consistency that you like. If you put too much water, it will separate as it sits, but it can easily be stirred back together. [You can also omit the water and just leave the mixture in powder form and just dip your clean, wet toothbrush into it before brushing].

That's it! Just stick your clean toothpaste in whenever you need some or have a spoon or scoop next to the bottle that you can use to apply the toothpaste to your toothbrush.

If you're like me and live in a small family and don't need as much toothpaste, you can take 1/4 cup of the mixture you've just created and mix it with 1-2 tablespoons of water (depending on how thick you want the paste). Store the remaining 1/4 cup of powder in a container and mix with 2 tablespoon of water whenever you need more toothpaste.

If you're like my husband and you're not yet convinced about using homemade toothpaste, check back in a month. I have a dentist appointment at the end of April and will let you know what he has to say about my teeth and my new brushing regimen!

Update April 2012: The Dentist Visit
I just had my dentist appointment and it was the quickest, most painless visit ever! 
Of course the hygienist did tell me I should floss more often, but that is because in an effort to really compare my home made toothpaste to the store-bought kind, I chose not to change anything else, which included my less-than-perfect flossing routine. Nonetheless, she actually told me my teeth and gums look great and the dentist said the same thing! My husband's still sticking to Tom's, but I love this toothpaste! 


  1. Thanks for this recipe, Gabi. I've been looking around for homemade toothpaste recipes, and this one looks great. I'll look forward to hearing about what your dentist says in a month.

    1. Thanks Melissa! I am looking forward to what the dentist says too!
      Unlike the coconut oil toothpaste (I added a link to it in the post), I have noticed that this version separates and needs to be stirred before use, which isn't ideal. It's not too bad for me, because I use a little spoon to put it on my toothbrush.
      Now I wonder if the orris root addition would stop the separation since that's a fixative. I had hoped to keep the recipe as simple as possible, but am going to try to get my hands on some orris root to see if that reduces the separation.

  2. I decided to use the same recipe I use for home made deodorant as toothpaste. Works great. 1/2 cup of coconut oil, 1/4 cup of arrowroot and 1/8 cup of baking soda. As a deodorant, I have been using it for over Two years. As a toothpaste, I just started this week. I used only coconut oil, but needed to try something that would also whiten. Hope this works.

    1. alicia - tyvm .. u just answered my question .. i use that recipe for deodorant too and figured, whilst searching the internet, that it was mainly the same recipe for toothpaste .. off to make a jar :)