Is It Safe To Use Homemade Toothpaste?

From exfoliating your skin with homemade sugar scrubs to de-puffing your eyes with cucumbers, DIY projects can be fun to experiment with, especially when they're safe and they actually work. One popular DIY project is using natural ingredients to make your own toothpaste. According to Healthline, making your own toothpaste lets you control what's in it, minimize plastic waste, customize the flavor and texture, and save money.

The drawbacks? You have to purchase your own supplies and you may be relying on toothpaste recipes that have potentially harmful ingredients like hydrogen peroxide or apple cider vinegar. Not to mention, homemade toothpaste doesn't contain fluoride, so the American Dental Association (ADA) doesn't consider it safe. Dr. Hamid Mirsepasi, a dentist in Texas, told Healthline that fluoride can help strengthen the enamel and prevent tooth decay. He also says to keep in mind that just because ingredients are natural, it doesn't mean they're safe for teeth.

Toothpaste recipes that are safe to try

Though these methods aren't endorsed by the American Dental Association (ADA), Healthline says these recipes are safe to experiment with for cleaning and whitening your teeth. One recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of baking soda and a small amount of water. Exactly how much water you use depends on the texture you're going for. A 2017 study in The Journal of the American Dental Association has stated that baking soda is safe. They also noted that it kills germs and is a gentle abrasive.

Coconut oil pulling is also safe. Technically, it's not a toothpaste, but swishing a small amount of oil in your mouth for up to 20 minutes each day may have benefits, according to WebMD. In fact, a 2015 study published in the Nigerian Medical Journal found that oil pulling with coconut oil led to reduced plaque around the seven day mark.

Byrdie recommends a toothpaste recipe that incorporates both coconut oil and baking soda and a few other natural ingredients for flavor. Start by mixing 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of xylitol in a bowl with a wooden spoon or spatula. Next, fold in 4 tablespoons of coconut oil and 1 drop of peppermint oil. Mix it all together and store it in an airtight glass container.

Making homemade toothpaste can be a fun DIY project, but as it's not recommended by all dentists, it's up to the individual to decide if they want to use it.