Did you know that toothpaste is considered to be both a cosmetic and a drug by the FDA? I often talk about not putting things on my body that I would not want to put in my mouth, but when it comes to conventional toothpaste, I don’t want to put in my mouth what wouldn’t put on my skin.
Tooth powder is an extremely economical and non-toxic alternative to toothpaste. You can mix and match ingredients to your taste preference. My favorite combo so far has been the following:
Remineralizing Tooth Powder with Cloves
4 tbs Bentonite Clay
2 tbs Calcium Carbonate
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp unrefined salt
½ tsp clove powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp activated charcoal
Sift all ingredients and pour into a small jar. To use: wet toothbrush, dip in powder and brush on teeth as usual.
(Some people add stevia for sweetness, but the cinnamon and cloves are sweet enough for me. I have also seen essential oils suggested, but make sure you do your research on the safety of the oil before you use it internally)
The main ingredient in toothpaste that triggers it for FDA approval is fluoride. The claim is that fluoride prevents cavities, but the data does not back up the claim. In fact, fluoride seems to do more harm then good. There have been many large studies world wide that have shown no difference in tooth decay with fluoridated drinking water and even the American Dental Association has published data showing similar results. 
In his book Cure Tooth Decay Ramiel Nagel says about fluoride: “Fluoride is an enzyme and hormone inhibitor, affecting the nervous system as well as digestion. Fluoride is the major cause of brittle bones and teeth, and is responsible for causing mottled enamel, producing white, light gray or brown spots on the teeth. Fluoride actually alters the natural biological creation of tooth enamel and creates false, more brittle tooth enamel (which now contains fluorapatite)… Fluoride may cause brain and kidney damage, a decrease in I.Q., and may cross the placental barrier in pregnant women. Water fluoridation has also been linked to cancer.”
Have you read the warning on a box of toothpaste recently?
Allergens & Warnings: Keep out of reach of children under 6 yrs. of age. If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.
Fluoride is the reason toothpaste needs a warning label, however, it is not the only reason to avoid conventional toothpaste. Glycerin, sodium laurel sulfate, titanium dioxide, sorbitol, saccharin, sodium hydroxide and propylene glycol are common ingredients in toothpaste.
Glycerin is added to toothpaste to prevent it from drying out, but it also coats your teeth and create a barrier that prevents your teeth from being re-mineralized by the mineral content of your saliva.
Sodium Laurel Sulfate is a foaming agent that strips surfaces of oil. Most of us are so used to the idea that foaming = cleaning, but removing oils are not necessary for a healthy mouth and can be harmful.
Titanium Dioxide is a pigment that is commonly used in paint and paper and exposure has been linked to cancer.
Sorbitol and Saccharin are artificial sweeteners that should be avoided in food as well as topical application.
Sodium Hydroxide is a highly caustic substance that is used to neutralize acids and make sodium salts. Let’s rub it on our teeth! (jk, let’s not)
Propylene Glycol is a preservative and a solvent that lowers the freezing point of water. The toxicity of propylene glycol is debated.
Now that we know what ingredients we want to avoid putting on our teeth. Let’s look at what we do want to put on our teeth. Here is some background on the ingredients I like to use when making my tooth powder.
Bentonite Clay – In Nourishing Traditions Sally Fallon says: “clay particles carry a negative electric charge and attract positively charged pathogenic organisms along with their toxins and carry them out of the body. Clay compounds not only provide minerals, but also can be used as detoxifying agents. They will also bind with antinutrients found in plant foods such as bitter tannins and prevent their absorption.” The mineral content of clay can aid in the re-mineralization of teeth.
Calcium Carbonate – Aids in the strengthening and remineralization of teeth.
Baking Soda – Studies have shown toothpaste with baking soda whitens teeth better than toothpaste that does not. It deodorizes and is slightly abrasive which aids in the removal of tartar and build up. Sometimes I find baking soda to be too abrasive and will leave it out of my mix every other batch of tooth powder I make.
Unrefined Salt – Truly unrefined sea salt contains sodium chloride, macro-minerals, magnesium and about 80 trace minerals In Cure Tooth Decay Ramiel Nagel discusses the use of unrefined salt to prevent and reduce most tooth and gum disease and prevent bad breath.
Clove Powder – Cloves were historically used to freshen breath in originating in ancient China over 2000 years ago. Clove oil contains eugenol which is responsible for the analgesic and anti-inflammatory affects of clove. Dentist today use clove oil as an analgesic.
Ground Cinnamon – Cinnamon has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. It is also used as an analgesic and has antioxidant properties.
Activated Charcoal – A fine black powder that is odorless and tasteless. It binds to chemicals and toxins to move them safely through the body. Activated Charcoal binds to tannins which helps to whiten teeth (particularly helpful if you drink wine, coffee or tea), but does not bind to beneficial minerals like calcium and iron.
Since using my tooth powder my teeth are less sensitive and parts where they were my gums were receding have started to heal. I love how clean my teeth and mouth feel after I use the powder. It is like a spa day for my teeth.
Have you used tooth powder? Let me know your experience!
 Nagel, Ramiel (2010-11-01). Cure Tooth Decay: Heal And Prevent Cavities With Nutrition - Limit And Avoid Dental Surgery and Fluoride [Second Edition] 5 Stars (Kindle Locations 3647-3650). Rami Nagel. Kindle Edition.
 Fallon, Sally (1999-10-01). Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (p. 41). National Book Network - A. Kindle Edition.
 Fallon, Sally; Enig, Mary. Nourishing Traditions:The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (pp. 48-49). National Book Network - A. Kindle Edition.