Remineralizing Tooth Powder with Cloves


Did you know that toothpaste is considered to be both a cosmetic and a drug by the FDA?[1] 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. [2]

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.[3]

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.[4] 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.”[5] 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.[6] 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[7] 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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

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!

[2] 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.
[5] 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.
[7] 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.

I Drink Mud

Everyone knows that mud masks and mud baths are fantastic for keeping your skin looking clear and youthful, but most of you I'm guessing, don't mix up the left over mask from your bowl and drink it. Am I right?

Clay has been used medicinally for as long as medicine has been around. In Ancient Egypt it was used by Cleopatra to preserve her complexion, by their physicians to treat intestinal problems as well as being used to preserve mummiesGeophagia (eating earth or soil like substances) has been found in almost all tribal communities.

In her book Nourishing Traditions*, Sally Fallon discusses using clay internally as a way to supplement trace minerals (in addition to mineral water, nutrient dense foods and beverages like bone broth) and as a detox:

"Analysis of clays from Africa, Sardinia and California reveals that clay can provide a variety of macro-and trace minerals including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc.138 Clay also contains aluminum, but silicon, present in large amounts in all clays, prevents absorption of this toxic metal and actually helps the body eliminate aluminum that is bound in the tissues.139...

Clay particles, defined as having a size less than 1-2 microns, have a very large surface area relative to their size. They carry a negative electric charge and can attract positively charged pathogenic organisms along with their toxins and carry them out of the body,140 Thus, clay compounds not only provide minerals but also can be used as detoxifying agents. As such, they facilitate assimilation and can help prevent intestinal complaints, such as food poisoning and diarrhea. They also will bind with antinutrients found in plant foods, such as bitter tannins, and prevent their absorption."

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.

I personally have had times when I ate something that was questionable and ended up with an upset stomach, at which point I drank a bit of clay in water and very quickly felt relief. I have also used clay for myself and both of my children to help with constipation. While I haven't done any reading this particular area, I have found when I ingest something that doesn't typically do well with my guts (gluten for example) I find the effects to be very mild if I drink a bit of clay, less bloating, etc. I also use the clay as a way to prevent illness if we come in contact with a stomach bug or sick kids at a park. I ask the boys to "Drink your dirt!" and they actually like it!

There is clay in our toothpaste* (as well as my toothpowder recipe), in my shampoo* and it is always in my first aid kit. Strange rashes, bee stings, bug bites...clay is always my first line of defense. I recently had a friend over and her son got a bee sting while standing in my son's bedroom (we think it stowed away on his sweater) I grabbed the clay, mixed it in to a paste with water and as we put it on his finger, we could actually see the sting site start to bubble as the venom was drawn out of the wound. My son had some mysterious night time bug bites a few weeks ago and to relieve the itching I grabbed our toothpaste* (since it was the middle of the night) rubbed it all over the bites and he was able to stop itching and get some sleep.

As a beauty treatment I use a clay mask once ever week or two. My skin always feels fresh and clean and I notice less dark circles and puffiness under my eyes when I wake up. I occasionally will get dry patches on my forehead (usually after drinking too much coffee...) and find that the morning after using a mud mask the dry patches and redness have gone, my skin feels smooth and looks clear. Then I mix the remnants of the clay with water and drink it up!

There are a few options out there for clay to use internally and externally. The one I use Aztec Secret* Bentonite Clay (I'm sure you've seen it at Whole Foods). Our toothpaste is made by Redmond Clay, and while I haven't tried their clay personally (they also sell capsules of clay to take internally), I have read great things about it and never mind if my children swallow their toothpaste!

How do you use your clay?

*The links included in this posts are affiliate links, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything from this company. I only recommend products that I use or have personal experience with. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to*

I Wash My Face With Oil

Would you eat your face wash? Over the past few years I have been trying to follow the rule: if I wouldn't put it in my mouth, I won't put it on my body. Have you ever tried the trick where you rub garlic on your foot, or tape it to your wrist and you get garlic breath? Our skin absorbs everything that we put on it and can affect our bodies internally as well.

Chris Kresser recently wrote a series on Toxic Skincare Products where he discusses the dangers of many common ingredients we find in skincare products available today. While so many people today are trying to eat organic, non-GMO and eliminating processed foods, they are still using Oil of Olay and Ponds on their face. In his article Chris talks about our skin having a microbiome, similar to our digestive system. When this microbiome is compromised by antibacterial soaps, or hand sanitizer, we loose the natural resistance our skin provides us against bad bacteria.

I had horrible skin all through junior high and high school (I also had a horrible vegetarian diet, that directly contributed to that skin, but that is another story). I remember my mom taking me to get facials, do skin peels, all sorts of fancy masks, different types of cleanser and nothing made a difference until I stopped washing my face. When I was about 20 I stopped using moisturizer or face wash all together, but continued to just use water and do a mask or scrub every week or two. I had the best skin I had had in years (a better diet too, but not by much). 

When I heard about the OCM it made a lot of sense to me since I had gone a few years with no face wash. The concept is: like dissolves like. So if your skin has oil on it, using oil on yours skin will help to remove that oil as well as the dirt that is caked in to your pores. By not stripping your face of it's natural oils you are also preventing wrinkles and sun damage! I love how my face feels when it is freshly cleaned with the OCM. The whole process is very spa like. Another bonus is that I find I can actually go a day or two without washing my face, as long as I haven't used any of my home-made face powder on those days. Being a busy mom of two young boys getting to skip a personal care step and still feel clean and fresh is lovely!

How to wash your face with the Oil Cleansing Method:


  • Oil or oil blend that works well with your skin type (the wellnessmama has a good outline of different blends for different skin types). I use an avocado/almond blend

  • Soft wash cloth

  • Hot water (hot enough to steam and soften the oil, but careful not to burn yourself!)


  1. Place a small amount of oil on your fingertips (about a dime, a little goes a long way).

  2. Rub oil on to your face. The more you rub, the more dirt you break up, spend extra time on problem areas.

  3. Soak your washcloth in your extra hot water. Wring out the excess water

  4. Place the washcloth over your face and let it steam open your pores until it cools down, then wipe off the oil.

  5. Rinse out your wash cloth with very hot water

  6. Repeat step 4 at least once, twice of you still feel oily.

  7. Your skin should feel clean and lovely!

Let me know how it works if you try it!