I’ve had quite a few requests for a tooth powder recipe (Megan, Stefanie, Christina, Cristina, and Kristen—thanks!). Some referenced a particular store bought product, while others just wanted my take on natural tooth care. This Peppermint Tooth Powder is what I came up with.
I actually devised this before heading to Costa Rica for a month earlier this year. I was trying to fly carry-on only, and one of the best ways to do that is to drop all liquids from your bag. This inspired both my powdered acidic hair rinse and this tooth powder.
For research I perused a wide variety of different toothpaste/powder recipes, compiled a master list of ingredients that I could use, threw in some extra for good measure, and then pared it down to seven pretty simple ingredients.
The bulk of the tooth powder is cleansing clay. I went for a blend of detoxifying bentonite and gentle kaolin. I did a batch that was entirely bentonite, and I found it to be a bit irritating (though my mouth is on the more sensitive side).
Up next is a bit of baking soda, some highly absorbent activated charcoal, and some calcium carbonate for a bit of gentle scrubbing power. I kept the amount of baking soda low as I’ve heard some dentists don’t recommend baking soda anymore as it can be too abrasive. Feel free to drop it if you like. In the past I’ve made calcium carbonate by grinding up clean egg shells, but I don’t recommend that here. I can never get egg shells ground finely enough to use in tooth powder, so unless you love the sensation of rubbing sand across your gums, I recommend using a store bought tablet or powder instead.
For flavour, I’ve added a bit of ground cinnamon (tastes good and has antibacterial properties!) and some sweetening stevia powder.
The final tooth powder tastes salty (thanks to the baking soda) and slightly cinnamony. Brushing with it isn’t like using toothpaste—it’s rather powdery (duh, haha) and scrubby. You’ll be spitting black from the activated charcoal, but your teeth will feel wonderfully clean. I will admit that I still alternate in my store bought toothpaste as I’m afraid my toothpaste is missing something I really need for good oral hygiene, and I don’t really want to take my chances given the price of dental care.
I no longer recommend using this formula; I am concerned it could damage tooth enamel as bentonite clay is harder than enamel.
Peppermint Tooth Powder
1 tbsp bentonite clay
1 tbsp white kaolin clay
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp activated charcoal
2 tsp calcium carbonate
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp powdered stevia leaf (my powder is green—use far less if yours is a refined version)
10 drops peppermint essential oil
Pop all the powdered ingredients into your DIY coffee grinder and blitz everything to a fine powder (you may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your grinder). To incorporate the peppermint essential oil, scatter the drops over the top of some powder in your coffee grinder and blend the drops into the powder.
If the inside of your grinder is metal, I recommend leaving the bentonite clay out of the grind and stirring it in afterwards as you want to avoid bentonite clay coming into contact with metal to keep it as effective as possible.
Store the powder in a glass or plastic container (avoid metal because of the bentonite).
To use, wet your toothbrush, dip it into the powder, and brush as usual. Rinse thoroughly and enjoy those clean chompers!
If you want to swap out the peppermint essential oil for something else, feel free, but take care not to use anything that’s toxic or highly irritating. Examples of essential oils to avoid include tea tree and wintergreen.