Recently, Piper and Londyn (my two littles) discovered the great joy of playing together in Piper’s room. The whole twenty minutes of pure silence, kids nicely playing together, is the perfect time for this mom to warm that cup of coffee I never finished this morning and sit. At least for a few minutes, uninterrupted.

A couple of months ago, the normal twenty minutes of play was extended. Not by my doing, but the kids seemed to be really enjoying their time together. Check-in or sit and savor the last few drops of coffee?  As any practical mom would do, I raised my voice enough to be heard from the bottom of the stairs, “Are you two okay up there?” Silence. I put down the coffee (it was hard) and walked upstairs. I quietly peeked down the hall and saw her, covered, mouth full of pink paste.

Londyn had successfully broken away from playtime with Piper, wondered into the bathroom, and grabbed the bottle of kid-friendly “natural” toothpaste. The bright pink color and strawberry-flavor was just too appealing for a two year-old. And when anything is that appealing, much like chocolate, the only logical thing is to attempt to eat and cover yourself with the entire tube. I caught her just in time, most of the paste covered her body and the sticky hand-printed walls.  I’m sure she ingested a small amount too. The idea of a child loving toothpaste so much that she viewed it as an edible treat, candy, terrified me.

Homemade Chemical-Free Kid Toothpaste. A homemade toothpaste for kids. Homemade kid toothpaste is easy to make and actually tastes good.

I’ve been making and using homemade toothpaste for over a year. I’ve noticed an incredible difference in my dental health. Ditching the commercial paste has proven to be a wise decision. My kids are less than fond of my homemade concoction.  The taste is “too hot” for their liking. (“Too hot” is Piper’s way of saying a food is too salty.) With the desire to make brushing teeth an enjoyable experience, I’ve been buying a popular “natural” brand of toothpaste: pink, strawberry-flavored, and super kid-friendly. Never giving thought to homemade “kid” toothpaste until Londyn’s scary toothpaste adventure.

Today, my kids use homemade toothpaste. A recipe very similar to my peppermint paste, but made kid-friendlier. So, what’s different? In the kid-friendlier recipe, I omit the salt and use less baking soda, reducing the salty taste. My kids aren’t a fan of peppermint, so I turn to a kid-friendly and safe essential oil, sweet orange. The addition of stevia adds a bit of sweetness, just enough to make teeth-time enjoyable.  A recipe I can feel good about my kids using without the temptation of viewing toothpaste as edible candy.

Homemade Chemical-Free Kid Toothpaste. A homemade toothpaste for kids. Homemade kid toothpaste is easy to make and actually tastes good.

Do I guarantee your kids will love this paste? No, I don’t. In fact, if your kids are used to processed, overly- sweetened paste adorned with lovable cartoon characters, it will take effort and time to get used to a homemade version. In the beginning my kids were skeptical. How did I transition them from pink slime to homemade paste? Here are a few tips:

1. Transition Slowly. My kids weren’t keen on the whole cold-turkey thing. I started putting a small amount of homemade paste on their toothbrush, followed by the commercial paste on top. Slowly, every couple of days, I decreased the amount of commercial toothpaste, adding more homemade paste. Eventually, the commercial paste was no longer needed. They also stopped trying to eat or “drink” the toothpaste once the transition took place. Toothpaste is now viewed a something we use to brush our teeth, not a treat.

2. Squeeze Bottles. I recently learned about these GoToob squeeze bottles. They’re amazing! I was hesitant to spend the money, but I’m glad I did. They’re soft and squeezable, very similar to a toothpaste tube. I bought the three pack, one for the kids’ toothpaste, one for mine, and the extra for homemade lotion. The squeezeableness (shhh, let’s pretend that’s a word) of the tube makes homemade toothpaste much more desirable for my kids. I think they feel “normal.”

3. Make it Together. Just like real food, getting your kids involved in the process of creating is always a win. This recipe is simple enough kids can assist in the making.

Homemade Chemical-Free Kid Toothpaste. A homemade toothpaste for kids. Homemade kid toothpaste is easy to make and actually tastes good.

4.92 from 12 votes

Homemade Kid Toothpaste

A homemade toothpaste even the kids will like. Made with simple, natural ingredients.
Kristin Marr
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course DIY, Homemade
Cuisine Beauty, Body
Servings 2 oz

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a medium-size bowl, combine the coconut oil, baking soda, and clay. Mix thoroughly.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients and mix.
  • Store in a jar or for squeezable toothpaste, use these.
  • Note: When mixing bentonite clay, please use a wood or plastic spoon. Bentonite clay should not come in contact with metal because it deactivates the clay.
  • The consistency of this recipe can vary depending on the temperature where the toothpaste is stored, due to the nature of coconut oil. This toothpaste isn't meant to be stored long-term, so I recommend making small batches frequently.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

I’m sure someone will ask about baking soda being abrasive. I personally, after much reading, feel safer using baking soda than commercial toothpaste. It’s much less abrasive than commercial toothpaste, even the organic options. You can read more information and view a chart here.  Also, if you’d like to skip homemade toothpaste and purchase a “cleaner” store-bought option, I love Nature’s Gate or Earthpaste (both are available at health food stores, or online).

125 Comments

  1. Great idea for kids! I like to use this recipe for adults. Would adding 15 drops of trace minerals be to much to add to the recipe, still using the bentonite clay? It has more minerals than the bentonite clay.

  2. The Redmond Bentonite Clay now reads on its label: “This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

    The only ingredient is bentonite clay powder.

    This doesn’t seem like a same ingredient at all to be giving to kids!

  3. Thank you for this post, and the recipe! My son swallows the toothpaste when brushing his teeth and, much like your children, loves the sweet taste so much that he would like to eat it straight from the tube. I buy a good brand (as few decent ingredients as possible) but it is sweetened with xylitol and his doctor said xylitol may be harmful to the gut. (We are in the midst of healing my son’s gut.) I also know that xylitol is used in toothpaste because of its anti-cavity properties. Sooo, finding one without has proved impossible. So, here I am searching the internet for DIY versions, minus the xylitol. I really appreciate you sharing your recipe and your story around the transition.

    1. Hey Summer, Is it really cold in your home? That’s probably the issue–the coconut oil oil super solid. You can try running warm water over the tubes, or placing them in a bowl of hot water. See if that helps loosen the toothpaste.

  4. Thanks for the recipe! I ditched store bought toothpaste about two years ago, and have tried a few different recipes (all bentonite clay based), and I always go back to this one.
    I have however made a few modifications; I simply left out the baking soda and the salt because they can be abrasive on teeth (I think the clay and a good scrubbing toothbrush do a good job at this already).
    It so happens that I went to the dentist just last week, after not having gone for at least a year and a half. Is nervous about telling him about not using a conventional toothpaste. But when i told him that I’ve been making my own toothpaste – though he didn’t let me explain – he said whatever I’m doing is working, and to keep at it; that made me feel confident about my decision to leave out the salt and soda.
    I found since xylitol at a local Amish market, so I will be adding that to my next batch.
    I have a couple questions:
    1: You mentioned in a comment that the shelf life is about 6 months. Since salt naturally lengthens shelf life, and I omitted the salt, what would you say is the shelf life without it?
    2: The flavor of the essential oils I use in every batch I’ve made and in every recipe I’ve tried – I use a combination of peppermint and orange – fades after only a few days. I know the oils I am using are 100% pure, I’ve never doubted that for the five + years I’ve been buying from this company. I don’t want to add more because I already use a 1% dilution as should be for daily use. So why do you think this happens?
    Thanks again!

    1. Hey Tiffany,

      That’s awesome!

      1. I would use it within a couple of months. Maybe even store it in the fridge, just to be safe.

      2. Maybe the essential oils evaporate? Maybe make smaller batches, more often, so the essential oils don’t fade.

  5. Hi! I tried making this toothpaste yesterday and it tasted so salty! I followed the recipe closely, not sure what I did wrong. Is it supposed to taste this way?? Maybe I need to use less baking soda?

  6. This great. I enjoyed the comments when i pop in here. Fortunately I am in to coconut toothpaste business and coconut related products.If interested, you could be connected with me via ; laurarhyan@gmail.com.
    Thanks for the chance Marr

  7. Just thought you should know that GoTubes, or any silicon tube for that matter, should not be used with oil based products, including coconut oil. The oil reacts with the silicon, and will impart a strong silicon taste to the oil. Likely you never noticed the taste because of all the saltiness and essential oil flavoring, but I thought you should know. Try it out for yourself … put pure coconut oil in your tube for a while, then have a taste.

    Also, the baking soda is really not needed, especially for kids that don’t like the taste. Yes I know that it’s all the rage, but the clay is more than sufficient to clean your teeth. Earthpaste for example is essentially just bentonite and water. Why do they use that particular clay you might wonder – well they happen to own a particular bentonite deposit, which they’ve branded Redmond Clay, and decided to make a toothpaste out of it.

    The better clay to use: White Kaolin. Not only is it a gentler smoother silkier clay, but it cleans and removes stains better. It is the king of CEI (Cleaning Efficiency Index) and is a great gentle polisher as well. Plus it’s white! And yes it’s safe to swallow – ever wonder where the “Kao” in Kaopectate comes from? White Kaolin is remaining the best kept secret in homemade toothpastes, while bentonite seems to be getting all the attention. I think Earthpaste and it’s popularity is largely responsible for this. That is not a knock on Earthpaste – which is actually a great product. Plus, because bentonite is brownish in color people associate it with “earthy”, thus more natural. White Kaolin is just as “natural” as bentonite … it’s just a different color due to it’s mineral and ore composition. For instance, you can get Kaolin that is red/pink, which of course contains more iron than the white variety.

    Bentonite is definitely a great clay, and has it’s purposes and many uses, as does Kaolin. They are all in the same family of clays. It just so happens that White Kaolin is the most gentle of them all (it’s used in face masks for sensitive skin), plus it’s the best at polishing and removing stains. Simply, it’s a better choice for toothpaste – the world just seems a bit slow to catch on to this discovery (yes there are studies to prove this). We’re obsessed with this more natural looking mud clay, which is natural I guess 🙂 Again, don’t get me wrong, bentonite is a great runner-up!

    And for anyone thinking of adding water to this recipe to make it more pliable – probably not a good idea. Don’t forget that oil and water don’t mix, without an emulsifier. Now it’s possible this may actually be ok, as clay can act as a natural emulsifier (to bind oil and water). But as soon as water enters the equation, you’re opening the door to bacteria and mold, thus greatly shortening shelf life. Sadly, as much as we all hate commercial toothpastes because of the chemicals, companies usually have reasons for adding in these nasties. Emulsifiers are necessary to get the consistency us consumers want, and preservatives are necessary to keep us safe from bacteria. It’s the cost of buying ready-made products that must endure the trip from factory to store, and subsequent storage time.

    Another note on the use of Stevia … a better option is to use Xylitol. There’s a reason you’re starting to see it in all sorts of oral products, including gum. It’s actually good for your teeth! It kills off the bacteria that causes plaque and decay. It also immediately induces saliva production, which is necessary to neutralize acids, restore pH and remineralize your teeth.

    Make a good natural homemade toothpaste, ditch the fluoride, and chew on some Xylitol-only gum throughout the day and after meals, and your healthy mouth will thank you.

    1. Jamie, are you saying that a homemade toothpaste can’t contain water? Surely it can since Redmond’s does. Do the essential oils protect from bacteria? Do you have a recipe??

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