Dentists will tell you that genetics and “proper” dental care and fluoride treatments will result in healthy teeth and gums. However, we know that indigenous tribes who ate healthy diets enjoyed remarkably good dental health. When indigenous tribes were introduced to the Western diet, disease, including oral disease, followed.
The truth is, the most important action you can take to maintain oral health is to eat a healthy diet. Avoid all artificial additives (flavors, colors, preservatives), GMOs, pasteurized dairy, and refined sugars. Do not consume foods laden with herbicides and preservatives (especially the “dirty dozen”) or animal protein (meat or dairy) from factory raised animals or farm raised fish. The healthiest diet consists of whole unadulterated foods, 80% of which are raw, organic vegetables and fruits (and eat more vegetables than fruit).
It is possible, through a truly healthy diet and proper oral care, to whiten and re-mineralize your teeth, to re-build your enamel, and to heal your gums.
If you have dental problems, oil pulling is a good practice to incorporate into your daily routine. In the morning, before you eat or drink anything, take a spoonful of coconut oil or sesame oil and swish it through your mouth and teeth for 15-20 minutes. Keep squeezing it through your teeth with your tongue, swishing it back and forth. This is an ancient Ayurvedic practice (from Hindu traditional medicine) that is catching on in the West with wonderful reports of how it heals and aids teeth and gums. It is also claimed that this practice pulls toxins out of the body, healing all manner of illness.
We’ve been raised to believe that eating candy creates cavities. While it is true that refined sugar will feed the bacteria in your mouth, the greater risk is the fact that the body leeches minerals such as calcium out of our bones and teeth and draws it into the bloodstream to stabilize the pH in our blood, a pH the sugar has altered.
If you are not healthy, you need to brush gently. Hard brushing will tear up your gums and strip the enamel from your teeth. If you are in good health, a more rigorous brushing will stimulate blood flow and re-mineralization. Regardless of your health, a good, soft toothbrush is a must. Proper technique is important as well. Use a circular motion to brush teeth and gums, and don’t forget to brush the roof of your mouth and your tongue.
But what will you use on your toothbrush? Commercial toothpaste is toxic. Fluoride is not the only ingredient to avoid. Many commercial toothpastes include saccharine or aspartame, artificial dyes, sodium lauryl sufate, and/or triclosan.
You can avoid most of these ingredients by using a ridiculously expensive natural toothpaste. But many still contain sodium laureth sulfate or other questionable ingredients such as glycerin, which prevents re-mineralization.
As I read the label on my all natural, fluoride free, SLS-free toothpaste, I saw that it did not have any of the other horrific ingredients in commercial toothpastes. It says: no sodium laurel/ laureth sulfates, no preservatives, no artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners, no saccharin, no propylene glycol. Though the tube told me a lot about what it didn’t have, I had to go online to find the actual ingredients. And I sure did want to know what the ingredients were because I had never noticed this warning: “Keep out of the reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidently swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional assistance or contact Poison Control Center immediately.” I am happy to say that I called and confirmed that the government requires toothpaste companies to place this warning on toothpaste tubes since it is not made for consumption, regardless of whether there are poisonous materials contained.
The only one ingredient that concerned me was carrageenan, which is known to promote inflammation. The bottom line is the price. Six to seven dollars for toothpaste is just too much.
I decided it was time to make my own toothpaste.
The age-old simple homemade tooth powder is an equal amount of baking soda to salt. While this scrapes plaque off the teeth, it isn’t very tasty, and kids hate it. I wanted something better.
Most of the online recipes start with a base of coconut oil and baking soda. Baking soda whitens the teeth and is alkaline, a good thing, while coconut oil serves as an anti-bacterial agent (remember we use it for oil pulling) and it binds the ingredients together and makes the toothpaste creamy.
The basic recipe for homemade toothpaste is equal parts of coconut oil and baking soda. Make sure both are organic . From here, you can add other ingredients and adjust ratios if necessary.
Simple Natural Toothpaste Recipe:
- Equal parts of coconut oil and baking soda
- Add essential oil to taste
- Add stevia (if desired) to taste
For 6 tablespoons of oil to 6 tablespoons of baking soda, add 10-15 drops of essential oil. Try peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, clove, lemon, orange, rosemary or any others or any combination that sound good to you. Each essential oil provides more than taste; each adds its own benefit. Add drops of one, or experiment with combinations. Be sure to buy your essential oils from a reputable source and be sure you are getting the right genus species. Many oils come from different species and contain different properties.
- Peppermint— a powerful anti-oxidant
- Eucalyptus—antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory
- Cinnamon—antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant
- Clove—antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and an amazing antioxidant, the highest antioxidant essential oil. It is approved by the Dental Association for use as a dental anesthetic. It’s great for killing Candida.
- Lemon—antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant
- Orange—antiseptic and antioxidant
- Rosemary—antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral
- Neem oil and tea tree oil could also be used for antibacterial qualities. Try 6-8 drops but know that neither one is a flavor enhancer. They may help tighten up gum tissue, however.
- Your basic recipe can be changed in a variety of ways. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, sesame oil is not. You can replace as much coconut oil with sesame oil as desired to reach the consistency you prefer. But realize this will also change the taste and the color.
Your dry ingredients can also be altered. Try adding trace minerals, calcium magnesium powder, bentonite clay, and/or diatomaceous earth to the mix, removing an equal amount of baking soda and adjusting for consistency.
Trace minerals, calcium magnesium powder, and diatomaceous earth will all aid in re-mineralization, while bentonite clay will aid in drawing out impurities as it, like the aforementioned dry ingredients, adds grit.
Hydrogen peroxide is added to many home toothpastes, especially those formulated for whitening. But hydrogen peroxide is one of those ingredients you are not supposed to swallow and it can irritate the gums. It is not a good idea for kids or for anyone with sensitive, damaged, or diseased gums.
Dr. Shillington’s Tooth and Gum Formula
There is a third step in dental care for anyone who is struggling with gingivitis or wants to use a preventative treatment. Dr. Shillington’s Tooth and Gum Formula can be used as a mouthwash (one dropperful to a cup of water), on your toothbrush (8-12 drops on your toothbrush after brushing your teeth), or with a water pick (2-4 dropperful, but rinse out after use so the tee tree oil does not shorten the life of the rubber seals). After each of these methods, do not rinse; allow the ingredients to continue working.
Dr. Shillington writes, “The Echinacea in the formula deadens pain, kills germs, kicks the immune system into action, and starts working against bacteria that is deep down in the gum pockets. Bayberry and Oak Bark will tighten up the gum tissue right before your eyes. Peppermint is a very strong disinfectant, reduces inflammation, and also increases blood circulation to carry off toxins, bring in nutrition, and generally cleanse the mouth. Clove Oil is a great pain reducer for toothache.”
You can make your own Tooth and Gum Formula with Dr. Shillington’s recipe or purchase the Tooth and Gum Formula through Green Lifestyle Market.
Dr. Shillington’s Tooth and Gum Formula Recipe
(Use Organic or wild-crafted ingredients whenever possible). Or you can also purchase here.
- 10 oz Echinacea Tincture
- 1/4 cup of Tea Tree Oil
- 4 oz. Bayberry Tincture
- 2 oz. Oak Gall (or 3X Oak Bark) Tincture
- 2 TBS. Cayenne Tincture
- 2 1/2 Dropperfuls of Peppermint Oil
- 2 1/2 Dropperfuls of Clove Oil
A ‘part’ is a measurement by volume. Blend all ingredients together and make into a tincture using a 50 – 50 Blend of Alcohol and distilled water. For more, see How to Make a Tincture.
A Dropperful is considered to be about 1/2 way up the dropper from a two ounce bottle.
Be sure to shake well before each use.
Gum disease is not only avoidable, it is, contrary to conventional opinion, completely reversible. If you try one of the recipes above, or have your own recipe, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Be sure to see the “Further Reading” section below.
My Protocol (as of Feb 2016)
Typically, I floss and brush twice a day with just with about a half a dropper full of the Tooth and Gum formula with a tiny bit of Earthpaste. I also chew on garlic for about 30 seconds three times a day. I used to make my own toothpaste, typically just with salt and baking soda and a squirt of the Tooth and Gum, all thrown into the mouth together, but now I’m spoiled. I work at Green Lifestyle Market. I like the Earthpaste and it’s just sitting there, waiting for my employee discount. It works well. Last but not least, your mouth health emulates your gut health, so if there are serious problems in the mouth, it’s time to address the gut.
- Periodontal Disease, Gum Disease – What you need to know
- 80% Raw Food Diet
- Mercury Fillings, Root Canals, Cavitations – What You Need to Know
- How to Kill Candida and Balance Your Inner Ecosystem
- Still Have Candida? How Mercury Fillings Cause Candida Overgrowth
- Homemade Remineralizing & Whitening Toothpaste Recipe
- DIY all-natural whitening + remineralizing toothpaste
- Homemade Natural Whitening Toothpaste Recipe
- How to Whiten Teeth With Hydrogen Peroxide
- How to Make Natural Homemade Antibacterial Toothpaste