Dental trend spotlight: DIY toothpaste

Some DIY fans are ditching store-bought toothpaste for homemade substitutes. Before you whip up your own, consider the oral health implications and what you might be giving up.

DIY toothpaste recipes vary widely, but typical ingredients include coconut oil, baking soda, sea salt, cacao nibs and essential oils. Proponents of homemade toothpastes claim they provide greater ingredient transparency. Because users make these recipes from scratch, they can see exactly what they’ll be brushing with. The big question is, “Does DIY toothpaste clean teeth as well as store-bought?” Research may be limited, but one study1 showed that it can when it comes to plaque removal. 

However, if you make your own toothpaste, you may miss out on ingredients that will help your oral health. Aside from plaque removal, store bought toothpastes may contain active ingredients that help in other ways, such as reducing tooth sensitivity, whitening teeth, fighting gingivitis and tartar buildup, and preventing enamel erosion and bad breath.

1IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Science, Comparison Between Homemade Toothpaste and Commercial Toothpaste in Plaque Removal of Children in Udaipur City Rajasthan, 2017, https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/fbb4/a9fe8bd96dfb7f01642df9810af7ced208ad.pdf