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Make Your Own and Save - Toothpaste and Mouthwash

Updated on April 07, 2013

Most people have never thought to make their own toothpaste and mouthwash. Making your own toothpaste and mouthwash can save you money though. And I think better for you. Actually, you don't even really need toothpaste and mouthwash. It is the actual brushing motion and flossing that clean your teeth. The amount of time you brush is also important (2-4 minutes is recommended). The toothpaste does make your mouth feel fresher and many have added ingredients that the companies claim will benefit you, but do they really? Why should I spend dollars on a tube of toothpaste, when I can make my own very effective toothpaste for dimes?

Reading the ingredients on a box of toothpaste I have is difficult. I can't pronounce many of the words. I actually have no idea what exactly I am putting in my mouth twice a day. Of course I pay several dollars per tube assuming it is perfectly safe, but I don't really know. The ingredients needed to make your own toothpaste and mouthwash can be purchased for relatively cheap and could last years.

Baking soda is my favorite. When I was growing up my grandmother taught me to sprinkle a little baking soda in the palm of my hand and after wetting my toothbrush, dip it in the baking soda and brush. This will help to whiten your teeth. This was the 1970s - long before whitening toothpaste was on the store shelves. I laugh to see how the boxes advertise that their toothpaste now contains baking soda to whiten their teeth. I have been doing it all along, for a fraction of a penny per brush. Straight baking soda will also whiten better than a small amount in a tube of toothpaste. Baking soda will also freshen your breath and kill germs. You can fill a container with mostly baking soda and a small amount of salt and keep it in your medicine cabinet. The salt acts as an abrasive to help scrub the plaque off your teeth.

If you don't like the powder form of toothpaste, you can add glycerin and water to the baking soda and salt to form more of a paste. You can even add flavored oils to get that mint fresh feeling of store bought toothpaste. The exact recipe I found is this -

3 parts baking soda

1 part salt

Mix together a total of 1/4 cup of the above

Add 3 tablespoons of glycerin and water until it forms a paste to the consistency you prefer. At this point add the flavored oils if you like. To me this only adds to the price of making your own. If you are definitely making your own to save money, you will probably be like me and leave it out. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

I have also seen recipes that call for hydrogen peroxide in the ingredients. An easy one is 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide and 1 drop peppermint oil. Mix all together and dip your brush in.

Freshening your breath is also easy to do - for little money. If you have your own herb garden, this will be super easy and cheap. Break off a piece of fresh parsley or peppermint and chew. This natural breath freshener will last much longer than a tic-tac.

Homemade mouthwashes are even easier and very inexpensive! Mixing a small amount of water with a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, a drop of tea tree oil and a drop of peppermint oil will leave your mouth feeling fresh for a long time. It also helps eliminate bad breath as well as kills germs. Or try just dissolving a small spoonful of baking soda in a glass of water and swishing and spitting out. There are other more complicated (read more expensive) recipes that look good, but I for one like the simpler ones best though.

Another easy mouthwash recipe is half water and half 3% hydrogen peroxide. Swish and spit, don't swallow. Do you see a pattern here in ingredients? Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are both very cheap and will last you a very long time. And both do a great job keeping your teeth clean.

As you can see, you really don't need to spend much on taking care of your teeth. It is more the time spent than anything. Simple, cheap, easy to use ingredients will go a long way in keeping your teeth and gums healthy and clean. And there are no ingredients that you can't pronounce. Taking a few minutes and using items that you probably already have in your house will save you a lot of money every year.

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    • profile image

      julie 9 years ago

      Since I found out about SLS in most tooth paste I quit using them ( and mouthwash too) and I have been using baking soda, peroxide, and tea tree oil, with a couple of drops of mint extract. my gums feel much better!

    • profile image

      JayC 9 years ago

      These are great ideas! And soo much easier and cheaper than buying whitner or mouthwash :)

      thank you xXx

    • madhavisb profile image

      madhavisb 8 years ago from New Delhi

      Dear Jennifer most of the older generation in India still use the young stems of the Neem tree as a toothbrush. it's one of the most effective ways of keepinga t bay halitosis, cavities etc.

      Check out this article that a friend of mine Saonli wrote on our webpage http://www.copperwiki.org/index.php/Toothpaste?utm...

    • profile image

      Malcolm 8 years ago

      I was wondering about the abrasiveness of the salt and enamal? First thought is that salt is much softer than enamal and so not really? But then I see how effective salt is at removing stains in my bong that I wonder. (adding a 2-3 teaspoons of salt to 99% iso alcohol and swish with give a glass bong a brand new shine.).

    • profile image

      Malcolm 8 years ago

      I was wondering about the abrasiveness of the salt and enamal? First thought is that salt is much softer than enamal and so not really? But then I see how effective salt is at removing stains in my bong that I wonder. (adding a 2-3 teaspoons of salt to 99% iso alcohol and swish with give a glass bong a brand new shine.).

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Great ideas jennifer, I have often used the parsley and it enjoyable to eat to. Sometimes good tasting things can be good for you. not like medicines they usually taste awful thanks for sharing this

    • profile image

      Mike 8 years ago

      Salt and Baking soda in moderate amounts are terrible for your teeth. Using any kind of physical abrasive to clean your teeth is dangerous, and can lead to early thinning of the enamel.

    • healthgoji profile image

      healthgoji 7 years ago

      It's refreshing to see simple and valuable ideas like this put into print.

      Thank you!

    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 7 years ago from Texas

      I like the idea of the home made mouthwash. The peppermint taste is a weakness of mine, so it just sounds good.

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Excellent hub!

    • profile image

      Kristy 7 years ago

      About the few comments referring to salt and baking soda being bad for enamel. Is this true? If so, could it be worse than the not-so effective toothpastes we always use? Which by the way, only keeps us going back and shelling out tons of cash to the same dentists that are supposed to be preventing such problems.

    • HWP profile image

      HWP 7 years ago from my own world

      I love this idea, I currently use a very basic, natural toothpaste as I don't want to use unecessary chemicals and I certainly don't want to use flouride on my teeth - I personally think that flouride will do much more damage than salt & baking soda can and avoid it at all costs! Once my current tube runs out I will be mixing myself up some nice tea-tree oil toothpaste :-)

    • profile image

      Santa Claus / Dad 7 years ago

      I was always skeptical about toothpaste and the safety of fluoride. This is great. But what about little kids who can't deal with the flavor of baking soda? This is a very informative website: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/

    • profile image

      Get Free Visitors 7 years ago

      nice

    • profile image

      casey  7 years ago

      Fluoride has been proven to significantly help your teeth and its ignorant to say that it is unsafe, yes you should not swallow it in large doses this is why it says to call poison control if more than used for brushing is swallowed and the amount is very small. Fluoride is in our drinking water for specifically this reason, and it has been proven that people who constantly drink bottled water have weaker teeth than those that drink tap water. While saving money is awesome I don't believe that it is only the brushing motion that cleans teeth, if that were true then why not just brush with water. i do not know if this idea works so i cannot say anythin but there is strong studies that suggest fluoride is very good for your teeth, and just because you can't pronounce the words does not mean that the chemical is bad, and probably is in the many of food you buy from the store. If you really want to know if something is bad for you look it up don't just say I don't trust them, or one person said this and that makes it true. If you don't believe me that's fine but at least try find out the truth.

    • profile image

      justthefacts 7 years ago

      Hate to say it Casey it just aint so studies have not found a significant decrease in cavities as the result of floride in the water. It's a toxic by-product of aluminum production.

    • profile image

      Fluoridesux 7 years ago

      Fluoride is poison, Utube the Fluoride Deception

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8NLbRL860U

    • treasuresyw profile image

      treasuresyw 7 years ago from Savannah, GA

      I really love this article. It is very well written too. We were talking about using baking soda. I am going to save this and bring it up in the morning. I'm also going to share this with others. Peace

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 7 years ago from Virginia

      I've actually mixed the baking soda and peroxide for toothpaste and it makes your teeth feel so clean!

    • profile image

      sadia 7 years ago

      ITS GREAT DEAR

    • profile image

      Xelluh 7 years ago

      Thank you Julie.

      I'm allergic to sodium lauryl sulfate and all toothpastes have it which really dissappoints me. This has been helping me out a ton and i have me some pearly whites.

    • profile image

      wendy 6 years ago

      look up dr keyes and his protocol on gum disease. very eye opening. apparently my bad breath was due to it. i am now scrubbing my teeth and gums vigoursly with baking soda-salt hydr perox mix. it is absolutley not abrasive and is making a diff on my sore gums after only 3 days. i haven’t cured the gum disease yet, but i can feel a difference in the sensitivity of my gums, can feel the hydr perox cleaning away and my teeth look , surprisingly, whiter. part dry ingredients and part hyd perox. i am also using "thieves" mouth wash. but, at $18 per shot, i am going to make my own with glycerin, EO of rosemary-spearmint-clove-cinnamon-mint and whatever other EOs are in there. fluoride is a really bad ingredient not to mention all the other petrochemical by-products that are in there. my research into Fluoride showed that the stuff actually helps gum disease on its way. i am taking my family off commercially made tooth products, next stop: shampoos and sodium laurel sulfates.

    • profile image

      Moke 6 years ago

      I used baking soda and my normal toothpaste to do the job. Chee buu!

    • infomanic profile image

      infomanic 6 years ago

      very interesting subject i never thought about that idea. Thanks for the suggestion

    • profile image

      joshuaphilippenota 6 years ago

      does it really work?

    • profile image

      j2samped 6 years ago

      thank you for this wonderful info..it is very interesting

      i will try it and see it.

    • profile image

      j2samped 6 years ago

      thank you for this wonderful info..it is very interesting

      i will try it and see it.

    • profile image

      chloe 6 years ago

      this is so cheep

    • profile image

      Linda 6 years ago

      My dentist told me he tells his patients to use baking soda and peroxide to make paste to help their gums. After a couple weeks of use, his patients no longer had to be referred to a gum surgeon.

    • profile image

      sandy 6 years ago

      Nice and simple - as solutions should be! Also think of the saving to the environment - the packaging, production and transport costs, manufacturing of ingredients - also water and energy usage - machinery created for the various stages - what a saving for the environment! Any one like to calculate that? What is our water/energy footprint for a tube of toothpaste?

      If I stop buying one box (for each time its needed) how many is that in a year/lifetime - multiply that by others who also do this. Then translate this to other things we 'need-to-buy'/ could substitute!If we care for this planet then it is time to make a change :)

    • profile image

      Kenn 6 years ago

      Fluoride. There are bad kinds and there are good kinds. The kind that they put in the drinking water is not always the good kind. I don't remember the names of the kinds specifically --- it's been too long since i last looked that information up, but the kind of fluoride in green tea (see wikipedias entry for green tea to find that one) is the good kind. If the kind of fluoride they put in your drinking water ends with the word 'acid', then it's most likely the bad kind.

      The difference is that the good kind will migrate calcium and other good stuff INTO your teeth. The bad kind will pull it out and seriously weaken your teeth. The bad kind also comes as a bi-product of smelting tin and is a hazardous chemical -- the government just doesn't know where to put that much of it, so they add it to the water supply and tell everyone it's good for you. Kind of like what they do with all the mercury that gets produced every year -- they add it to things like high-fructose corn syrup -- oh, pardon me "corn syrup solids" as they call it now.

      I digress. Point is: just like 'protein' is not just one substance, either is aluminum, mercury, or fluoride. Know what kinds are bad and what kinds are good. Yes, there are good aluminums, but you will never find them intentionally added to anything. There are no good mercuries that i am aware of. There are good fluorides, but rarely are they added to the drinking water supply -- they usually add the very toxic and horrible bad kind.

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 6 years ago from London

      Brilliant. I would never have thought of making my own toothpaste or mouthwash. Thanks for another great hub.x

    • profile image

      Patty 6 years ago

      many, many years ago I was raised for awhile in an orphanage. They gave us baking soda and salt for our tooth care.

    • profile image

      robb lee 6 years ago

      Have you heard of After Floss mouthwash?

    • profile image

      akhil 6 years ago

      i will try it

    • jtrader profile image

      jtrader 6 years ago

      I like this. By preparing this yourself you not only save money, you know exactly what you are putting into your body.

    • nancypolaska profile image

      nancypolaska 6 years ago from Oxford Road

      Making your own toothpaste gives you new thing to learn. Moreover, you save good bucks also.

    • rallyre profile image

      rallyre 6 years ago from San Diego, California

      I never would have thought about it. I was not even sure that after I started reading your article it would make sense or save much money. I am not about to make my own to save money, but I if I made my own, it would be because I could make my own flavor! haha... That would be great! Baking soda, of course that alone would do a great job! Thanks for sharing!

    • Nastasia profile image

      Katrina of A VICTORIOUS WOMAN MINISTRY 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your recipes. I usually use baking soda to brush my teeth. It works great without all of the extra ingredients that may not be good for us.

    • profile image

      Timothy McLaney 5 years ago

      Nice! These tips are budget and eco-friendly! I often hear from some of my friends that baking soda is a good remedy for whitening teeth. If I'm not mistaken, they even use baking soda mixed with peppermint. They said it's effective too!

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Great tips--I'm going to do it!

    • profile image

      SaveOnAnything 5 years ago

      cheaper than buying mouthwash, great idea. keep up the good work!

      http://saveonanything.fastprofitpages.com/?id=jdmn...

    • profile image

      Lena 5 years ago

      I don't like the idea of sls in my toothpaste, so I make my own with equal amounts of coconut oil and baking soda with some peppermint mixed in to taste and my teeth have NEVER felt better--I'll NEVER go back to commercial toothpaste! I'll have to try the peppermint-tea tree oil mouthwash though :) thanks for posting!

    • profile image

      Fred Collinsworth 5 years ago

      It is good that there are lots of good alternatives for mouthwash, and yet affordable and easy to use. This alternative mouthwash can be effective to some people. But since all of us have different oral needs, it is better that you ask first your dentist if this alternative is good for you.

    • profile image

      Dave Gibson 5 years ago

      I had a big problem with bleeding gums for a very long time and felt i was fighting a losing battle with it; i was using Oraldene and Corsodyl to help with this but they just made my gums worse and also badly stained my teeth, the alcohol in the these mouthwashes didn't help either, and i won't mention Listerene either - this is an awful product (45% alcohol!!)

      I paid a visit to my local Holland & Barrett store and they recommended that i use Dr Organics Aloe Vera/Tea Tree toothpaste and Mouthwash; the ingredients are very good for your and they stopped my bleeding gums significantley! Over the past two days i have been adding Bicarbonate of Soda and Salt to my Aloe Vera/Tea Tree toothpaste and i am amazed the difference that the Salt and Bicarb have made to my gums, they feel much tighter and my mouth feels much more fresher!

    • profile image

      heather 5 years ago

      Great Idea my daughter puts ginger in hers - I have made this in the past but slipped back and used commercially produced toothpaste I am now going to finish my tubes and start making this again

    • profile image

      alex 5 years ago

      My dentist told me he tells his patients to use baking soda and peroxide to make paste to help their gums. After a couple weeks of use, his patients no longer had to be referred to a gum surgeon.

      http://toothpastewithoutsodiumlaurylsulfate.com/ba...

    • profile image

      Jo 5 years ago

      Floride is poison. Don't you know that?

    • profile image

      Nick 5 years ago

      YOU DO NOT NEED ANYTHING. Just brush and floss your teeth. No paste. nothing. I've been doing it for years. it works great. My teeth and gums are healthy. As an aside, if you want your teeth to feel crazy clean, use edible oils - either coconut - or olive - or something else not processed heavily, and brush with that. Just the oil will act as a solvent and get the last bits of particulate from your teeth.

      And eat lots of fresh produce, the vitamins heal your gums. Everyone knows that fresh lime keeps scurvy away, but what people don't internalize is that the more fresh produce you eat, the healthier your gums get.

    • profile image

      Emmanweezy91 5 years ago

      Wow, anyway, thanks 4 ya recipes. The very 1st time i used it i used the empty baking soda and my brush. It caused a lot of sores especially around my lip, i went 4 d glass and to my surprise, my teeth started whitening instantly. I forgot 'bout the sores, i did it the next day and it worked. I'll b doin' it and hope it would work.

    • profile image

      Emmanweezy91 5 years ago

      Wow, anyway, thanks 4 ya recipes. The very 1st time i used it i used the empty baking soda and my brush. It caused a lot of sores especially around my lip, i went 4 d glass and to my surprise, my teeth started whitening instantly. I forgot 'bout the sores, i did it the next day and it worked. I'll b doin' it and hope it would work.

    • monicamelendez profile image

      monicamelendez 4 years ago from Salt Lake City

      I've found a few of your recipes now and I'm loving it. Not sure if you're still posting recipes like this but I hope so!

    • profile image

      Sandra 4 years ago

      Hi.....I've been using a very expensive mouthwash (Retardex) for about 2 years now trying to rid myself of the curse of bad breath...I've tried everything, nothing works, not even Retardex, even though the manufacturer guarantees that it does....After reading this page (which I found very informative) I think from now on in I'll be using Bicarbonate of Soda a lot in my dental routine, I do use it occasionally at the moment, and I'm convinced now that it is as good as anything, and a whole lot cheaper and propbably more effective...Thankyou for this page.....!

    • profile image

      mik 4 years ago

      To Sandra.

      Bad breath doesn't have to do anything with your teeth. It might "just" be your digestion that "destroyed". Have you tried a colon cleanse or maybe a juice faste? Or converting to rawfood for a period of time?

    • profile image

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      charmian 4 years ago

      Bad breath is usually a result of dehydration. It is imperative that one drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. The very best thing is to drink it all at once, before eating in the morning. Let it digest for 20 minutes and then you can eat. If you can't manage 8 glasses all at once, do 4, and then drink the rest throughout the day. Information on the wonders of water can be found on www.watercure.com

      I can testify that drinking the proper amount of water is lifesaving and as a side benefit you get fresh breath, no matter how bad it is.

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