First and foremost, I would advise you to speak with a few dentists and experts about this matter. The main problem with homemade toothpaste is that it does not contain fluoride. Fluoride is the subject of much dispute, with some claiming that it is essential in dental care and others claiming that it is harmful. It takes longer to notice the difference between using fluoride and not using fluoride on your teeth, and tooth problems are not minor issues.
There are too many variables to consider when assessing someone's oral health: genes, nutrition (eating more natural foods vs. processed foods), dental hygiene (flossing and washing teeth), and so on, making it difficult to pinpoint the source of potential problems. I believe it is not an issue to take lightly, so do your research before making a decision. I'll tell you about my experience below after the recipes. Another note; never put your health ahead of your zero waste goals.
We can never be completely waste-free in our lives, and our health issues would result in even more waste.
I've got two recipes for you that are without coconut oil or baking soda (baking soda is great to neutralize the acids in our mouths but it can be too harsh for the enamel. If you use it don`t go over 5%.) One recipe is a paste, while the other is a powder.
The first step is to utilize any little jar you have around the house that you may reuse for this purpose.
Toothpaste with mint
Calcium carbonate (chalk): 22g / 5 tsp
White clay: 22g / 5 tsp
Mint essential oil: 2.22g / ½ tsp
Water: 5g / 2 tsp or more to make it pasty
Step 1. Mix dry ingredients
Step 2. Add mint essential oil
Step 3. Slowly add water and stir until you reach fine consistency
Kaolin clay: 17g / 4tsp
Cinnamon: 4g / 1,5 tsp
Mix all ingredients and the paste is ready to use
My experience with fluoride
I'm not sure I've ever seen so many disputes as on this subject, and to cut a long tale short, I'm still not sure who to believe. I asked three dentist and one doctor, and the results were a 2:2 tie. Some argue that it is essential, while others argue that brushing and flossing are the only things that count. I'll summarize the situation and my experience in hopes of making things a little clearer for you.
Floured should be used to strengthen the enamel, which is continually attacked by oral bacteria that cause acid and cavities in our mouths. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in food, water, and dental hygiene products. Fluoride is also produced by our bodies in the form of calcium. If consumed in large quantities, like any other vitamin/mineral/ingredient, it can cause neurological, reproductive and cardiovascular problems. So, in the quantities that are available, it should be acceptable.
According to the anti-fluoride group, even little levels of fluoride can be dangerous.
What shocked me the most was realizing that I had been brushing my teeth incorrectly my entire life. In order for fluoride to work, you must not wash away the paste after brushing your teeth, just like they do in the movies. That is something I have never done in my life. Any trace of toothpaste, and I mean any trace, was always wiped away. So basically, I was in no land, not using it properly but still having it in small amount and everything was fine.
I had already been two years without fluoride in my natural paste when I began exploring this topic. Out of concern, I tried to reintroduce fluoride into my paste by purchasing fluoride from a pharmacy and mixing it into my paste, but they told it was not feasible; only big pharma could do it, and you couldn't buy it online either. If fluoride is so important, I believe it would have been widely available, much as vitamin B12 is.
Okay, I'll get it from my tap water, right? I tried to console myself by telling my dentist. I can even keep the water in my mouth longer, similar to how they perform oil pulling. He simply laughed and dismissed that despite the fact that some web sources claim you'll get 25% more fluoride this way.
Fast forward to now, I've been using natural fluoride-free toothpaste since 2014, and everything is okay for me and my husband, and I can't bring myself to go back to store-bought ones. Again, because of various considerations, what works for me may not work for you; yet, this is our decision for the time being. We've been eating pretty cleanly for the last four years, only whole foods without any processed food, sugar, coffee, alcohol. Genetics play a huge role also, so it can be individual.
All that being said, if tomorrow the fluoride would become available in pharmacy, I believe I would put the small percentage in my paste.