Becoming Kindred Blog

Homemade Toothpaste using Eggshells or Calcium

I’ve been brushing my teeth with egg shells. No really, I have. It sounds crazy but I can explain. I’ve been having trouble with my teeth for a few years now. This is partially because I vomited at least 10 times a day (no exaggeration) for most of my pregnancy with Aneliese and partially because of some work that a dentist that according to three other dentists should not have been a practicing dentist. I have been trying to keep cavities at bay, fighting really sensitive teeth and having this feeling of my teeth never being clean. I’ve gone from trying more natural fluoride free toothpaste to the common “sensitive” plaque fighting brands to just plain baking soda. NOTHING was helping. I started looking into tooth remineralization last year and discovered that there is a whole diet specifically for that. Given our budget and my nursing baby, I am not in the market for diet changes at the moment but I also need to avoid dentist bills if possible.  A few things that I read suggested remineralizing toothpaste that can be made at home. As it is an inexpensive experiment, I decided to try it. And then I read about eggshells.

A dentistry school in the Phillipines did a study comparing various leading toothpastes along with their own compounded toothpaste from eggshells. They found that over a period of time, the teeth cleaned with the eggshell toothpaste had less build up and stronger enamel.  The eggshells have calcium and other trace minerals that are essential for healthy enamel thus preventing cavities. From my reading about tooth remineralization, it is also possible to reverse tooth decay.

It just so happens that I have plenty of nice pastured eggshells that, along with starting seeds and feeding back to the chickens, I can grind up for my toothpaste. I’ve been using my toothpaste for about six weeks now. I’m finding that my teeth have minimal sensitivity, are getting whiter, and the unclean, build up feeling is nonexistent. My gums are also looking healthy and never feel sore. My teeth and mouth feel great!

I have been using eggshells but I’m not sure that I’d recommend using regular grocery store eggs so we are also testing out a more common toothpaste using Calcium Magnesium tablets. The girls have been using this and the build up on their teeth is also gone.
*Since I wrote this, I have now had a few friends also try this recipe who are very pleased with it as well. The egg shell (or calcium magnesium) strengthens the enamel while the coconut oil whitens.  I’ve been pretty impressed actually.

**I have heard and read a lot about baking soda being abrasive and of course egg shells would seem the same. However, baking soda scores much lower on an abrasive scale than most toothpastes so I'm very comfortable using it. With the eggshells, I haven't been able to find enough research on it (not surprisingly) so I can really only offer personal experience.

*** Many homemade toothpastes and even commercial ones are sweetened with Xylitol. However, most xylitol is a corn byproduct that is created through a highly chemicalized process. While I would love to add a little sweetener that's not really something that I want going on my teeth but I have found a couple of companies that use birch trees so I am looking into that a little further.

****Often toothpaste recipes call for vegetable glycerin and it is in many commercial natural toothpastes, but as I have read about how it make a thin coat on ones teeth preventing remineralization, I don't use it. For the same smoothness, I use Dr Bronners Castile soap because it is made with coconut and olive oil which naturally have triglycerides and it doesn't have glycerin added.

Update: Sparked by a conversation with my friend from SperoNaturals, I've been looking into the ingestion of essential oils (I don't ingest this toothpaste but my kiddos might) and while I believe Peppermint Oil to be safe, I've decided to start using a Peppermint extract until I have time to learn more.

Transient

Homemade Eggshell Toothpaste

¼ c. Egg Shells or Calcium Magnesium Tablets (Ground up)
1-3 Tbs Coconut Oil
1 Tbs. or less Baking Soda
½ -1tsp. Castile Soap (Optional but I find that it adds some smoothness. I use Dr Bronners Castile Soap. See note above.)
10 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil (please see above note on essential oils.)

1.    If using egg shells, give them a quick rinse and bake in the oven at 400 F for 15-20 minutes.
2.    Grind up the shells or tablets until powdery fine. I use my coffee grinder for the shells and my food processor for the tablets.
3.    Mix the ingredients in a small bowl, adding coconut oil until it is the smooth consistency that you like. * I find that it takes more with the calcium magnesium pills than the eggshells.
4.    Store in a small jar and use a small spoon to scoop it on your tooth brush.
5.    You can add different essential oils that are said to promote tooth health such as fennel, clove, rosemary, oregano, (to name a few).

Pros:
-    Inexpensive to make
-    Natural, healthy ingredients with no additives or sugars
-    Cleans teeth well
-    Fights Sensitivity
-    Whitens without harsh chemicals
-    Stores well
Cons:

-    You have to make it and it doesn't come in a handy tube.
-    Depending on the temperature, the coconut oil solidifies. (you can soften it again by mixing it again)
-    Doesn’t foam like we are used to with toothpaste.
-    Isn’t sweet
-    Is a little messier in the sink.
-     Tooth brushes (esp. childrens) get caked if not rinsed properly.

I don't love this picture but this is what my teeth looked like after a few weeks.

Transient

Have you tried a homemade toothpaste before? How did it work for you? Please let me know if you try this one!

I'm joining this week's Your Green Resource with this recipe.