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Vanilla Meyer Lemon Tooth Powder

February 9th, 2011

As part of our No Buy February Challenge, I’m going to be posting Make Your Own how-to’s on Wednesdays. Learning to make things yourself from scratch is a great way to save money.

I blogged about making homemade toothpaste last October. That recipe used vegetable glycerin, which Mr Chiots and I weren’t really fond of. After we used up that batch we’ve been using tooth powder instead, which we like much better. I’ve been trying different recipes, cinnamon tooth powder being our favorite so far. Since it was time to make another batch, I decided lemon would be a wonderful flavor for the coming spring months. I made up a batch of Vanilla Meyer Lemon Toothpaste. It smells heavenly, like a delicious lemon cookie. The recipe for toothpowder is basically the same, you can add various essential oils and spices to customize it to suite your tastes. I often add peppermint oil if I don’t have lemon. Cinnamon is also a great addition.

4 Tablespoons baking soda (I use aluminum free)
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 Tablespoon of grated lemon peel (from one lemon)
10 drops of vanilla

Stir together ingredients and whir in a food processor to pulverize the lemon peel. Store in a small jar. Put small amount on toothbrush and enjoy and non-toxic delicious tooth brushing experience! As with all tooth brushing make sure to rinse well after brushing, especially with the citrus as it’s slightly acidic. Rinsing well gets rid of the acid.

For my cinnamon recipe I simply omit lemon peel and vanilla and add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Sometimes I also add a few drops of peppermint essential oil.

This recipe is simple to make and really inexpensive as well. An SLS free non-toxic toothpaste can run $4-10 per tube, since this costs less than 50 cents per batch you’re saving a bundle!

I really enjoy learning to make things for myself so I don’t have to rely on heading to the store when I need things like toothpaste, brown sugar, bread, crackers and other things. All you have to do is keep a few staples in your pantry and you can save a bundle buy learning to make your own.

Have you ever made homemade toothpaste? How’s your No Buy February going?

48 Comments to “Vanilla Meyer Lemon Tooth Powder”
  1. Natti on February 9, 2011 at 5:27 am

    It is amazing how you are using natural elements to make your own stuff. Eliminates the entire process involved in the toothpaste coming from factory to store to home.
    Will try this out sometime.

    Reply to Natti's comment

  2. Dani on February 9, 2011 at 5:34 am

    Hmmmmmmmmm – almost good enough to eat :–)

    Reply to Dani's comment

  3. Gina on February 9, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Thanks so much! I’ve been slowly turning to homemade products for our cleaning products but toothpaste was one that had me stumped. I will certainly be trying this!

    Reply to Gina's comment

    • Susy on February 9, 2011 at 8:42 am

      It takes a couple day to get used to using toothpowder, but we love it now. I can’t imagine using the gummy paste from a tube anymore. This powder leaves your teeth feeling super clean just like after a dental cleaning!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. kristin on February 9, 2011 at 8:33 am

    So how do you use a powder? Just dip your toothbrush into it or sprinkle it on and then wet the brush?

    Reply to kristin's comment

    • Susy on February 9, 2011 at 8:41 am

      Yep, we moisten toothbrush then dip, some places you read say never dip toothbrush in it to avoid contamination – I don’t really worry about that. We just dip the ends of the toothbrush and get a small amount, then brush. At first it was a little strange because there’s not suds, but now I can’t imagine having suds while brushing my teeth.

      For whitening you can also add a small amount of peroxide after putting tooth powder on your brush.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Jennifer Fisk on February 9, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I had no idea there was aluminum in any baking soda. What brand is aluminum free?

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

    • Susy on February 9, 2011 at 8:43 am

      I’d have to do research for brands, I buy mine at a local bulk foods store and it doesn’t have a brand name listed, it’s simply aluminum free (I’ll ask them next time I’m in). I had no idea that baking soda contained aluminum until 5-6 years ago when they started selling aluminum free and regular baking soda.

      Reply to Susy's comment

    • Heather on December 28, 2012 at 4:48 am

      Rumford is the aluminum free brand. I think Bob’s Red Mill has an aluminum-free baking soda, too. Rumford is sold by the same company that sells Clabber Girl (which DOES have aluminum, so WHY can’t they just not do aluminum at all!?)

      Reply to Heather's comment

      • Heather on December 28, 2012 at 4:51 am

        I meant baking powder. All baking SODA is aluminum-free, but the fact that people often confuse the two makes for good marketing. That said, the cheaper brands are factory made baking soda, while some of the nicer brands are actually mined from sodium bicarbonate mines. My thinking is that I’m going to seek some of that stuff out for skin care and eating uses, and keep buying sacks of Arm & Hammer from Costco for laundry and cleaning.

        to Heather's comment

  6. Tracy on February 9, 2011 at 8:56 am

    In the comments, you’re saying baking soda, but the recipe above says baking powder. The original recipe you shared for toothpaste also says soda. I’m assuming you do mean soda, and you may want to change it in the recipe for this post so as not to confuse someone. Unless, of course you do mean powder. Confused yet? LOL

    Reply to Tracy's comment

    • Susy on February 9, 2011 at 9:00 am

      Yes it is baking soda, sorry with all the typing of the word powder in the post I typed the wrong thing. Definitely baking soda.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Emily Jenkins on February 9, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I have yet to try to make my own tooth powder, but it’s definitely in the future for me. My goal is to use the remaining down time of winter to eliminate plastic containers in all of my hygienic products (shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, tooth paste, face scrub, astringent, etc) and to switch to all natural alternatives. My one concern is that I have naturally weak tooth enamel and we drink un-fluoridated water. I know before you mentioned not wanting to get into the SLS/fluoride cons, but can you share a bit about how fluoride concerns you? I eliminated SLS a while ago, but have yet to decide one way or another on fluoride.
    Thanks! Your blog is the best :)

    Reply to Emily Jenkins's comment

  8. Daedre Craig on February 9, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Does this homemade tooth powder clean your teeth as well as storebought? I would just be worried that if I switched to homemade that I would find out a few years down the line that I’m not protecting my teeth properly. Is there any research on the effectiveness of the homemade stuff?

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

    • Susy on February 9, 2011 at 10:01 am

      Personally I think it does a better job, my teeth feel much cleaner and I have less trouble with tooth sensitivity like I did before when using regular toothpaste.

      Research actually indicates that it’s more your diet than your dental hygiene that determines your dental health (as well as the nutrition you had as a child). I’d recommend reading: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A Price a dentist that traveled around the world studying indigenous people and their dental health.

      As far as research, well probably not since there wouldn’t be anyone paying for someone to test homemade toothpaste except for maybe a toothpaste manufacturer and they’d be paying to get the results to come out in their favor. The fact that tooth problems are a bigger problem in developed countries where we use purchased toothpaste is enough research for me to feel comfortable using homemade tooth powder. I’d more concerned about the adverse health effects of SLS & the fluoride in the store bought toothpaste. There’s plenty of research showing the negative effects of these on your health.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  9. Donna B. on February 9, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Thank you Susy! You know, this furthers my wanting to do this!
    I have been brushing with “Tom’s of Maine” brand, and even tho it’s doing alright, I dislike the gummy texture… which is what you basically described from the previous batch of tooth ‘paste’ you made…
    [I’m wondering if the “Arm & Hammer” brand of baking soda is aluminum free… something inside me tells me it isn’t. Must check!]
    Now to go out and get myself some nice jars to hold the tooth powder…! Currently I do not have a proper container, so it might be the one thing I do go out and buy this month…

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

    • Susy on February 9, 2011 at 10:33 am

      Before this batch I’ve been using an old saved glass jar from some face lotion. This batch was too big to fit in that little jar, so I had to get out one of these european canning jars, which is quite lovely on the counter.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Andrea on February 9, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Jennifer, I bought Bob’s Red Mill brand for my baking soda. My grocery stores have that brand in the organic/natural section.

    I didn’t know baking soda had aluminum in it until this blog either!

    I plan on making some today :-)

    Reply to Andrea's comment

  11. goatpod2 on February 9, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Never have made homemade toothpaste before.


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  12. Louise on February 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks Susy for all this info. How long can you store this tooth powder. Do you make your own face lotion as well, if so, could you share with us how you make it?

    Reply to Louise's comment

    • Susy on February 9, 2011 at 10:27 pm

      I usually make one batch and it takes us a month and half or so to use it up, keeps well enough for us.

      I haven’t made face lotion yet, I like using coconut oil sometimes. My preference is the Wild Rose Facial Oil from Mountain Rose Herbs (link in the sidebar). I also use their facial scrub for washing my face, it’s a clay based cleaner with oats and essential oils – no soap so it’s very nice on your skin – I LOVE IT!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. TreeHugginMomma on February 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I had really wanted to join the no spend February, but life has not been cooperative (or maybe I just lack the self discipline) but I do like reading other people’s recipes.

    Reply to TreeHugginMomma's comment

    • Susy on February 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      Don’t you hate that when life doesn’t cooperate with our plans, hope things start running smoothly soon!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. Lynda on February 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    When I was a kid if we ran out of toothpaste my mom had us brush with baking soda. I like your mixtures and will be giving it a try…what was once old is new again!

    Reply to Lynda's comment

  15. Kathryn on February 9, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    This would be really good with Xylitol instead of salt, or part of it. Xylitol is an alcohol sugar and suppose to be good for teeth. I don’t use it as a sweetener, but i love it for part of my tooth powder.

    Reply to Kathryn's comment

    • Susy on February 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      I keep wanting to research xylitol a little more but it always slips my mind. I’ve heard it’s super for your teeth, maybe I’ll try some in my next batch. I personally like the unsweetened toothpowder as I’m not a sweet lover, but Mr Chiots might like the xylitol kind better.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  16. Susan on February 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Lemon and cinnamon are both favorites, so I will be making this product. I use Bob’s Red Mill baking powder and baking soda, as neither has aluminum. Thank you for the information, plus all of your good research.

    Reply to Susan's comment

  17. Sincerely,Emily on February 9, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    The No Buy Feb is going fine for me (so far). It seems like just a normal month to me. It has motivated me to clean out a few things and git rid of more (even though that has nothing to do with buying). I do want to start a notebook and watch the spending, specifically on groceries to see what I buy the most of and the prices.

    Long long ago Gram told us about the “tooth powder” she used when she was younger. We made some up together – baking soda + salt. I remember that vividly. I have started using it again and hope to get my husband to use it too. It will be nice to eliminate one more things from the shopping list.

    I look forward to your posts on Wednesday’s. Thank you again for your post a while back on making brown sugar. LOVE IT! Will never go back…

    Reply to Sincerely,Emily's comment

    • Susy on February 9, 2011 at 10:24 pm

      When I was younger I often would just use baking soda to clean my teeth, I even liked it then.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  18. Grant on February 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Does this toothpaste ACTUALLY clean your teeth? Doesn’t the toothpaste need fluoride to clean your teeth and prevent cavities.

    Reply to Grant's comment

    • Susy on February 9, 2011 at 10:23 pm

      Yes, it does, they actually feel like they do when you get done having a cleaning at the dentist. You don’t need fluoride to clean teeth or prevent cavities, a healthy diet will do that. Actually you don’t even need to use toothpaste, simply brushing them with a soft brush for long enough will work, the tooth powder or paste just makes the job go a like faster.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Grant on February 9, 2011 at 10:42 pm

        Ok thanks, I will definitely have to try this then!!

        to Grant's comment

    • Kathryn on February 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm

      Fluoride is very, very toxic. I will spend the rest of my life with crumbling teeth and bones as well as other health issues because of it.

      Do some research on it. Fluoride was never studied before they began to use it, and the fluoride added to water and products is not the same as what is found in nature.

      You do NOT need fluoride for “clean teeth.” Many the doctors who still use it admit that it is only effective applied topically to children’s teeth. A mainstream dentist told me recently that fluoride has no benefit for adults.

      Reply to Kathryn's comment

  19. Kathi on February 9, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Suprisingly, I am enjoying my No Buy month. I have modified it a little (still buying wine with my groceries). I was concerned it would be difficult ,but am finding it to be quite freeing. I host a valentine’s party every year and since it was-pre-planned, am still having it, but am only purchasing food I need. Normally I would look for a cute new outfit, candles , flowers etc. I will borrow the extra martini glasses I need.I feel like I have extra time now since I don’t feel the need to run to the store. I am also being more careful not to waste any food and have had fun being more creative with substitutions rather than running to the store for a couple of ingredients. The biggest challenge will be the annual flower show I attend every year. Guess I will just get my vegetable seeds there. Wish orchids were necessary to live…

    Reply to Kathi's comment

    • Susy on February 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm

      Glad you’re enjoying it, it is a great way to spur creativity! An annual flower show – yeah that would be tough!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  20. Terry on February 10, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Have you ever tried using xylitol in your tooth powder? It is a sweetener but it is also supposed to help build tooth enamel. I have been wanting to make tooth powder but I am kind of afraid to switch.

    Reply to Terry's comment

    • Kathryn on February 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      My tooth powder is 60% Xylitol, 40% baking soda. I like it. I’ve played with a number of ways to get a mint flavor without success. So i’ve begun buying Miessence mint toothpaste (which is quite expensive) and using a tiny, tiny amount with my tooth powder. Works great. I’m pleased, and that expensive toothpaste is lasting a long, long time.

      Reply to Kathryn's comment

  21. Erika on April 7, 2011 at 7:37 am

    What do you use for the vanilla? Extract? Thanks!

    Reply to Erika's comment

    • Susy on April 7, 2011 at 7:55 am

      Yep, vanilla extract.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  22. […] […]

    Reply to A Few of my Favorite REAL Clean Things « Not Dabbling In Normal's comment

  23. Eat Already! on February 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Hello, I am a huge fan of your blog and the ideas you promote. I was wondering if you considered adding food grade Diatomaceous Earth to your homemade tooth powder (instead of, or in addition to baking soda) ? We’ve been brushing with DE for a while now, and it works wonders on making teeth super clean, and also helps with improving the condition of the gums. The beauty of it is it’s never caking, so even if you make it wet, it won’t clump. Just thought I’d pitch in my two cents :). Keep your site up, we love it!

    Reply to Eat Already!'s comment

  24. Islem on February 22, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Will try this recipe! Although, I’m not a true lover of baking soda… isn’t harsh for tooth enamel? I would do the mix of Xilitol and Baking Soda.

    Also, be careful with adding peroxide to your toothpaste/toothbrushing routine if you have dental amalgams – the silver teeth fillings – those have mercury, and peroxide will release mercury vapors into your mouth! VERY, VERY DANGEROUS stuff!

    And for those who wonder about Fluoride. That stuff is poison. Please read about it. There’s a LOT of info and research about this. Water fluoridation and toothpaste does more harm than good, if any!

    Reply to Islem's comment

  25. Sarah on February 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Thanks for the “recipe”! I’ve been thinking about making our own toothpaste. Do you know what you could add for extra sensitive teeth? I saw that you said your teeth are less sensitive now than they were when using store-bought stuff ~ I use Sensodyne (which I’m sure is not healthy!) or Tom’s Sensitive usually, and when I use regular toothpaste I notice a marked difference in sensitivity. Thoughts?

    Reply to Sarah's comment

    • Susy on February 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Actually nothing, I found that once I switched to this my teeth become less sensitive, I think it’s from the harsh cleaners in regular toothpaste. I also started taking fermented cod liver oil every day which is good for your teeth too.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Islem on February 22, 2012 at 9:08 pm

        I completely agree with Susy. I also had very sensitive teeth and gums, even I had switched to all-natural store-bought toothpaste. I used Tom’s of Maine, but then I didn’t like that there were changing their ingredients around, so I stopped. Then switched to Natural Dentist, until they changed some stuff in it. Now, when I don’t have time to make our own toothpaste we use Desert Essence brand. It’s expensive, and it does have vegetable glycerin in it. But it’s the best out there, in my opinion. But none of that worked as good as taking Fermented Cod Liver oil and raw milk – has removed ALL sensitivity from it and even stopped my receding gums! I occasionally brush my teeth with just organic virgin coconut oil and I use Young Living’s Thieves Essential Oil as breath freshener and killer of bacteria between brushing.

        to Islem's comment

  26. Traci Veller on October 7, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Receding gums can only be treated by surgery. I have receding gums too and i am just saving money for my gum graft surgery. *.,`,

    Visit our new web site as well

    Reply to Traci Veller's comment

  27. Wendy on September 2, 2013 at 4:42 am

    Be careful with using baking soda if you have worn enamel problems. Baking soda cleans REALLY well, TOO well sometimes. I was using a homemade toothpaste and I eroded my teeth near my gum line.

    Reply to Wendy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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