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Brush It Off: Homemade toothpaste, without the toxins


Story by Leah Troiano

WHEN YOUR CHILD’S DENTIST asks to talk with you privately, it’s never good news. As my little darling finished her check up, the dentist informed me that she admitted to not brushing enough. Although I wasn’t happy about her confession, I wasn’t surprised to hear she was dodging the brush. She’s not a fan of toothpaste—mostly because of the flavor.

The conversation with the dentist got me thinking about making my own toothpaste. But I didn’t start trying recipes until I found out what’s in the store-bought stuff. A few of the ingredients that caught my attention included:

  • Triclosan: Often found in anti-bacterial products, triclosan is a suspected carcinogen and classified as a pesticide by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Propylene Glycol: The chemical—which is also an active component in antifreeze—can be absorbed through the skin and, with prolonged contact, can lead to organ damage.
  • Artificial sweetener: I would never knowingly dump a chemical sweetener into my children’s food, and yet they were getting a daily dose while brushing their teeth.
  • Diethanolamine (DEA): This chemical disrupts hormones, forms cancer-causing nitrates, and with repeated use may cause kidney and liver damage.

This was more than enough evidence for me. Try this recipe for a toxic-free toothpaste that even your pickiest teeth-brusher will like.


  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1 small packet of Stevia sweetener powder or 5 drops of Stevia liquid
  • 10 drops of essential oil (We enjoy peppermint.)
  • 2 drops of tea tree oil

Heat coconut oil until slightly softened. Once softened, mix all ingredients together. Stir well to make a paste. Store mixture in a small recycled glass jar. 

To use, apply a small amount to your toothbrush bristles and brush. 

Leah R. Troiano, a certified cancer support educator, works with people who have cancer or would like to prevent cancer. Lowering toxicity is just one of many ways to get your body in cancer-fighting shape. Videos on how to make the products featured in this column can also be found at Leah’s website in the “Video” section. For more information, visit or email

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