Healthy Alternatives to Conventional Dental Care (Oil Pulling, DIY Zero Waste Toothpaste…)

It has been a while since my last post about zero waste and a plastic free life. Today I want to share a few information about healthy alternatives to conventional dental care. I want to share with you why I turned my back to conventional toothpastes, why I love oil pulling, and how I make my homemade chemical free toothpaste.

The reason for why it has been so long since my last zero waste post is basically that I am doing terrible in avoiding waste these days! The year started off really well but over the past few months it got worse and worse and I ended up with MUCH more plastic waste than I would have wished for. Nevertheless, I did reduce the amount of waste that I am producing A LOT. Using homemade tooth paste is only one of the small things that helps me doing so.

Okay, but this post focus is on health and not on zero waste – even though the two often go hand in hand.

So why am I no longer using conventional toothpaste? I stopped using conventional toothpaste around two years ago and first switched over to organic options before I started using my DIY toothpaste. When I first stopped conventional toothpaste it wasn’t for a zero waste lifestyle but because of health concerns.

Why health concerns?

There has been quite some controversy around the ingredients that are in conventional toothpaste. There is triclosan and sodium lauryl sulfate, fluoride, propylene glycol, and sodium hydroxide, to name just a few of them. All those substances are actually linked to cancer and a long list of other ailments.

Triclosan, for example, has been said to be potentially carcinogenic and has also been linked to concerns over antibiotic resistance, endocrine disruption and thyroid dysfunction. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), to take another example, has been linked to skin irritation and painful canker sores. Why would I then put something like this into my mouth?

Eeewww. No.

So what does my dental care look like?

I do oil pulling every morning for around 10-15 minutes.

I brush my teeths twice a day – in the morning with my electric tooth brush and homemade tooth paste, in then evening with my SWAK toothbrush.

I use zero waste refillable floss every night.

What is oil pulling and why do I do it?

Oil pulling is the easiest thing to make part of your morning routine. Just take a tablespoon of coconut oil or a special oil blend for oil pulling, and swish it around in your mouth for ten minutes. In doing so, you will activate enzymes that have a powerful detoxifying affect on your entire system. Those enzymes are pulling toxins, bacteria, fungus, and other nasty bugs from the mouth (and some say even from the entire body). Make sure to spit out the oil when you are done pulling it.

When doing oil pulling for a while you may tend to forget to brush your teeths in the morning because they feel so clean! This happend to me, yes 😀

For my oil pulling routine I like to use either coconut oil or a special blend of oils from Ringana which contains sesame oil, cinnamon oil, mint oil, star anise oil, and many other.

What is MISWAK and why do I like it? 

Miswak is a root which contains loads of minerals, such as potassium, sodium, chloride, sodium bicarbonate and calcium oxides. These and other substances that can be found in the Miswak root are said to strengthen the tooth enamel, to kill bacteria that causes gum disease and to fight plaque.
It is pretty easy to use Miswak and you can either purchase an entire stick, or a Miswak based toothbrush such as the SWAK brush. I like to add a little bit of oil to my SWAK brush but you can also easily use Miswak without anything added. Brushing the teeths takes a little longer when using SWAK because you will automatically brush much more careful. To me, it became a little bit of  good night meditation kind of thing, to take some 5 to 10 minutes every night to carefully go over every single of my teeth with my SWAK brush.
Miswak is definetly a great option when you want to reduce waste but you do not like the feeling of bamboo toothbrushes in your mouth (this is how things are with me – I really cannot stand those bamboo things.). This is what I like about it: it makes me use my electric brush less (so I do not have to buy new brushes all the time) and to reduce my waste. At the same time it forces me to be more conscious about my dental care (when you brush with Miswak or SWAK you have to be conscious about what you are doing otherwise you will simply not brush your teeth but your tongue or whatsoever 😀 ) and this again makes my mouth just feel even cleaner and healthier. 

And now to the homemade toothpaste! There are soooo many recipes out there.

I will share two easy recipes with you:

The first one is:

2 tablespoons coconut oil (naturally prevents candida)
2 tablespoons baking soda (very alkaline – helps neutralize acids)
Some Xylitol (reduces cavity-causing bacteria and sweetens)

The second one is:

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablesspoons bentonite clay (natural polisher and rich in minerals)
1 teaspoon of turmeric (has astringent properties and is also abrasive)
A few drops of filtered water (if needed)


You can actually also just blend together all of the above things. It’s all good for you and will not harm your teeth so just go for it 😀

Xylitol is good for getting a sweet taste so I recommend using some, if you like that.

Many many people use essential oils in their homemade toothpastes. However, I read that essential oils are actually too strong and they kill even the good bacteria that we like to keep in our mouths. So I stopped using essential oils.

Finally to the floss. I was very happy when I found a zero waste alternative. It comes in a refillable glass and the floss is really nice and strong. Plus it looks pretty nice acutually. I found mine in my favorite plastic free online shop

The floss is not vegan, however. I was’nt able to find an alternative that is vegan and zero waste. Have you? If so make sure to let me know!

Now that was it! What is your approach to toxins in conventional toothpaste and what do you do to reduce waste when it comes to dental care? I would love to know and get inspired 🙂


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5 Kommentare

  1. Amy Arnold
    August 25, 2017 / 3:21 pm

    I admire your efforts! I don’t think I can do this, but I do admire you.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  2. August 26, 2017 / 12:28 pm

    Also die Zahnbürste könnte ich mir leider so gar nicht vorstellen. Ich hänge da recht an meiner elektrischen Zahnbürste und bin selbst nach dem kurzen Trip oder Urlaub wieder heilfroh, die endlich wieder zu haben… :/

  3. August 26, 2017 / 5:42 pm

    I have heard about the oil pulling, but even though it is tempting me so much, I;m kind of scared to use it. I’ve heard it can cause some side effects at the beginning of detoxifiying process like flu or sick throat and I’m always not ready for it! I’ve never heard about Swak before, that’s interesting:) Now I’m really busy at work, preparing classrooms, doing some paper work and everything for the new school year, it’s crazy! It’s so sad the holiday season is almost over, but I’m also happy cos it’s the season for zucchini – we have plenty of giant zucchinis in our garden:) Have a lovely weekend, hugs:)))

  4. August 27, 2017 / 7:59 pm

    These are very intriguing alternatives! I am definitely interested in the home made tooth paste idea!

  5. August 29, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    I am super happy you shared it, cos I was looking for some alternatives for what is in the shops (esp that one is shops almost always contain Sodium laurel sulfate I try to avoid. Thank you, thank you! WIll look forward to more advice like this one 🙂
    Happy Tuesday!