On the Rock’n’Toothpowder

Natural toothpowder:

I’ve stopped using toothpaste a few years ago, as I was catapulted into a world of dental health and unhealth when our toddler’s teeth suddenly started crumbling away – fast.

The problem with virtually all toothpastes – even the most hippy-dippy organic ones – is that they contain glycerin. Glycerin apparently coats your teeth (making them feel nice and smooth), and prevents remineralisation – a daily, natural process through which your teeth rebuild themselves with the minerals present in your saliva.

I got a bit geeky on the issue and came up with an elaborate recipe. It works amazingly well on sensitive and broken teeth and – from all the feedback I have had – on cavities. (Yes, your teeth can defend themselves and you can heal cavities without drilling and filling! More on this in some future post.)


This sort of recipe, I am convinced, beats any toothpaste for oral health. You can easily make this yourself and you do not have to include all of the ingredients (more clues below). There’s some other great tooth powder recipes out there, and some ready-made powders to buy if you don’t fancy the grinding and sifting and shaking that making your own involves.

If you are grappling with some serious tooth issues, or have a little one in your care whose teeth need attention, using Magnesium oil (actually a magnesium chloride solution) both transdermally (rubbed in skin) and on the toothbrush is likely to be key in remineralising your body and teeth. There is a whole complex interaction between magnesium and calcium going on in human bodies, and we are all probably deficient in the former.

On the Rock’n’Toothpowder

  • 1 part powdered Himalayan salt (Celtic Sea salt would work too – minerals in salt help remineralisation, but salt also makes saliva flow and strengthens gums and cleans wounds and bacteria)
  • 1 part Bentonite healing clay (this will adjust pH, bind bacteria and toxins and aid in calming infection; Pascalite clay from Wyoming is really great, but green French clay is what we are using now that we are in France, any healing clay works)
  • 1 part calcium carbonate powder (for internal use/supplement quality, will help alkalinise your mouth and prevent acid erosion of enamel, plus it’s a building block of your teeth)
  • 1 part bamboo silica (probably best plant source of silica, an essential mineral for strong teeth)
  • 1 part Marshmallow root powder (this plant provides an abundance of mucilage for protection of mucous membranes, and draws abscesses)
  • 1 part Licorice root powder (anti-inflammatory and used traditionally with Comfrey for dental caries)
  • 1 part red sage powder (astringent, antiseptic, antibiotic, traditionally used in mouth washes and against ulcers, but reduces breastmilk in case you are breastfeeding and thinking of using the powder yourself)
  • 1/4 part black walnut hull powder (astringent, detergent, anti-inflammatory, apparently people have lots of success with caries and black walnut, but it is very bitter and also an antiparasitic so has strong action when ingested, hence I use the smaller amount)

You could make a basic powder just with salt, clay, and an anti-inflammatory herb – either one of the above or something else you like. Clove being an obvious choice if toothache is your issue.

Additionally, remineralising your whole body with regular consumption of bone broths and/or herbal teas will of course improve everything – your teeth are a living part of your body. (I’ll aim to post something more on tooth metabolism soon.)

The following herbs/herbal teas are for mineralising the body. You can put these teas in baths, too, as they are well absorbed through the skin.

  • Nettle tea
  • Cleavers tea
  • Horsetail tea
  • Comfrey tea (1 month on, 1 month off if you give it every day)
  • Oatstraw tea (oatstraw is the grass itself, and not the grains of oat)
  • Parsley (in food or juiced)
  • Kelp or other seaweed

Some herbalists advocate such things as fresh carrot juice and (pure) almond milk for bone and teeth health. And they are in fact delightful together. You will have to decide for yourself whether the sugar in carrots and the phytic acid in almonds is beneficial in your case. Guts are individual! Soaking the almonds overnight in salty water, and then maybe even peeling them (before blending them in fresh water to make milk) will reduce their phytic acid content.

If you are successfully using any other powdery or pasty substances for oral health, or if you have any comments or questions, I would love to hear from you.

Good luck, enjoy your natural toothpowder!

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  1. Hi Nina,

    Great article! Could I just ask you if it is possible to substitute the red sage powder for normal sage powder? Or is the red sage powder better suited to tooth or gum problems? Any advice would be really helpful, thanks!.

    • Wayne,

      the sage I use is probably what you call “normal” – Salvia officinalis (var. rubia). “Red sage” is simply another (old-fashioned?) name for sage. Go for Salvia officinalis (whose volatile oils soothe the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat). I think there is also a Chinese sage which is sometimes called “red sage” (Salvia miltiorrhiza), but that is not the one I am using and has, to my knowledge, also not such a close affinity for mouth and teeth.

      Hope this helps!

  2. Nina, I just found this post when searching for help in healing my 6 year old cavities. Can you tell me where to get all these ingredients for the tooth paste powder? I am in New York.

    • Kim,

      I bought most ingredients online, but I am based in the UK and France – for you, Mountainrose Herbs will surely at least have some of them. You can buy Pascalite clay directly from the producers in Wyoming (I think).

      Note also, that you do not need ALL the ingredients (except clay, salt and one of the anti-inflammatory herbs) – and I nowadays often brush just with salt or just clay when I run out of the prepared powder…

      We are still very happy with the results! My son’s teeth healed – they are still small and partially discoloured, but they are hard and do not cause him any issues.

      However, I do think that the biggest thing in that whole process was the dietary changes – we cut out grains and sugar for almost 3 years. We reintroduced rice, quinoa and buckwheat last winter, which he keeps having occasionally (not daily) and his teeth are still fine.

      It took a few months without grains and with toothpowder for us to notice that his teeth seemed not to be getting any worse, after 10-12
      months or so we had the dentist confirm that the caries was inactive and that his teeth seemed hard. They have not moved since then.

      Best of luck!!

  3. Hi!
    I just found this article when looking to tweak my toothpowder recipe. The one I use is:
    4 Tbsp Bentonite Clay
    3T Mag/Cal powder
    1T Baking Soda
    1T Cinnamon
    1.5 t Cloves
    1t Mint
    1.5 t myrrh

    (At one point I found several recipes online and I combined them to get a recipe I could make with what I had on hand)

    I’m intrigued by the salt in your recipe – do you think I could add it to mine? If I add it, would I need to take something out?

  4. thanks nina for this recipe! i am using a simplified version (could not get some of the herbs or bamboo silicia) and my teeth feel really good!

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