According to culture and countries, people must have using alternatives for toothpastes. What all things can be used as effective alternatives for tooth cleaning and whitening?

For example, in Indian villages some people use some ayurvedic powders instead of toothpaste. Also some are using the leaf of mango tree to clean the tooth.

  • 1
    Is toothpaste unsustainable in some way?
    – gerrit
    Apr 23, 2015 at 14:25
  • Why not? A mix of chemicals in a plastic tube. Isn't it? Apr 24, 2015 at 7:50
  • 3
    Every paste is a mix of chemicals. Are there specific chemicals you are worried about? Or is it the tube itself?
    – gerrit
    Apr 24, 2015 at 14:25
  • worried about both tube and teeth...I don't believe in those toothpaste companies when they say it strengthens the teeth. Apr 24, 2015 at 18:00

5 Answers 5


The alternative of toothpaste and toothbrush, that people still use in country parts in India.

Branches of following trees Prosopis juliflora tree and Azadirachta indica tree.

See Wikipedia Azadirachta indica other uses


As a retired dentist with 30+ years of practice experience I have some input here. This will be a very controversial statement:

Toothpaste is NOT essential to good oral hygiene!!!

Just routine (thorough and expert) brushing and flossing without any dentifrice is sufficient for plaque removal!

Toothpastes are useful for some reasons:

1 They make B&F taste better. 2 The fluoride is a helpful adjunct to combat decay. I personally buy dentifrices based on cost and taste.

Most everything folks (and dentists?) believe about toothpastes and toothbrushes are based on marketing hype designed to sell you products!!!

Use these or not based on personal preference. If you make your own just be sure to avoid toxic and abrasive ingredients.

  • 1
    Intrigued by your answer I googled to see if I could find some more information about toothpaste not being necessary. I found this interesting PDF that explains things in a bit more detail.
    – THelper
    Mar 21, 2016 at 8:42
  • Aloha THelper, good article! It's good to know someone else figured this out and was willing to go on record with it. The article touched on the third reason to use dentifrices that I didn't go into: special needs.
    – RAD
    Mar 21, 2016 at 22:06

Here's an instructional video on making toothpaste with the primary ingredient being diatomaceous earth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRnjmDIRmqM

The recipe, as identified in the video, is as follows:

  • 1/2 c. food grade diatomaceous earth
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. Stevia (I presume they mean stevia leaf extract)
  • 12 drops peppermint oil
  • 2 drops tea tree oil

Blend all together until it forms a paste, adjusting the DE and water until it creates the consistency you're after. They recommended putting the resulting mixture in a restaurant-style ketchup squeeze bottle for use. I'm presuming, given the ingredients, that little refrigeration is necessary if its used within a week or so.


Branches of the Yellow and Black birch have anti-septic properties from Methyl salicylate.


  • 1
    Welcome to Sustainable Living @rocker. This is a very short post ... can you explain or summarize the what the link says? At present it's not answering the question, and would be better posted as a comment.
    – andy256
    Apr 24, 2015 at 0:32

There are lots of alternatives to store-bought toothpaste. A simple Google search for "homemade toothpaste" will give you a lot of results. Here are some that I found, note that they can get rather elaborate. For myself, I go simple, just baking soda and salt. It works great, really! http://wellnessmama.com/2500/remineralizing-toothpaste/ http://familysponge.com/health/coconut-oil/homemade-toothpaste-coconut-oil/ http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-toothpaste/ http://www.weedemandreap.com/diy-toothpaste-recipe/

Hope this helps.

  • "Backing Soda" .... this thing is not natural. Its a "Sodium bicarbonate" in scientific terms, which is a chemical compound.
    – aston
    Apr 25, 2015 at 5:07
  • @aston According to wikipedia Sodium bicarbonate can also be naturally occuring (although it often is fabricated).
    – THelper
    Apr 25, 2015 at 6:35
  • Well, according to the link you have provided, It says "Naturally occurring deposits of nahcolite (NaHCO3) were found in the Eocene-age (55.8–33.9 Mya) Green River Formation, Piceance Basin in Colorado". It was in the way way back in the past....not now...
    – aston
    Apr 25, 2015 at 8:32
  • @aston The wikipedia text is not well written and can be interpreted in two ways, but to prove that it is being mined: naturalsoda.com/OurUniqueProcess.aspx
    – THelper
    Apr 25, 2015 at 13:47
  • 2
    This illustrates the problem with the phrase “natural”. There is no unambiguous way to define what is “natural” and what is not.
    – gerrit
    Apr 25, 2015 at 18:11

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