Homemade tooth powders provide a natural alternative to commercial toothpastes. They may take a little getting used to if you’ve been using sweetened toothpaste all your life, but they are so easy and inexpensive to make, and so effective in cleaning the teeth, that they are worth a try. They are also free of all the chemicals added to commercial toothpastes. Since toxins are easily absorbed through the lining of the mouth, it makes sense to switch to a nontoxic formula. Although my husband initially resisted using these unsweetened preparations, he can no longer stand the taste of commercial toothpaste. He says that his mouth feels fresher and cleaner when he uses an herbal tooth powder. Wet your toothbrush prior to sprinkling on the powder to help it adhere. Salt or spice shakers are a good way to apply tooth powders to a moistened brush. They are convenient for travel and excellent to take camping. You can make tooth powders with baking soda, sea salt, finely ground herbs, clay and other ingredients. When using baking soda or salt for brushing the teeth, you can add essential oils to increase the antimicrobial action or to flavor the powder and make it more palatable. For example, add 1 drop of tea tree oil per brushing for increased antiseptic properties, or 1 drop of fennel, mint, orange or cinnamon oil per brushing for increased cleansing properties and enhanced flavor. It is best not to swallow the powder when essential oil has been added, since it may be too concentrated. I recommend using finely ground, unrefined sea salt. If you are using coarse, unrefined sea salt, you will need to grind it before using it in a tooth powder.