I Tried Clay Toothpaste, Here’s How It Went

Written by Allison

I tried clay toothpaste. It was interesting.

Do you remember when Shailene Woodley mentioned that she swallows her DIY clay toothpaste? The thought of that alone was bad enough, but what what is it actually like? I had to find out. I figured that one attempt at brushing my teeth with clay toothpaste couldn’t kill me (probably) so what was the harm in two minutes of uncomfortable brushing.

To make DIY clay toothpaste powder you simply need a pure, edible-grade clay like bentonite (you can try one like this). You can get fancy and add in charcoal powder, cinnamon, essential oils, and so on, but they aren’t really necessary to make clay tooth powder.

Let’s bring you in for a close up. See that tan lump? That was once a perfectly good toothbrush head. To actually use clay toothpaste powder you need to dampen your toothbrush bristles and dunk right on into the powder. From there you can brush your teeth with clay.

It starts off very unpleasant as your whole mouth fills with the dry feeling of clay, in your mouth of all places. Sigh.

Once you really start brushing the mouth full of mud feeling dissipates as all of the clay hydrates. It feels like a standard tooth brushing experience without the foam or minty freshness. By the time I was done brushing the ick factor had subsided, though the whole spitting it out process was less than pleasant. Again, this tastes like clay, not exactly like Colgate.

After getting out as much clay as possible I swished for a good minute with clean water to make sure no clay bits stuck around in my gums. There was a clay-like tint to the water when I was done so I’m highly recommending this step if, for some reason, you choose to forgo standard toothpastes in favor of clay toothpaste powder.

Personally, unlike Shailene’s recommendations I won’t ever choose to swallow clay, even if it is a good “dose of minerals.” This experiment was also decidedly less fun than the time I gave my man a beard blowout.

Post-clay toothbrushing adventure my mouth didn’t exactly feel clean. My teeth felt clean (though that could equally be from the brushing and swishing) but my mouth didn’t. Part of the reason I like foamy mint flavored toothpastes is that they seem to fizz out your whole mouth with freshness that clay toothpaste just can’t give you.

I can’t say that I’ll be brushing my teeth with clay again in my day to day life, but I won’t rule it out the way I did skin grits in the event of the end of consumerism.

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About the author


Bio: She's a New Orleans based beauty writer, nail polish hoarder, and doughnut enthusiast. When she isn't camping out in her local coffee shop for hours on end, you'll probably find her taking selfies in front of every colorful wall she's ever seen. Follow along on Instagram @allisonmarieschmidt.

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