How to Heal and Prevent Cavities with DIY Remineralizing Toothpaste

Even though no scientific studies support the use of remineralizing toothpaste, some people swear by it and prefer not to use fluoride. It's best to talk with your dentist first before using it; he or she can at least help you monitor any changes. Common ingredients in DIY toothpaste are oil, calcium magnesium powder, baking soda, and a flavoring agent.


What Is Remineralizing Toothpaste?

This is a tough question, with no clear answer. Since the most well-established, scientifically proven way to remineralize teeth is with fluoride (and since most toothpastes contain fluoride), almost all commercially available toothpastes could be considered remineralizing ones.
Some people tend to use the term to describe toothpastes with NovaMin®, a type of bioactive glass. However, at this time, NovaMin products are not available in the United States. Several other non-NovaMin "remineralizing" pastes are commercially available. Some are just standard fluoride pastes, while others are amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) formulations or various other similar formulations that may or may not make a difference (studies show mixed results).
Most commonly, however, the term remineralizing toothpaste is used to describe homemade toothpastes made with a variety of different ingredients, intended to heal and prevent cavities.

Is It For Real?

This is another very tough question. The Internet abounds with story after story of people who were told they had cavities who chose to "remineralize" them with homemade pastes (often combined with dietary changes) instead of filling them, with good results.
What's the problem with these stories? For one, certain types of very early, small cavities can heal themselves as part of the natural demineralization/remineralization process that is going on all the time on teeth. It's hard to say if homemade pastes and dietary changes made any difference, or if the cavities would have healed anyway. In fact, dentists in some countries wait much longer to fill cavities, compared to American dentists, since some will heal up on their own.
 Are there any studies to suggest that such "remineralization" efforts other than standard, dentist-recommended procedures like special toothpastes and rinses with high fluoride levels make a difference? Nope. This doesn't mean they don't work, but it should make you a bit cautious before hopping on the homemade remineralization toothpaste bandwagon.
Is there any treatment that is proven to remineralize teeth? Yep. If you are reading this article, you probably don't want to hear this, but fluoride is the "gold standard" for remineralizing teeth, especially when used at the higher, prescription-only strengths. Studies have clearly demonstrated that fluoride pastes improve remineralization compared to nonfluoride versions.
Are you dead set against fluoride? We know we won't change your mind, and it's certainly your right to choose whatever toothpaste you wish. Now that we've done our duty to recommend a scientifically proven method, we'll offer you nonscientifically proven (but intriguing) recipe information for homemade remineralizing toothpaste.

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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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