Objective Growing consumer mistrust of a number of ingredients used in industry has led to the development of a trend for homemade products. This now affects all types of sectors, but particularly the hygiene sector for shampoo and toothpaste products. The aim of this work is therefore to study recipes found on the internet for these types of products in order to assess risks associated with their use.

Materials and methods Eighty-four recipes were collected from the internet and their composition was analysed.

Results None of the 84 formulas analysed contained any fluoride salts, well known for their oral health benefits. Eighty percent did not contain a foaming agent either, which is very useful in the cleaning function of toothpastes. Furthermore, the quantities of substances to be used were usually expressed in tablespoons or teaspoons, measures which are imprecise and could, for example, lead someone to use large quantities of an abrasive agent such as calcium carbonate.

Conclusions Attention should be drawn to homemade toothpaste recipes that contain no fluoride and whose abrasivity, purity and microbial contamination cannot be verified.

Key points

  • Shows that homemade toothpaste recipes can be dangerous.
  • Highlights that none of the formulas analysed contained any fluoride salts.
  • Highlights that it is impossible to predict their abrasiveness and microbiological quality.

*Note: All the authors are from France

**Original abstract online at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41415-021-2736-2


  1. Field J V, Balfour-Paul A, Wright D W. Perimandibular space infections. Br Dent J 1981; 150: 255-258.

  2. Bussenius H, Reznik D, Moore C. Building a culture of oral health care. J Nurse Pract 2017; 13: 623-627.

  3. World Health Organisation. Oral health. Available at https://www.who.int/health-topics/oral-health/#tab=tab_1 (accessed February 2021).

  4. Lindenmüller H, Lambrecht J T. Oral care. Curr Probl Dermatol 2011; 40: 107-115.

  5. Józsa l. Dental care, dental diseases and dentistry in antiquity. Orvostort Kozl 2009; 55: 43-57.

  6. Tadinada A, Kilham J, Bysani P, Gopalakrishna A The evolution of a tooth brush: From antiquity to present – A mini-review. J Dent Health Oral Disord Ther 2015; 2: 55-61.

  7. Opinion way. Nutrition & alimentation. Available at https://www.opinion-way.com/fr/nos-expertises/nutrition-alimentation.html (accessed April 2020).

  8. Opinion way. Cosmétique & hygiène beauté. Available at https://www.opinion-way.com/fr/nos-expertises/cosmetique-hygiene-beaute.html (accessed April 2020).

  9. Isaacs N. Every Woman’s Guide to Saving The Planet. Springfield: ABC Books, 2018.

  10. Eur-Lex. Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on cosmetic products. Available at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX%3A32009R1223 (accessed February 2021).

  11. O’Mullane D M, Baez R J, Jones S et al. Fluoride and oral health. Community Dent Health 2016; 33: 69-99.

  12. Marinho V, Higgins J, Logan S, Sheiham A. Fluoride toothpastes for preventing dental caries in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2003; DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD002278.
  13. Twetman S, Axelsson S, Dahlgren H et al. Caries preventive effect of fluoride toothpaste: a systematic review. Acta Odontol Scand 2003; 61: 347-355.
  14. Twetman S. Caries prevention with fluoride toothpaste in children: an update. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 2009; 10: 162-167.
  15. Wright J T, Hanson N, Ristic H, Whall C W, Estrich C G, Zentz R R. Fluoride toothpaste efficacy and safety in children younger than 6 years: A systematic review. J Am Dent Assoc 2014; 145: 182-189.
  16. Cury JA, Tenuta L M. Evidence-based recommendation on toothpaste use. Braz Oral Res 2014; 28: 1-7.
  17. Pollick H. The role of fluoride in the prevention of tooth decay. Paediatr Clin North Am 2018; 65: 923-940.
  18. European Commission. Scientific committee on consumer products – Opinion on the safety of fluorine compounds in oral hygiene products for children under the age of 6 years. 2005. Available at https://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_sccp/docs/sccp_o_024.pdf (accessed April 2020).
  19. Dias da Silva M A, Walmsley A D. Fake news and dental education. Br Dent J 2019; 226: 397-399.
  20. Ledru T. Le fluor, poison chimique (santé). 2016. Available at http://la-haut.e-monsite.com/blog/le-fluor-poison-chimique.html (accessed April 2020).
  21. Dogna M. Le fluor: l’imposture des dentifrices (et de l’eau du robinet). 2017. Available at https://micheldogna.fr/l-imposture-des-dentifrices-au-fluor/ (accessed April 2020).
  22. Lindenmüller I H, Lambrecht J T. Oral care. Curr Probl Dermatol 2011; 40: 107-115.
  23. Zhen X, Ng W C, Fendy et al. Toxicity assessment of carbon black waste: A by-product from oil refineries. J Hazard Mat 2017; 321: 600-610.
  24. Flemming C A, Ferris F G, Beveridge T J, Bailey G W. Remobilization of toxic heavy metals adsorbed to bacterial wall-clay composites. Appl Environ Microbiol 1990; 10: 3191-3203.
  25. Forsyth J E, Nurunnahar S, Islam S S, Baker M, Luby S P. Turmeric means “yellow” in Bengali: Lead chromate pigments added to turmeric threaten public health across Bangladesh. Environ Res 2019; 179: 108722.
  26. Wongkhantee S, Patanapiradej V, Maneenut C, Tantbirojn D. Effect of acidic food and drinks on surface hardness of enamel, dentine, and tooth-coloured filling materials. J Dent 2006; 34: 214-220.
  27. Pereira C A, de Nishiokas D. Poisoning by the use of Datura leaves in a homemade toothpaste. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1994; 32: 329-331.
  28. Wiegand A, Kuhn M, Sener B, Roos M, Attin T. Abrasion of eroded dentin caused by toothpaste slurries of different abrasivity and toothbrushes of different filament diameter. J Dent 2009; 37: 480-484.
  29. Wiegand A, Schlueter N. The role of oral hygiene: does toothbrushing harm? Monogr Oral Sci 2014; 25: 215-219.
  30. Hilgenberg S P, Pinto S C, Farago P V, Santos F A, Wambier D S. Physical-chemical characteristics of whitening toothpaste and evaluation of its effects on enamel roughness. Braz Oral Res 2011; 25: 288-294.
  31. Hara A T, Turssi C P. Baking soda as an abrasive in toothpastes: Mechanism of action and safety and effectiveness considerations. J Am Dent Assoc 2017; 148: S27-S33.
  32. Parry J, Smith A J, Sufi F, Rees G D. Effect of simulator design on in vitro profilometric assessment of toothpaste abrasivity. Wear 2012; 279: 34-40.
  33. McKay D L, Blumberg J B. A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.). Phytother Res 2006; 20: 619-633.
  34. Hsouna A B, Halima N B, Smaoui S, Hamdi N. Citrus lemon essential oil: chemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities with its preservative effect against Listeria monocytogenes inoculated in minced beef meat. Lipids Health Dis 2017; 16: 146.
  35. Marchese A, Barbieri R, Coppo E et al. Antimicrobial activity of eugenol and essential oils containing eugenol: A mechanistic viewpoint. Crit Rev Microbiol 2017; 43: 668-689.
  36. Carson C F, Hammer K A, Riley T V. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) oil: a review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties. Clin Microbiol Rev 2006; 19: 50-62.