DALLAS — When it comes to toothpaste, the choices can be overwhelming. It turns out, a lot of what's out there might not even be good for us. 

“When we see something that’s over-the-counter, we think it’s totally safe and it’s not," said dentist and author, Dr. Nammy Patel. 

"There are a crazy amount of ingredients -- about 20 to 30 ingredients in there, including pesticides, and most people who are just shopping for toothpaste don’t know what that stuff is," Patel said. 

Concerns about all those chemicals inspired Patel to create her own toothpaste using just five ingredients that you can pick up from pretty much any grocery store or online retailer. 

Here is Dr. Patel's recipe: 

  1. Doterra Oil: "It has cardamom, cinnamon, they're really good for the gums. They actually help to fight off bacteria, strengthen the consistency of our gums, so it makes them stronger," Patel said.  
  2. Peppermint Oil: 
    "It is wonderful for killing off bacteria," Patel explained. 
  3. Pumace: Be sure to get the fine grade because it's abrasive. 
    You don't want to strip your teeth's enamel. "It's good tooth whitening," Patel said. "It’ll take off all the stains on the teeth."
  4. Coconut Oil or Coconut Ghee
    Dr. Patel said this naturally whitens and kills bacteria. It's also helpful as we age. "After [age] 60s, the mouth becomes really dry. So this is really great for patients to make sure that you are lubricating the mouth," she said. 
  5. Pinch of Salt for flavor! 
    "All we have to do is mix it together… as you mix it, the consistency will get better," said Patel, who has been brushing her own teeth using this recipe for 16 years. She came up with the ingredients list based on what's easily available to the general public and what she says we really need in a toothpaste.

Patel said the recipe is safe for children, pregnant women, pretty much anyone because the ingredients are natural. 

Bottom line: Get choosey about your toothpaste. We have tiny blood vessels in our mouths, so anything that we put in it gets absorbed!