Get Spooky White Teeth with Charcoal!

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Hello and welcome to #SpoilYourselfSunday, where we celebrate simple and frugal ways to enjoy a little me-time. Get in the spirit – write your own tips on our Facebook wall, or tweet @CatchyFreebies with the hashtag #SpoilYourselfSunday. If we choose your tip for a feature, we’ll send you a sample from our stash! 

Today for #SpoilYourselfSunday, we’re getting spooky in honor of Halloween! We’re going to show you how to get pearly white teeth using activated charcoal – sounds strange to smear black stuff on your teeth to make them whiter, doesn’t it? Well then, you’re in for a good scare!

First off, how does it work? Activated charcoal (aka activated carbon) is what you get when you heat up carbon to really high temperatures and treat it with oxygen and/or chemicals (such as calcium chloride or zinc chloride) to make it super porous. This “activation” process makes the carbon more effective at attracting and binding to chemicals, like the stain-causing tannins that are in coffee, red wine, herbal tea, tobacco, blueberries, and other foods. The reason why activated charcoal is so effective (and safe!) for cleaning teeth is that it doesn’t bind to calcium or other beneficial minerals on the teeth, so it just takes away the bad stuff without stripping off the good stuff :)

So, how do we use activated carbon for teeth whitening? It’s actually very easy – just brush with a capsule of the black stuff! But because activated charcoal is so teeny-tiny (this is part of what makes it so effective at picking up toxins, but it also makes it really difficult to clean up!) it can get very messy and create stains all over your bathroom. So we recommend you use this in-shower method:

  1. Brush your teeth with your regular toothpaste and toothbrush.
  2. Get a second toothbrush that you’ll use only for brushing with charcoal (it’s best to keep it in its own cup in the shower – as long as you don’t care if the cup gets dirty!).
  3. Empty a capsule of activated charcoal into your mouth, close the capsule back up, and put it in your trash can (if your trash can isn’t lined, you may want to wrap it in a tissue).
  4. Using your charcoal-only toothbrush, scrub the activated carbon around your teeth and gums – really get it in there!
  5. Rinse the (now black) toothbrush under your bath faucet, then bathe or shower as normal. Swish the charcoal in your mouth every so often if you like.
  6. When you’re through with your shower, spit the charcoal right into the drain, and rinse out your mouth while you’re still in the shower – this will keep the mess contained :)
  7. Optional: if you like, you can brush your teeth again with your regular toothpaste to get rid of the taste.

That’s it! Easy peasy, and you can do it while you shower! We love a good multitasking clean :) If you don’t like the idea of dumping a capsule of activated carbon in your mouth, you can even try a charcoal toothbrush! If you have any veneers or crowns, please consult your dentist before you try this teeth whitening method, just to be sure the activated charcoal will not damage them.

What’s your favorite way to whiten your teeth? Leave us a comment on social media using the hashtag #SpoilYourselfSunday!


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