DIY Whitening Toothpaste Recipe
I have been on such a DIY kick lately when it comes to health and beauty products, my husband thinks I'm losing it. But everything seems to work better, it's much cheaper, it's all natural so I know exactly what's in it and most of the time I could even eat all the ingredients if I wanted to, and I can use it on my kids too.
My latest adventure is toothpaste. I've been brushing with plain baking soda and water for a few months. After a week my mother said, "Your teeth look really white. What have you been doing?" Honestly, I'm not making it up! This from a woman who points out how much gray is in my hair whenever my roots have grown out more than half an inch.
Let me start by saying that I took a ton of antibiotics as a kid for strep throat. Apparently I was sick all the time and unfortunately they later found out that a side effect of this particular medication was that it permanently stains your teeth. I've had several whitening sessions at the dentist (can you say torture?) and I used to use Colgate Optic White every day. They were never white, just slightly less yellow. Coffee and red wine certainly didn't help either but I wasn't about to give those up. So I just tried to smile with my lips closed.
Then I remembered that I had a bag of activated charcoal under my sink that I had gotten months ago to make a whitening treatment. The charcoal binds to substances on the teeth and pulls them out, according to what I've read. This is why they often have kids swallow activated charcoal when they accidentally ingest poison - the charcoal binds to the poison and somehow keeps your body from absorbing it. Or something along those lines. Anyway, back to the whitening treatment. You just brush your teeth with straight charcoal and water and try to leave it in your mouth for a few minutes. You're supposed to do it a couple times a week but it was so messy I stopped using it. Imagine baby powder - except it's jet black. You know how when you put the baby powder bottle down on the counter, dust floats out all over the place? Yeah, not so great. Even worse when it's black. It would get all over the sink, faucet, and counter every time I used it. It cleans up easily and doesn't stain, but it's a PITA. So I forgot about it.
But then I read a recipe for making more of a liquid toothpaste rather than powder and I figured, why not? But how could I make it more of a whitening toothpaste? How about adding the charcoal? And voila, this recipe was born!
1/3 C baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
Spearmint or peppermint essential oil
Boiled and somewhat cooled water
1 tsp Activated charcoal
Mix the baking soda and sea salt together. Stir in the charcoal. Black dust will float around all over - don't worry too much. It cleans up with just a rag and water, but don't use your good white towels or anything. Now add enough boiled and slightly cooled water to make a paste. Add a smidge at a time until you're happy with the consistency. Now add several drops of mint essential oil. I'd say I used about 10 but it's totally personal preference.
That's it! Store it in an airtight container with a lid, preferably glass but mine is plastic because it was exactly the right size. Just wet your toothbrush, dunk it in the paste, and brush as you usually would. It looks horrible!
Your lips turn black and it drips out into the sink as a black, goopy mess. But it rinses right off, I promise. Unless you have an unsealed marble sink or something crazy like that. If your sink and counter are at all unsealed this is probably not a good recipe for you! Rinse well afterwards. Your toothbrush will look nasty so do what I do - hide it under the sink with your black toothpaste so hubby doesn't make fun of you. ;)
Considering that my teeth are a little off white naturally from all the antibiotics, this is pretty freakin' white for me. I've been using it about two weeks now. Imagine how white yours will be if you don't have this issue!