For far too many years, there have been stories exposing harmful chemicals found in our everyday items. Chemicals such as fluoride and triclosan found in deodorant, cosmetics, and our toothpastes, has led me to find more natural products to replace them. If you think the FDA is on our side and looking out for these harmful chemicals, think again. In fact, the FDA actually conspired with Colgate to hide the evidence of how harmful triclosan truly is.
As usual, we need to be more mindful about the products we use and try and find more natural ways to live. Making your own tooth powder is a natural way of cleaning teeth and a way of rectifying the issue of removing the chemicals from our daily lives.
In fact, I came across how useful charcoal is as a natural way to clean pots and pan when you do not have soap, so why not use it on your teeth?
Making natural tooth cleaning agents is not difficult. Really, most of the items are in or around your home. When I began researching about making homemade tooth cleaning powders, I came across stories of ancient Egyptians, Native Americans and even Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine using charcoal or wood ash as a way to clean teeth. Many view this as an archaic form of toothpaste, but it is still used today. In fact, our dear friend, Granny Spear wrote of her childhood experiences of gathering soot from her wood burning fireplace.
Toothpaste was available in some of the bigger shops, and it was in the form of powder usually. It had all kinds of stuff in it, but was far too expensive for large families.
We used soot. Every few weeks the range would be allowed to cool down so it could be given a good clear out. It burned better if all the sooty deposits and most of the ash was removed. I’m sure you know that wood burns better on an ash bed, and because of that we would always leave about an inch in the bottom of the fire box.
Collecting the soot was easy – just reach in and scrape it off. I collected it on a tin pie plate and then when I had enough, would spoon it into small tins that used to have mints in them.
For the younger children, I made it into a paste and put it on their brush for them… the brushes were all one size, far too big for children really. The older children would just dip the damp bristles into the soot and that was that.
Their reward was a couple of mint leaves or a chunk of apple to take the sooty taste away.
Activated Charcoal – Why It Works to Whiten Your Teeth
Many of the foods we eat and drink have tannins in them and activated charcoal removes these tannins through a process of adsorption, which is a fancy way of describing how the porous surface of activated charcoal attracts (mostly unwanted) material (similar to a magnet) and holds it in its pores. This leaves the area around it clean and does not affect the enamel or calcium in your teeth. This is what your water filtration device does to clean water.
Note: You must use activated charcoal. This type of charcoal has been purified and is best for this type of use. As a side note, brushing your teeth with activated charcoal can be a little messy. To prevent this, brush your teeth while showering to cut down on messes.
Benefits of Activated Charcoal
- Naturally whitens teeth and removes plaque – Charcoal will naturally remove stains, thoroughly clean and whiten teeth. As well, it’s great for healing mouth sores and for keeping the gums healthy.
- Rids your body of toxins – When activated charcoal is ingested, it prevents the stomach from absorbing toxins from many over the counter medicines, opium, cocaine and morphine. Activated charcoal is most effective if it’s administered within the first hour of ingestion of the toxin. As well, some take activated charcoal as a toxin cleanse to rid the body of harmful toxins.
- Relieves bug bites and stings – Making a poultice of activated charcoal mixed with a small amount of water and cornstarch can help reduce the unpleasantness of bee stings, poison ivy rashes, snake bites, spider bites (including highly poisoning bites from the Brown Recluse or Black Widow), and other poisoning bites.
- Great for keeping the skin healthy – Charcoal is great for thoroughly cleaning the skin. As well, you can use it as a gentle exfoliator and over time, it improves the texture of skin. I love using this activated charcoal sponge in this manner.
How to Use It
Using activated charcoal is super easy. All I do is wet my toothbrush and dip the brush into the charcoal powder and brush my teeth as normal. Adding a few drops of essential oils to your charcoal powder like peppermint oil, clove oil, cinnamon oil and 4 thieves oil will only add to to beneficial properties of and help freshen breath, kill bacteria, and prevent cavities. Here are some other natural alternatives to toothpaste you can use. As well, you can also make a mouth rinse. Here’s how to do it:
Charcoal Mouth Rinse
- Mix together 1/2 teaspoon activated charcoal powder with about 1/2-1 tablespoon of water.
- Add a few drops of your favorite medicinal essential oil (listed above)
- Swish it around in your mouth for 15-30 seconds and then hold the mixture at the front of your teeth for 3 minutes.
- Rinse very well.
If you don’t have time to make your own activated charcoal toothpowder, purchase charcoal capsules and empty the capsules for the powder or purchase food-grade charcoal powder. If you don’t have time to get the ingredients and make your own, consider some toothpowders that are premade. Here are five of my favorites.
Brushing your teeth with activated charcoal may sound strange, but it’s a wonderful natural alternative to harmful and sometimes toxic toothpastes we use today. Moreover, it has many beneficial uses and is a low cost natural solution. I have been using activated charcoal tooth powder once a week as part of my teeth care regimen for the past year and have really enjoyed the results. For the remainder of the week, I use natural toothpastes and I couldn’t be happier with the results. How many of you use activated charcoal on your teeth and gums?