Whiten Teeth Naturally With No Dangerous Chemicals

by Sarah Natural Remedies, Oral Health, Personal CareComments: 184

whiten teeth naturally

By Heather Dessinger of Mommypotamus

Do You Ever Wonder . . .

About the people who write product warnings? Consider the things they tell us not to swallow:

  • hangers (man I was going to try that!)
  • iPods (um, WHAT?)
  • tooth whitening gels

Okay, on that last one I have a real question: How am I supposed to not swallow for 20 minutes while stuff fizzes out of a plastic tray into my mouth?

The answer, of course, is that I’m not. Package inserts are often more about reducing liability than educating the consumer. Case in point? Printing “may irritate eyes” on a can of pepper spray, and the “warnings” about gum irritation that come with tooth whiteners. If they really wanted to educate consumers, the label would say:

WARNING: This product is likely to contain coal tar, fluoride, aspartame, aluminum and benzene and has demonstrated acute toxicological effects in rats, including but not limited to labored breathing, bloody urine, infertility and incontinence. (source1, source 2)

Fortunately, there’s an easier, cheaper, and completely natural way to whiten your teeth in less than 3 minutes a day. It’s one of the six tooth care recipes I share in my brand new ebook, DIY Organic Beauty Recipes. And like many truly healthy options, the solution seems almost counter-intuitive. Eat fat to lose fat? Check! Brush your teeth with something that looks like squid ink for a dazzling, pearly white smile? Surprisingly, that works, too.

Activated Charcoal: The Secret To Naturally White Teeth

Activated charcoal – also called activated carbon – is made by processing charcoal with oxygen and either calcium chloride or zinc chloride. It was used medicinally by both Hippocrates and the ancient Egyptians, and it is still the poison remedy of choice in modern day emergency rooms. Why? Because it’s highly adsorptive, which in plain English means it attracts substances to its surface like a magnet. Like absorptive substances which work like a sponge, adsorptive materials bind with certain compounds and prevent our bodies from using them.

Fortunately for us, activated charcoal is a bit particular about what it locks onto. It’s not interested in calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, inorganic phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc and other compounds you probably want to hang onto (including your tooth enamel). It does, however, happen to like tannins – the compounds found in coffee, tea (even herbal tea), blueberries, wine and spices like cinnamon that stain our teeth. As a bonus, activated charcoal also balances the mouth’s pH and is even considered beneficial enough to be used in some tooth re-mineralization formulas.

So, are you ready to give it a try? Good!

No wait, there is something I forgot to tell you. This is really important so I hope you’re scrunched up to your screen nice and close. Ready? Okay! Folks, this stuff WORKS. When you start noticing children in grocery carts and little old ladies hovering in your vicinity, you don’t need to go check your makeup in the mirror. They just want to see you smile again. Okay? As someone who used to pop in whitening trays every day I was skeptical, but give this stuff a week or two and you’ll be amazed. Okay, moving on!

How To Whiten Teeth Naturally With Activated Charcoal

There is no “right” way to whiten teeth naturally with activated charcoal. Koreans put it in their toothpaste, Crunchy Betty swishes with it, and some people simply brush it on straight. Personally, I prefer the following method:

  1. Open a capsule of activated charcoal (about 1/8 teaspoon) and pour about half into a cup.
  2. Wet your toothbrush and dip it in the charcoal, then brush gently. Keep in mind that you are not trying to scrub your enamel, you are simply massaging the surface of your teeth with the activated charcoal so that it can attract tannins like a magnet.
  3. After brushing, hold it in your mouth for 2-3 minutes to allow it to continue to work.
  4. Spit and rinse thoroughly, then follow with a second brushing using your regular tooth powder/paste.
  5. Now look in the mirror and smile. You may see a difference with the first application. If not, give it a few days to a week and I promise you will!

Want More Recipes?

In my new 180 page guide, DIY Organic Beauty Recipes, I’ll show you how to boost the whitening power of activated charcoal with a minty-fresh mouthwash. You’ll also discover how ridiculously easy it is to make your own beauty products: Quick yet luxurious gifts for the holiday season, fabulous shampoos, conditioners, body sprays, lotions, deodorants, baby products and more!

* Activated charcoal does bind with iodine and may bind with other vitamins and minerals the body needs, so it is not usually recommended for internal use except when dealing with acute situations such as chemical or food poisoning. Activated charcoal does not work in situations where the material ingested is caustic, such as lye.

About Heather

Heather Dessinger, aka The Mommypotamus, is a wife, blogger and mom to two amazing kiddos, both waterborn at home. She loves all things fermenty, talks to sock puppets, and dreams of owning her very own flock of backyard chickens. She is the author of two ebooks. Nourished Baby is a simple guide to introducing real food to little ones, and DIY Organic Beauty Recipes is a collection of 50+ beauty and personal care product recipes that really work.


More Information

How to Use Activated Charcoal to Whiten Teeth Naturally Without Making a Mess

Food Poisoning Remedies That Work Fast

Toddler’s Severe Tooth Decay Halted in 5 Days

Whiten Your Teeth Without Dangerous Chemicals

Natural Alternative to Dangerous Baby Teething Gels

Resolving Periodontal Problems with Bone Broth

Coconut Oil Stops Strep Bacteria from Damaging Tooth Enamel

What is the True Cause of Crooked Teeth?

10 Signs Your Dentist is Truly Holistic

Avoiding Root Canals with Diet Alone

Could the Cause of Your Illness Be Right Under Your Nose?

Most Wisdom Tooth Extractions Totally Unnecessary

Comments (184)

  • Noor Ullah Jan

    Thanks, Sarah.
    Natural teeth whitening means no chemical, safety and economy.
    Let me add something about lemon juice and teeth whitening.
    It’s possible you have combed lemon juice through nice hair to achieve blond streaks for a teenager. Lemon juice maintains a pool of same bleaching effects on your teeth. Simply use your finger or maybe a soft cloth to help rub the lemon juice across your teeth just the summer seconds. Salt is usually mixed into that lemon juice and it is quite useful for removing plaque build-up. The gritty texture and consistency scrub teeth without causing harm to the enamel. Just mix salt using lemon juice, and work with a toothbrush to brush the complete surface of one’s teeth. Immediately shortly, rinse your butt end thoroughly with tepid to warm water to avoid any sort of acidic damage.

    June 25th, 2016 11:58 am Reply
  • Tom

    I found it at Walgreens!

    April 22nd, 2016 5:27 am Reply
  • Tygiene

    I’m started use an electric toothbrush after it was adviced by my dentist and now I can see much more whitening on my teeth.

    November 4th, 2015 2:47 pm Reply
  • jesseney

    Hello Sarah!
    I had an important question for you how do I go about brushing my toddlers teeth I threw away her toothpaste that had xylitol but what can I use now to brush her teeth ? Thank you so much in advance!

    November 2nd, 2015 3:48 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      If you check the blog I have a post with a recipe for homemade toothpaste 😉

      November 2nd, 2015 9:01 am Reply
  • John Sutcliffe

    I’ve been researching teeth whitening methods but I’ve discovered I have little confidence in many (if any) of the commercial products on offer.

    I’m currently collating different natural teeth whitening methods and I shall certainly be making a note of the activated charcoal method.

    The comments from your readers seem to indicate this method is worth checking out.

    Thanks for the great post.

    October 29th, 2015 2:40 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Bening

    Thanks for sharing this guide! I’ve tried the activated charcoal, and the result were amazing. This safe chemical can also help to purify the water. Sometimes, i doubt that if i used in excess my teeth may remain black for a long time. Is it so?

    September 30th, 2015 10:41 am Reply

    Hi, guys!:
    Just wanted to say please DON’T do a professional whitening or use those commercial at-home teeth whitening systems! Check out this resource first, Teeth Whitening 4 You. The author was a former dental technician for over 17 years and this is seriously the most comprehensive information I’ve found about the dangers and it’s pretty scary. This program offers scads of do-it-yourself all-natural alternatives and 24/7 support if you have any questions or concerns so if you’d like some additional info and help on natural oral heath and teeth whitening, you can check out the page here:
    Or get more info here:

    May 30th, 2015 10:45 am Reply
  • Amanda

    Hey, I was using soda+lemon method. It’s quite effective, but after a while I found my teeth unhealthy and weak. So I searched for methods to improve my dental health and almost all of them were bs.. Then I found some nice and useful information at shinyteethreview.com it has home-made methods that keeps my teeth white. I used these methods for 3 months now and now I’m very happy! Now I’m looking forward to try Activated Charcoal. I will try this thing in no time. Have a nice day!

    May 23rd, 2015 2:59 pm Reply
  • Kimpoay

    Thanks for sharing!

    April 30th, 2015 3:29 am Reply
  • Felice Morin

    There are definitely a lot of methods out there that different people use. I guess different things work for different people. A lot of people are looking for home remedies, but the fastest and most effective method is probably still professional teeth whitening. I’ll have to look into the activated charcoal more. Interesting article, thanks for sharing!

    April 24th, 2015 2:07 pm Reply
  • Ramy Lorens

    So many incredible natural, homemade teeth cleaning recipes! I am amazed! I just had no idea that I can make my own cosmetics! Thank you for sharing!

    March 30th, 2015 8:47 am Reply
  • Brook

    That’s so interesting, I had no idea that charcoal could whiten teeth! I actually find that surprising, something so dark being able to whiten our teeth. Thanks for the instructions, I’ll definitely have to give it a try. Did you know that baking soda can whiten teeth, too? I’ve also heard that banana peels can work wonders, but I’ve never given that a try either.

    March 18th, 2015 11:01 am Reply
  • prerna

    Is Baking Soda Effective for Whitening Teeth?

    February 26th, 2015 6:37 am Reply
    • Cecilia

      It is extremely corrosive. I have gone to a Huggins dentist and they have told me the same. I tries it anyway and it left permanent scrape marks on my teeth. Dont use baking soda.

      May 11th, 2015 12:14 pm Reply
  • Shelia

    Awesome post! I never tried any of the teeth whitening products. Trying to find the best to use without going to the dentist office? Thanks for sharing.

    February 26th, 2015 12:28 am Reply
  • Sandara

    I read lot of blogs about activated charcoal for whiten teeth, to have a white teeth. It is possible to used it, even wearing braces? My dental clinic advices not to try, any recommendations? Thanks!

    January 18th, 2015 10:26 pm Reply
  • Brian Westover

    I’ve heard that coconut oil is good for your teeth too anyone know if that’s true? If it is then I’m seriously considering buying some coconut oil because that seems to be good for a number of things. So if anyone has had experience with coconut oil as a natural teeth whitener I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

    December 31st, 2014 12:45 pm Reply
  • Aaron

    I found that this does help with the stains on my bonded front teeth. Thanks for the tip, as well as tips from other commenters. I mixed the charcoal with coconut oil, and you still need to be careful as it can be rather mess.

    November 26th, 2014 1:49 pm Reply
  • annie


    November 26th, 2014 5:25 am Reply
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  • melody

    Wow so cool, I NEED to try this. I currently use a whitening pen and I hate the way it tastes and I hate keeping my mouth open for 5 minutes for it to dry. I actually shoot the blow dryer at my teeth for it to dry faster lol! Charcoal I believe is a natural detoxifier as well and only has benefits for our body. Can’t wait to see how white it makes my teeth. Thank you for this!

    August 6th, 2014 2:57 pm Reply
  • Lovey

    I’ve read a blog post before that activated charcoal can actually be used in whitening your teeth, but this is the first time that I saw an activated charcoal capsule. Is it a supplemental one or you’re just going to take out the powder inside the capsule and then use it as a paste to whiten your teeth?

    July 12th, 2014 9:56 pm Reply
    • cortney

      Did you read this blog? She says to open the capsule and put it on your toothbrush.

      March 15th, 2015 4:05 am Reply
  • Daner22

    I use only this for whiten my teeth http://whitenteethtutorial.wordpress.com/

    May 18th, 2014 1:26 pm Reply
  • Belle Miller via Facebook

    I’ve tried this 3 times and it hasn’t made any difference whatsoever. Not sure what I’m missing.

    May 15th, 2014 7:54 pm Reply
  • DrDeborahMD via Facebook

    Or, try this terrific tooth powder made for you out of bentonite clay, organic spices and essential oils. Comes in a handy little dispenser and tastes great. I now think of toothpaste in the same category as hand sanitizers: overly chemical not really clean! http://givemethedirt.com/products/the-dirt-trace-mineral-tooth-powder

    May 15th, 2014 7:35 pm Reply
    • Steve

      I drop just a bit of bentonite clay on my tongue before oil pulling with a teaspoon of coconut oil. After a week or so I noticed a definite whitening of my teeth.

      August 3rd, 2014 6:20 pm Reply
  • Susanna Martin via Facebook

    It didn’t make much of a difference for me. It did remove coffee and tea stains, but nothing dramatic. And it kept getting stuck in my teeth and gumline. I guess it’s ok, WAY better than the whitening strips that make your teeth ache.

    May 15th, 2014 3:46 pm Reply
  • Kelly Branson Conrad via Facebook

    I LOVE this! My teeth get so white when I do this. No toxins. It’s awesome!!!

    May 15th, 2014 12:41 pm Reply
  • Marie

    What do you think about ascorbic acid to whiten your teeth, as an occasional treatment?

    May 15th, 2014 11:00 am Reply
  • Erin Cronin via Facebook

    Safe for nursing moms??

    May 15th, 2014 10:17 am Reply
    • Meg

      Internally, no. W/ tooth brushing and mouth washes, yes. I used it w/ both of my kids.

      January 22nd, 2015 5:46 pm Reply
  • Susan Lee via Facebook

    Don’t actually “brush” with it though. It is too course in this form and can remove enamel from your teeth.

    May 15th, 2014 9:50 am Reply
  • Carly Soule via Facebook

    How many days in a row should you use it?

    May 15th, 2014 9:32 am Reply
  • Kailee

    Does this cause tooth sensitivity? I tried it a few weeks back and have been having some sensitivity but not sure if it’s from the activated charcoal. Have been nervous to try it again!

    May 15th, 2014 9:04 am Reply
    • Naz

      I’ve used it twice and my teeth and gums have become way more sensitive. I’m not sure it is the charcoal, but I’m inclined to think that it is and that this method isn’t for me. Going to discontinue it and stick to my usual regime of oil pulling.

      December 12th, 2014 8:41 am Reply
  • Barbie Frost Lindsey via Facebook

    I purchased a 1 lb bag from Azure Standard through our local coop.

    May 15th, 2014 8:43 am Reply
  • Jessica Keith Tubbs via Facebook

    Tina Herschberger, charcoal is only meant for occasional use like food poisoning ect…. it will bind to neccessary vitamins and will depleat you. And i’m guessing from your profile pic if your breastfeeding you need all the nutrition to stay right where it is… probiotics would be your first choice for those issues, enzymes if there are spacific foods that make you gassy and chlorophyll if there is any odor problems. Its a good idea to give baby probiotics as well if you are having these issues your disbiosis will be passed on to baby. Nothing to stress about, just take steps to balance out your gut flora :) sorry if i’ve overstepped. Just didnt want to see you or baby suffer…

    May 15th, 2014 8:29 am Reply
  • Tina Herschberger via Facebook

    I just ordered a bottle with 100 capsules from Amazon. Excited to try it for teeth whitening and I might also take the capsules too for the gas relief/bloating/digestion benefits!

    May 15th, 2014 7:10 am Reply
  • Kim Madden Hawn via Facebook

    I want to try it!

    May 15th, 2014 7:03 am Reply
  • Beverly Nemeth via Facebook

    works..i do it!!

    May 15th, 2014 5:27 am Reply
  • Barb

    Well, crap, I didn’t even think about cinnamon staining the teeth when I made my last batch of toothpaste! No wonder I feel like my teeth are not getting whiter. And thanks for the reminder about activated charcoal!! I completely forgot about it, and I have a ton (…somewhere… shoved in the back of a cupboard, I’m sure. 😉 ).
    Do you think it would be fine if I added it to my jar of toothpaste presently? It’s bentonite clay, coconut oil, xylitol, cinnamon, and salt.
    I could easily just mix some AC in with it, but I’m not sure if the cinnamon/AC combo would work out.
    Thank you for any thoughts!

    May 15th, 2014 4:16 am Reply
  • Linda Walcroft via Facebook

    I read in the comments that a couple of people reported “black charcoal residue stuck in my gum line.” ??!

    May 15th, 2014 12:29 am Reply
  • Melisa Hills via Facebook

    I did this a few months ago and it does work. Now, to have my son use it on his teeth…

    May 15th, 2014 12:13 am Reply
  • Rachel Holmes via Facebook

    Oh I found this idea on Pinterest and tried it out a couple weeks ago. It totally works. There’s no taste at all but wow it’s amazing! I texted a before and after to my sister and now she’s dying to do it too!

    May 15th, 2014 12:11 am Reply
  • Janelle Ruppert via Facebook

    I was skeptical, but I could tell a difference after the first time we tried it last week. I was afraid it would taste funny, so we mixed the charcoal with coconut oil and it worked wonderfully!

    May 15th, 2014 12:10 am Reply
  • Anthony Martin

    Dirty teeth are really a turn off and cause huge embarrassment. Therefore, using teeth whitening products has become quite essential. These can be conveniently bought from the nearby malls, salons and also by ordering online.

    April 23rd, 2014 2:34 am Reply
  • Dahio23

    I use only this for whiten my teeth http://whitenteethtutorial.wordpress.com/

    April 14th, 2014 6:48 pm Reply
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  • Eugeniya Hilzinger

    It’s great to see so many people being conscious about not using chemicals!

    I use therapeutic grade essential oils, which simply dissolve, neutralize toxins, and kill germs. I sometimes add a little baking soda.

    March 24th, 2014 11:48 am Reply
  • diane

    hi everyone the best teeth whitening product that is recommended by dentist is ZERO-PROXIDE Its only a 20 minute which you see a real differents from first use.Ive used it myself and within 3 weeks my teeth were 5 shades whiter and i couldnt be happier.Have a look at http://www.brilliantwhiteteeth.org

    March 23rd, 2014 1:58 pm Reply
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  • Jennifer

    Can someone please tell me if AC will discolor dental work such as a cap or crown?

    February 19th, 2014 10:05 am Reply
  • Sandy

    Although you can pick up a jar of activated charcoal capsules at most any health food store, my hands down favorite place to buy any kind of activated charcoal product is:

    February 18th, 2014 2:11 am Reply
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    January 13th, 2014 12:40 am Reply
  • Rebekah

    Once I have achieved the right white, should I still continue to use this?

    January 12th, 2014 7:48 pm Reply
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    December 8th, 2013 9:16 pm Reply
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  • Tiffany

    So I’m curious. I went and purchased a bottle of activated charcoal (280 mg) by the Solaray company. On the top of the bottle, it has a prop 65 warning that states that “This product contains a chemical known to the state of california to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.” While I don’t plan on having any more kids, should I be concerned about this?

    December 3rd, 2013 3:19 am Reply
  • Kim

    None of us inthe family have had many cavaties and so when my youngest daughter came back from the dentist with a mouth full of cavaties and one that needs a root canal (which we are not doing) I was horrified. I thought that it was her diet ( which contributes hugely) but I found out that she has been using white strips in her mouth. Could someone post an article or two on the dangers of using these whitening strips so that I can forward this information to my 18 year old.

    November 26th, 2013 11:01 pm Reply
  • Tiffany

    Anybody know what affect this has on your tooth enamel?

    November 26th, 2013 1:19 pm Reply
  • Juanita Pierce

    Hi Heather,
    OK…….so I tried the activated charcoal teeth whitening method tonight before bed and here is what I found……
    My teeth, gums, tongue, lips, everything turned this awful black color (like one of those awful horror flicks) and I got “REALLY” nervous!
    I continued on with the treatment and brushed well, and rinsed thoroughly after and most of the color did leave my mouth…..except my tongue it still has a coating or residue that I’m hoping will be gone by morning

    November 26th, 2013 12:35 am Reply
  • princess

    Whitening tips: Avoid water & tooth paste with fluoride is this really true? I’m so confuse I read that on this site http://howtomaketeethwhiter.org/

    November 20th, 2013 11:00 am Reply
  • Mark

    I used activated charcoal for all kinds of things including my teeth. I will say DO NOT USE ANY TOOTHPASTE afterwards or ever.

    I have had only one cavity in my life and that was because the brush could not reach behind the metal ring that where anchoring my braces.

    I have avoided sweet for years but also due to being lactose intolerant also avoided dairy most of my life.

    Now as an adult. I eat good but I do not avoid sugar in fact I often finish off a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish food on my own.

    I eat nuts, crackers ( I have notices if I eat too many crackers my tooth often hurt and I back off) apparently its the Phytic Acid in grains that cause tooth decay. I just found that out today so many that’s the issue with the crackers. I do NOT drink sodas. I also have never had fluoride on my teeth and have avoided it my whole life.

    So why are my teeth in good shape?

    I think one of the main reasons is most of my life I have not use toothpaste very often. Tooth paste contain glycerine (even the natural non-fluoride ones) and glycerine coats the teeth and prevents the natural re mineralization that repairs your teeth naturally.

    A co worker that has a absolutely horrible diet and eat garbage and sweets all of the time told me the other day he has perfect dental health. We started talking and he said he thinks it’s because he has never used toothpaste! He uses water!

    I would suggest brushing with AC then follow that with a calcium mag powder supplement to help in mineralization and you could use and ionic tooth brush as well as I have heard that helps the re mineralization.

    Avoid toothpaste and whiteners as they are not good for your teeth. Increase your Vitamin D3 to 1,000 I.U. per 25lbs of body weight per day also. Of course less sugar, and grains are advisable as well.

    October 24th, 2013 12:11 am Reply
    • Dave Martin

      After reading about Weston Price, I like to ask strangers about their teeth – if a man seems unusually healthy and strong.
      Of the first several I asked, who said that they had great teeth, two said that their mother made them take cod liver oil every day as a child. I did not expect to hear that at all. One was in his 60’s, the other in his 40’s.
      If you read this, do some surveying of your own – it’s for sure that medical science will not do such a study.

      December 3rd, 2013 6:16 am Reply
  • KS

    Fluoride is a bit more natural than activated charcoal. Nevertheless, just wanted to warn people that ingesting the charcoal without doctor’s guidance can lead to digestive problems (ie additional hospital bills).

    October 16th, 2013 2:03 am Reply
    • Mark

      TOTAL B.S. and ignorance. First off Fluoride is garbage and is harmful and does nothing for your teeth and should be avoided.

      Activated Charcoal is natural safe and will stop most food poisoning in it’s track if taken at the first sign of sickness. It also will prevent or eliminate gas and nausea.

      Just make sure it’s food grade and drink lots of water. There is absolutely no concern at all of using it to brush your teeth unlike Fluoride which is toxic.

      Also Activated Charcoal can help with a detox and also be used externally to remove poison from spider bites.

      October 24th, 2013 12:16 am Reply
      • Jeanie

        fluoride is a toxin and your body deposits in your teeth to try to protect itself from the damages.

        November 25th, 2013 7:00 pm Reply
  • manisha sharma

    I guess hydroperoxide will do the similar magic, well this one is also good

    September 30th, 2013 11:34 am Reply
    • Mark

      Hydrogen peroxide will but in some people it will cause the teeth and gums to become sensitive. And so will baking soda which made my inner area near my lips numb. I stop using both of the above and use Charcoal now.

      October 24th, 2013 12:18 am Reply
  • Aliyanna

    Be careful with buying charcoal….there are a lot of variables. You can’t be sure what kind of trees or whatever is being used. Allergic reactions happen…and if the charcoal is not handled correctly….it can have some unwanted things in it.

    I would rather use soda. For intestinal upsets or accidental poisoning…bentonite clay is soooooooooo much better!!!

    September 4th, 2013 12:02 pm Reply
  • Laura

    Would this work for teeth stained by flouridosis?

    September 3rd, 2013 10:52 pm Reply
  • Angelique

    Is there absolutly no risk ? Because I’ve always heard that one should not use baking soda too often or else it damages the enamel. So I wonder if it is the same case with charcoal ?

    August 25th, 2013 4:28 pm Reply
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  • Marie

    I drink herbal tea every single day and have for over 15 years. I just tried this and I saw a difference RIGHT AWAY! I can’t wait to see how my teeth will look in a week. I used whitening strips when I got married 11 years ago, but they felt so gross on my teeth that I never did it again (although it did work). I’m so happy I found out about this!!

    August 1st, 2013 4:04 pm Reply
  • Tara

    I am in the same boat @Allson – 18 weeks pregnant and would like to know if charcoal is safe for me?

    June 27th, 2013 9:51 am Reply
  • Alison

    I’m 17 weeks pregnant. Is it okay for me to use either charcoal or the clay?

    April 24th, 2013 9:53 am Reply
  • Lisa researching teeth whitening

    I’ve never heard of this nor would I have ever thought to try this. Thanks for sharing. Really interesting! I’m looking forward to trying it out.

    April 16th, 2013 11:33 am Reply
  • Danny

    Great stuff, here’s also a good read on how to whiten your teeth at home: http://dailyweighin.com/beauty/5-natural-ways-to-whiten-your-teeth-at-home/

    April 15th, 2013 10:24 am Reply
  • Eugeniya Hilzinger (Health Essentials LLC.)

    Interesting! Thank you for sharing.
    I wonder if this can be used to absorb toxic food.

    I personally use therapeutic grade essential oils mixed with salt, olive oil, and clay. I don’t rinse my teeth right away and swish the mixture mixed with my saliva for as long as I can. Therapeutic grade essential oils whiten my teeth and penetrate into the bones, killing germs.

    April 9th, 2013 6:24 pm Reply
  • Sammy Dolan

    Love the activated charcoal tip! I will be sure to try that!

    March 9th, 2013 2:44 pm Reply
  • aurident

    Oh dear! that sounds truly fantastic! Seems way, way better than a baking soda. How much does this charcoal capsule costs? Is there some of these here in US?

    February 28th, 2013 10:54 am Reply
  • Rachel R.

    I haven’t tried charcoal for tooth whitening, but we use it for upset tummies. It doesn’t taste like much, just feels a bit gross. And it’s safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding.

    I was thinking that iron WAS one of the few desirable nutrients it will adsorb, though?

    February 24th, 2013 9:29 pm Reply
  • Rebecca C

    I have used this many times. It is the only thing that has gotten some specific dark spots out of my teeth that reappear every once in a while. A few people asked how it tastes. There isn’t really a taste, just the sensation of dry powder in your mouth.

    February 17th, 2013 1:08 am Reply
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  • April

    I was wondering if you make your own infant/toddler/children’s toothpaste? I have been using a toothpaste with Xylitol in it and am finding out that Xylitol isnt so great to use daily! Any information you could pass along would be greatly appreciated.

    January 17th, 2013 3:34 pm Reply
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  • Jenn Hanson

    Can I use this while pregnant??

    January 7th, 2013 1:01 pm Reply
  • Erica

    I’m a facebook fan and have been a reader for quite some time, but never really comment. Well, I have to say that I tried this on my teeth today and WOW! It’s just what I needed -such amazing results (my teeth were not yellow at all, but had yellowed some after years with out using bleaching systems). I am overjoyed at finding something simple, inexpensive, non-destructive and natural that truly gives results (it’s the little things, right?…) Thanks for sharing this!

    January 1st, 2013 4:53 pm Reply
  • Kay

    Definitely going to try this.

    We also brush occasionally with Black Walnut Powder, which helps get rid of cavities & also helps with whitening too. However one day my oldest son had dark stains on his two front teeth – maybe from drinking a lot of tea, and the Black Walnut Powder didn’t help to get rid of it, neither did our homemade toothpaste (baking soda, real salt, coconut oil). After looking for quite awhile to try and find a solution, I finally came across someone who suggested Peppermint Essential Oil on a q-tip, dipped in a small amount of banking soda, then rubbed on the teeth. It worked!!!

    December 30th, 2012 3:27 am Reply
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  • Wisdom teeth Dentist

    Good Post and great tip with charcoal. Also Rinsing your teeth with Lemon juice can help to whiten your teeth and help dissolve the free radicals overall!

    December 22nd, 2012 8:46 am Reply
  • nancy jacques

    Supposedly my teeth are discolored because my mom took tetracycline when she was pregnant with me. Will it work on my teeth?

    Anyone heard of http://toothsoap.com ??

    December 20th, 2012 11:35 pm Reply
    • Charles

      I believe that is an extrinsic stain from congenital birth. That can’t be restored. I’d give it a shot though.

      June 29th, 2013 3:16 pm Reply
      • Charles

        Sorry, intrinsic stain not extrinsic.

        June 29th, 2013 3:17 pm Reply
  • Hannah Healy @ Healy Real Food Vegetarian

    This is so great! I was just thinking about finding a natural way to whiten teeth since I drink black tea every morning. Thanks for the great post!

    December 20th, 2012 11:24 am Reply
  • Linda Ayre

    I am very interested in trying this but have one question. I have a tooth (right in front) that was cracked when I was young but never had a root canal done on it. The root and whatever else is on the inside is dead and has turned dark. I tried to have it bleached but it wouldn’t take the bleach. Do you think using the activated charcoal would help or just make that tooth look darker compared to the other teeth?

    December 19th, 2012 9:32 pm Reply
    • Charles

      No, activated charcoal is not going to rectify the damage. The damage like you’re aware of is caused by the necrotic tooth not a stain. But it should be noted that the necrotic tooth that is darker is a result of deadened, or dried up, blood trapped in the capillaries of the tooth. I think that can be flushed out. Activated characoal will not help that out unless its stained with tannin like the article suggest.

      June 29th, 2013 3:14 pm Reply
      • Kimberly

        I had an accident and my front tooth was almost lost. They had to do a root canal on it, so the tooth is dead. I have not gotten a cap put on it yet. I was wondering if using AC will turn this dead tooth a diff. color or is it safe to use?

        January 31st, 2014 5:13 pm Reply
  • Chrissy

    So, I have an entire large can of activated charcoal and perpetually stained teeth, so I thought I would try this. Not unpleasant, though I felt massaging the charcoal around with my finger was more effective than the tooth brush. I can notice a difference! Awesome! That said, I have black charcoal residue stuck in my gum line. That isn’t to assume everyone will have this issue… But to be safe maybe don’t do this before a date or a job interview. I think it should go away, we’ll see what the morning brings. I think I’ll keep it up, being mindful of doing it on a few day at home stretch. :)

    December 19th, 2012 9:06 pm Reply
  • Tom Lindsey

    Anybody have a recipe for making activated charcoal at home? I remember looking online sometime ago for how to make it myself and was disappointed by what I found online as none of it leant itself to my trying it out at home…

    December 19th, 2012 5:21 pm Reply
  • lynn

    i wanted to know if you have porclean crowns can you use this method, i made the mistake of having dental work done before i discoverd your website and nourishing traditions approach. also i have been usoinf artic cod liver liquid for 2years from whole foods had and you mentioned not to get store bought so where to you get your cod liver oil from ?

    December 19th, 2012 2:51 pm Reply
    • Diane

      Lynn, a lot of people in the Traditional Foods, Nourishing Traditions circle get their cod liver oil in fermented form (is said to be the best) from Green Pasture.org. You can get just the fermented CLO or in a mixture with High Vitamin Butter Oil (found by Weston A Price to be the most nutritious form of butter). http://www.greenpasture.org/public/Products/ButterCodLiverBlend/index.cfm

      December 21st, 2012 1:57 pm Reply
  • wendell

    Would this activated charcoal work in a detox situation? My doctor says I have a fatty liver and to cut back on fats and take 2-400mg vitamin E pills a day. I have no plan to stop my traditional fats or cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil. I believe the problems with my liver stem from the 3 hydrocodone pain pills I take every day with tylenol. I want to find some way to detox my body and see if this helps me. I also want to find some program to get off the pain pills period.

    December 19th, 2012 11:15 am Reply
    • Diane

      Wendell, have you considered doing a series of liver cleanses? An excellent author on this subject, as well as other health topics, is Andreas Moritz. One of his books is called “The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush.” Except that he promotes a mostly vegan diet (he does approve of butter), which is what worked for him. the book is very educational. I’ve done the flush 5 times and will continue until I see no more stones. There’s a wealth of information on his website. Here’s an article specifically about Fatty Liver Disease and a lack of choline: http://www.ener-chi.com/fatty-liver-disease-choline-provides-a-nutritional-solution-for-a-silent-epidemic/

      Here’s his general website: http://www.ener-chi.com

      December 21st, 2012 1:52 pm Reply
  • Sara

    Ok I gotta try it – ordered from Vitacost and we’ll see! Seems backwards to brush your teeth with something black but hey, whatever works and isn’t toxic! Thanks for the great tip.

    December 19th, 2012 9:13 am Reply
  • Crystal

    I did this last week and it worked really well. My teeth were yellow and have some embarrassingly dark stains on them. My boyfriend mentioned something about buying a store bought tooth whitener but I wanted to try a more natural route first. They were noticeably whiter after just one application. It didn’t even make a big mess which I had been worried about. Does anyone know if it’s safe enough to do every day until they are white enough or should I give my teeth a break and only do it once a week?

    December 19th, 2012 6:42 am Reply
  • Fiona

    Hmm I will give it a try… but I am pretty sure that I just have naturally yucky coloured teeth :( Sure they may be a bit stained… but honestly as far as I remember my teeth have always been yellowish (two of my kids are the same… so I have to assume it’s just an inherited yucky colour?!).

    But yeah… it’s always worth a try! (And I don’t bother with trying to bleach my teeth as it’s never worked… I’ve always sort of figured I’d need to save for veneers in order to achieve pretty teeth)!

    December 19th, 2012 4:20 am Reply
  • Anne

    I didn’t see an apostrophe error, and I usually notice those things! Thanks for the great tip, Heather!

    December 19th, 2012 1:31 am Reply
  • Kate

    What does the charcoal taste like. Doesn’t sound good.

    December 19th, 2012 12:12 am Reply
  • Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen

    I’ve been wanting to try this! Maybe I should hope for some activated charcoal in my stocking (the only kind of coal I’d be excited about!)

    I have to remember to check the health foods store next time I’m there…

    December 18th, 2012 8:29 pm Reply
  • Raj McDaniel

    Yippy!!! Two of my favorite blogs together!! Thanks for the great info.!!

    December 18th, 2012 8:26 pm Reply
  • Linda Vittitow via Facebook

    You could put some in my Christmas stocking, you know.

    December 18th, 2012 7:55 pm Reply
  • Linda Vittitow via Facebook

    I think I will try it.

    December 18th, 2012 7:55 pm Reply
  • edan

    Is this safe to do while pregnant or breastfeeding?

    December 18th, 2012 7:41 pm Reply
  • gabi

    This is another excellent use for activated charcoal, I hope everyone tries it! Charcoal is such an essential part of the home “real medicine” cabinet…it is wonderful for nausea, diarrhea, toxicity (great for GAPS detoxing, too), even sore throats! (check out my recent post for more on that) You can buy it in bulk. Never wanting to be without it, I buy charcoal by the bucket from: http://www.buyactivatedcharcoal.com/medicinal_charcoal

    December 18th, 2012 6:49 pm Reply
  • Lucia King via Facebook

    Wow awesome, thanks! Love your work :)

    December 18th, 2012 6:38 pm Reply
  • Jennifer K.

    This sounds awesome…I will definitely give this a try. My son’s adult teeth have started to come in and they are noticeably much more yellow then the baby teeth the dentist whitened when he was 5 while fixing his cavities. I didn’t know anything about Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil back then. His adult teeth also have white spots…I believe from fluoride. Does this taste bad? He is nine now and I am trying everything to undue what has been done…thanks!

    December 18th, 2012 5:09 pm Reply
  • ariyele ressler

    how fabulous. love when the thing you think NOT to do is the very thing that works, ie eat fat to lost fat, use activated charcoal to whiten teeth. thanks so much and i’ll definitely try this!

    December 18th, 2012 3:10 pm Reply
  • Deborah Meade

    Wow! Thanks Lel. Can’t wait to try this. I’ll need to collect the supplies. Maybe over Christmas vacation.

    December 18th, 2012 4:03 pm Reply
  • Joy O’Hare via Facebook

    Small grammatical error but “it’s” when used possessively does not have an apostrophe. Otherwise you are saying “it is”. I noticed one someone in the article. Otherwise, thanks for the tip!

    December 18th, 2012 3:50 pm Reply
    • Sara

      I noticed one “somewhere” in the article. LOL. Guess we all make those errors.

      December 19th, 2012 9:12 am Reply
      • Mary

        Ha! Love this! – just though I’d pull my too scents in!

        December 19th, 2012 4:41 pm Reply
  • Erin

    I just tried this and I could easily notice a difference. I guess my toothbrush will be black by the end of the week, but I can already tell my teeth will be nice and white. Thanks!

    December 18th, 2012 3:47 pm Reply
  • Susan W

    I found that once I switched from store bought milk to raw milk my teeth got noticeably whiter in 3-4 weeks. It was a dramatic change. I’m guessing that the calcium in raw milk is much more absorbable than in pasturized milk.

    December 18th, 2012 3:38 pm Reply
  • Denise Dalessio via Facebook

    thanks niki,charcoal is a great benefit. i forgot

    December 18th, 2012 3:13 pm Reply
  • watchmom3

    Oh this is so cool! I have had a bag of activated charcoal for a year and had not dared to try it on anything! Thank you! I usually use baking soda..so, I am anxious to try this! Also, if you go to bulkherbstore.com and look around, they have other uses for activated charcoal. (:

    December 18th, 2012 2:31 pm Reply
  • Sarah Couture Pope via Facebook

    Activated charcoal works way better than swishing with hydrogen peroxide in my experience. Like, tons better.

    December 18th, 2012 2:11 pm Reply
  • Brooke Harbertson Todd via Facebook

    So excited to try this!!! I’m a dental hygienist and feel like I need to have a dazzling smile, but I refuse to use the whitening gels. Thanks!!!!

    December 18th, 2012 1:47 pm Reply
  • Julia Overstreet Sathler via Facebook

    How timely! Just noticing my son’s yellowish teeth a few minutes ago. Thanks!!

    December 18th, 2012 1:46 pm Reply
  • Tracey Ginter via Facebook

    I use bananas. It naturally whitens as well.

    December 18th, 2012 1:27 pm Reply
  • Melaine LeBlond Ghostkeeper via Facebook

    Amanda Silver, read this!!

    December 18th, 2012 1:21 pm Reply
  • Megan

    I use 3 T baking soda, 1 tablet charcoal and 2 tablets probiotic, mix. dip braush and brush. works great for bad breath whoiteing and cleanig. add essoil kif you want fovor. 1or 2 frops befoe you mix

    December 18th, 2012 1:13 pm Reply
  • Carolle Prytula via Facebook

    Will have to try this as I already have sensitive teeth.

    December 18th, 2012 12:58 pm Reply
  • Lel

    Here is the mascara recipe. I haven’t tried it yet so if you try it Deb, let me know how it goes.

    2 tsp coconut oil
    4 tsp aloe vera gel
    1/2 tsp grated bees wax (grate then measure)
    1 — 2 capsules of activated charcoal
    a clean mascara container (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005UGVIQ4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B005UGVIQ4&linkCode=as2&tag=than01-20)

    1. Put coconut oil, aloe vera gel, and grated bees wax in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until beeswax is completely melted.
    2. Open 1 — 2 capsules of activated charcoal (depending on desired color, about 1/4 — 1/2 tsp) and pour into oil mixture. Stir until completely incorporated. Remove from heat.
    3. Pour into a small plastic bag, pushing the mixture down to one corner. Then cut a very small hole in the opposite corner of the bag.
    4. Fold the corner with the cut whole until you have a small tip that you can push into the empty mascara tube. (It’s much easier if you have an extra set of hands nearby to hold the tube in place!) Make sure the tip goes far enough into the tube or you’ll have a big mess on your hands!
    5. Keep the small-hole-end securely in the tube (or get your helper to hold it in place). Begin pressing the mascara mixture toward the tube. Don’t move too quickly or it will come out and you’ll have mess to deal with. (I highly recommend doing this with a paper towel or napkin underneath.) Keep moving the mixture into the tube until it’s all in.
    6. Place the inner cap in place and then twist the wand on tightly.

    December 18th, 2012 12:52 pm Reply
    • Crystal

      I saw this recipe online a while ago. I want to try it so badly but I’m allergic to coconut. There doesn’t seem to be any decent substitute for coconut oil in most recipes because it thickens at room temperature unlike most oils or butters. I haven’t worn any makeup in over a year now, I miss it.

      December 19th, 2012 6:45 am Reply
      • Brookss

        You can wear mascara again…use a frozen blackberry that has set for about 3 minutes( they are juicier than fresh and easier to store), rub a q-tip to get berry juice on it and then dip into some spurlina powder to make it a litte darker then put in lashes :)

        February 19th, 2013 11:51 pm Reply
      • Robin

        You can use shea butter instead of coconut oil

        July 28th, 2013 12:36 pm Reply
  • Jenna Darby Laughter via Facebook

    Thanks for the tip – trying it today!!!!

    December 18th, 2012 12:39 pm Reply
  • Deborah Meade

    Could someone please post the mascara recipe. My current tube is about done and I don’t want to buy another commercial product. Thanks. Love your blog Sarah!!

    December 18th, 2012 12:24 pm Reply
  • Stephanie Peña via Facebook

    Yes I use it too and it has helped whiten so much

    December 18th, 2012 12:21 pm Reply
  • Jody Renninger via Facebook

    Whoot! Can’t WAIT to try it! I’ve been thinking there must be a healthy solution for whiter teeth but I didn’t know what it was. Thanks Sarah!

    December 18th, 2012 12:16 pm Reply
  • MT Tulachandra via Facebook

    Activated charcoal works wonderfully. Been using it for a while myself.

    December 18th, 2012 12:11 pm Reply
  • Donna Marie Chapin via Facebook

    I always encourage people not to use whitening strips. I used them for one week, got a huge cavity on my front tooth, and had to have a root canal. This, of course, was before I knew about the dangers of root canals. Before I used the strip, there was not even a hint of decay on the tooth, and then so quickly a huge cavity developed. I know it was the strips.

    December 18th, 2012 12:07 pm Reply
  • Janet Michael Roten via Facebook

    our Goga Studio has “sole” and it works wonderfully to whiten teeth and help the gums!!

    December 18th, 2012 12:06 pm Reply
    • traci

      what is ‘sole’??

      April 24th, 2013 6:50 am Reply
    • Altamisal

      I think it must be true about the sole. I’m not using it myself but I have been taking a half tsp. Real Salt in warm water (warm enough to dissolve the crystals) each day when I get up. Think that must be about the same thing as sole. I started about a month ago and today I noticed my teeth are looking a lot whiter! Woohoo!

      March 8th, 2014 11:09 pm Reply
  • Christie Lynn Cooper via Facebook

    Food grade peroxide?

    December 18th, 2012 12:05 pm Reply
  • Jean Market via Facebook

    All you need is to rinse with peroxide for 1 min before brushing! It’s great to fight gum disease too and costs 89cents a bottle. I’m a Dental Hygienist.

    December 18th, 2012 12:02 pm Reply
    • Jennifer

      Yes, but if you have mercury amalgam fillings won’t it cause more mercury loss with the H2O2?

      December 18th, 2012 2:34 pm Reply
      • Veronica

        That is correct. You shouldn’t rinse with peroxide if you have amalgam fillings in your mouth.

        January 11th, 2013 4:43 pm Reply
    • Laura

      Good Job Jean Market!

      December 18th, 2012 9:37 pm Reply
    • patrick

      what is hydrogen peroxide is unsafe to put in the mouth like that?

      March 26th, 2013 1:48 am Reply
  • Sarah Couture Pope via Facebook

    Gissel Delvillar Orellana The healthfood store has bottles for about $10

    December 18th, 2012 12:01 pm Reply
  • Lel

    Thank you Heather for this posting. This topic is so timely since I have been giving a lot of thought on what I can do to whiten my teeth. I recently started using tooth chips (soap for teeth) and Herbal Tooth from Rose of Sharon Acres which I really like.

    I have some activated charcoal for mascara recipe so I will have to give this a try. I’m glad I didn’t throw out the activated charcoal because the first mascara recipe I tried did not work but I came across another recipe which I’m going to try. I asked my husband for your book so I hope I it will be under our Christmas tree!

    December 18th, 2012 11:59 am Reply
  • emily duff

    great tip! thanks.

    December 18th, 2012 11:55 am Reply
  • Raechel McBride Alvis via Facebook

    that’s funny! i’ve had a bottle of unopened activated charcoal capsules that i never used for traveling. great idea to out it to use!

    December 18th, 2012 11:52 am Reply
  • Gissel Delvillar Orellana via Facebook

    Where can I purchase good quality activated charcoal pills?

    December 18th, 2012 11:46 am Reply
  • Sarah Couture Pope via Facebook

    Tiffanie Beaumont you have to try this Tiffanie. It works way better than baking soda.

    December 18th, 2012 11:45 am Reply
  • Lauren @ Empowered Sustenance

    I am SO going to try this! I’ve been looking for an effective and natural teeth whitener. I tried the baking soda + hydrogen peroxide, but that irritated my gums.

    December 18th, 2012 11:42 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      This totally works. Do it just as Heather suggests … works better than swishing I think. Plus, your teeth get whiter but don’t get that fake white that screams “I WHITEN MY TEETH” to everyone … they look natural, healthy, and whiter but not snow white which I think looks fake.

      December 18th, 2012 11:56 am Reply
      • Kristy

        It does look fake! I wondered if people were trying to make their teeth the same white as their eyeballs.

        December 18th, 2012 3:11 pm Reply
  • Tammy Lee Rodriguez via Facebook

    i do oil pulling, too.

    December 18th, 2012 11:40 am Reply
  • Angie

    You can buy it at walgreens, or the grocery store, too generally. I found mine in the section by the “antacids” and stuff for indigestion or gas.

    December 18th, 2012 11:39 am Reply
  • Tiffanie Beaumont via Facebook

    Nope, I use baking soda! 😉

    December 18th, 2012 11:37 am Reply
    • Teresa

      How often do you use baking soda? and how well does that work?

      April 23rd, 2013 11:14 pm Reply
    • Nanc

      baking soda is harsh on your enamel. If you use it for a long period of time, you will eventually find your teeth becoming sensitive — because you’ve taken away the enamel. I know this from experience. Be careful

      November 27th, 2013 2:05 pm Reply
  • Erin

    If you’re in Tennessee, you can get it at http://www.BulkNaturalFoods.com during a “dry goods” order.

    December 18th, 2012 11:26 am Reply
    • Stacey Simpson

      Hi Erin!!
      So glad to find out that you read Sarah’s blog!
      Loving the Fuji apples we got, too!
      Stacey Simpson

      January 1st, 2013 12:49 pm Reply
  • Martha

    Sounds good! But where on earth can we buy activated charcoal? Thanks for your help!

    December 18th, 2012 11:19 am Reply
    • Lisa

      You can buy it at any health food store, such as local co-ops, or the bigger, Whole Foods, etc.

      December 18th, 2012 11:30 am Reply
    • Jennifer Johansen

      If you have a Shoprunner account, there’s a few stores you can buy it from through them to get free shipping. It’s cheaper through Amazon, though, if you have Prime.

      January 2nd, 2013 4:17 pm Reply
    • alisha

      Our Walgreen’s had it!

      April 27th, 2013 10:35 am Reply
    • shannon

      I found it at Walmart!

      April 2nd, 2014 2:51 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    How often should I do this? Once a day?
    Thanks so much!

    December 18th, 2012 10:53 am Reply
    • NMG

      Started doing this DIY natural remedy Wednesday of this week, I saw results on my first try! I do it twice a day and follow it by a regular brushing, its works!

      February 16th, 2013 3:15 pm Reply
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  • Tawanda

    Thanks for this tip, the last time I had a cleaning the hygenist cleaned off the stains on the underside of my lower front teeth, but did nothing for the stains on the outside of my teeth, the aspect that’s actually visible. I did notice that the office was big on promoting their teeth whitening services. I drink a lot of herbal tea, and my herbal mouthwash can be staining. I will definitely give this a try, one more tool in my self-care tool-kit.

    December 18th, 2012 10:06 am Reply

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