DIY Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste
Looking for a quick and effective to brighten and whiten your teeth, the natural way? Look no further than to activated charcoal.
While normal teeth whiteners contain harmful chemicals like peroxides that can potentially lead to toxicologic effects, tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, and adverse effects on enamel and restorative materials (1), activated charcoal is a natural and safe way to whiten teeth.
Activated charcoal is the byproduct of burning coconut shells, wood, or other plant materials. It becomes activated when high temperatures combine with gas or activating agents to expand its surface area. This large surface area of the activated charcoal contains tiny nooks and crannies for dirt and toxins to get trapped in and it has a negative charge, which gives it the ability to bind positively charged ions like toxins together in the stomach, removing them from the body before they can be absorbed (2).
Traditionally used in hospitals to remove poison from patients’ stomach, activated charcoal has recently become culturally popular for detoxing as well as whitening teeth. When applied to the teeth, dirt and toxins that rest on the enamel bind together and get trapped in the nooks and crannies on the charcoal, leaving the teeth whiter and brighter once it is rinsed away.
Along with activated charcoal, our DIY charcoal toothpaste contains 3 other powerful ingredients:
Baking soda- Because it is biologically compatible with acid-buffering capacities and has antibacterial properties, baking soda has been proven help increase oral health, whiten teeth, and remove significantly more plaque than non-baking soda toothpastes (3).
Coconut oil- Coconut oil is another powerful agent for not only whitening teeth, but also maintaining oral hygiene. Coconut oil has been used for oil pulling, a Ayurvedic cleansing technique, for thousands of years (4) and has recently become popular in western culture because of its ability to reduce plaque and gingivitis and whiten teeth. The emulsification of the oil on the teeth binds to the plaque and gingivitis bacteria, thus removing it from the teeth once it is spit out. Also, the lauric acid in the coconut oil can react with the sodium hydroxide in solave to form a compound called sodium laurate which is the main constituent of soap, leading to a cleansing action of the teeth. Lastly, coconut oil has an anti inflammatory effect which can help to soothe the gums and reduce gingivitis (5).
Peppermint Essential Oil- Peppermint has antimicrobial properties that have been shown to be beneficial in decreasing bad bacteria and prevent gum recession and decay. Also, its refreshing and smells amazing!
Prep Time: 3 min
Cook Time: 2 min
Total Time: 5 min
Servings: approximately 24 servings
Small glass jar
Bowl for mixing
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp baking soda
½ tsp activated charcoal
1-2 drops lemon essential oil (you can also you mint essential oil, if you prefer)
Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan.
Once melted, pour the coconut oil into a small bowl. Mix in the activated charcoal, baking soda, and essential oil.
Pour the mixture into a small glass jar and store in a cool, dry place. If the ingredients begin to separate while it is cooling, just give a stir.
How to use:
Have a towel nearby as it can get messy!
Dip toothbrush in your charcoal toothpaste.
Brush in small, gentle circles for 2 min.
Spit it all out and rinse thoroughly.
Use 1-2x per week.