Whiter teeth without grief

I think it’s safe to say we all want white teeth.

For many years, I relied on White Strips.  My teeth have always been decent, but they weren’t as sparkly white as I wanted.  Since the staining wasn’t bad, I never went through a whole pack…I would maybe just use them for a few days in a row to brighten things up.

Unfortunately, my teeth started getting more and more sensitive to the White Strips.  By the last time, I had tooth pain for several days after using just one.

But I haven’t used White Strips since 2012…and this is how my teeth look in natural light:

teeth eliz
50th birthday selfie 🙂

Here’s what I do:   I brush with a Sonicare, and floss every night.  I get my teeth professionally cleaned every six months, but I’ve never had any type of professional whitening treatment done.

There are two extra things that I am doing that help my teeth stay white and feel great.

The first is oil pulling.  I did a whole post on oil pulling awhile back:  Believe it or not, I go through this tub pretty quickly!    Here’s the Cliff Notes version…put a blob of coconut oil in your mouth first thing in the am, swish it around for up to 2o minutes, spit it out, rinse, brush. Twenty minutes is a long time.  You can do other things, not just sit there.  I do a quick workout, fold some laundry, etc.

The premise is that your mouth is full of toxins when you first wake up in the morning.  The oil pulls them from your teeth and gums, and then you spit them out, rinse and brush as usual.  People have reported all kinds of amazing improvements in their health from oil pulling.

Yeah, it sounds kind of gross.  But when I oil pull regularly my teeth feel very smooth, and stay that way longer between brushings.

My second trick is to brush with activated charcoal once a week.  Activated charcoal may seem like a hot new ingredient, but it’s actually been around for years.  I buy it in capsule form.  When I want to use it, I wet a toothbrush and lay it in the sink.  Next I carefully open a capsule and pour the activated charcoal over the toothbrush.

Just brush the way you normally would.  Your mouth will look totally black and disgusting. Rinse several times with water.  If you like, you can brush again with your usual toothpaste to get that minty taste.

Most people see results after the first time.  Feel free to do it several days in a row, then you will probably want to switch to once a week.

My secrets to white teeth (coconut oil was all melted in this pic)

Now don’t say I didn’t warn you…this makes a mess!  Here’s are a few tips:

Have a dedicated toothbrush for brushing with activated charcoal.  Don’t use that fancy Sonicare.  It will be trashed.

Do this while wearing a bathrobe, not that cute white cold shoulder top you just bought.

Wipe out the sink as soon as you are done.  I have black and gray washcloths that I use for oil cleansing and messes like this.  Grab a big bunch of them next time you are at Target. They are always available with the back to college stuff.  You will be thanking me later!

Also, activated charcoal works on surface stains, like those from drinking red wine, coffee or tea (guilty as charged!)  It will not help with staining that comes from within, like you might get from certain antibiotics.

If you are concerned with the charcoal being too abrasive (it is similar to brushing with baking soda) you could also just mix it with a tiny bit of water, dab on your teeth with a q-tip, and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.

I‘m not the only person doing this…tons of health and beauty bloggers are doing the same thing.  My friend Jennifer Modisette, the blogger behind Jenni Raincloud, listed whitening with charcoal as one of her top 5 beauty hacks.  And she has a lot of beauty hacks!

Listen, I’m not a dentist…just a girl who likes to wear pleather and wants white teeth.  I’m telling you what is working to keep my teeth looking good without all the sensitivity I was getting from those damn White Strips.  I have been doing this for about four years now, so it has also saved hundreds of dollars.

So, can using coconut oil and activated charcoal to whiten your teeth help you feel happy, healthy and hot?

Well, you may not be happy about the mess in your sink from the charcoal.  But you’ll be happy knowing you are whitening your teeth without any sensitivity.  And you’ll be happy with the money you are saving on White Strips.  As far as healthy, these ingredients are natural and non-toxic.  And we all know that a bright white smile is very hot!


Coconut Oil

Activated Charcoal Capsules

Sonicare Toothbrush

Ray Ban Aviators (because you’ll need to shield your eyes from the glare of your bright white teeth!)



11 thoughts on “Whiter teeth without grief

  1. Thanks George! And good question about the coconut oil. I do the oil pulling about 4 times a week. I aim for Monday through Friday but sometimes miss a day. I’ve heard of people doing it twice a day, but that’s way too much for me!


  2. Oh, I have heard about both of these but haven’t actually tried either. My teeth are pretty good (even for a brit) as I had lots of orthodontic care as a child and have naturally white teeth. But food for thought as I get older and want to keep them looking that way.

    Your teeth look really good and white. Elizabeth, you are helping me with all those good habits: dry brushing and lemon water for a start. My coconut oil looks like that too, in the heat.


  3. Tanya, so glad you are liking the lemon water and dry brushing! And it sounds like you have a lot of healthy habits! The oil pulling is weird at first, but like anything else once it becomes a part of your routine you barely think about it. And the charcoal is scary the first time because your mouth is completely black, but everything rinses out 🙂


  4. Such good ideas! I can’t wait to try these. I’d heard of oil pulling, but never met anyone who actually does it, so I’m glad to hear from you that it works as described. I had my teeth zoom whitened last year and while they’re still whiter, I can tell things like coffee and tea are taking their toll. I can’t wait to read more of your posts. You’re very funny too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Summer…thanks for checking in, and I’m so glad you’re enjoying happy, healthy and hot! I’ve heard the zoom whitening works really well. I’ve never had any type of professional whitening done, but the charcoal has been working wonders. Since I wrote this post, I’ve actually been testing a whitening powder that you can buy that contains the activated charcoal and some other really good ingredients. I’ll be posting a review soon! And yes, coffee and tea def take their toll…I personally think tea is worse than coffee.


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