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I used Crest Whitening Strips for a long time.  Actually, I was kind of nutty about using them.  I loved how white they made my teeth…but it all came at the price of constant temperature sensitivity and tooth pain.  I tried stepping down to the daily whitening toothpaste-augmenting gels but was disappointed to find that they kind of had the same effects.

So it made sense when I went more natural with my oral care regiment that all those whitening treatments kind of went by the wayside. I was loving making my own toothpaste (or buying this kind) and I got much more comprehensive with my oral hygiene based on the clues my mouth was giving me about my overall health.

All was good with that.  But I drink a lot of teas and I was noticing as the months were going on that my teeth were starting to look a little more stained.  This is a natural part of being a human and I’m certainly not here to make a big case for why whitening your teeth is good for you health…but I missed my pearly whites anyways.

My first run in with natural whitening actually was on accident.  I started coconut pulling as an oral/inflammatory health intervention to begin with but actually was noticing that this daily practice was helping me lift some of those stains I had acquired on my teeth.  I had actually heard of this before (thanks, Pinterest!) but never believed that it would actually work; consider me proven wrong.

Since coconut oil pulling was working out pretty well, I started brain storming other ways I could whiten my teeth naturally without causing tooth sensitivity.  After a bit of research, I ended up picking out a few other ingredients to try with the coconut oil that would whiten my teeth gradually–kind of like those whitening gels–without causing pain along the way or totally stripping my teeth.

Long story short: I love this stuff! I use it pretty much every day and it keep my teeth happy and un-stained. I used it more often when I was in the “lightening” process but have switched over to every other day/every few days to keep them as white as I like.  My teeth aren’t blinding white…but anyone who’s seen that Friends episode where Ross overdoes it on whitening his teeth will most likely agree that there’s a limit to where it just starts to look weird.

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Note: baking soda can be a bit abrasive for the teeth.  If you have very sensitive teeth, you can either decrease the amount of it in the recipe or leave it out entirely.  I personally think the coconut oil medium is a better fit for gritty things like activated charcoal and baking soda; I wouldn’t ever use them straight on my teeth.


1. Combine your melted coconut oil, baking soda, and activated charcoal into a small glass jar.  (I reused an old ghee jar for this.)

2. Stir really well to combine.

3. Let cool.

4. Scoop out a 1/4-1/2 teaspoon serving onto a toothbrush. I reserve a toothbrush just for this purpose.

5. Brush you teeth with this mixture for about 1-2 minutes.  I usually do it before actually brushing my teeth with normal toothpaste.

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