Oct 162015

August 17, 2012 (From The Vintage Raven Lunatic) — I’m particularly sensitive about my face and teeth, as I enter into my golden years. A writer  friend who shall remain nameless (it’s Ann Nichols),  offered a recommendation for teeth whitening that I lapped up like a newly weaned kitten to milk.

My friend is emptying capsules of activated charcoal (available at most pharmacies over the counter) to make a paste or “slurry” to whiten her teeth. She’s seen progress in just a few days.
As a coffee drinker (and damn don’t take that away from me, I don’t have white sugar or flour or real Coca-Cola anymore) my teeth have seriously yellowed over the past few years. I’m considering getting professional whitening at my dentist (which costs between $300 and $500.
We don’t have dental insurance, so if on the remote possibility that insurance covered it, I would be up that stinking crick without the paddle.)
I’ve taken my before picture just for a reference point.  No way am I going to publish it here.  Had to take about ten pictures before I got once that lacked wrinkles and other odd assortments of things on my face.  Can’t bear to look at myself from that angle.  That’s the great thing about getting older: you can’t see how bad you look unless you do an extreme close-up.
So I found the capsules at Walgreens for $9.99.  I’ve never tried to open a capsule before.  Apparently there’s some skill to it that I don’t possess.  I thought, I’ll cut it open with my cuticle scissors. 
What I didn’t anticipate (duh!) was that “activated charcoal” is code for “black crap that sticks to everything.”
I opened the capsule and immediately this black stuff was everywhere on my white marble countertop.  I poured the remainder of the contents into a paper cup and opened another capsule for enough stuff to make a paste.
I bought a new cheap toothbrush just for this purpose, added a little bit of water (probably too much), and made a goo that resembled tar but more liquid.
Leaning over the white sink, I put  my brush into the oily ebony substance and rubbed it against my ivories.
Having worn braces most of my childhood (I’ll spare you the photo with the face bow.  It’s just too pitiful.) I learned how to brush really well.
Did you know that if you are brushing with an inky material on your teeth that you may end up with inky material all over the walls, the mirror, the sink and the countertop?  (Yes, I know, I’m a porcine.)
That wasn’t even the most of it.
I looked in the mirror and  saw black teeth, a black tongue and black lips.
 We are supposed to be at the neighbors in forty minutes, and this is an unacceptable look for me.
I brushed a bit and most of it came off.  But I felt compelled to get out my battery-powered toothbrush and really give it a go.
This might be the secret of the activated charcoal.  Maybe you want to brush the black off so badly that you have the cleanest teeth of your lifetime.
Now this wasn’t as stupid as the time my college roommate “Naired” her eyebrows (see Nair.  We made a short visit to the local Emergency Room. Frankly I was going to do it next, but her results weren’t really very good (severe burns near the eyes.)
I’m going to try the activated charcoal  for a month.  It’s cheaper than the dental whitening and doesn’t burn the gums like bleach does.  And activated charcoal is generally used for preventing flatulence, which of course, I’ve never had but might get someday.
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