5 Benefits of Whitening Teeth with Charcoal

5 Benefits of Whitening Teeth with Charcoal

This post is sponsored by Crest. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

Over the final months of 2018, I talked quite a bit here about dental health. Health and wellness in general were sort of a theme for me last year, in my real life and here on the blog, and taking care of my teeth/gums/mouth were a part of that. After talking to my dentist and reading all sorts of studies, I learned just how much dental health is connected to the health of the rest of our bodies, which prompted me to take my teeth and mouth health very seriously.

Admittedly, the holidays were a time of indulgence for me (as they are for many), and I let my healthy eating habits and fitness routine slide in a big way. But it is important to me to continue the healthy journey I was on last year throughout 2019, and I’m starting to get back on track. I just cut out sugar again a couple of weeks ago, and have slowly begun to amp up exercise again as well. And while I’m happy to say that I continued to make mouth health a priority even when I was neglecting the rest, I’ve been looking for even more ways to keep my teeth in the best shape possible, inside and out.

Enter charcoal. You’ve probably heard about activated charcoal for whitening teeth. It’s been pretty trendy recently, and as with anything that’s trendy, I definitely had my doubts. I had to try it though. And I was impressed by how well it worked, but turned off by the mess it left in my sink and in my mouth (and even under my nails). It was suggested that I try Crest 3D White Whitening Therapy with Charcoal toothpaste instead. I picked some up at Walmart, and you guys, it was a game changer. There was no mess, and I’ve been beyond pleased with the results. I’ll get into that more in a minute, but for now, I wanted to share some of the benefits to whitening your teeth with charcoal, from my own experience and from research I’ve done.

1. Charcoal can whiten surface stains without harsh chemicals.
If you’re looking to whiten your teeth in a more natural way, charcoal is a great alternative to chemical treatments.

2. Charcoal is an affordable way to whiten.
Getting your teeth whitened at your dentist’s office can be seriously pricey. Using a charcoal toothpaste like Crest 3D White Whitening Therapy with Charcoal instead is an affordable way to remove surface stains at home, resulting in whiter teeth that don’t cost a fortune.

3. Charcoal has natural antibacterial properties.
Charcoal can help remove bacteria from your teeth and mouth, resulting in a cleaner feeling and fresher breath. When combined with an invigorating mint flavor like in Crest 3D White Whitening Therapy with Charcoal toothpaste, my mouth feels the best it ever has.

4. Charcoal toothpaste works quickly.
It took me less than a week brushing with Crest 3D White Whitening Therapy with Charcoal toothpaste to notice a difference, which is much less time than most other whitening toothpastes I’ve tried.

5. Charcoal can benefit the body beyond the mouth.
Activated charcoal has benefits that go beyond just whitening teeth. It can even help with detoxing your digestive system by absorbing toxins. So cool, right?

All of this said, there are some disadvantages to brushing with pure activated charcoal, like the mess I mentioned earlier, and the fact that it can be too abrasive on enamel when used straight. That’s why I choose (and my dentist recommends using) a toothpaste that contains charcoal instead. I am loving my Crest 3D White Whitening Therapy with Charcoal so much, and can’t wait to continue to see results with time. Just like regular charcoal, it whitens surface stains, but it actual strengthens enamel rather than weakening it, which is a huge bonus. Brushing with it is fun too! The charcoal ingredient creates a sparkly grey striped toothpaste that creates a grey foam that lightens when combined. That means no mess! The minty flavor tastes great and leaves my mouth feeling ultra clean too. I’m smitten.

And while not a charcoal toothpaste, I also feel the need to mention another new toothpaste in Crest’s 3D White line that I have been loving: Crest 3D White Whitening Therapy with Coconut Oil. I use coconut oil throughout the day everyday, so I was really excited to try this. The vanilla mint flavor is everything, and it also does an incredible job removing surface stains to whiten teeth while strengthening enamel.

These babies are my newest secret weapons in my dental health journey! I highly recommend heading to your local Walmart and picking up one of each. Then let me know what you think.

Have any of you brushed your teeth with charcoal?

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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8 Tips for Bringing Your Dog to a Pet Expo

Spring is just around the corner here, and we’ve been looking at pet expos and vendor fairs for booths for our PawZaar gift store. We’ve already signed up for POPCats Austin in May but…



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DogTipper

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Megalodon sharks died out a million years earlier than we thought and great whites may have been to blame

megalodon

I lived through that great Shark Week debacle in 2014, when the usually fairly reputable Discovery Channel showed this bizarre pseudo-documentary called Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives. I believe I watched all of five minutes of this monstrosity, and I knew that the thesis posited in the film, that there really still are Megalodon sharks swimming the seas, would be taken as fact by a certain percentage of the credulous public.

If such an animal really does still live in the ocean, then small to medium-size craft could be endanger at all times, but of course, no real evidence of late surviving Megalodon has ever been produced.

Indeed, when this documentary came out, I was quite aware that some shark specialists were doubtful that these large sharks survived into the Pleistocene.

Well, we now have some really good evidence, based upon an extensive re-evaluation of the fossil record of Megalodon sharks, that the species went extinct about 3.51 million years ago. It was previously believed that the species went extinct 2.6 million years ago, and recently, a supernova was suggested as the likely culprit.

However, this new date means that the supernova probably did kill off lots of large marine mammal, but the Megalodon had already been gone for about a million years before the supernova hit.

This new study, published in PeerJ, contends that the species became extinct as the modern great white shark spread over the world from its ancestral home in the Pacific Ocean. Great whites became widespread in the world’s oceans around 4 million years ago, and their spread roughly coincides with the new extinction date for the Megalodon.

The authors contend that the juveniles of the Megalodon were unable to compete with the adult great whites, and because a species cannot exist very long if its young never survive, the great white might very well be the culprit behind the extinction of the Megalodon.

So no, Megalodon doesn’t live. Jaws took it out long ago.

Natural History

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Jelly Heart Print Cookies

Sunbutter and Jelly Heart Print Cookies

Happy Friday friends! I feel like I’m cheating a little by sharing this, because the recipe is one I originally shared here last year. But we made these cookies again yesterday for an early Valentine’s Day treat, and since this upcoming week is V-Day week, I felt inspired to share again. I’ve actually tweaked a couple of things in the recipe since last year as well, so an update felt needed. I hope you love them as much as we do!

Sunbutter and Jelly Heart Print Cookies
Sunbutter and Jelly Heart Print Cookies

SunButter (or Peanut Butter) and Jelly Heart Print Cookies
Makes about 24 cookies

INGREDIENTS
1 cup SunButter (for allergy-free recipe!) or peanut butter
1-1/4 cups gluten-free or all-purpose or  flour
1-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter (softened)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extra
1/2 cup jelly, jam, or preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl, use a mixer to beat together the SunButter or peanut butter, butter, and egg, then beat in the sugars and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Beat in the flour mixture on low until well mixed. Roll tablespoon size balls on dough and place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart, the slightly press each cookie into a round shape (we dip the bottom of a metal measuring cup in sugar and then press onto each cookie ball). Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven, and immediately use the bottom of a wooden spoon handle to make heart shapes in the center of each cookie while still hot. Fill each indentation with jelly, and allow to cool on a wire rack. Note: If you have a dairy allergy, you can easily substitute butter for a butter alternative. And if you have an egg allergy, use an egg replacer mix or 1/2 a mashed banana in place of the egg.

Sunbutter and Jelly Heart Print Cookies
Sunbutter and Jelly Heart Print Cookies
Sunbutter and Jelly Heart Print Cookies

Happy Love Week! Enjoy!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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We have come to love each other

poet snuggle

I must admit that I never really new sighthounds other than retired racing greyhounds until these past few months.  I knew that Jenna had a special relationship with Zoom, her cream and white whippet, and when we moved in together, she had just brought in a brindle and white whippet puppet.

I figured that the puppy would wind up being her dog, and although I was quite aware that whippets were quite trainable dogs, I never really thought I’d become attached to one.

As Poet has matured, though, he and I have drawn closer to each other. It was he who made the first mood.  A few months ago, he just sort of declared in his subtle sighthound ways that he was my dog, end of discussion.

And I’ve accepted the arrangement. I have found him to be as biddable as any golden retriever, and I have trained him to sit, heel, lie down, stand, and speak. He fetches the ball like a demon, which is to be expected. His father is a Frisbee nut.

He likes to go with me everywhere, and because he’s smaller and innocuous, I generally don’t have a lot of trouble taking him places.  He is genteel and kind, but he is not demonstrative with strangers.

Through one family line I trace to the rugged counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire, the same counties that spawned the modern whippet as a rag racer. I suspect my Quaker ancestors in that part of the world may have had little greyhounds much like whippets, perhaps to fill the pot with rabbit stew on cold winter nights.

So we are now attached to each other. I have a nice little whippet with a show and coursing career ahead of him, and I now know the full appeal of this breed. Once they choose their person, you are it.  No one else really matters.

And that is strange and moving feeling, especially when you’re used to golden retrievers that are so socially open.

Poet is my little boy. My little whip. And I am his person.

 

 

Natural History

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7 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe at a Super Bowl Party

Sunday, as most of you know, is the Super Bowl or, as apparently we’re now supposed to say, “the big game.” For many of you, that means Super Bowl parties. For all the fun of a…



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DogTipper

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Win a PawZaar Football Dog Toy!

Even if you’re not a football fan, you know a certain “big game” is right around the corner. We’re especially in the football frame of mind around here because on Friday…



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DogTipper

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Corgi Planters


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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The great phylogeny denial

One of the great exercises on the internet among those who wish to be taken seriously as “dog people” is to say that dogs are not wolves. In one sense, they are quite right. Dogs are not wild canids, and they are certainly not the mostly fearful and reactive wolves of the middle latitudes of Eurasia and North America.

But in another broader sense, they are dead wrong. I’ve been following this debate for some time. At one time, there was a great emphasis on the so-called Canis variabilis that were contemporaries with Homo erectus at the Zhoukoudian cave system in China. The remains date to 500,000 years ago, and it’s quite a leap to say that Homo erectus began dog domestication.

It should be noted now that Canis variabilis is no longer an accepted scientific name for these early wolves. They have since been reclassified as a subspecies of the Mosbach wolf (Canis mosbachensis). Their new name is Canis mosbachensis variabilis, and although the Mosbach wolf is ancestral to the modern gray wolf, the Chinese subspecies is now not regarded as leading to the modern one.

So this idea that these Chinese specimens are ancestral to the domestic dog is quite faulty. Even if we were to say that Canis mosbachensis were the ancestor of dogs, we would have a real problem on our hands. The Mosbach wolf disappears from the Eurasian fossil record no later than 300,000 years ago, when it was replaced by modern gray wolves. The earliest domestic dog that has been proposed dates to 33,000 years ago in the Altai Mountains.

Somehow, you have to get a species that went extinct hundreds of thousands of years before the formation of the earliest domestic dog to become its ancestor. The chronology makes no sense.

Now, we do have some ancient mitochondrial DNA of a Siberian Canis cf. variabilis that appeared to show a connection with the origins of the domestic dog. This specimen is probably a ate surviving Siberian variant of the Mosbach wolf, and it is possible that the reason for this mitochondrial DNA similarity is that domestic dogs have a mitochondrial DNA lineage that very close to this extinct wolf. The real problem with this study is it is a mitochondrial DNA study, and if we could somehow get a full genome comparison from these remain, which would not be easy, then we could get a better picture of how the Mosbach wolf relates to wolves, domestic dogs, and coyotes. Yes, the discovery that gray wolves and coyotes shared a common ancestor only around 50,000 years ago means that coyotes descend from the Mosbach wolf as well.

So when you see someone claiming that Canis variabilis is wild Canis familiaris, just understand that this person hasn’t looked at the most recent literature on these Middle Pleistocene wolves. But I’ve seen this repeated enough that I do think I need a place on this blog where I can easily link to the problems with this assertion

The real problem with all of this is that in dogs, at least in the English speaking world, there is a real problem with phylogeny denial. So many people are caught up in this “dogs are not wolves” idea that they invest lots of mental gymnastics in trying to create another wild ancestor for the domestic dog.

So many people got worked up with the discovery that no extant population of gray wolf is ancestral to the domestic dog that they had to make it about how dogs were not derived from wolves.

Again, the gray wolf species is at least 300,000 years old, and no one has found a relationship between dogs and wolves that posits their divergence as being greater than 33,000 years. There is an old mitochondrial DNA estimate that is largely not accepted that puts their split between dogs and wolves at something like 135,000 years ago, but that’s still after the gray wolf existed as a species.

So let’s talk about why saying dogs are not wolves is an exercise in phylogeny denial:

One of the implications of our modern Darwinian synthesis is monophyletic descent. All organisms derive from ancestors, and it is impossible to evolve outside one’s ancestry. If we were to go back in time to see when the most recent common ancestor of dogs and gray wolves, you would have a hard time describing that ancestor as anything other than a form of Canis lupus.

Dogs have evolved through their Canis lupus ancestor, just as modern wolves have evolved through theirs. It is accurate to say that domestic dogs are not derived from extant wolves, but it is not accurate to say that dogs did not derive from wolves. It is also not accurate to say that dogs are a different species from Canis lupus, because dogs are still part of a Canis lupus lineage.

Further, we have lots of data about the extensive gene flow between dogs and wolves in Eurasia. We know that livestock guardian dogs in the Republic of Georgia have exchanged genes fairly extensively with wolves. But we now have data that shows an extensive gene flow between domestic dogs and wolves across Eurasia.

So dogs and wolves are continuing to exchange genes. They are not becoming reproductively isolated from each other in a way that would lead to speciation, even now.

I’ve never understood why this line of thinking has ever been popular, except that wolves people have indeed abused dogs under the assumption that their social systems are much like those of captive wolves. Further, it is quackery of the worst order to assume that dogs should be fed only full raw carcasses of meat because that is what wolves eat.

But those problems are not adequately addressed by promoting another scientifically dubious prospect. Dogs do behave somewhat differently from wolves, but that is because dogs are domesticated. Wolves behave differently because they are a wild form, and as a wild form, they have undergone a selection for extreme timidity and wariness as we have tried to wipe wolves off the face of the earth.

The argument that dogs are part of Canis lupus is well-supported by science. Indeed, an analysis of gray wolf, domestic dog, and dingo genomes revealed that creating a separate species for the dog, the dingo, or for both would make the entire species polyphyletic and thus not in keeping with Neo-Darwinian principles.

So it is scientifically correct to say that dogs are wolves, but one should say that dogs are domesticated wolves. And just leave it at that.

And drop the phylogeny denial.

Natural History

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A Scrambled Work-Life Balance + Reminder to Be Free

You may have noticed less posts than usual here this month, and that’s because my work-life balance has been majorly scrambled. January is always slower for work, which is honestly a blessing after the 60 hours a week I put in during the holiday season. But this month, my husband, who most of you know works for a band, has also been on tour for the last two weeks straight. In total, Robbie is gone about half the year, but he always come home once a week for two to three days, during which I work full time while he cares for our kids. When he is on the road, I have child care a couple of days a week to work, but the rest of the time it’s me being a (temporary) single parent, and I’m admittedly usually on the border of losing it by the time he arrives home. As much as I adore my kids, I’m  more than ready to hand them off when he walks in the door. It can be a bit much for both of us at times, but over the years, we’ve created a routine that works well for both of our jobs and our roles as parents. But having him gone for two weeks (the longest in a row he’s been gone since before we had kids) and trying to work full time, get the kids to school and activities multiple times a day, get them fed and bathed and dressed, and taking care of stuff around the house, etc. without a break has been pretty freaking exhausting. I like to post here at least three times a week, but this month I just had to take a step back.

I will say that in the past, I probably would have stayed up until 2 AM to work, gotten four hours of sleep tops, and then pushed myself to run on fumes to get through each day. This year one of my goals has been to go easier on myself, and allowing myself some time to just breathe or meditate or watch freaking Netflix for a half hour before I go to bed (which has been by midnight every night) has definitely helped me operate on just more than survival mode during this time.

Essley and I stopped at a local forest preserve the day before Robbie left (back when it felt like early spring at the beginning of the month; it is 100% winter now), and I snapped these photos with my phone. When things have felt like too much over the last couple of weeks, I look at them as a reminder of how easy it is to take a moment to just allow myself to be free, like Essley. I mean, this girl is truly on the most free spirits humans I’ve ever met. It’s so easy to be inspired by that. It’s also kind of amazing how our little ones, no matter how much they push us to the edge, can be teachers to we adults, isn’t it?

Things will be back to normal here in February, both at home and here on Bubby and Bean. In the meantime, I’ll just going to do what I can, and keep looking at the photos as a reminder on the best way to be. I also want to give a major shout out to actual single working parents and those who have their partners gone for truly long periods (like those in the military). This shit is hard, man, and you are amazing and inspiring and strong.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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