Clay. What's it good for? Some would say toothpaste. Probably not dentists though, on account of it lacking fluoride and FDA approval. There are some people who are not dentists that claim the clay acts as a natural polisher, while being mineral-rich and alkaline (this is a good thing?). We're game to experiment—once, to see what it feels like. With ingredients from the good people at Mountain Rose Herbs, we smushed up a paste using bentonite clay (which was clearly marked “not for internal consumption'), distilled water, coconut oil, sea salt, and peppermint essential oil for taste. Then three intrepid ITG-ers tried it on their teeth. These are their stories:
[Mixed up in a glass bowl, the paste bears a stronger resemblance to wet concrete than Crest. Emily Weiss, Emily Ferber, and intern extraordinaire Kim Johnson approach the bowl, toothbrushes in hand]
Kim Johnson: That’s a bit disturbing.
Emily Ferber: It’s unclear the best way to get it on the toothbrush.
Emily Weiss: You’re literally supposed to brush your teeth with this clay on a toothbrush?
EF: Yes. Ready?
EW: If we don’t make it through this, I just wanna tell you, I’m happy to have known you all.
[Everyone scoops some gray matter from the bowl onto her toothbrush]
KJ: It smells normal. Like peppermint.
EF: Yeah, there’s peppermint oil.
Tom Newton [from across the room]: Oh my God that smells so bad. I’m definitely not trying it.
EF: [mouth full] It’s sweeter than I thought. I don’t hate it.
KJ: [mouth also full] It’s really bad, really bad.
[Upon realizing conversation is both uncomfortable and unsightly, everyone runs to the bathroom and spits; this takes longer than expected]
EW: You know what the problem was?
EW: All of it.
KJ: It got stuck up in my gums, wasn’t into that at all.
EW: Ooo, it was like really cringe-worthy.
KJ: It was kind of like, salty.
EF: I didn't have a problem with the taste—spitting it out was a problem though. I felt like I really had to work at it.
KJ: It was really thick. It tasted like dirt. I mean, it was like, like, wet dirt is what I felt like what it was.
EF: And now all I feel is the coconut oil coating my mouth.
EW: I feel like it would be a really good face mask. I'll try many things for beauty, but I won't try this in my mouth again.
KJ: And it’s still in my gums and I just don’t know what to do.
Consensus: Would not try again. No one's died, though. Yet.