Teeth whitening will help your smile be the first thing you notice about yourself. Anyone would want to feel confident with their smiles. That’s why your pearly whites are that important. If you are not among those who feel self-conscious about their smiles, you may look away. Our teeth become stained after a long period for different reasons. These factors may include tobacco, aging, coffee, tea, wine, and medications. However, with today’s modern advancements in teeth whitening, you can now remove those unwanted stains quickly and effectively using activated charcoal. But is this teeth whitening technique safe? Let’s find out.
What is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoals are fine-grained black powders made from an array of natural substances like olive pits, coconut shells, slowly burned wood and peat. This powder becomes activated when oxidation occurs under extreme temperatures. This material is very porous and highly absorbent. In addition, it also covers a wide surface area.
But unlike other absorbent substances, activated charcoal is adsorbent in nature. It allows the binding of toxins and odors rather than soaking or absorbing them. Activated charcoal is not the same as charcoals used for grilling and barbecuing.
Some scientific evidence and much anecdotal information suggest that activated charcoal has other benefits and uses. These other purposes include underarm and flatulence odor reduction. Activated charcoal is also a component used in facial masks and shampoos. Because of this material’s ability to bind toxins, some believe you can use activated charcoal in teeth whitening.
Charcoal Teeth Whitening
Store shelves are abundant with an array of dental products containing activated charcoal, from toothpaste to kits. Products that have this ingredient claim to remove coffee stains, wine stains, and plaque. Despite its popularity, no scientific pieces of evidence are prominent in backing up the benefits activated charcoal can do and contribute to teeth whitening.
Because no data is available to support such claims fully, activated charcoal’s safety or effectiveness is still a hot topic for debate. Products with this component aren’t eligible for the Seal of Acceptance the American Dental Association or ADA gives out.
According to them, activated charcoal has an abrasive texture that might even be harmful rather than whitening teeth, potentially wearing down tooth enamel. Despite the lack of scientific evidence, some still swear that activated charcoal can eliminate tooth stains and contribute to teeth whitening.
Whether or not activated charcoal has backup, the advantages towards whiter teeth are hard not to notice. Teeth whitening has positive adverse effects on your pearly whites’ appearance and mental health. Here are some of them:
- Brightens teeth up to 14 shades in one sitting
- Faster than DIY methods
- Healthier appearance
- Increased self-confidence
- Instant and dramatic results
- Positive attitude
Charcoal Teeth Whitening DIY
If you want to try activated charcoal for teeth whitening, you can buy it either as powders or in capsules that you open. Mix water with baking soda and create a paste. You can also sprinkle the charcoal onto wet fingers or a toothbrush for brushing.
However, remember that this method may be hard to master. Activated charcoal can, indeed, still stain fabrics and countertops.
Precautions for Using Activated Charcoal on Teeth
Protecting your teeth using products that won’t wear down the enamel it possesses is essential. The overuse of activated charcoal products, this abuse can lead to teeth erosion, so use them cautiously for your teeth whitening. Here are some tips you can also follow and take note of:
- Choose a toothpaste with RDA or relative dentin abrasivity levels of 250 or less. Try to select kinds of toothpaste with activated charcoal that meet this guideline.
- If #1 is impossible, try using other products for only a short period. You can also alternately use this toothpaste type with fluoride toothpaste.
- When you want to reduce abrasiveness, use your fingers to rub activated charcoal on your teeth, unlike applying it with the help of a toothbrush.
- Activated charcoal products are not yet approved for teeth whitening. Furthermore, these products may not also be appropriate for children to use and for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Remember that other activated charcoal products contain other ingredients, like sorbitol. Sorbitol is an artificial sweetener that causes allergic reactions in others. It may also cause a laxative effect when you swallow too much of it.
- Before using activated charcoal, check first with your dentist and determine if this toothpaste type would be the right choice for you.
Alternative At-Home Teeth Whiteners
Achieve bright smiles and pearly whites in a variety of ways. Take extra care of your teeth by regularly brushing – at least twice daily. Ensure you brush after consuming drinks that usually stain teeth like black coffee and red wine.
When you smoke cigarettes, perhaps you’ve noticed that they also stain your teeth. If you need other reasons to quit, add to your bucket list “get a brighter smile.” You can do many safe, effective alternatives for natural teeth whitening at home. Try the following:
- Baking soda is a natural teeth whitening ingredient in many kinds of toothpaste. Create a paste at home with a combination of baking soda and water. This material is also suitable for keeping the breath fresh.
- Diluted hydrogen peroxide can also help in teeth whitening over time. Use it as a rinse before or after you brush. Avoid using hydrogen peroxide at full strength because it can irritate the gums.
- Many over-the-counter whitening brands of strips, gels, and toothpaste tubes are available. Many have the ADA Seal of Acceptance and range in price and effectiveness. Read first reviews online before purchasing so you have an idea of what to expect from these brands.
Activated charcoal has proven uses, but teeth whitening isn’t one of them. If you do decide and wish to proceed in trying activated charcoal for teeth whitening, use it in moderation. Because it is abrasive and shouldn’t be used long-term, activated charcoal can erode tooth enamel. Make sure to talk to your dentist to see if using this ingredient for teeth whitening treatment is safe before you try. They can also talk about other alternatives for you.