Charcoal is currently becoming one of the biggest trends in wellness and cosmetics. It has become a trendy ingredient in face masks and commercial face scrubs, and some individuals also believe it can whiten their teeth. Activated charcoal is a fine grain powder widely used in toothpaste and beauty products. It comes from wood, coconut shells, and other natural substances oxidized under extreme heat.
You may find many charcoal toothpaste products online and in most drugstores. Charcoal products are known for their absorbent feature and hence are used medically to absorb and remove toxins. But you might ask, does it really work for teeth whitening?
It is important to note that activated charcoal should not be confused with the charcoal used for barbecuing your food. Read more about activated charcoal before you start brushing with this grainy black substance. Also, learn about the benefits and drawbacks of using charcoal toothpaste.
All About Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is mainly a fine-grained black powder made from a variety of natural substances. The mixture is made from coconut shells, olive pits, slowly burned wood, and peat.
The powder mixture generally becomes activated when oxidized under extreme heat conditions. Activated charcoal is very porous and can work as a highly absorbent material. It also has a wide surface area.
Unlike most other absorbent substances, activated charcoal’s adsorbent properties will allow it to bind to toxins and odors rather than absorbing or soaking them up.
Just note that barbecue charcoal is solely manufactured to be a fuel. The charcoal emits carbon dioxide gas when heated. Hence charcoal may have a carcinogenic effect on your health. On the contrary, activated charcoal does not contain these types of toxins. So they are often used to treat dental and other health conditions.
You would be surprised to know that activated charcoal’s adsorbent nature has been referenced in medical literature for centuries. It was as early as the 1800s; activated charcoal started to gain prominence. The charcoal was then used for the treatment of accidental ingestion of poison.
Charcoal’s properties can stop certain types of poison from getting absorbed from the gut into your bloodstream. It is still used these days for this purpose. Activated charcoal can also effectively counteract drug overdoses. It is also used for water filtration in cases of severe impurities. They are extensively used as face masks and in many beauty products.
In addition, you can also find activated charcoal in many shampoos and other facial beauty products like charcoal mask and scrubs. Because of its unique ability to bind to toxins, some people believe activated charcoal can even whiten teeth. Just research before you start bruising your teeth with this product thoroughly.
Activated Charcoal for Teeth Whitening
Hope you know you can find an array of dental products on the shelves containing activated charcoal, from kits to toothpaste. As ingredients, these products containing charcoal claim to remove coffee stains, wine stains, and even plaque.
Everyone seems to be talking about activated charcoal, but is there some science behind this wonder? But despite its popularity, there has been no scientific evidence backing up activated charcoal’s benefits, particularly for your teeth. This is primarily because there is no data behind the claims that activated charcoal is safe or effective.
Furthermore, products that contain this ingredient are not eligible for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. According to the American Dental Association, activated charcoal’s abrasive texture is believed to harm rather than whiten your teeth as it wears down the tooth enamel.
Even though there is a lack of scientific evidence, some people still believe and use activated charcoal to eliminate tooth stains and even whiten teeth. But there might be reasons for the same.
How Does Activated Charcoal Work?
The pores present in activated charcoal bind together with rough parts on your teeth. The rough substance is usually the surface plaque and stains, which makes it easier to remove the yellowing substances.
Once the charcoal gets enough time to stick to your teeth surface, it should be removed. This means you can rinse your mouth after use. The mineral generally takes the food particles, surface stains, and plaque.
This is the process by which activated charcoal succeeds in whitening your teeth, primarily by getting rid of surface stains on one occasion. Probably because it sticks onto the rough areas found on your teeth.
Also, note that charcoal does not change the color of deeply stained or naturally yellowing teeth. You need to take more drastic whitening measures, like professional bleaching, to remove these deep stains.
The Pros of Using Activated Charcoal
Remember that the oral health benefits of using activated charcoal are apparent. But it is helpful only when used with regular oral hygiene habits, like daily brushing and flossing. Are you wondering if charcoal has real positive benefits? The answer is yes. The product has several pros and has been used by people for a long time.
They can clean certain stains off your tooth surface. Primarily because of its abrasive nature, activated charcoal can adequately remove stains from the top layer of the teeth, the enamel.
Most charcoal products are indeed inexpensive. You can choose to buy activated charcoal toothpaste easily. Else, you can mix charcoal directly with your regular toothpaste before use. Whichever option you prefer, note that it is less expensive than a tooth whitening treatment.
In addition, it helps alleviate chronic halitosis or bad breath that helps lessen the toxins in the mouth. Charcoal also polishes and abrades your teeth: Due to its abrasive properties, the roughness of the charcoal works better on your tooth’s exterior than other products. Your tooth gets smoothened with frequent brushing.
Cons of Activated Charcoal
Despite the multiple advantages of using charcoal, you also need to be aware of the limitations of charcoal. Charcoal does not really whiten the teeth: Regardless of the marketing hype you might have noticed, activated charcoal does not effectively aid in teeth whitening Dubai.
But it does eliminate stains from the surface of your teeth. But remember, it cannot prevent or stop yellowing and other severe stains.
Most charcoal toothpaste does not contain fluoride. Fluoride is a vital ingredient for fortifying your teeth and fighting tooth cavities. Many of the regular activated charcoal toothpaste may not contain fluoride. Meaning it is a poor toothpaste option for daily use.
On the other hand, some people are concerned that charcoal toothpaste might harm your enamel permanently, probably because charcoal is highly abrasive. Meaning it can slowly abrade your enamel if used regularly.
You cannot restore it once your enamel is destroyed. Hope you know the truth. If enamel deterioration continues, it causes tooth sensitivity, tooth decay, gum disease, and painful dental diseases.
Can Activated Charcoal Safely Whiten Your Teeth?
Activated charcoal is perfectly safe to ingest. But if you scrub the paste against your teeth, you might damage your enamel due to the abrasiveness of the mineral. Hence, be extra careful to graze teeth when applying the charcoal to the teeth lightly.
You only need to ensure that no chipping, scratching, or other damage occurs. Never try to perform this procedure in case you have open wounds, cuts, or abrasions inside your mouth.
Mind the words – do not fall for the marketing ads. Only your dentist should recommend the best suitable toothpaste for your teeth. Most dentists will not recommend activated charcoal primarily due to its abrasive nature. Probably because it does not work as effectively as your regular fluoride toothpaste. Moreover, there are some risks that it may cause permanent damage to your teeth.
So the best choice is to follow your dentist’s suggestion if you ever need to whiten your teeth. There are several teeth whitening procedures and kits available today. Also, use the toothpaste your dentist recommends.
Precautions for Using Activated Charcoal on Your Teeth
You need to be careful and protect your teeth by using products that will not wear down the enamel. Note that the overuse of charcoal products could lead to tooth erosion. Hence use them cautiously.
However, the ADA recommends that you should choose toothpaste with a relative dentin abrasivity or RDA level of 250 or less. Try to choose charcoal toothpaste that meets these guidelines.
Even if you use the product, try using it only for a short while. You can also alternate it with fluoride toothpaste to reduce the adverse effects of charcoal toothpaste.
To reduce the abrasive effect, try using your fingers to rub activated charcoal on your teeth rather than applying it using a toothbrush. This process might make a slight difference.
Also, note that the activated charcoal products are not approved for teeth whitening by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA. Additionally, you should not use these products on children and women who are breastfeeding or pregnant.
A special category of people should avoid it because some activated charcoal products contain other ingredients, like sorbitol. Sorbitol is an artificial sweetener. It may cause allergic reactions in some individuals. It also works as a laxative if you swallow too much and helps eliminate the poison from the body.
Interestingly, activated charcoal has some proven uses for other human body parts. But for teeth whitening, is not one of the recommended products. Instead, it would be best to look for products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Even if you decide to try activated charcoal to whiten teeth, use the substance only in moderation and for a short period. Activated charcoal is abrasive, and therefore, never try using it long, as it can erode the tooth enamel.
It is always best to discuss with your dentist before using activated charcoal products. Your dentist can only confirm if the charcoal treatment is safe for you to try. They might also discuss other alternatives, which might be a better option.