Are you betting on black to get your whiter teeth! Charcoal is the buzzword today, especially in the oral care industry. It is suddenly everywhere and in everything. You can find celebrities posing for charcoal-based tooth brands in their ads. Fans of activated charcoal-infused toothpaste claim it whitens teeth and even freshens breath better than a regular one.
Interestingly, today you can find the black stuff on drugstore shelves, in everything from face masks to supplement pills. But new studies have questioned whether activated charcoal is actually doing more harm than good when it comes to your teeth. Here is everything you need to know about the charcoal toothpaste trending today.
What is Activated Charcoal?
Commonly found in water filters, activated charcoal is essentially a form of carbon treated by some process to make the surface of its particles porous. All of those little crannies and nooks act like magnets for other external particles the charcoal absorbs. These exterior products might be dirt and oil. Thus it allows all of the unwelcome substances to be swept away when the activated charcoal product is washed off after use.
As you might be knowing, activated charcoal toothpaste is a rebirth of ancient medicine techniques. In theory, charcoal binds to everything in its path, including stains, tartar, viruses, bacteria, and maybe even your tonsils. You would be surprised to know that charcoal is so powerful that it is frequently used in hospitals and emergency rooms. In these places, it can treat patients who are suffering from a drug overdose or poisoning.
Is Activated Charcoal Toothpaste Safe?
A review in a 2019 Journal found that charcoal provides little protection against tooth decay. Moreover, there is limited scientific evidence to support the other health claims. It is believed that if you add powdered charcoal to toothpaste, it can actually make things worse.
In addition, people with tooth fillings use charcoal toothpaste too often, it can get into the spaces. Thus making it difficult to get charcoal out. In simple terms, the charcoal particles can get caught up in the gums and irritate them.
Surprisingly, there are also concerns about the abrasive nature of activated charcoal. While some experts say, it could damage enamel if used regularly. Besides, charcoal tends to absorb all sorts of things it comes into contact with, including good things like medications.
Others argue that charcoal is not specifically bad for teeth. Meaning it would not do much for your smile in the long term. Since the active ingredient is not in contact with your tooth surface for enough time to have a meaningful whitening effect.
Experts are also of the opinion that if you are using charcoal-infused toothpaste, it might make your teeth more prone to staining. Even if you brush very gently to avoid wearing down the surface enamel, it will happen.
Another review also pointed out that many natural and charcoal-infused toothpaste are formulated without fluoride. Fluoride, as you know, is strongly recommended by dentists for preventing tooth decay.
Several studies have also suggested that a topical application of fluoride might be more effective than just ingesting it through drinking water. But if you live in an area where fluoride is found in your drinking water and visit your dentist once or twice a year, then using a non-fluoridated natural toothpaste is just fine for you.
You can only use activated charcoal as a supplement to brushing with regular toothpaste, especially for those people seeking a whiter smile. But remember, it cannot be used in its place. Regular toothpaste is very effective as it gives you the fluoride you need to fight decay. So it is necessary to keep it as part of a daily regimen.
Does Activated Charcoal Whiten Teeth?
There is a difference between removing surface stains and whitening teeth. Surface stains, known as extrinsic stains, come from the usual products like coffee, tobacco, red wine, and dark-colored foods and beverages. They live on the enamel layer. Your doctor can remove them with toothpaste or surface whitening treatments.
Deeper, intrinsic stains are dark coloring that comes from within your tooth. These stains are sometimes a result of weak enamel, trauma, specific medication, and even overuse of fluoride.
Everyone’s teeth have a specific color. No matter how cautiously you whiten the surface of your teeth, bleaching treatments can cause lightening of tooth color. This happens because the bleaching products penetrate below the outer surface of teeth.
Your dentist might recommend a charcoal toothpaste to remove surface stains but not to whiten your teeth, probably because it is difficult actually to whiten a tooth with any toothpaste. But not sure if those with charcoal remove surface stains effectively or not. Meaning a brush with activated charcoal will never equal what an in-office teeth whitening treatment can do to your teeth.
How Does Activated Charcoal Work?
There are several claims of “detoxifying” the mouth. This is because the charcoal can lift away plaque and food particles that often lead to bad breath in your mouth. Many believe the effect would not be anything different. Unlike your kidneys and liver, your teeth and gums do not perform a detoxifying function of the body.
Are you concerned about charcoal-absorbing medications? The good news is that charcoal only performs any significant degree of absorption only when it comes into prolonged contact with the medications in your digestive tract. If you are rinsing out your charcoal tooth treatment instead of swallowing it, there is very little chance that the activated charcoal on your teeth affects your prescriptions.
The pores found on activated charcoal bind with rough parts on teeth. The rough parts generally usually include surface stains and plaque, thus making it easier to remove the yellowing substances on your teeth. Once the charcoal has stayed for some time on your teeth, it can be removed. You can rinse your mouth a few times.
The charcoal takes the plaque, food particles, and surface stains. This process helps whiten your teeth as it helps to get off surface stains in one step. But note that activated charcoal does not change the color of your teeth that are deeply stained or naturally yellowing. You need to take more drastic whitening measures, such as professional bleaching in such scenarios.
How to Use Activated Charcoal to Whiten Teeth?
The first step in whitening your teeth using activated charcoal is to purchase the mineral from your local pharmacy or health store. Generally, you can buy charcoal in tablet form. So the next step is to grind up 1 or 2 tablets, which is about 1-2 teaspoons of powder in a container.
Once the fine charcoal dust is ready, add just enough water to form a paste. You can apply this paste directly onto your teeth, which do not necessarily have to be clean. Make sure to only tap or dab the mixture onto your teeth. Do not rub it on to avoid damaging your teeth.
Next, leave the activated charcoal paste on your teeth for roughly three minutes to ensure that it has had enough time to bind with the stains on your teeth. Then thoroughly rinse your mouth out several times before brushing your teeth clean.
Is Activated Charcoal Good for Your Teeth?
Apart from activated charcoal’s abrasive nature, it is not bad for your teeth. But if you are brushing with it, it probably would not do much good for you in the long term. As the mineral does not have enough time to sit on the surface of your teeth and produce any meaningful whitening effect.
Another thing that is important to note is the difference between removing stains from your teeth and whitening them. Removing stains involves getting rid of unsightly stains on the enamel. This is often done by your dentist using specialized dental tools.
On the other hand, teeth whitening Dubai is a process that will actually change the underlying color of your teeth. The procedure may vary from person to as it is based on the thickness of your enamel. So, even if you remove surface stains, your teeth may still appear yellow based on what lies beneath your enamel.
Finally, if you are still planning to incorporate activated charcoal into your dental routine, know that you can try several DIY alternatives instead. Try mixing a bit of baking soda with water. It can do wonders. For instance, the mixture of baking soda and water can help whiten your teeth while simultaneously freshening your breath.
Similarly, trying diluting hydrogen peroxide can work to whiten your teeth. You might want to try some of these alternatives out before placing that order for some activated charcoal toothpaste at the store.
The Bottom Line
If you use activated charcoal toothpaste, your mouth would absolutely love to have a stunning shade of the black-colored product. But do not expect it to magically cure dental problems in the absence of proper oral hygiene.
Although charcoal toothpaste is getting a lot of press and attention, it is not more effective than other toothpaste and at-home whitening products on the market.
Only your dentist can recommend the best toothpaste that will suit your teeth. In fact, most dentists will not recommend activated charcoal due to its abrasive properties. Also, it does not work as effectively as your regular fluoride toothpaste. In addition, there are risks of using charcoal as it might cause permanent damage to your teeth.
So the best option is to follow your dentist’s suggestion if you ever need to whiten your teeth. Also, choose the toothpaste your dentist recommends. Even if you want to remove the surface stains or whiten your teeth.