Everybody dreams of having white teeth and a bright smile. This is the reason why people opt for different kinds of teeth whitening products like charcoal toothpaste, do-it-yourself activated charcoal, and many others. But is charcoal for teeth really safe and effective? Mint Dental Care’s clinic near Double Bay warns that excessive use of charcoal toothpaste can damage the enamel in the long run.
What Is Activated Charcoal
Before we proceed to the principles of charcoal toothpaste and the likes, let us first discuss how it’s made. Activated charcoal is made from resources like bone char, peat, petroleum, coke, coal, sawdust, and oak branches.
After extracting the materials needed, it will undergo an activation procedure where it will be placed at a high temperature to alter its internal structure until it becomes porous.
Charcoal For Teeth
Charcoal toothpaste is mainly used to achieve a whiter and brighter set of teeth. Truthfully, it can effectively remove surface stains. However, there are very few pieces of evidence that support the claim that charcoal can remove teeth stains underneath the enamel. Even its whitening effects are still under debate and people are still trying to determine how it actually works.
But the question is, is charcoal safe for teeth? According to studies, charcoal toothpaste cannot particularly provide protection against tooth decay. As a matter of fact, it is considered an abrasive oral care product that might even cause you more problems. Extreme use of charcoal on the teeth can make the enamel go thinner which usually results in tooth sensitivity and more visible stains.
If you are going to ask your dentist, he will most probably recommend other teeth whitening products either from over the counter or through professional treatments. These solutions are safer and approved by dental health institutions and most dental practitioners.
Things to Consider
Still undecided whether or not should you use charcoal for your teeth? Refer to the list of things to consider below and see if you think that charcoal is going to be your best oral care buddy:
- Abrasiveness. As mentioned, charcoal toothpaste is generally invasive and abrasive. Due to this, they could cause a few complications in the enamel. The product can effectively whiten the surface of your teeth but beware as its grittiness can also scratch your enamel and leave you with sensitive teeth.
- Cavity issues. Up to this date, the effects that charcoal toothpaste can five in terms of protecting the teeth from a cavity is still undetermined. Unlike fluoride toothpaste, it does not contain certain ingredients that are essential in preventing tooth decay respectively.
- It’s not safe to swallow. This is most particular in activated charcoal. Dentists warn people who use charcoal to achieve white teeth to never swallow the charcoal as it has hazardous effects on your overall health. Be sure to rinse your whole mouth thoroughly after using charcoal toothpaste.
- Brushing methods. Either you use high or substandard quality activated charcoal, the effects would not be as great as it should be if your brushing method is improper. Protect your teeth by using a soft-bristled toothbrush and by gently brushing your teeth in a circular motion.
- Ingredients. In comparison to ordinary toothpaste, charcoal toothpaste does not usually contain the natural ingredients that are essential in cavity protection and tooth decay prevention.
Moreover, several dental associations are not particularly fond of activated charcoal as it presents little to no evidence of its safety and effectiveness.
Effects of Charcoal
Using charcoal for two to three weeks can show positive results of whiter teeth. This product is known to be effective in removing surface stains which are commonly caused by dark or bright colored foods. But if you are going to compare it with toothpaste that contains hydrogen peroxide, charcoal is less effective when it comes to teeth whitening purposes.
Can it relieve bad breath? Charcoal is known to have components that adsorb acidic compounds found in the mouth. These acidic elements are the reason why you are having bad breath. Plenty of charcoal products are formulated with mint or different flavors for a fresher breath.
Since charcoal can cause enamel erosion, using it every single day would not be advisable. Even though most brands of charcoal toothpaste are claiming safety and guarantees exceptional results, dentists still recommend limiting the use of any teeth whitening products for 2 to 3 times a week only. For other days, you may opt to use fluoride or hydroxyapatite toothpaste, these two are scientifically proven to be effective in fighting off cavities.
Other Ways To Whiten Your Teeth
If in case you’ve decided that charcoal is not a great option for you, don’t fret because there several ways to whiten your teeth. In doing a teeth whitening regimen, always for the natural remedies and avoid products that are full of harmful chemicals. You may also consult your doctor to know which of these home teeth whitening procedure is the safest to use:
- Oil pulling. This traditional Indian treatment aims to boost your oral hygiene by detoxifying your body. With the help of sunflower or sesame oil, you can remove the bacteria in your mouth by simply gargling oil for a few minutes. You can use any type of oil but coconut oil is the most popular one because of its taste and other health benefits.
- Baking soda solution. Baking soda is known for its whitening elements making it a very common ingredient in some brands of toothpaste. Apart from the fact that it can whiten the surface of the teeth, it also promotes an alkaline environment in the mouth which prevents bacteria build-up.
- Bleaching with hydrogen peroxide. Many kinds of formulated toothpaste are containing both hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Despite the minimal support and evidence of its effectiveness, a lot of people are claiming that hydrogen peroxide can whiten the teeth without causing any hazards.
- Adjust your diet. Certain foods can have teeth whitening effects as well. Crunchy and raw fruits and vegetables can naturally scrub your teeth and remove plaque effectively.
To achieve optimal results, professional teeth whitening done in a dental office is still the best option. Dental professionals can whiten your teeth instantly with their modern tools and devices accompanied by experience and complete knowledge of the procedure. The only downside is that these procedures can be quite expensive and are usually not covered by health insurance.