Does Activated Charcoal Really Whiten Teeth?

activated charcoal as a teeth whitening procedure?

What Is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is finely powdered charcoal that has been processed at high temperatures. This activates it by making it more porous and absorbent. Activated charcoal is not the same thing as burnt wood or the charcoal briquettes you use for grilling, so if you decide to try using it, buy it from a reputable vendor – don’t try to make your own.

Activated charcoal is known for being able to “soak up” and remove toxins in the body, which is why it’s often used to counteract poisoning. Using the same logic, many people believe that activated charcoal whitens teeth by binding to any toxins or surface stains that are causing tooth discoloration. Then, when the charcoal gets rinsed out, the stains go with it. It sounds simple enough – and since activated charcoal is all-natural and easy to use at home, it’s become a popular treatment for people who want a brighter smile without going to the dentist.

But does activated charcoal really work? That’s not so clear. Let’s take a look at the facts.

7 Downsides to Consider Before You Try It As A Teeth Whitener

Activated charcoal might be touted as a miracle cure for stained teeth (and just about anything else), but that doesn’t mean you should buy into the hype. While there are some legitimate medical uses for activated charcoal, it may not be the best option if you’re looking to whiten your teeth easily and safely. Here’s why.

1. It’s messy.

There’s really no getting around it – activated charcoal can be a pain to use. This substance is a fine black powder that usually comes in small capsules, and it can (and will) make a mess if you’re not careful. You’ll have to be careful not to get it on your clothes, and you might have to clean your sink after brushing your teeth to prevent permanent staining.

2. It could irritate your gums and sensitize your teeth.

Activated charcoal is very abrasive at the molecular level. That means it could wear away at your gums and the enamel on your teeth – and that’s bad news for your mouth’s long-term health.

There’s no way to replace your natural tooth enamel once it gets worn away, and you’re much more likely to develop cavities if you don’t have a strong layer of protective enamel on your teeth. Besides that, activated charcoal can irritate your gums and cause erosion there, too. That’s a pretty big risk to take for a whiter smile.

3. It doesn’t clean your teeth as well as toothpaste.

Toothpaste cleans teeth effectively because that’s what it was designed to do. Activated charcoal, on the other hand, might not scrub your teeth as well, and you’ll have to rinse your mouth thoroughly to get all the black stuff out. If you like the minty fresh taste of toothpaste, you’ll miss that if you try activated charcoal, too.

4. Before-and-after photos are often misleading.

You can’t believe everything you see on the internet. It’s easy to find before-and-after pictures of people who claim they used activated charcoal to whiten their teeth. Some even claim they saw a difference after just one use of charcoal!

Unfortunately, there’s no way to know whether these people are telling the truth or not. It’s not rare for people to get their teeth professionally whitened, and then claim that activated charcoal was responsible for the change.

5. Brushing with charcoal could mean you’re missing out on valuable fluoride.

Another reason toothpaste is better than charcoal: it contains fluoride, which strengthens teeth. There’s a reason fluoride is in drinking water, as well as almost every major toothpaste out there. It makes a big difference in the health of your teeth, so think long and hard before you swap your fortified toothpaste for plain charcoal.

7. There’s no proof that activated charcoal actually works.

The cherry on top of all these downsides? Despite all the anecdotal “evidence,” there’s no proof that activated charcoal actually does anything to whiten teeth. Instead of wasting time and potentially damaging your teeth, why not just do something that is proven to work?

The Takeaway

Activated charcoal is a popular home remedy for whiter teeth, but it might not deserve its fame. Despite its popularity, activated charcoal is probably not the safest or most effective choice for whitening your teeth.

There are better options out there, so do your research before you decide which tooth whitening method is right for you. Alta White will get the job done sooner and with no mess or hassle.

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