We all want a perfectly healthy and white smile, but it can be hard to achieve and maintain. Our teeth are naturally prone to staining and discoloration, and even the best dental hygiene is not always sufficient to keep your teeth as bright as you want.
Often, people turn to DIY techniques to whiten teeth before they spend more for professional treatment. However, it is important to make sure that the natural whitening solution you are considering is not only effective but also safe. Charcoal teeth whitening is one of the most popular at-home treatments, but is it effective? How does it work?
What Is Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening?
Activated charcoal is a black fine powder made from several natural substances, including olive pits, coconut shells, and slowly burned woods. The powder becomes activated during oxidation under high heat.
Unlike other absorbent substances, activated charcoal can bind to toxins and odors. This should not be confused with the kind you use for grilling. Although similar, barbecue charcoal emits carbon dioxide when heated. It may be carcinogenic. Activated charcoal does not contain these toxins.
Activated charcoal became popular in the early 1800’s because of its effectiveness in treating accidental poisoning. It can stop the absorption of certain poisons from the gut into the bloodstream. It still serves this medical purpose today. It can also treat drug overdose.
Activated charcoal is also a popular ingredient in shampoos and facial masks. Because it can bind to toxins, many believe that it can whiten teeth, too.
How Does Charcoal Whiten Teeth?
Activated charcoal has a wide surface area. One gram of activated charcoal is equal to the total surface area of more than 11 tennis courts. Given its complex structure, it can absorb large amounts of other substances. Activated charcoal teeth whitening powder and pastes claim to contribute to the following:
When applied to teeth, activated charcoal allows a process called adsorption. It attracts bacteria, plaque, and other debris in your mouth to stick to its surface so they can all be rinsed off together.
Better Mouth pH
Too much acidity in your mouth and saliva can cause enamel erosion and cavities. To counteract acidity, you need an alkaline substance like activated charcoal. This can help increase the overall pH level in your mouth, making your teeth less prone to damage. A higher pH can also prevent bad breath and gum diseases.
Free From Harsh Chemicals
Many people worry about traditional methods of teeth whitening because of the chemical processes used, which can damage natural teeth. Activated charcoal is a natural, organic substance.
Unfortunately, there is no formal evidence that activated charcoal whitens teeth. While the FDA has approved it for many health uses, the American Dental Association has not currently approved the use of activated charcoal products for professional practice.
Are There Any Risks Involved in Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening?
While activated charcoal teeth whitening all sounds good so far, it is important to know that there are potential downsides too. Again, this treatment is not yet approved by dental experts, and here are a few reasons why.
Activated charcoal is used sparingly in most medical situations. Experts do not know what the potential long-term effects of brushing with it may be. Though finely milled, they are still gritty, which can irritate your mouth and gums.
When brushing using a charcoal paste, you will likely swallow a little bit of it. Activated charcoal blocks the absorption of many medications. If you are taking prescription drugs, you should check with your doctor to ensure it will not cause any interference.
How Does Charcoal Teeth Whitening Compare to Professional Whitening?
Ultimately, you should remember that professional whitening treatments are performed by dentists who underwent proper training and know exactly how to achieve the best possible results for your unique case. DIY teeth whitening techniques have mixed results with no scientific evidence backing them.
The results of professional treatments are also more pronounced and faster. If you want to ensure safety and see results as quickly as possible, book an appointment with Sunrise Dentistry. Call us at (970) 247-3303 now.