The Polished Press

Does Charcoal Really Whiten Your Teeth?

The Polished Press

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People are obsessed with having the appearance of white teeth, and for good reason, too. Studies show that a whiter smile automatically helps people perceive you as more youthful, successful, healthy, and trustworthy. There are many teeth whitening trends, but an at-home remedy that has become incredibly popular is activated charcoal. But is it effective? Is charcoal safe to use on your smile? How can something black turn your teeth white? Keep reading to learn the answers!

What Is Activated Charcoal? 

Activated charcoal is very similar to the normal charcoal you may use for grilling. However, it’s specifically used for medical applications. It’s created by heating up charcoal using a gas, creating large pores in the mineral that trap chemicals. Historically, activated charcoal has been used to treat cholestasis during pregnancy, intestinal gas, and lower cholesterol levels. While ingesting charcoal may seem strange, it’s completely odorless and tasteless. Activated charcoal can be found at most health food stores and pharmacies.

How Does It Whiten Teeth?

Activated charcoal has pores that bind with the rough parts of your teeth, which are typically the areas with stains, plaque, and bacteria. Once the charcoal is given some time to stick to your teeth, it can be removed, cleaning away yellowing and stains with it. The results can be positive, but it’s important to understand that it doesn’t work by changing the color of your teeth, it removes roughness on the surface.

How Do You Use It For Teeth Whitening?

Activated charcoal is typically sold in tablet form, so the first step is to grind them up into a powder. Once the charcoal has turned into a fine dust-like consistency, add just enough water in a container to create a paste. Next, apply this paste to your teeth and be sure to dab or place it on your smile instead of scrubbing it (to avoid damaging your teeth). Leave the charcoal on for about 3 minutes, allowing it to bind with the stains and discoloration on your teeth. Lastly, thoroughly rinse out your mouth multiple times before brushing for a clean smile.

Is Activated Charcoal Safe?

Activated charcoal is safe to ingest as mentioned above, however its coarseness can hurt your teeth if scrubbed against them. If you do use activated charcoal, be careful to lightly graze your teeth when applying It because scrubbing can scratch, chip, or damage your enamel. You should also avoid this whitening treatment if you have any cuts, wounds, or abrasions. While technically this procedure is safe, you should always consult with your dentist in Carlsbad first. Those with weaker or more sensitive teeth may want to avoid teeth whitening with charcoal altogether.

Are you ready to give yourself whiter teeth? Remember these tips to ensure your success and safety.

Meet The Dentist

Dr. Megan A. Shelton is a highly-trained dentist with a passion for helping her patients look and feel better. That’s why she wants you to know some of the pros and cons of using activated charcoal. She even offers professional teeth whitening at Polished General Dentistry for predictable and consistent results. For any questions, she can be reached through her website or by phone at (760) 434-9800.