There are various claims that charcoal is effective at teeth whitening, but some people think that brushing teeth with it is stupid and unnecessary. Why does charcoal whiten teeth, anyway? What are its active agents that help whiten your teeth?
When you hear the word “charcoal”, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is the black chunks that you use for grilling barbeques. They are rather different. When these chunks of charcoal are heated with the presence of gas, the charcoal is activated charcoal. This kind of charcoal is more porous which make it effective in absorbing stains, dirt, and toxic chemicals.
With its absorption properties, activated charcoal has been used since the early times to treat accidental poisonings. In addition, it can also reduce cholesterol levels, regulate bile flow during pregnancy, and relieve intestinal gas. It is also commonly used in water filters to help remove unwanted water particles.
What makes the teeth appear yellowish or dull is the pigment from coffee, red wine, tobacco, or other dark-colored food and drinks. The activated charcoal absorbs this stain from the tooth surface which makes it appear whiter.
That is why charcoal-infused toothpaste is popular nowadays. Aside from stains, the activated charcoal binds in tartar, stains, bacteria, and viruses. As such, it prevents bad breath, helps remove plaque, and improve overall oral health.
There are instances though that charcoal doesn’t help whiten the teeth. This is probably because the stain is seated in the deeper layer of the enamel. This kind of stain is caused by medication, trauma, weak enamel, and excessive use of fluoride, and in this case, bleaching treatment, instead of charcoal toothpaste, can whiten the teeth.
Activated charcoal is negatively charged, so positively-charged particles cling to it. Gases, toxins, chemicals, and free radicals which are considered harmful to the body are among the positively-charged particles. How about the benefits of brushing with charcoal toothpaste?
The following is a list of the benefits of brushing with activated charcoal:
The activated charcoal sticks to the acidic elements inside the mouth and helps excrete them out of the body, and because of this, the pH level inside the mouth is increased. It lessens the buildup of acidic plaque and prevents bad breath.
Maintaining a balanced oral microbiome is ideal, and with the appropriate use of charcoal toothpaste, this balance is kept. In effect, the immune system of the mouth is improved and prevents further damage to the teeth.
Seeing your teeth covered in gooey black toothpaste makes it pretty hard to believe that it can actually result in whiter teeth. Being rich in porous properties, surface stains can cling to the activated charcoal, leaving the teeth to appear whiter and cleaner. Knowing that you have whiter teeth, you feel more confident and capable of facing anything.
Aside from its claimed effectiveness, one of the major advantages of using charcoal toothpaste is it is a cost-effective solution. Products such as commercial teeth whitening toothpaste, trays, whitening strips, and teeth whitening treatments are more expensive.
This is especially true when you go for dentist-mediated whitening treatment which takes several sessions to be perfectly done. You need at least a couple of hundred dollars for each session.
You should look for charcoal toothpaste that does not contain fillers, chemicals, and additives that might detract its effectiveness and harm your health. All-natural charcoal toothpaste doesn’t pose a threat to the overall wellness of the mouth and body.
Although charcoal toothpaste is believed to be safe on the overall health, there are still precautions that need to be taken when using it, especially since misusing charcoal toothpaste will cause side effects and can even harm the teeth instead.
Charcoal toothpaste can be too aggressive on the tooth enamel. It has abrasive properties that can strip not only the surface stains but also the enamel. When this happens, there will be teeth sensitivity, and bacteria can enter the enamel. Dentists advise brushing with charcoal toothpaste two to three days a week to avoid counter-effects.
Even with a regular toothbrush, brushing too hard or using hard bristles increases the chance of enamel erosion. This is why dentists advise the use of soft-bristled toothbrushes and gentle scrubbing.
Rather than brushing the charcoal toothpaste on the teeth, it is more advisable and safer to just smudge it on the teeth. Let it sit for a few minutes to let it absorb stains and other unwanted particles. This technique is more recommended for people who deal with enamel erosion caused by medications, illnesses, etc.
There is no study yet that actually prove the effectiveness of charcoal toothpaste in teeth whitening. Hence, the American Dental Association warns people against the use of charcoal toothpaste that is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Many dentists link enamel deterioration and tooth sensitivity to charcoal toothpaste. Prolonged use of this toothpaste can harm the teeth. Many manufacturers need to be approved by the FDA because there is an insufficient study on the product’s claimed long-term health effects.
Charcoal has a lot of health benefits. Its absorptive properties help unwanted elements such as toxins, bacteria, and viruses flush out from the body. In terms of oral health and why does charcoal whiten teeth, activated charcoal is helpful in removing surface stains.
Charcoal toothpaste is also more affordable than other whitening products and treatments. No wonder it is getting so much hype from the people nowadays. Additionally, there are claims that it really works amidst the lack of study about its long-term effects.
Health experts though advise about the use of charcoal toothpaste. With its abrasive texture, it can wear down and deteriorate the tooth enamel, so use charcoal toothpaste properly to ensure its overall benefits.