Why Does Charcoal Whiten Teeth: The Secret Finally Exposed

Why Does Charcoal Whiten Teeth: The Secret Finally Exposed

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A host of companies boast that charcoal is effective at teeth whitening, but some people think that brushing teeth with “bbq material” doesn’t make sense. If it works, why does charcoal whiten teeth? 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 charcoal is heated in the presence of gas, the charcoal becomes activated charcoal. This kind of charcoal contains more porosity, 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.

Why Does Charcoal Whiten Teeth?

Teeth often appear yellowish or dull from pigments in coffee, red wine, tobacco, or other dark-colored food and drinks. Activated charcoal absorbs this stain from the tooth surface and makes it appear whiter.

That is why charcoal-infused toothpaste is popular. Aside from stains, the activated charcoal binds in tartar, stains, bacteria, and viruses. As such, it may help prevent bad breath, help remove plaque, and improve overall oral health.

Charcoal doesn’t help whiten the teeth in every case. Stains may be deeply seated in the enamel layer. In addition, stains caused by medication, trauma, weak enamel, and excessive use of fluoride won’t be touched by charcoal products.  Peroxide-based whitening products become the best bet in this case, and boast a long history of safety and effectiveness.

What Are the Benefits of Brushing with Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is negatively charged, so positively-charged particles cling to it. Gases, toxins, chemicals, and free radicals considered harmful to the body are among the positively-charged particles. This basic function helps explain why charcoal toothpaste may offer interesting benefits.

Here are a few possible benefits to consider:

1. Helps Eliminate Acidic Plaque and Freshen Breath

The activated charcoal sticks to the acidic elements inside the mouth and helps excrete them out of the body. This binding action increases the pH level of the mouth, making it less acidic. It lessens the buildup of toxic plaque and helps prevent bad breath.

2. Aids in Improving Overall Health

Maintaining a balanced oral microbiome is ideal. The appropriate use of charcoal toothpaste may help keep this balance. In effect, the immune system of the mouth improves and helps prevent further damage to the teeth.

3. Helps Boost Your Confidence

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 cling to the activated charcoal, leaving the teeth to appear whiter and cleaner. Whiter teeth leave you feeling more confident and capable of facing anything.

4. Cost-Effective

Aside from its claimed effectiveness, one of the major advantages of using charcoal toothpaste is that it won’t break the bank. Products such as commercial teeth whitening toothpaste, trays, whitening strips, and teeth whitening treatments are typically more expensive.  Some of them may also be more effective.

While toothpaste may cost significantly less than professional whitening products, don’t expect the same results. But you don’t have a lot to lose by trying a tube.

5. Natural Formula

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.

What Are the Precautions to be Taken When Brushing with Charcoal Toothpaste?

Although charcoal toothpaste is believed to be safe on the overall health, precautions need to be taken when using it,. Misusing charcoal toothpaste will cause side effects and possibly harm the teeth instead.

1. Do Not Use Charcoal Toothpaste Every Day

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 damage the enamel. Dentists advise brushing with charcoal toothpaste two to three days a week to avoid these serious effects.

2. Do Not Brush Aggressively

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 circular-motion cleaning.

Rather than brushing the charcoal toothpaste on the teeth, it’s 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 definitely recommended for people who deal with enamel erosion caused by medications, illnesses, etc.

3. Use FDA-Approved Charcoal Toothpaste

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 insufficient research on the product’s claimed long-term health effects.

Final Say

Charcoal may have a number of health benefits. Its absorptive properties flush unwanted elements such as toxins, bacteria, and viruses from the body. As for why does charcoal whiten teeth, activated charcoal removes some 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. Additionally, there are many anecdotal claims that it really works despite a decent body of research confirming its effectiveness.

Health experts continue to caution consumers 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.

About the Author Dr. Greg

Dr. Greg's experience in dentistry spans over 25 years serving patients of all ages. He's an advisor to www.emergencydentistsusa.com and a consultant to many professional dental projects.