Can I whiten my teeth with charcoal?

Products that claim to whiten your teeth have been around as long as humans have had teeth. These days, products containing charcoal claim to make your teeth as white as charcoal is black. Read on to find out more about charcoal and your body, especially your teeth.

Why is some charcoal “activated”?

Some charcoal-containing products claim to contain “activated” charcoal–what is that, and how is it different from what’s in your grill?

Activated charcoal is not charcoal that’s running a marathon. Rather, activated charcoal has been treated to make it more porous. When you look closely at charcoal in your grill, you notice it’s full of holes. Activated charcoal has even more of these holes, but they are so small you can’t see them.

Are there medical uses for charcoal?

The original medical uses of activated charcoal was to treat patients who had been poisoned. This is because when eaten, activated charcoal helps to absorb toxins like heavy metals.

So what about whitening?

Unfortunately, there is no evidence that charcoal-containing products do anything to whiten your teeth. On the other hand, some evidence suggests that using a charcoal toothpaste can actually wear off your enamel and lead to more cavities.

The safest and most effective results from whitening come from in-office or professionally administered whitening done by your dental professional. Got questions or want to schedule an appointment? Give us a call today!

Read more:
“Charcoal and charcoal-based dentrifices” – Journal of the American Dental Association, September 2017

image by Ray Garcia – (CC Attribution 2.0)

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