Have you ever looked into getting your teeth whitened? Between the dentist, the supermarket and the blogosphere, it seems like you have more teeth whitening methods than the Cheesecake Factory has menu options. One of those options is charcoal—for teeth whitening, that is. Charcoal-ate Cookie Crumble Cheesecake anybody? Don’t even think about it, Cheesecake Factory!
When it comes to anything dental, especially the cosmetic stuff, we’ll never suggest anything that doesn’t satisfy at least two criteria: effectiveness and safety. Let’s take a look at the effectiveness and the safety of whitening your teeth using charcoal or charcoal-based products.
The short answer is yes. Charcoal can take stains out of your teeth, but first let’s make sure we’re talking about the same thing. We’re not talking about the thing you use—or The Cheesecake Factory uses—to grill your burgers or steak. We are talking about a process where high-pressured gas gets forced into charcoal particles to create what’s called activated charcoal. It is then mixed into toothpaste and used as the abrasive in whitening toothpastes.
It works for two reasons: abrasiveness and porousness. The abrasiveness of the material physically pulls and pushes unwanted particles away from your teeth. It’s like putting your toothbrush on steroids. In addition, charcoal is naturally porous and very good at binding with other elements. So, on a chemistry level, the ingredient is working to pull the foreign stuff (stains) away from the original stuff (your teeth).
There are toothpaste brands out there that feel they have a lock on how to make activated charcoal toothpaste in a safe and easy-to-use way, but the scientific verdict is still out. Activated charcoal has gone through rigorous study when it comes to the use of it in emergency rooms to detox patients who have ingested poison. Even so, the medical community advises it be used only in certain cases with certain types of poisons.
Meanwhile, you can find dietary “cleanses” promoting the use of activated charcoal drinks to help remove toxins from your system. Can a million vegans all be wrong? You—or your kidney and liver—can decide. We feel these uses are mistakes. There has not been vigorous research and multiple studies on activated charcoal’s health impacts when it comes to oral usage. We also don’t know the impact activated charcoal has on the good bacteria in your mouth. Some people who have used the cleanse drinks have reported stained gums. We’re not surprised. The liquid is a fairly intense black and there’s no way to keep it away from gums the way a mouthguard can cover just teeth. It’d be like taking a marker to your skin. It’s not going to just wash away with soap and water.
When there are numerous other teeth whitening methods that are proven, we suggest staying away from the charcoal toothpastes, especially homemade concoctions. DentaLux has been providing whitening services effectively and safely for XX years. Visit us for a consultation so we can bring the “lux” back to your smile.