One of this year’s biggest trends in ‘at home’ teeth whitening has to be activated charcoal. This product is simply charcoal that has been treated by heat or other methods to increase its powers of absorption. Brushing your teeth with the activated charcoal is supposedly meant to whiten your teeth after as little as one or two weeks. But does it work, and is it good for your teeth?
What the Media say:
Social influencers will have you think this new trend is the way to go if you want white, sparkling teeth. The thinking behind the trend is that the activated charcoal is a natural alternative to the harsh chemicals used in other teeth whitening solutions. The activated charcoal has purification and absorbent qualities, which are said to be able to absorb harmful bacteria, toxins, and remove stains from your teeth.
What Dentists say:
Although there maybe an improvement in the whiteness of some users teeth, dentists do not recommend the product for the simple reason that the charcoal is corrosive, and instead of removing stains, it could lead to the removal of tooth enamel and the beginnings of tooth erosion.
Most dentists and dental associations are seeing activated charcoal as a short term teeth whitening solution, which could have negative long term effects.
There is also concern that users who only use activated charcoal to brush their teeth are missing out on attaining fluoride from ordinary toothpastes. Fluoride is good for our teeth because it helps prevent tooth decay and makes your teeth more resistant to bacteria and plaque.
The American Dental Association has not approved activated charcoal as a teeth whitening solution as there is not enough clinical and lab data to substantiate its whitening abilities and whether or not it is safe treatment.
The bottom line is that we do not know enough about activated charcoal to know whether or not it is the all natural tooth whitening method we can all trust. If you are looking to have your teeth whitened, it is best to speak to your dentist about a suitable treatment or a safe and effective product.