You’ve seen the videos and the testimonies all across social media swearing that it works. Just brush your teeth with activated charcoal three times every week, and before long you’ll have a dazzling white smile. It may sound tempting, but is charcoal whitening really everything that people say it is? Or should you find a different method for brightening your teeth?
What Exactly is Charcoal Whitening?
Charcoal is a black powder that can be made from a mixture of coconut shells, olive pits, burned wood, peat and other natural substances. When it’s been activated (which happens after it’s oxidized under extreme heat), it becomes very porous. The idea behind charcoal whitening is that when it’s applied to the teeth, it can bind to and trap plaque as well as the substances that cause stains; when the charcoal is removed, it takes these harmful materials with it.
Does Charcoal Whitening Work?
Activated charcoal is already used for medical purposes, such as treating certain types of poisoning. However, there is currently little to no clinical evidence that says charcoal can reliably and safely whiten teeth. As such, the American Dental Association has yet to give the treatment its Seal of Acceptance.
Many dentists will actually advise against using activated charcoal because it’s highly abrasive and can wear down your enamel. Worn teeth are more vulnerable to cavities and tend to be more sensitive. Furthermore, thinner enamel will expose the yellower dentin layer, meaning your teeth will eventually become even more discolored. In summary, over the long term, charcoal whitening will do far more harm to your smile than good.
What are Some Alternatives to Charcoal Whitening?
If you’re looking for more tested, reliable cosmetic solutions for your teeth, your first stop should always be your dentist’s office. There are a couple of different ways a professional can brighten your pearly whites:
- In-Office Whitening: The dentist will put powerful whitening gel on your teeth, allowing it to break up any stains. The treatment is done in about an hour, and you’ll have the benefit of professional oversight throughout the whole process. In many cases, you’ll have a dramatically improved smile to show off after just one in-office whitening appointment.
- Whitening Kits: While you can buy whitening products at the store, a take-home kit provided by your dentist will contain stronger ingredients that can treat more kinds of stains. Whitening kits usually produce results within about two weeks.
Talk to your dentist about whitening and any other improvements you want to make to your ivories. Remember, even if you’re unhappy with how it looks, your smile is precious and irreplaceable; improving its appearance is fine, but it’s important to choose a treatment that protects it at the same time!
About the Practice
At Dentistry at Suwanee, each of our dentists has spent years study and practicing different aspects of dentistry. We’ll always provide high-quality and precise care that’ll safeguard and improve your grin. We offer Opalescence Boost Whitening to quickly whiten teeth up to 8 shades during a single visit. To schedule an appointment at our Suwanee practice, visit our website or call (678) 381-2875.