Charcoal has become the newest trend in the beauty industry and has taken the cosmetic world by storm. But the actual question we should all be asking ourselves is: Is charcoal good for your teeth?
Charcoal is considered to be a great resource not only in terms of dietary health but also regarding dental care. Using a black substance for whitening your teeth may seem counterintuitive. People, however, have sworn by charcoal’s whitening effects on teeth.
If you are wondering whether charcoal is good for your teeth and if this new trend is actually worth following, you have come to the right place. We will give you all the information about what charcoal is used to whiten teeth, whether charcoal is good for your teeth, and if there are any risks associated with using this substance to enhance the brightness of your smile.
How is Charcoal Used for Teeth Whitening?
Activated charcoal is a grainy powder made from coconut shells, wood, and other natural ingredients oxidized under extreme heat. This ingredient is mostly used to prevent poisoning as it is highly porous and can effectively absorb harmful toxins.
That is the main reason why charcoal is now present in so many foods and cosmetic items. Charcoal put in toothpaste is intended to whiten your teeth as it lifts the bacteria off your enamel, allowing your teeth to look whiter and brighter.
What Does Charcoal Do Your Teeth?
The activated form of charcoal is made out of fine, abrasive grains that can help remove the extrinsic stains that slowly accumulate on the outer surface of your teeth. You can use charcoal to remove your surface stains, and the abrasive grains can allow you to see an immediate difference in the color of your teeth.
So, Is Charcoal Good for Your Teeth?
Charcoal is quite abrasive and is not recommended by dentists. It is not good for daily use as it erodes your enamel after cutting through the plaque. This can cause teeth sensitivity and actually reverse the effect of making your teeth whiter and healthier.
Your enamel has an extremely critical responsibility of protecting the internal layers of your teeth. Your enamel also protects your teeth from immediate damage caused due to teeth grinding and excessive forces of chewing and biting.
It is important to keep in mind that enamel does not grow back. Once it is gone, it just stays gone. Therefore, it is extremely important to preserve your enamel by avoiding abrasive materials and taking care of what you consume.
What Do We Know About Charcoal for Teeth So Far?
There is quite a bit more research needed to identify the potential positive effects of charcoal on your teeth.
Here’s what we do know about charcoal in dental care.
Charcoal is too abrasive to be used daily: Using charcoal daily can expose the dentin underneath your teeth and make them appear more yellow.
It may cause staining: Using charcoal every day to brush your teeth can cause dark staining as the grain particles can get stuck between the crevices of your teeth.
Most charcoal toothpaste does not contain fluoride: Fluoride is actually what strengthens your teeth and keeps them healthy.
What Do Dentists Say About Using Charcoal for Dental Care?
Charcoal was used in the 1800s as a scrub to clean teeth, but with the various advancements in dentistry, you no longer need to use archaic methods to brighten the shade of your teeth. One of the main reasons why dentists are usually hesitant to recommend charcoal products for oral care is because there is not enough evidence to suggest that it might actually be helpful.
Brushing with charcoal can even cause your gums to wear out, leading to gum recession. Extreme cases of gum recession might require intensive periodontal therapy to replace lost gum tissue.
The American Dental Association does not approve of any toothpaste containing activated charcoal because of its extreme abrasiveness. Dentists have actually cautioned against using charcoal for teeth whitening as it might expose the dentin on your teeth due to prolonged use. This will eventually make your teeth look darker.
Benefits of Using Charcoal for Your Teeth
While it is not recommended to use charcoal every day, there are some associated benefits that do not render this substance completely useless for dental care.
Activated charcoal is quite cost-effective. You can buy it separately or mix it with your toothpaste. It is definitely less expensive than opting for a teeth whitening treatment.
Eliminates Bad Breath
Charcoal can help alleviate the effects of halitosis and can successfully absorb the toxins in your mouth.
Polishes the Teeth
The grainy particles of charcoal polish abrade your teeth and allow the removal of extrinsic stains.
Risks of Using Charcoal for Your Teeth
Doesn’t Whiten Your Teeth
Regardless of the marketing campaigns, activated charcoal cannot whiten your teeth. Yes, it does eliminate surface stains, but it cannot eliminate extremely severe ones.
Wears Down Your Enamel
The abrasive grains of charcoal can wear down your enamel and expose the yellow dentin, making your teeth even yellower than before.
Fluoride is an element essential for whitening your teeth. There is no evidence that suggests that charcoal toothpaste contains fluoride, rendering it a poor toothpaste option.
Other Teeth Whitening Methods
There are plenty of other effective teeth-whitening options available if you want to lighten the shade of your teeth. Most of these methods are endorsed by dentists.
Some of these teeth-whitening methods include:
- Whitening toothpastes
- Dentist-supervised at-home whitening
- In-office whitening
- Whitening strips
- Other over-the-counter products
Do keep in mind that only your dentist or some other specialist can recommend what toothpaste could be best for you. Since the effects and safety of charcoal for teeth are relatively unknown, it is best to steer clear of the same.
If you are a charcoal enthusiast, try to dig for better and more reliable sources of information so that you can be completely satisfied that charcoal is safe to use for your teeth before actually starting to use it.
At Le Sueur Family Dental, the health of our patients is our topmost priority. You can visit us and discuss your options for oral care with our dentists and specialists.
For more information, call Le Sueuer Family Dental at 507-665-6812 or place your appointment request with us today.