The teeth whitening trend has turned black, thanks to activated charcoal. Brands are marketing charcoal brushes and pastes as miracle mouth products.. But does the black powder make a difference in oral health? Take a look at the science behind the trend:
What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is very different from the kind you throw on the grill. Charcoal becomes “activated” when it’s treated with oxygen at extremely high temperatures. This process causes the charcoal to become larger and more porous.
Activated charcoal has many uses, including emergency poison treatment, increasing kidney function, and reducing cholesterol levels. In addition to medical uses, activated charcoal is also in various cosmetics, including toothpaste.
Is activated charcoal good for teeth whitening?
The effectiveness of activated charcoal as a tooth-whitening tool is just beginning to be studied. Therefore, very little evidence suggests the product is scientifically proven to whiten teeth. However, a new study from PubMed found that activated charcoal is less effective at whitening teeth when compared to alternatives. The study also suggests that charcoal may be less safe due to its abrasive nature.
Another study concluded that activated charcoal toothpaste was no more effective at whitening than the average fluoride toothpaste after 12 weeks of use. Interestingly, the teeth became rougher after using the activated charcoal toothpaste.
If you are considering adding activated charcoal products to your oral health routine, it is a good idea to ask your dentist first. They may have more effective and safer alternatives that could be better for you.
Is activated charcoal good for teeth?
If you use activated charcoal toothpaste for whitening, you may wonder if the product is safe for your teeth.
Unfortunately, the product’s abrasiveness and general lack of fluoride can do more harm than good when it comes to your teeth. In addition to causing damage to your tooth’s enamel, abrasive products may also lead to other oral health problems, such as gum recession and a higher risk of tooth decay.
The bottom line on activated charcoal products
Despite the exaggerated claims of many oral health products, activated charcoal may do more harm than good when whitening your teeth. Therefore, many dental health professionals do not recommend it as a solution to their patients.
For more information about tooth whitening, check out this blog.