If you’ve been on social media recently, odds are you’ve come across a photo of someone with teeth that look like they’re covered in some kind of black foam. It’s not actually foam, but activated charcoal. People claim this new craze is better for your teeth than professional whitening treatments. Is that true? Let’s look at whether charcoal is effective at teeth whitening, and how it compares to whitening treatments from your dentist.
What is Charcoal Toothpaste?
The main ingredient in charcoal toothpaste is charcoal, but it’s not exactly what you would find in the grill or an art studio. The component in toothpaste is what’s referred to as “activated charcoal.”
Charcoal is activated by being exposed to a special gas that makes it develop large pores. These spaces make the charcoal more absorbent, allowing it to soak a variety of substances, including, some claim, surface stains on your teeth.
Activated charcoal is not the only ingredient in these toothpastes. Some might contain flavoring. Some have fluoride as well, but others do not. Some even come in a different form besides toothpaste, such as powder or tablets.
Can Charcoal Actually Whiten Your Teeth?
Studies have not been able to determine a direct relationship between charcoal and teeth whitening. More research is needed to prove a connection.
Advocates of activated charcoal say that it can absorb surface stains. However, some research has suggested that the toothpaste simply scrubs the teeth’s enamel and does not actually remove the stains. One option might be that charcoal has caused people to brush more, resulting in slightly whiter teeth. However, that treatment does not have nearly as many advantages as seeking a professional whitening treatment from your dentist.
What Are the Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening?
If you’re interested in a brighter smile, the first thing you should do is talk to your dentist. Because the jury is still out on the benefits of activated charcoal whitening, your dentist will likely prescribe you a professional whitening treatment instead, since its results have been proven to work. Here are a few benefits of getting your teeth professionally whitened:
- Custom-made trays designed to fit your unique smile
- Powerful bleaching agent much stronger than anything you can in stores or online
- Guaranteed to make your smile 8-10 shades whiter in just 2 weeks
Charcoal whitening may be the new fad, but professional teeth whitening will last a lot longer. Because we don’t know enough about charcoal treatment, consult your dentist before trying it out.
About the Author
Dr. Leslie Metzger achieved her dental degree at Ohio State University, and is a member of the American Dental Association and the Michigan Dental Association. She has attended cosmetic dentistry programs at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. She is committed to lifelong education to learn the best way to restore her patients’ confidence in their smiles. To learn more about her teeth whitening services, click here or call (248)-476-3410.