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A Dentist’s Perspective On Charcoal Teeth Whitening

Have you seen people brushing their teeth with a black paste on social media? It may look pretty bizarre but it’s a dental DIY attempt that has gone viral online. While coconut oil pulling was popular in recent years, the new trend is activated charcoal. Specifically, brushing with finely ground charcoal in the goal of whitening your teeth.


Touted as a natural alternative to regular teeth whitening options, this concept has continued to gain popularity, particularly on Pinterest and among YouTube vloggers.


From pictures, it can look like the charcoal would permanently stain your teeth black but some people claim that it can whiten and remove surface stains, such as those from drinking coffee or tea.


charcoal teeth whitening


Does activated charcoal have any legitimacy?


Barbecue is probably the first thing that comes to mind with the word charcoal. But activated charcoal is a slightly different substance and it is manufactured, not found naturally.


It does have some beneficial uses. For example, it is used medically to treat certain types of poisonings because of its purifying abilities. Activated charcoal is extremely effective at absorbing toxins in a variety of environments, not just the human body. This is why you’ll find it as a regular ingredient in both air and water filters.


Do we recommend brushing with activated charcoal?


Because of the abrasiveness of the charcoal, even in a finely ground powder, we can’t recommend that you try this trend.


There isn’t enough scientific research or evidence at this time to support charcoal teeth whitening. In fact, the grittiness of the substance poses a risk of doing serious damage to tooth enamel and causing erosion. In addition, no charcoal toothpaste currently on the market has been ADA approved.  While it’s possible the charcoal could bind to some surface stains, it definitely won’t help teeth which have discoloration from deeper issues or teeth which are yellowing naturally with age. Most importantly, it isn’t worth the risk to your enamel or gums.


If you’re interested in a brighter smile, come visit Beaverton TenderCare Dental! We offer professional teeth whitening services that are safe and effective. You can show off a dramatically whiter smile while assured that your teeth will be healthy for years to come.

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