Charcoal: the new tooth whitener


The newest tooth whitener

The newest tooth whitener

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Charcoal has been around for years in artist’s pencils, barbecue grills, and water purifiers, just to name a few common uses.  Now, activated charcoal is being used to whiten teeth.

Cosmetic dentist Dr. Joseph Banker shared with the pros and cons as well as the dos and don’ts of using activated charcoal as a tooth whitener.

Here are Dr. Banker’s tips:

Activated charcoal is highly absorptive. The tiny granules are extremely porous and are very effective in binding certain materials to their surface. Tannins, astringents found in tea, coffee, red wine, sauces, and other dark foods, cause many stains on teeth. These tannins readily bind to the surface of activated charcoal and ultimately remove these stains.

Activated charcoal can raise the pH in your mouth. This helps to prevent cavities and bad breath.

Activated charcoal is excellent homemade remedy! Activated charcoal can be purchased at your local nutrition store and the procedure is simple to use. The charcoal does not change the color of tooth enamel, but removing stains allows the actual tooth color to show. This technique is also great for individuals prone to staining as well as those with very sensitive teeth.

Activated charcoal can be purchased at your local nutrition store. The procedure is simple: Open a capsule over a cup, mix the charcoal with a small amount of water, and gently apply it to all the surfaces of the teeth. Use a toothbrush but don’t apply any significant pressure.  Leave the activated charcoal in place for two minutes, then rinse with water until all of the charcoal is gone.  

There are a few precautions I feel are important. As stated earlier, I do not recommend brushing with charcoal; the abrasiveness may damage teeth or gums. If charcoal is ingested, it can cause medications to be ineffective, so try to avoid the procedure within a few hours of a taking a dose.

Although messy, this technique is relatively quick, easy, and painless. If the enamel is discolored, sometimes from tetracycline staining, the charcoal will not be effective. To actually change the color of the enamel, a whitening product containing a bleaching agent such as peroxide, will be required.