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.



Tips for a whiter smile


Click top title to open and scroll  As an experienced cosmetic dentist, there are many ways Dr. Joseph Banker can create a perfect smile. But no matter how talented your dentist is, daily life can stain and yellow your teeth. But, according to Dr. Banker, there are many ways you can help to keep your smile bright at home.

Here are Dr. Banker’s tips to help keep your smile looking its best at home:

Be aware of foods that stain

Our favorite foods, including red wine, dark sauces, coffee, and tea can stain our teeth. Even healthier options such as beets, orange juice, and ethnic spices can cause stains.

Removing stain

Surface stains can easily be removed with good home care and routine professional cleanings. A DIY paste of baking soda and water can be effective, but should be done only occasionally as it can be slightly abrasive.

Whitening at-home and in-office

For my patients that are budget-conscious, I recommend trying over-the-counter products, such as Crest White Strips. These can take some time and effort, but good results can be achieved. In-office whitening uses more powerful products and excellent results can be achieved in a short time. I always provide my in-office whitening patients with an at-home system to maintain their new, whiter teeth.

Best tooth brush type

Always use a soft bristle brush. Any that has the “ADA Accepted” seal has undergone extensive testing to ensure it is an effective, quality product.

Lipstick shades

Bright reds and other shiny berry colors are great at enhancing the white in teeth. Shades with blue undertones also help, but avoid anything in a light, nude color or with yellow tones as these can accentuate the yellow shades in teeth.

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