Would you use charcoal to whiten your teeth?

Posted by Southeast Family Dental Oct 07,2020

This is a thumbnail image of blog Would you use charcoal to whiten your teeth?

Everyone loves the idea of a bright, white smile. But over time, your diet and oral habits can stain and discolor your teeth, making you feel embarrassed by your smile. That’s why many people often try teeth whitening home remedies. At Southeast Family Dental, we’ve written about one such home remedy—banana peels—in the past. But here we go again! We’ve come across yet another folk cure to whiten your teeth—activated charcoal.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Charcoal? But this isn’t the same type of charcoal you use in your barbeque grill. This is the charcoal that hospitals use as a treatment for food and other poisonings. 

If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: Activated Charcoal – Weird Way to Whiten Teeth

Here’s how one would whiten their teeth with the activated charcoal:

  • Take an old toothbrush and wet it with water. Then place the toothbrush on toilet paper or a paper towel.
  • Open a capsule of activated charcoal and dump the charcoal onto the bristles of the toothbrush.
  • Carefully bring the toothbrush to your mouth and brush your teeth in gentle circular motions for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Once you are finished brushing, carefully spit the charcoal into a cup for easier cleanup.
  • This process can look a little scary and is quite messy. The charcoal can stain clothing, shoes, tile, grout and other surfaces.

Dental and Medical Concerns with Using Activated Charcoal for Teeth Whitening

Brushing with activated charcoal helps to absorb the bacteria, toxins, and possibly stains from your teeth to make them whiter. However, the dentists at Southeast Family Dental want to warn you about the possible long-term effects that brushing with activated charcoal can have to your teeth:

  • The degree of abrasiveness of activated charcoal is unknown, but it may cause your tooth enamel to become susceptible to deterioration and erosion. Once tooth enamel loss occurs, you can get cavities or have tooth sensitivity.
  • The charcoal may seep through your tooth enamel and into the dentin, which impacts the color of your teeth. Your teeth may become stained or blotchy from charcoal use.

Additionally, activated charcoal is associated with several medical risks, per WebMD, such as:

  • Drug interactions that reduce or prevent the absorption of certain drugs.
  • Electrolyte imbalances when used with drugs for constipation.
  • Blocked or reduced absorption of certain nutrients in foods.
  • Side effects like black stools, black tongue, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and/or constipation.
  • Gastrointestinal blockages in more serious cases.

Therefore, the doctors at Southeast Family Dental recommoned that our patients who are interested in whitening their teeth, contact us at 317-359-8000 to schedule a consultation appointment. At that time, our team will discuss the various teeth whitening options that are available here in the office or for at home use. If there are any other cosmetic concerns we would be happy to discuss at that time.

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