People looking for a whiter smile might reach for charcoal powder, given its claims of being “natural” and its long history. But does charcoal powder really whiten teeth? And does it do so safely?
The answer is mixed. While charcoal powder can brighten your smile a little, it’s not the best whitening agent out there. Nor is it the safest option available. But in among teeth whitening products, it does have whitening effect.
Here comes several questions people usually ask about teeth whitening powders.
How does activated charcoal teeth whitening work?
Activated charcoal helps absorb and remove stains from the surface of your tooth enamel. It does so because activated charcoal is porous, allowing it to trap substances you don’t want on your teeth. Plus, it has a natural adhesive quality that makes it bind to the things that stain your teeth, like the dental plaque.
How long does it take for activated charcoal to whiten teeth?
Results can vary depending on several factors including your habits as well as the type of stains on your tooth enamel. In most cases, you should see noticeable results after one week of regular use.
During this period, charcoal should help remove exterior stains/discoloration from the surface of your teeth caused by daily food and drink without altering your enamel.
Does activated charcoal teeth whiteners contain any chemical ingredients?
Some activated charcoal teeth whitening powders do contain chemicals such as synthetic flavors, preservatives, colorants and other chemicals. You should, therefore, read the ingredient on the label of the product to see what the formulation contains.
There are charcoal teeth whitening powders out there that don’t have any chemicals and just contain activated charcoal.
Is activated charcoal safe to use on sensitive teeth/gums?
Since your tooth enamel does not regrow or regenerate, using a substance that could potentially wear down the tooth enamel may be detrimental. Therefore it’s important to find a good charcoal tooth whitening powder that isn’t too abrasive. The whitening ability of charcoal is due to its porous nature, but the trouble resides in its abrasiveness.
You should check the RDA for the charcoal powder to ensure the product isn’t too abrasive. The ISO specification states that toothpaste should not exceed an RDA of 250, which is considered the safe limit for hard tissues, and that toothpaste with an RDA value below 250 is safe for daily use. This RDA threshold applies to activated charcoal as well.
Can activated charcoal damage the enamel on my teeth?
It depends on the type of activated charcoal in the teeth whitening powder. Activated charcoal is manufactured in a variety of grades for different industries and product applications, some grades of activated charcoal have fine particle sizes whilst others have larger granules. You should avoid activated charcoal with larger granules as they could be abrasive.
Does activated charcoal replace toothpaste or am I meant to use both?
Activated charcoal powder does not replace your regular toothpaste, therefore, you should be using both as they have different functions. For example, activated charcoal powder helps remove stains from the surface of your tooth enamel but it does not freshen your breath the way a normal toothpaste would.
Why would you brush your teeth with charcoal?
Activated charcoal is a highly absorbent substance which binds with coffee, tea, wine and tobacco stains. This helps remove stains from the surface of your tooth enamel. Furthermore, activated charcoal helps detoxify your mouth, gums and helps promote fresh breath.
What is the best way to whiten your teeth at home?
If you have discoloration on the surface of your tooth enamel caused by tea, wine, tobacco and coffee stains then you could use baking soda or activated charcoal teeth whitening powders to help lift the stains without going to dentists. However, if you have deep-seated stains, you should look into using teeth whitening strips and other kits that are suitable for home use.