Does Charcoal Damage Teeth?


pile of charcoal

Among the natural remedies to whiten teeth, brushing with charcoal is one of the more popular ones. Activated charcoal reviews are easy to find on Youtube and the results seem promising. But even though teeth seem brighter, will charcoal do more harm than good to your teeth?

How Charcoal Whitens

It’s a lot like what you see on YouTube; a big mess in your mouth and your bathroom. So whether you buy the supplements or the actual tub of teeth whitening charcoal, you’re in for a potentially messy adventure. Activated charcoal can be purchased in different powder forms like a jar or capsules, as well as toothpaste. This remedy is a fine mixture made from ingredients like coconut shells, coal, sawdust, olive pits, bone char, and more. In order for it to be “activated”, it's processed to alter the internal structure by exposing the mixture to high heats which is what makes it more porous than regular charcoal. Currently, activated charcoal is used to treat food poisoning, snake bites and even acne.

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The natural charcoal whitening treatment has many people converted. The porous quality of this product is believed to absorb and trap the stains on teeth better than other products. With a lot of tutorials and testimonials on the internet, we’re seeing the short-term results from using charcoal, but the question still remains. Will charcoal hurt my teeth in the long run?

What do dentists think?

Many dentists are worried about the potential dangers of whitening with charcoal. Since the activated charcoal is seen as an abrasive material, lathering and scrubbing your teeth in this black substance may lead to enamel deterioration or tooth erosion. The enamel is the protective coating of each tooth and once gone, it cannot be grown back. If this ever happens, the tooth must be covered up through a restoration process in order to protect the tooth.

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Most dental whitening products are effective because they seep through it into the inner layer of the tooth in order to change the color. That way the enamel isn’t disturbed and the teeth are kept safe. The jury is still out whether charcoal will for sure cause these long-term damages since the American Dental Associate still doesn’t have sufficient clinical or lab data.

What should we do?

Whether or not these results get proven, why take that sort of risk? Teeth are such an important asset, we would hate for anything to happen to them. Play it safe and smile on!

 

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Feature photo by Adrien Olichon on Unsplash

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