How does activated charcoal whiten teeth and How It works?
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Dental DIY Teeth Whitening with Activated Charcoal

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If you have been keen of late, there is an online trend in which people are claiming to use activated charcoal to clean and whiten their teeth. There are twitter, Facebook and YouTube ads of people claiming to whiten teeth using activated charcoal. If you are as skeptical as I was the first time I saw the ads, you will question their credibility because it really is ironical to think that black charcoal can be used to make teeth whiter and improve their appearance. Before we delve deep into the credibility of the whitening mechanism, let’s first understand what activated charcoal is and its composition. So, what is activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal is commonly found in household medicine cabinets as an intestinal decontaminant to help reduce the effects of suspected issues like food poisoning, and is sometimes used in hospitals and emergency rooms. It is nontoxic, odorless and tasteless and has a characteristic black color. Activated charcoal is not the same as the charcoal resulting from burning firewood. Charcoal is activated by steam or chemical methods at an extremely high temperature, in order to remove volatile compounds and to separate the atoms.  When the atoms are separated, they leave space to pull in other substances, and bind them to the carbon.  This binding helps to prevent toxins and other soluble substances from being absorbed into the GI tract.

How does activated charcoal whiten teeth?

As I earlier on mentioned, activated charcoal is used in reducing the effects of food poisoning as it acts as an antioxidant. It has an ability to pull toxins from the surface of teeth and the mouth in general. It binds with the toxins and once you rinse your mouth, the toxins come out together with the rinsed activated charcoal. Although after application the activated charcoal makes your mouth look all black and feel dirty, all the black washes away when you rinse with clean water and it leaves your teeth feeling extremely clean and smooth. Brushing with the activated charcoal for a period of time has been found to improve the appearance of teeth and makes teeth lighter by upto to 3 shades.

Activated charcoal is helpful in change the pH of the mouth and making it inhabitable for disease causing germs and bacteria. The charcoal changes the pH of the mouth and prevents the germs and bacteria from thriving and reproducing in the mouth rendering the mouth safe and clean. This helps protect teeth from infections caused by bacteria and other organisms. This is why very many people are using activated charcoal as part of their remineralizing protocol for teeth. So, now that we are sure of the whitening properties of activated charcoal, what are some of the side effects of using these activated charcoal to whiten teeth? Does activated charcoal stain veneers? Is it true that it demineralizes the tooth? What kind of stains does the charcoal work on?

Does Charcoal Pull Calcium from the Teeth?

Activated charcoal binds mostly to organic compounds and not minerals so there should not be a concern of it pulling calcium from the teeth. The myth that it demineralizes the tooth is not true and you should therefore not be worried about the calcium levels in your teeth.

Does it Stain Veneers/Fillings?

If you have veneers, crowns or fillings and are worried about the charcoal staining them, be informed that the charcoal has not effect whatsoever on any of the above mentioned devices. Charcoal is easily washed away and the black does not stick on any surface whatsoever.

What Kind of Stains Does Charcoal Work On?

Activated charcoal will only work on surface stains that it is able to bind to, especially those from drinks like coffee and tea. This is because it creates its absorbent properties which allow it to pull these stains from the teeth. It would not usually work on teeth that have yellowed from antibiotics or other internal problems.

Where can one get activated charcoal?

Now that we have seen how important activated charcoal is for whitening teeth, I am sure a lot of people will want to know where to buy it. Activated charcoal is readily available in chemists and can be sold over the counter because it is nontoxic and has medicinal value. You only need to explain to the physician that you intend to use it for cleaning teeth and I am sure they will readily sell it to you.

So, it is clear now that not every internet finding is a lie and some of the things you see online are true such as the activated charcoal. If you want to achieve a lighter shade of teeth, try brushing your teeth with the activated charcoal and you will experience the results. I tried it and it has almost become my second toothpaste.

Get more detail and information on activated charcoal by our dental specialist at Vita Katy Dental Care,