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Is it Safe to Whiten Teeth with Activated Charcoal?

July 21, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — studiocitydental @ 5:55 pm
charcoal toothpaste on a toothbrush

Dental discoloration is one of the top cosmetic complaints of millions of people. Having teeth that are yellow or gray-ish in appearance can make you feel like you need to hide your smile instead of let it show. That’s why when activated charcoal teeth whitening emerged on the scene, people flocked to the fad, including influencers. Naturally, oral hygiene companies began including it in their products, like charcoal-infused toothbrush bristles and whitening toothpastes. The problem is, not much research has been done on this method of teeth whitening, and the American Dental Association and clinical researchers haven’t given it their stamp of approval.

What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal isn’t the first thing that would come to your mind when you hear the word “charcoal.” It’s not briquettes you light your barbecue with, or artists’ charcoal used to create beautiful drawings. It’s specially concocted of a variety of natural ingredients that are distilled down into a fine black powder, including coconut shells, wood, peat, and olive pits.

Due to its detoxifying nature, it’s best known to be used in emergency medicine to combat drug overdoses or accidental poisoning. More modern uses of activated charcoal include adding it to skincare products and shampoos because of its ability to bind to toxins. More recently, it has also been added to dental hygiene products and has been introduced on social media as a teeth whitening trend.

Can Activated Charcoal Whiten Teeth?

Despite being marketed as a way to whiten teeth, clinical research hasn’t revealed any evidence that activated charcoal actually does this. In addition, the American Dental Association, or ADA, hasn’t provided products containing this ingredient with their Seal of Approval due to the lack of data supporting the claims that it’s safe to use on your teeth and an effective way to whiten them. However, some people often report that they notice their teeth appear whiter after using activated charcoal toothpastes and powders.

Is Charcoal Teeth Whitening Safe?

In short, activated charcoal hasn’t been proven to be safe to use on your teeth due to its abrasive nature. In fact, researchers report that with overuse, it can lead to enamel erosion, which can also cause a higher risk of common oral health problems like cavities and tooth infections.

At the end of the day, your safest option to brighten your grin is to receive treatment from a professional like your cosmetic dentist. They use high-quality, concentrated ingredients that are clinically proven to be both effective and safe for your pearly whites. Not to mention, you’ll be able to walk out of your appointment with a grin that’s up to eight shades brighter!

About the Author

Dr. Proshat Shahrestany opened Studio City Dental Arts in 2012 with a vision to create a space that’s patient-focused, comfortable, and has a minimal impact on the environment. She’s passionate about helping her patients realize their dream smiles by providing high-quality, clinically-proven cosmetic treatments like Zoom! and KöR teeth whitening. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit Studio City Dental Arts’ website or call 818-760-0200.

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