From facemasks and scrubs, to soaps, deodorants and toothpaste—the charcoal trend is everywhere!
It entered the food industry with innovations like charcoal ice-cream and charcoal burger and is also considered to be a cure-all.
Many people believe that activated charcoal has detoxification qualities that can be used for dental cleansing and even skincare. But how valid is the confidence in this fine-grained black powder?
We’ll look at what science has to say about the charcoal trend in this blog.
What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is not the same charcoal you use for barbecuing. It’s a fine powder that’s made of natural substances, like coconut shells, gradually burnt wood, and olive pits.
When these substances that form activated charcoal are heated, they ‘oxidize’ or ‘activate’ the charcoal and increase its overall porosity.
Uses of activated charcoal
The absorbent nature of activated charcoal makes it a natural filter, which is why it has been widely used in water filtration systems.
In the early 1800s, it was even used to treat accidental poisoning. It’s because of these qualities that many people believe activated charcoal to be an effective teeth whitener.
How safe is charcoal teeth whitening?
You’ll find a vast array of activated charcoal products used for teeth whitening on store shelves, including charcoal toothpaste, charcoal toothbrushes, and DIY kits.
These are often advertised as effective cleansers that can remove plaque, yellow stains, and even reduce the chances of cavities. But despite the popularity, these claims are not backed by substantial research.
The American Dental Association doesn’t recommend the use of activated charcoal for teeth whitening since there’s a lack of evidence to prove its safety and efficacy.
Risks of charcoal teeth whitening
The ADA states that activated charcoal can wear away your tooth enamel by causing abrasions during scrubbing. It can even make teeth look more yellow and stained by settling in the cracks, pits, and fissures of your pearly whites.
Furthermore, studies have also revealed that charcoal whitening can cause dentin loss. Dentin is a layer under the tooth enamel, whose wear out can lead to dental issues like tooth sensitivity and gingival recession.
In a recent study that claimed to be the first study conducted to observe the effects of charcoal toothpaste, it was found that activated charcoal wasn’t an effective teeth whitener. Instead, toothpaste that had microbeads and hydrogen peroxide was found to have the best teeth whitening performances.
At Advanced Dental Center, we offer affordable cosmetic dentistry procedures such as teeth whitening and denture care in Germantown, MD. Speak to us at 301-353-8890 or visit our website for more information.