Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening: Safe or Harmful?

Charcoal Teeth Whitening

While scrolling through social media, you must have come across posts related to “healthy living”? If yes, then what kind of healthy living tips have you witnessed?

Is it more likely about skincare, fitness, healthy foods habits or oral care? It is surprising, Isn’t it! How all of a sudden people are becoming a fitness freak over the internet in a jiffy eating bowls of sprouts, writing and posting too much about it and whatnot.

Recently, a new trend has been taken over the internet, popularly known as ‘Charcoal Teeth Whitening’. Influencers/bloggers/vloggers are updating images and videos, brushing their teeth using a foamy black substance weirdly seeks our attention and go viral overnight. Most of the audience is following the trend, unaware of its side-effects.

Are you still treating and wish to treat your teeth with charcoal whitening for a bright smile? Here are a few things you might want to enlighten yourself about.

About Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening

The primary concept which crosses our mind when we purchase a product is the ingredients on the label of the product. Our eyes would scan through the ingredients undoubtedly. And sadly the fact about Charcoal teeth whitening is that it neither contains barbecue briquettes nor charcoal artistry pencils to brush or clean your teeth. The key component of the charcoal whitening products or toothpaste tends to be “activated charcoal”.

According to the National Library of Australia –  Health & Medicine[1], activated charcoal is specifically for medicinal use. To bring the charcoal in the “activated” state, the old charcoal is heated along the side of the gas. This leads to the development of large pores in the charcoal. The pores on the charcoal become absorbant, that allows it to trap compounds such as poison and intestinal gas.

The teeth whitening charcoal is available in several forms. You will also find it in the powder form, which can be applied on the teeth using moisten toothbrush. There are some kinds of toothpaste too which contains charcoal. It traps and soaks up all the stains for whitening the teeth. Did you know that brushing with charcoal products consists of certain harmful effects?

Harmful Side-Effects of Charcoal Teeth Whitening

Now that we all know, what charcoal teeth whitening is and how it works, let’s have a sneak-peek into the harmful effects of this product.

Enamel Erosion

You might have watched so many Instagram or any other social media success stories of charcoal teeth whitening, famous for its abrasiveness. Also, the Australian Dental Association alerted the users applying non-dental approved charcoal products, that the usage of such disapproved products would lead to enamel erosion. This could turn your teeth, gums prone to sensitivity and turn your teeth yellowish in colour such reactions are caused due to the enamel erosion. The dentin yellowish shade gets exposed due to the removal of the worn enamel of the teeth.

Raising Risk of Tooth Decay

Another serious issue when activated charcoal teeth whitening products are applied to brighten up the teeth, it increases the rate of tooth decay and cavities. You will find many charcoal toothpaste which doesn’t contain Flouride (a mineral that provides strength and immune to protect from decay or cavity). We know you might be having thoughts about getting Flouride from several sources like tap water or any other, which is not enough to protect the teeth. It is also observed that many people use charcoal teeth whitening products instead of brushing and flossing, which can become the reason for tooth decay. Even if you are willing to use teeth whitening product, we would suggest you to not to skip your daily brushing routine.

Unhealthy Ingredients

Many people don’t have enough knowledge regarding the chemical substances used for the manufacturing of charcoal teeth whitening products. You can evaluate it on your own, for which we first require an understanding of chemicals and their essentials. In one of the journals of the Australian Dental Association, claimed that one-third of charcoal dentifrices product has bentonite clay present in it. Also, they revealed that internet ads mention the unsubstantial clinical safety and effectiveness of their product.

The Australian Government Department of Health – Therapeutic Goods Administration, often took out notice warning consumers about the products advising not to use them. It is because the product has a high chance of containing bentonite clay which contains some percent of lead.

What to do if you want to maintain your white bright smile?

The simple routine of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day would give you proven results. Always watch over your food habits as well, these are the fundamentals of retaining the spark on your teeth. Always remember that such products are just trendsetters and instant ideation to be a part of viral culture. To carry a bright smile, we need to keep a watch over our personal oral hygiene at the utmost level. We hope you have got brief information related to Charcoal teeth whitening and learned how toxic it is for your oral health. Still, if some of you want to try the charcoal teeth whitening products, kindly get it recommended by your dentists or experts before taking the leap!

Citations

[1] Cooney, David O. 1980, Activated charcoal: antidotal and other medical uses / David O. Cooney M. Dekker New York

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Dr. Ved Berani

Author: Dr. Ved Berani

Dr. Ved Berani is the Founder of Healthy Smiles – Dental Clinic in Blackburn, Melbourne Delivers High-Quality Cosmetic Dentistry in A Relaxed & Pleasant Environment.

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