What’s wrong with the charcoal teeth whitening trend?

charcoal teeth whitening calgary
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Over the years, I’ve seen all sorts of trends in teeth whitening. Some of them come and go, while others have been around for decades.

One of the current trends is the charcoal teeth whitening.

Many people are drawn to this type of whitening because it is considered an “all-natural” way to whiten your teeth.

I’m 100% behind everyone taking better care of their health. For some people, that means choosing all-natural health and beauty products and engaging in a mix of Eastern and Western medical philosophies. To them, I say if it improves your health – good for you.

What I won’t support, though, is when there are claims that a product is miraculous, a total health cure, and life-changing when, in reality, it could be dangerous.

That led me – your downtown Calgary dentist – to do some research on the new charcoal teeth whitening trend to see if there is any merit to the healthy, all-natural, whitening claims.

The Latest DIY Whitening Trend: Charcoal Teeth Whitening

What is charcoal teeth whitening? It is a process in which activated charcoal is used to brighten a person’s smile. Activated charcoal is made by exposing natural materials – like wood, shells, and coconut shells – to high heat. The materaltials are then heated again, this time with a gas. The result is pure carbon.

Activated charcoal is a very fine powder that doesn’t have any discernible taste or smell. For its purported health benefits, it’s been added to everything from shampoo and toothpaste to facial creams and makeup.

How is it used to whiten teeth?

Users add water to the powder to make a paste. The paste is then smeared onto the teeth and left on for about three to five minutes. Or, it can be smeared on and then brushed around the teeth for that period of time.

Some people swear by the results. There are a number of YouTube videos and blogs written about charcoal teeth whitening by those who try to use only all-natural products.

teeth whitening trends like charcoal whitening are getting popular thanks to bloggers

The idea behind activated charcoal being used as a teeth whitener is that it has the amazing power to absorb debris and bacteria. Activated charcoal is very porous, which gives it strong absorption capabilities. Add to that the fact that the powder slurry can scrub away some surface stains, it seems like it might be a viable alternative to traditional teeth whitening from say, our Calgary dental office.

My concern with Charcoal Teeth Whitening

…teeth are so different from the skin and hair, yet many people treat them the same. Hair can re-grow, skin can replenish and repair. The teeth, however, do not replenish.

Like I said before, I’m definitely not against finding natural alternatives for healthier living. But I don’t want to promote something that’s not tested, safe or effective, either.

The issue with charcoal teeth whitening is that there isn’t enough evidence to know whether activated charcoal is beneficial in the long run.

Because we don’t know about the long-term effects of this product and process, we don’t yet know if it could be potentially damaging to your teeth.

Over the long term, people may find that their teeth actually become more stained or do not whiten uniformly. Other concerns are that it could abrasively wear your tooth enamel. When the enamel is worn away the teeth often appear more yellow in tone and patients may start experiencing higher levels of temperature sensitivity.

Some dentists are already sounding the alarm that activated charcoal is potentially dangerous as a teeth whitening product.

The concern here is that the teeth are so different from the skin and hair, yet many people treat them the same. Hair can re-grow, skin can replenish and repair. The teeth, however, do not replenish. Once a damaged tooth enamel, there’s no going back. There’s no way for the body to restore lost tooth enamel.

My Recommendation for Healthy Teeth Whitening

At this point in time, one of the healthiest ways you can whiten your teeth is by using a well-tested whitening product. This isn’t to say that down the road we might learn of the positive, long-term benefits of charcoal teeth whitening. But for the time being, when my patients ask about my recommendations for teeth whitening, I always recommend products that have proven healthy for the long haul.

In my downtown Calgary dental clinic, these are the only products I will use on my patients. I don’t ever want to expose them to something that I can’t stand behind 100%.

At Dentalife, we have two options for Whitening teeth: in-office whitening or a take home kit. The whitening products used in both of these scenarios are safe yet effective, and they’ve been proven to be such, too.

I use either a hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide gel. Both are safe and successful at giving results.

Trust the Safe Forms of Dentistry at Your Calgary Dentist Office

Some people swear by the results. There are a number of YouTube videos and blogs written about charcoal teeth whitening by those who try to use only all-natural products.

Am I against trying to achieve optimal dental health with the use of all-natural products? Definitely not. My goal, though, is to educate my patients. Educate them on products that are potentially harmful and those that have been thoroughly tested for safety.

Unsafe products can damage the teeth, making them susceptible to decay, staining, and sensitivity. With safe dental products, it is easier to achieve the beautiful, white, sparkling smile that so many people desire.

If you’re interested in whitening your teeth, I welcome you to our downtown Calgary dentist office to discuss your teeth whitening options. During this time, I’d be happy to explain more about the pros and cons of charcoal teeth whitening, as well as professional dental products.

When we work together, we can achieve your dental goals of a healthy and beautiful smile.

Do you want a beautiful smile and healthy teeth? Then you need to see a dentist regularly! Contact my office to schedule your next examination and professional cleaning.

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