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The Truth About Charcoal

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If you've used charcoal powder to whiten your teeth, then you know that it's messy stuff. It stains your toothbrush black and your mouth will look truly horrifying until you rinse it out.

Activated charcoal is currently being touted as the latest must-have health and beauty fad, especially when it comes to tooth whitening. But is there any truth to its much-hyped abilities or is this just another gimmick to sell you snake oil?

What Dentists Say About Charcoal

According to online consumer reviews, some people claim activated charcoal is a miracle product that's given them the pearly whites of their dreams - while others detail frightening horror stories.

Here's what dentists have to say about it:

·         The Official Word. The American Dental Association (ADA) does not recommend using activated charcoal on your teeth.  

·         Where Dentists Agree. Activated charcoal alone isn't enough to remove plaque, so you'd still be at risk for cavities and gum disease unless you use an additional toothpaste proven to be safe and effective (look for products with ADA Seal of Acceptance).

·         Where Dentists Disagree. Not all dentists believe activated charcoal is harmful and the research is inconclusive. For some dentists, it depends on the quality and quantity of the product you use.

Separating Good from Bad Products

If you're determined to use activated charcoal on your teeth, it's essential to identify which products are safe to invest in. When it comes to your teeth, the quality and quantity of activated charcoal matters.

If the activated charcoal in your product is too abrasive, too plentiful, or used too frequently, it can result in the following problems:

·         Enamel Damage. You could potentially remove the protective enamel on your teeth, which cannot be recovered once it's gone. As a result, your teeth may become more susceptible to yellowing, sensitivity, and decay over time.

·         Black Stains. Brushing with activated charcoal daily can potentially stain your gums and tongue black. Once the charcoal gets deep inside your gums, there's no getting it back out.

·         Unsanitary Packaging. Dipping your toothbrush into jars of charcoal powder can turn them into breeding grounds for bacteria. If you want to use a product like this, use a clean spoon to scoop out a small amount of product onto your toothbrush instead.

Get Expert Advice

If you still want to use activated charcoal, do some research and choose a product that uses very fine particles of charcoal. Hopefully, this will be less likely to damage the enamel on your teeth. And don't over-do it! Daily brushing with charcoal might whiten your teeth, but it could also stain your gums.

You should also talk to your dentist before investing in any given product. Your dentist can make whitening recommendations that best suit your specific needs, and they can ensure you are using the right combination of products to clean your teeth and gums properly.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions