Does Activated Charcoal Whitening Really Work?

September 17, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_lavino @ 5:57 pm

person brushing their teeth with activated charcoal toothpaste

You may have been scrolling across your social media feeds recently and seen someone brushing their teeth with what appears to be a black toothpaste. They claim that it whitens their teeth. But how can a dark paste remove stains in your pearly whites? Well, according to a dentist in Selden, it may not work as well as social media influencers are saying. Let’s take a closer look at activated charcoal whitening and whether its results are as good as professional whitening from your dentist.

What Is Activated Charcoal?

If you’re curious to try out charcoal whitening, don’t just run to the store and pick out the same stuff you would put on the grill. Charcoal becomes activated by being exposed to a special mix of heat and gases. This transforms the material, so it becomes porous, allowing it to absorb surface stains in teeth.

Does It Really Work?

Hundreds, if not thousands, of beauty bloggers and vloggers have touted the supposed benefits of activated charcoal whitening without looking at the scientific results of the process. Most dental professionals will say that charcoal contains abrasive chemicals that can erode your tooth enamel. Once enamel is gone, it doesn’t come back. This means that the underlying yellowish layer of dentin is more exposed, leaving your teeth looking even less white than they would otherwise. In addition, the more exposed your dentin is, the more vulnerable you are to cavities.

The American Dental Association has not given its Seal of Approval to activated charcoal. They have determined that more research needs to be done on the subject before they can say with any certainty that it works or not.

Why Should You See Your Dentist Instead?

You should see your dentist for professional teeth whitening in Selden for several reasons, including:

  • Safety. Your dentist can make sure that no whitening solution gets on your gums and irritates the tissue, which you might accidentally do at home.
  • Comfort. Over the counter whitening treatments may cause sensitive teeth, especially if your enamel is already eroded. Dentists know how to adjust the strength of the bleaching gel so as to not cause any more sensitivity.
  • Better results. Bleaching agents in your dentist’s office are much more potent than treatment you can find elsewhere. This means better results that will last a lot longer.

Charcoal whitening might seem like the best way to correct discoloration in your pearly whites, but it can actually do more harm than good. If you want a brighter smile, talk to your dentist about professional whitening treatment.

About the Author

Dr. Scotto-Lavino achieved his dental degree from the New York University College of Dentistry in 1982. He has accrued more than three decades of experience serving the Selden, NY community. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the New York State Dental Association, and the Suffolk County Dental Society. He also offers professional teeth whitening to brighten your smile. To learn more, contact Dr. Scotto-Lavino at (631) 698-9400.

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