Charcoal Teeth Whitening: A Closer Look

25 October 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


If you Google "teeth whitening at home," you are going to pull up a wealth of information, tips, tricks, and ideas from people proclaiming they have the next best way to help you get a white and sparkly smile right in your own bathroom. The only problem with this is, a lot of these DIY teeth whitening tricks have not been professionally evaluated and could have long-term consequences for the health of your mouth and smile. One of the latest trends in at-home teeth whitening is cleaning the teeth with activated charcoal. Before you try this method in hopes that it reveals pearly whites, it is best to take a look at these commonly asked questions.

What is activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a charcoal that has been heated to a specific temperature to boost its absorbent qualities to a high degree. Activated charcoal is commonly used in medical settings to absorb toxin or ingested poisons in the stomach if a patient comes in who has inadvertently ingested something bad for them. The supplement is sold in powder of capsule form and is available at pretty much every health food store. 

Why do people claim activated charcoal whitens your teeth?

Activated charcoal is abrasive, so it does do a good job of scrubbing away stains and discoloration on teeth. Furthermore, activated charcoal's absorbent qualities are credited by well-meaning DIYers as being able to absorb stains and substances which would be left behind by normal brushing. The main problem with this is, this method of teeth whitening is only now being investigated by professionals because of its rising popularity. Therefore, even if minimal whitening results are achieved, there is a potential for negative side effects. 

What could be damaging about activated charcoal?

There are several reasons why dentists are not supporting the charcoal teeth whitening process. One of which is the fact that the charcoal could potentially cause damage to the enamel of the teeth because of its abrasiveness. Furthermore, if the enamel does get damaged, the charcoal could get into the inner dentin layers of the teeth, and this would cause long-term staining and discoloration. 

The bottom line is, trusting activated charcoal as a teeth whitening solution is not the best way to see a brighter smile. If you are looking for a safe way to whiten your teeth, it is always best to talk to your dentist about home remedies and in-office treatment solutions. Visit a clinic like Willowdaile Family Dentistry for more information.