What Charcoal Powders are ACTUALLY Doing to Your Teeth
Charcoal has been blowing up the last few years for its use in skincare, smoothies, ice cream, and even toothpastes!
The industry has claimed that they found charcoal to absorb extra bacteria and stains on the teeth, making them whiter as well as working to eliminate bad breath. Because it has been a fairly low utilized home remedy, there wasn’t much definitive research on whether or not using charcoal on teeth could cause any harm.
Figure 1 Huff Post
Activated charcoal is basically charcoal that has been oxidized so that it is safe for consumption and more porous. It can be used in hospitals to absorb toxins from the body in the case of poisoning from certain drugs or substances.
This absorption power is where the powder came into the oral health world, with the idea that if it can absorb poisons from a person’s stomach, it would be able to remove stains from teeth.
Charcoal is a very porous, gritty material. It is essentially a rock that people are grinding up and using on their teeth as a natural whitener. However, using this stuff on teeth, which are made up of sensitive enamel and dentin, could cause people some issues with their dental health.
Activated charcoal is more porous than simply burnt wood, allowing it to bind to particles like buildup and bacteria that may cause teeth to yellow. However, charcoal powders or pastes can be very abrasive to the enamel, making it a less than ideal solution for whitening. If the enamel layer of the tooth is disrupted, people are much more prone to pain and sensitivity when they come into contact with hot or cold food and drinks.
While there is more research to be done about whether or not charcoal has these whitening effects, a safer, probably more effective alternative would be charcoal floss. This way, the charcoal is coated and won’t actually get into the tooth’s enamel but will still clean the surface.
Flossing is already a recommended solution for maintaining healthy oral hygiene and keeping teeth healthy, but it can also get rid of bacteria in between the teeth that causes them to yellow and stain.
Adding activated charcoal to floss is great because users can get the benefits of both in one, without the risks of abrasive charcoal. Charcoal floss is able to enhance the absorption of bacteria in between teeth but keeps the enamel intact because its grittiness is separated from the teeth.
Particularly when used in combination with a whitening system like Snow, charcoal floss enhances the whitening process. By both absorbing bacteria and removing buildup of plaque and tartar, the whitening formula is able to work more effectively.
So before jumping on the whole charcoal bandwagon, consider the effects it may have on your teeth. When it comes to teeth whitening, opt for a nice charcoal floss and stick to the charcoal ice cream and enjoy it with protected enamel.