People are constantly looking for new and better ways to have whiter teeth, and one of the more popular ways is by using activated charcoal. Activated charcoal comes in many different forms and is found in many popular toothpastes. It is, in its natural form, a very fine black powder that you can mix with water and then brush your teeth with. While more and more people are using this ingredient to get a whiter smile, this may not be your best option.
Activated charcoal has been around for a very very long time, but has only become truly popular in the last few years. There are many ongoing debates about whether or not it is okay to use though. Many people have stories about how it gave them whiter teeth after only a month, however, many dentists do not recommend it. Activated charcoal seems to be okay to use in small amounts over a short period of time, however, long term use of it can cause more harm than good as it erodes your enamel.
The American Dental Association has not determined this product to be safe, simply because there are not enough studies that have been able to test both the long term and short term effects of using it. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration has not formally deemed it safe either. While these two major organizations have not deemed activated charcoal as a safe product to consume, they have not deemed it as dangerous either for use in dental polishing, and there are many personal stories about its success. As always, you should consult your individual dentist about whether or not to use activated charcoal as part of your regimen. It does have many benefits in teeth whitening, and your doctor can help give you advice about how much of it to use and how often to use it.
According to many dentists, using activated charcoal for extended periods of time can actually damage your enamel and erode it over time. When you have scratches in your enamel, you are providing added surface area to your teeth and increasing the number of small crevices where bacteria can grow. If bacteria grows in these scratches it can lead to an increase the number of cavities you have and cause long term dental and other health problems. If your enamel becomes damaged there is no agreed upon way to naturally repair it. You will need intervention from a dental professional to help you come up with a solution. Since this is a real potential risk of using activated charcoal to whiten your teeth, some dentists advise against using it all together.
On the other hand, there are dentists that believe that if you use a very fine powdered form of activated charcoal appropriately, it will not damage your teeth in any harmful fashion. The finer the powder is, the more it polishes vs scratches, and therefore the less risk it poses to your dental health. It is recommended that people use formulated products with small amounts of activated charcoal if they want to safely whiten their teeth this way. These formulated products are specifically designed to help you get whiter teeth over time, and in a purported safe fashion. That being said, try to avoid using powdered charcoal or products that contain activated charcoal over long periods of time. Short term use of this seems to be okay, but you should always consult your dentist just to be safe.