There’s a new trend on social media where people are chewing activated charcoal to whiten their teeth. What can you tell us about that?
Dr. Jackson: That is something that as a dentist, I highly suggest people are very careful about. Activated charcoal, the way that many believe it whitens the teeth, is an abrasive, meaning it scratches the teeth. It can be very, very damaging for people’s teeth.
I know that this is extremely popular out there. There are many companies that are selling activated charcoal toothpaste and showing great before and after results. I challenge people when they’re looking at those pictures, to look at not just the teeth, and the color of the teeth, but also the surrounding structures. They should look at the gums and the lips as well.
How To Tell if Before and After Activated Charcoal Pictures are Real
If the gums and the lips are the same color on those pictures, that is something where that’s actually a true ability to whiten teeth. Most times, with these activated charcoal sites, you will see that the color of the lips and surrounding structures are not the same, which means the photos are edited. Like I said, activated charcoal does have the ability to whiten teeth but it’s through an abrasive structure. That can be damaging for teeth. It can cause lots of damage and we don’t even know the benefits or the downfalls of it because there’s not been a clinical study.
The Best Way to Whiten Teeth
The best way to whiten teeth is by using a material through a dental office called carbamide peroxide. Carbamide peroxide is a substance that helps to break down the coloration within teeth, so that it can be removed. Carbamide peroxide is proven to be safe for your teeth. It is not something that’s going to be damaging. It can cause some sensitivity, but within certain levels can be helpful.
Basically, carbamide peroxide slowly breaks down over time into hydrogen peroxide, which many people are familiar with. But it’s a safe and slow process of breaking it down so that it does whiten the teeth. Again, activated charcoal can be very damaging to teeth. It can scratch them and cause lots of harm and it has not been proven to actually whiten teeth long term.
We offer teeth whitening services here at Murfreesboro Family Dentistry. Give us a call today to set up a consultation.