activated charcoal
Brush teeth with activated charcoal for teeth whitening

An increasing number of Youtube videos are touting as a fact that one of the easiest, most effective ways to whiten your teeth is to brush them with pitch-black activated charcoal.

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These Youtubers are making the unlikely connection and even claiming that a single brushing can have amazing results.

Activated charcoal is actually different from charcoal used in cooking. It is created when carbon is treated with an oxidizing agent, which results in a fine dust with millions of pores and an immense surface area.

activated charcoal

It has been employed in medical settings to treat poisonings and drug overdoses and can be ingested quite safely, only requiring that you consume lots of water after ingesting, to make sure that it does not absorb the good substances in your stomach along with the bad.

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Activated charcoal may have all these good qualities but it is inarguably black and there are no documented researches of it as a teeth-whitening agent.

So what are the chances of charcoal whitening your teeth? Well according to the proponents of the movement, the natural adhesive qualities of activated charcoal lets it bind with surface-staining culprits like coffee, tea, wine, and plaque, removing them from your teeth for good.

activated charcoal

They advise to simply  Simply pop a capsule of the stuff, mix the contents with some water, put the paste on a toothbrush and clean your teeth for a few minutes.

The messy process may stain fabric and other stuff around you but these promoters promise a guaranteed improvement for the whiteness of your teeth. There already exist quite the dramatic before-after gallery of photos for people who now prefer activated charcoal as an alternative to fluoride.

activated charcoal

Dental specialists, however, do not support the claims. Dr. Kim Harms, a Minneapolis-based dentist, and spokesperson for the American Dental Association told The Daily Beast;

“There’s no scientific indication that [activated charcoal] actually works and there are better options out there that do work,” . “The important part of brushing and flossing is the physical removal of plaque.

The toothpaste you’re using, from a dentist’s point of view, delivers fluoride to teeth. We’re concerned about practices where people are using products without fluoride. Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter and can cut tooth decay by up to 40 percent.”

activated charcoal

Of course, it could be argued that huge amounts of money are being thrown around by companies to have their products promoted, and these experts are first in line in those promotions, so their view could very well be biased.