Ask the Dentist – Will activated charcoal whiten my teeth?

Ask the Dentist – Will activated charcoal whiten my teeth?

by Dr Nicole Andersen

Activated charcoal is being seen frequently on social media as a natural way to whiten teeth. It has even become so connected to whitening that many name brand toothpastes have marketed their paste with charcoal as an additional ingredient to entice the consumer with the outcome of whiter teeth.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that using charcoal is safe or effective for teeth whitening, according to the Journal of the American Dental Association, September 2017 issue. Activated charcoal has been found to be an abrasive material that can actually cause wear of the enamel layer of the tooth. This wear can eventually expose the more vulnerable layer of the tooth, resulting in more cavities, more wear on the tooth, and even a more yellow appearance as seen in the layer under enamel.

The best natural ways to whiten your teeth are with great at home hygiene habits and regular visits to your dentist for cleanings. Flossing once a day and brushing twice a day for two minutes can eliminate a lot of stain and build up on the teeth. Abstaining from smoking and tobacco and limiting stain heavy foods like tea, coffee, red wine and dark colored sodas will also decrease the discoloration you may see on your teeth.

Please ask us at your next appointment what whitening methods would work best to brighten up your smile.