Brushing with Activated Charcoal for a Brighter Smile, Really?

It may seem counter-intuitive to brush your teeth with charcoal in order to whiten them, but more and more people are turning to this natural home remedy to brighten and whiten their smiles. Activated charcoal is not the same charcoal used in backyard barbecues.

Activated charcoal, or carbon, is different from standard charcoal as it has been processed in such a way as to increase its surface area available for chemical reactions or absorption.

According to wikipedia, “just one gram of activated carbon has a surface area in excess of 1,300 m2 (14,000 sq ft), as determined by gas adsorption.” Activated Carbon is also used in emergency rooms to treat overdoses and poisonings where the substances were taken orally.

Activated Carbon can be obtained from many health food stores and is a good item to have on hand in order to counter many kinds of oral poisonings. We have established that Activated Charcoal is benign to the body, but you may be wondering: Brush with it, really?

Brushing with activated charcoal is messy, and it can be disconcerting to cover your teeth in a black, tar-like substance and watch your pearly whites disappear behind a layer of charcoal, but fear not! Make sure to clean any surfaces, especially porcelain, where you may have spilled the activated carbon, as it will stain.

Many users have found that the easiest method is to take a small cup and mix some water with the activated carbon. Take the mix into the shower and brush there, making sure that that all the charcoal makes it down the drain and doesn’t stain anything. Some users report whiter teeth after one use, others say after a few treatments, and some report no positive results at all.

As of yet, there have been no studies published that support the widely held belief that brushing with activated charcoal will whiten your teeth. Until the theory can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to work in brightening your smile, your best bet is to contact our office on what your best teeth whitening options are.

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