The simple answer would be – yes, it is safe.
But, the real answer is – you have to follow certain precautions and be cautious while using activated charcoal teeth whitening in order to ensure safe usage. Otherwise, you could end-up accidentally abusing it and harming your oral health in the process.
This post talks about what measures to take and things to remember while using this revolutionary product for getting pearly whites. It’s important to be aware of the positives and negatives; only then you can use it to the fullest potential.
Activated charcoal could erode your enamel
That’s right! Which is why it’s important that you do research on your end. Make sure that the charcoal powder or the toothpaste you use is not too abrasive, or else it will attack your teeth’s enamel layer. Over time, it could lead to permanent damage.
Do not go for stuff that looks and feels overly gritty.
A good measure is to check for the RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasivity) if you are going for charcoal toothpaste. If you cannot find the RDA, you should avoid taking any unnecessary risk. Transparency is the most important thing when it comes to your oral healthcare because it’s hard to regain it once it’s gone.
There’s a right and wrong way to using charcoal based toothpaste and powders
It’s paramount that you be gentle while using activated charcoal for teeth whitening purpose. Going rogue may again damage the outermost layer of your teeth. Gently brush your teeth in a light circular motion and make sure to rinse your mouth off of any remaining charcoal.
Some people go for smearing activated charcoal paste all over their teeth and just let it sit for around five to ten minutes. This allows the charcoal to work its way into absorbing any toxins and stuff that may be causing the discoloration. You may want to try this trick if you have highly sensitive teeth or have had enamel-erosion related issues sometime in the past.
Activated charcoal for teeth whitening is not meant for everyday usage
Do not think of activated charcoal as a replacement for regular toothpaste. It’s not meant to replace it. It’s only meant for the whitening purpose. To that end, you should avoid using it on a daily basis. Some brands recommend brushing with activated charcoal powder/toothpaste once every day for around three days at a stretch. Then giving things a break of a few weeks before resuming the practice again. A few brands may have different directions for usage. It all may vary from one brand to another.
Be sure to read those instructions carefully. Otherwise, you may run the risk of causing irreparable damage.
Some activated charcoal teeth whitening brands contain scary ingredients
The finest activated charcoal teeth whitening products out in the market right now are free from stuff like artificial sweeteners, sodium lauryl sulfate, fluoride, SLS, etc. Make sure to read the description label before investing in any product. Stay away from health-damaging ingredients.
Things to look for while buying activated charcoal toothpaste/powder
Although activated charcoal-based teeth whitening products are not exactly a novelty, still they are in their initial phase. Therefore, you need to exercise all the care in the world that you can while picking up a particular brand.
Just remember the following points while you go shopping for it –
- Made from coconut shell – Charcoal can be derived from a lot of things. But, the one that comes from coconut is supposed to be the best and most gentle on oral health. You should prefer a brand that has coconut shell based activated charcoal.
- Made in the US – This one is a super important factor. Only trust brands that manufacture their products on US soil. Back in the year 2007, an article from the New York Times highlighted FDA confiscating toothpaste brands with toxic stuff that were made on foreign lands. Do verify the source/place of manufacturing to avoid getting any unsavory ingredients in your mouth.
- Do not go for straight charcoal – There is a difference between activated and regular charcoal. But, more on that later. It suffices to say that if used improperly, straight charcoal could erode the enamel more quickly than anything else you would ever use. Be sure to go only for activated charcoal in the form of powder or toothpaste. Never the straight charcoal.
All in all, activated charcoal for teeth whitening is a safe procedure; provided you educate yourself about the subject and use the stuff in the right manner. Taking care of above-mentioned things could do wonders for your oral health.