Looking for a fool-proof whitening routine for your teeth? Frequent coffee and tea intake, smoking, and eating certain types of food can seriously stain your teeth and dull down your smile. So to restore that brilliant grin, you may have tried a variety of whitening solutions available on the market.
Currently, there are two teeth whitening strategies that are most popular among buyers seeking a stellar smile. These are charcoal and teeth whitening strips. If you’ve ever tried either, you might be surprised how well each one can work on its own to brighten a tired grin.
Considering how effective these choices are, you may have already started asking yourself – can you use them together to exponentially improve their whitening power? Here’s what you need to know.
How Do Whitening Strips Work?
The main active ingredient in whitening strips is hydrogen peroxide – the same substance you’ll find in household cleaning agents like bleach. This is used to coat the flexible plastic material – called polyethelyne – that the strips are made of. When you place them over your teeth, the agent coating the strip bleaches your smile to reveal a whiter appearance.
How Does Charcoal Work?
Charcoal possesses strong absorption properties that soak up contaminants that may be coating your teeth. This helps remove plaque, toxins, and stains that might make your teeth look yellowish or discolored.
Aside from that, charcoal’s abrasiveness also helps it dislodge stubborn dirt and stains. Using it as a toothpaste substitute 2-3 times a week can help prevent excessive staining.
Can You Use Charcoal with Whitening Strips?
The short answer is yes – but there’s a process to it. When used excessively, both of these agents can cause damage to your teeth. Charcoal can damage your enamel if it’s frequently exposed to the substance’s abrasive texture. Bleach can have the same effect, eroding the outermost layer of your teeth and making them prone to decay.
The best way to use either of these solutions – whether together or on their own – would be to use them in moderation. Follow the directions indicated on the package for whitening strips and do not repeat the cycle until after a few months. The product packaging should indicate when’s the safest time to retry the process.
Charcoal, on the other hand, can be used as a substitute for toothpaste. Using it every 2-3 days can help maximize its benefits while limiting the possibility of its risks. You can also opt to ditch the toothbrush and use your fingers to rub charcoal over your teeth and gums to absorb any contaminants without causing too much abrasion.
Now, if you were hoping to use them together, here’s a little something you might want to consider – charcoal absorbs other substances around it. This means using it in combination with whitening strips may limit the benefits of the hydrogen peroxide.
Instead of using them together, try this quick routine:
- Use your teeth whitening strips according to package directions.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal powder with 3 parts lukewarm water and stir.
- Ten to fifteen minutes after removing the whitening strip, swish the charcoal water in your mouth.
- Gargle for 20-30 seconds making sure to move the mixture around all the areas of your mouth.
- Spit and rinse with clean water.
Why It Works
Charcoal will absorb whatever hydrogen peroxide might have been left behind, limiting the chances of damaging your enamel due to being oversoaked in the bleaching agent. At the same time, the charcoal will also absorb any other debris or contaminant that might be staining your teeth.
Similarly, swishing and gargling charcoal instead of brushing with it like toothpaste limits your teeth’s exposure to abrasion. This lets you enjoy the benefits of both products without having them expound their own risks.
If you were interested in the ease of using whitening strips combined with the natural power of charcoal, then there are store-bought choices that you might want to try. Charcoal-infused whitening strips come in the form of your typical whitening strips, but use charcoal as their main active ingredient.
They increase the contact between the charcoal substance and your teeth – which you might not achieve by brushing with charcoal. Then, letting the strip soak helps the active substance absorb the debris that might be coating your teeth.
Charcoal-infused whitening strips can be just as effective, but watch out. Those that use hydrogen peroxide in combination with the charcoal might not actually work as well as those that just incorporate one of these active ingredients.
The process of teeth whitening can be tricky. Even the safest solutions like charcoal tend to pose some minor risks that could dampen your dental integrity later on. Finding the balance between optimal oral health and your whitening routine can make it possible to achieve that superstar smile without putting your chompers in harm’s way.