Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Can You Use Activated Charcoal to Whiten Teeth?

Can You Use Activated Charcoal to Whiten Teeth?

            There have recently been some people blogging about the benefits of using activated charcoal to whiten teeth. It is a black, powdery substance that has been used to treat accidental drug overdose in hospitals or poison control centers. So I was obviously a little surprised to hear people were touting its teeth whitening benefits. Let’s look a little deeper into what we do and don’t know about activated charcoal.

Is there any evidence that activated charcoal has any positive affects on your teeth?
            According to ADA (American Dental Association) spokesperson Dr. Kim Harms, “there’s no evidence at all the activated charcoal does any good for your teeth.” I personally just recently heard about this potential trend, so I don’t really have any good anecdotal evidence either way. So until proven otherwise, I cannot tell you that using it will have any positive affect on your oral health.

Is activated charcoal safe for you and your teeth?
            There really isn’t any quality research on the topic of its safety, so I can’t really say one way or the other. However, because we don’t have enough information, we would have to recommend against using activated charcoal with the intention of whitening your teeth. There are plenty of other proven, safe, effective, and affordable teeth whitening options.

Do you know of any potential harmful side affects?
            We don’t know how it would affect the teeth or gums, so there is a potential that prolonged use could hurt both. Abrasive materials can wear away the teeth or gums and cause serious long term problems.

            The bottom line is until we know more, I would recommend against using activated charcoal to whiten your teeth. Ask us about all of the different options that are available and we can help customize a plan to fit your needs.

For more information, visit www.dentistwestchester.com.

Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc. 

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