Everyone’s always looking for new ways to easily whiten their teeth. Recently, they’ve started to turn to charcoal. Dental products containing activated charcoal are now lining the shelves, popping up in ads, and coming up in conversations. The question everyone is asking: is activated charcoal teeth whitener even safe?

To answer this, we’ve asked our dentists Dr. Elbrecht and Dr. Summerlin what they think about this internet miracle product. Before you go out and buy a tube of this sludge-like substance, here’s what you should know.

Charcoal vs. Activated Charcoal

The black smudge appearance may make it seem like people are smearing charcoal straight from their fire pit onto their teeth, but that charcoal is different than activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is treated with oxygen, giving it that porous look. When activated, charcoal supposedly acts as a sponge soaking up all the toxins, bacteria’s, and plaque it touches.

Is Charcoal Teeth Whitener Safe for Your Teeth and Gums?

Let’s get right to the point. Charcoal teeth whitener is not safe your teeth or your gums. The harsh, grainy nature of it makes it abrasive to your enamel. What more, activated charcoal products have not been approved as being either safe or effective by the FDA or the ADA. In short, activated charcoal may do more harm than it does good.

What is the Best Way to Whiten Teeth?

There are a lot of other safer and more effective options if you are looking to whiten your teeth. No matter what you do, practicing good oral hygiene is the first place to start. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, especially after consuming staining products like coffee or wine. Other options for professional or at-home teeth whitening include:

The Bottom Line

Activated charcoal has proven its benefits in other areas of health, but dental health isn’t one of them. Its usage can cause erosion of your tooth enamel and may cause long-term issues. If you still want to try it despite its lack of scientific data, use it very sparingly. And as always, consult with your family dentist!

As always, we highly suggest you talk to one of our dentists about whether charcoal teeth whitener is safe for you. We can also discuss other whitening alternatives. Give us a call at (765) 622-7000 to schedule an appointment or follow this link!

Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash