While many popular whitening products contain activated charcoal, dentists caution that these products can endanger your tooth enamel. Activated charcoal may initially cause teeth to appear whiter. With prolonged use of activated charcoal, teeth will become more yellow, and you will permanently damage your tooth enamel.
Why Dentists Do Not Recommend Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal does not whiten tooth enamel. The powder or toothpaste additive is a strong abrasive that scrubs off the natural enamel barrier. Enamel protects your natural teeth from decay and damage; dentists can't replace it once it is gone.
Risks of Using Activated Charcoal
If you use activated charcoal to whiten your teeth, you may experience a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease due to weaker enamel. Permanent tooth enamel damage can result, exposing the naturally yellow dentin material in your teeth.
Keeping Your Teeth Bright Naturally
Brush and floss as your dentist recommends. Attend all appointments for dental cleanings. The better your dental hygiene, the less likely you will be to experience yellowed teeth.
If you smoke, it is best to quit to preserve your bright smile. If you have highly pigmented foods and beverages like coffee, tea, dark chocolate, and red wine, brush your teeth as soon as you can after eating or drinking.
Take caution with acidic foods like citrus juices, candy, and soda. These foods and drinks can etch your tooth enamel, yellowing your teeth and making decay more likely. If you have these items and can't immediately brush your teeth, chewing sugarless gum may help.
Safe Alternatives to Activated Charcoal
We offer safe, dentist-supervised teeth whitening treatments. We provide the whitening gel and custom trays, and you can whiten your teeth at home on your schedule. Your dentist will help you whiten your teeth while protecting your valuable enamel from damage.
If you want faster whitening results, you can also opt for chairside professional whitening. However, many patients prefer the gradual approach taken by at-home professional whitening.
Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Whitening
How does activated charcoal work?
For dental applications, activated charcoal is no more than a strong abrasive. Its gritty texture initially removes surface stains but eventually grinds down the natural tooth enamel.
Are over-the-counter whitening strips as effective as professional whitening?
Major-brand over-the-counter strips are generally safe to use but whiten very gradually. When patients add up the cost of whitening strips over time, they may find that they are not saving much money compared to at-home professional whitening. Using the strips more than the package directs can also lead to excessive tooth sensitivity and gum damage.
Call Oak Road Dentistry
While it may seem that activated charcoal is a quick and inexpensive fix for whiter teeth, take caution before you use it. Please call our Snellville, GA, office at 770-985-9559 to schedule an appointment today.