Dental Myth Busters: Whiten Your Teeth with Activated Charcoal with Just One Use


In this edition of dental myth busters, we look into Activated Charcoal for tooth whitening. I am sure you have seen the videos online where someone is brushing using a black paste and claims to have whitened their teeth in just one use. Many of the claims online is that you will see whiter teeth in just one use, so we bought some to give it a try.

To test the whitening claims, we measured the tooth shade before and after brushing for 1 minute with the Charcoal, as the directions on the container state. After the first brushing, the teeth appear to be brighter but not necessarily whiter. The shade guide revealed no change in color of the teeth after one use. The gum tissue did appear to be darker than before brushing, thus making the teeth appear brighter. After seeing no change shade in one use, we tried the paste every day for two weeks to see if a change may occur. Unfortunately after two weeks, there was no change in shade when compared to the shade guide.

My main concern with whitening toothpastes is the abrasiveness of the pastes. Using highly abrasive agents can cause tooth wear and irreversible damage of tooth structure and gum tissue. I used the Charcoal with an extremely soft brush and my gums still felt tender after brushing with it. You can actually feel the grains of charcoal when you bite together after using the paste! My recommendation would be to avoid using the Charcoal because of the damage it could cause to your teeth and gums and find another more gentle form of tooth whitening.

On a side note, the activated charcoal is extremely messy. After each brushing, you need to fully whip down the sink, countertops and walls surrounding your sink as the black powder gets on everything.

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Kumfer Family Dental Hours
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