Activated carbon, also known as activated charcoal, has been around for many years. It’s widely used for medical purposes such as the removal of certain toxins and other poisonous substances safely from the body. Just to be clear, the common charcoal that you use for grilling is not the same as the charcoal we are talking about here.
“Activated charcoal”refers to charcoal that has undergone specific processing. It starts from charring wood, usually willow bark, in a controlled manner. Then the charred wood is oxidized at increased temperatures either through air or steam. This oxidation process is important to enhance the charcoal’s adsorptive trait.
The growing trend of using natural products such as charcoal may be strange and has been widely debated since becoming popular on social media. Although some people, including experts, are still skeptical about the idea of whitening your teeth using this black substance, many people consider it their go-to method to whiten teeth sans expensive dental treatments and commercial teeth whitening products with harsh chemicals.
Ways on how to whiten teeth with charcoal:
Activated charcoal comes in tablet, powder, and capsule form. To give you an idea of how you can incorporate charcoal to whiten your teeth as well as improve your dental health, here are some effective methods that you can try at home:
Charcoal mixed with toothpaste
If you are using tablets, crush them thoroughly.Mix one teaspoon of your regular toothpaste with a quarter teaspoon of activated charcoal. Use this mixture to brush your teeth. Rinse well. An alternative way is to dip your brush with toothpaste into the charcoal instead of mixing the two.
Charcoal and salt
Combine a quarter teaspoon of salt and activated charcoal powder. Dip your toothbrush into the mixture and brush your teeth. Rinse well with water. This method should be done twice a week.
Charcoal as mouthwash
Dissolve half a teaspoon of activated charcoal powder with the same amount of water. Swish your mouth with this solution for a few minutes and spit it out. Rinse your mouth with water afterward. You can do this once a day after brushing your teeth.
Charcoal and coconut oil
Dissolve a quarter teaspoon of activated charcoal with one tablespoon of coconut oil. Gently brush your teeth using this mixture and rinse your mouth with water until you see no traces of charcoal left behind. You can do this up to three times a week until you get the whiteness you want.
Charcoal and baking soda
Mix equal parts of activated charcoal and baking soda. Dip your wet toothbrush into the mixture and gently brush your teeth for two to three minutes. Rinse well and repeat up to three times a week.
It is recommended that you incorporate charcoal into your dental care routine only once a day for three consecutive days. If your teeth are particularly stained, you can extend usage up to a maximum of five days. After that, stop using charcoal for a few months before beginning the process again.
What to consider when using charcoal
Although charcoal is a natural substance, it still should be used with caution. Here are some safety tips:
- Don’t use ordinary grilling charcoal since it’s not the same. Buy medical-grade activated charcoal.
- Charcoal can be an effective surface whitener for teeth stained by drinking coffee, tea, and etc. However, if your teeth are naturally darker or yellow in color, visiting a dentist is recommended instead.
- Always rinse your mouth well after every brushing session containing charcoal.
- Be careful when using charcoal because it can stain and damage clothing and other surfaces.
- When using charcoal, gently brush your teeth to avoid damaging their natural enamel because of its abrasiveness.
- If your gums and teeth become sensitive during application, stop immediately.
- If you have dental restorations like a filling or a crown, check with your dentist before trying charcoal.
- If you are taking medications, also check with your doctor to ensure that the charcoal won’t interfere with them.
- Be patient. Do-it-yourself teeth whitening options can take longer to bring about results when compared to commercial products and dental treatments.