There was a time when barbeque grills might be the main thing we thought of when we heard the word charcoal.
But, today, activated charcoal is found in a variety of products including facemasks, supplements, and even ice cream.
When charcoal is used in health products, it is primarily due to its supposed detoxifying powers – and absorptive capability that is supposed to pull dangerous chemicals out of the body.
And this is why some folks have latched onto the idea of applying dark, gritty charcoal to their teeth to make them brighter and cleaner.
But is this alleged miracle everything that it is claimed to be when it comes to making your teeth whiter?
At Preston Supreme Dental, we have our doubts, and we are confident that we offer far better and safer whitening techniques.
Let’s take a look at charcoal teeth whitening, its pros and cons.
Charcoal Teeth Whitening
The logic behind charcoal-based teeth whitener is this – charcoal is exceptionally absorbent, and activated charcoal is even more permeable, so charcoal must be able to absorb toxins, stains, and chemicals.
Charcoal is so absorbent that it is a traditional treatment for some kinds of poisoning.
The reasoning goes that this means charcoal toothpaste can absorb stains and clean the mouth, leaving teeth whiter, brighter and part of a beautiful smile.
But while charcoal is exceptionally absorbent, it is also very abrasive, and dentists and scientists believe that while charcoal might temporarily whiten teeth, it only does so by placing the colour and health of the tooth at risk.
Charcoal toothpaste does little more than grind off the top layer of tooth enamel, which temporarily takes the stain off, but permanently reduces the enamel.
This weakens the teeth as a whole – enamel, the hardest substance in the whole body, protects the teeth, and as enamel abrades teeth become prone to cracking, chipping, and breaking.
Even worse, the abrasion caused by charcoal can lead to teeth with even worse colour.
As enamel thins, the naturally yellow dentin below begins to show through, discolouring the teeth in a way that can no longer be remedied by safe, quick, and effective dental whitening.
While this is occurring, the thinning of the enamel also leads to increased sensitivity to cold or hot.
Further, dental erosion creates a surface roughness that can lead to even more stain retention and gum recession.
The charcoal can also become lodged in the gums leading to inflammation and tissue trauma – a shortcut to gum disease.
Charcoal is also dangerous in the mouth. Side effects of ingesting charcoal include vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal damage, black tongue, intestinal blockage and its absorptive powers can even decrease medication absorption.
Other medications have potentially dangerous interactions with charcoal.
These medicines include digoxin, acetaminophen, theophylline, tricyclic antidepressants, diabetes medications, and even birth control.
When taken alongside some laxatives, toxicologists say that serious side effects can occur such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and lowered blood pressure.
All in all, it’s a toxic mix of potential problems, with the final problem being that the charcoal product, itself, is messy and many users report that after using charcoal products they have to brush with conventional toothpaste to get the black residue of the charcoal off their teeth and gums.
Brushing with traditional toothpaste after using charcoal toothpaste may be a wise decision as one study determined that under 10% of all charcoal toothpastes contain fluoride – a chemical that when used in trace amount defends teeth against cavities and remineralises them.
So, charcoal products seem less than ideal for your tooth whitening. Luckily, at Preston Supreme Dental, we have options to help!
What Preston Supreme Dental offers
We offer safe, time-tested, non-faddish, efficient whitening techniques including teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and even white fillings to eliminate the flash of darkness that is given by metal or amalgam fillings.
At Preston Supreme Dental, we offer at-home or in-office whitening treatments, depending on your preference. Both treatments can whiten your teeth up to 8 shades brighter.
At-home whitening uses custom-manufactured trays to hold the whitening gel against your teeth. These should be applied once, daily, and treatment typically takes between 1-2 weeks.
In-office whitening takes only one visit. Using whitening gel and specialised lights, Preston Supreme Dental can have you walk in with dingy teeth and walk out one hour later with a stunning, new smile!
Porcelain veneers are thin shells that go over your teeth and are the perfect solution to permanent stains or stained teeth that also suffer from other cosmetic defects.
White fillings allow cavities to be repaired without leaving a telltale flash of dark material in your smile.
Remember, don’t fall for Internet fads – get your teeth whitened by your reliable friends at Preston Supreme Dental!
The Preston Supreme Dental Team
We are conveniently located on Murray Road, between St Georges Rd and High St, with public transportation nearby!
Teeth Whitening Promotion
Teeth Whitening ZOOM in Chair Treatment for $590
To book an appointment, call us on (03) 9478 7708. We are located at 243 Murray Road in Preston.