Activated charcoal has long been used for a number of medical practices, among them the treatment of drug overdose and poisoning – but did you know that the activated charcoal can be used for teeth whitening purposes? Yes, this type of coal is beneficial for those who would like to whiten their teeth naturally. With this in mind, it is important to understand how activated charcoal is formed.
Charcoal, just as the name suggests, is made from coal or wood. It is activated when the coal is exposed to high temperatures and a gas agent with the aim of surface area expansion. This process is important because it gets rid of volatile compounds. While activated charcoal is a manufactured product, it is referred to as a natural way of whitening teeth because it does not contain synthetic additives. That said, activated charcoal cannot be obtained from natural foods.
NOTE: Activated charcoal used for ingestion is not the typical charcoal you use in your barbecue grill or the kind found in charcoal briquettes. Barbecue charcoal must never be ingested as it is laden with chemicals and toxins. At the time of purchase, note that activated charcoal may also be referred to as activated carbon. The product is tasteless, odorless and non-toxic, which is why it is recommended for ingestion. You may buy the activated charcoal from your local chemist or online.
How to Prepare Activated Charcoal Toothpaste:
The process of preparing activated charcoal toothpaste is pretty simple.
You will need the following:
- 1 capsule of activated charcoal
- A clean toothbrush
- Water to rinse
- A plastic cover to prevent staining of the external surface area. While this is optional, it is a great idea to use because activated charcoal stains plastic and grout with remarkable ease.
Follow the Simple Steps Below:
- You may want to start by covering yourself and the sink area with a plastic cover to prevent staining of the clothes and surface area.
- Simply empty a capsule containing activated charcoal onto your toothbrush. Take care not to breathe in the powder as it is really fine and may cause irritation of the nasal membrane.
- Add a few drops of water to wet the charcoal and brush in gentle circular motions. If you are concerned about the possibility of abrasion, simply dab the black paste on the exposed part of the teeth and let it remain there for about 2-3 minutes.
- Do this for a couple of minutes and then rinse the mouth well.
- Repeat this method thrice weekly, all the while monitoring the reaction to the activated charcoal, if any.
Why Whiten Teeth Using Activated Charcoal?
Teeth become discolored for a myriad of reasons. This happens when stains develop on the enamel, and sometimes deeper in the structure of the tooth. This is important because below the enamel lies a pale tooth covering known as dentin.
This layer’s visibility is enhanced when enamel thins out – a very common occurrence in adults. Other risk factors associated with this include aging, genetic predisposition as well as the ingestion of foods that encourage staining.
Some of these foods include coffee, cigarette smoking, use of water which has a high concentration of fluorides as well as poor health. It is important to deal with these factors because left unchecked, they lead to gum disease. One of the ways to reverse the discoloration is to use activated charcoal as described in the steps above.
How Does Activated Charcoal Work to Whiten Teeth?
The process of manufacturing activated charcoal lies at the core of its efficiency in whitening teeth. The pores of the activated charcoal powder attach to the rough parts of the teeth. It is interesting to note that these rough parts often mark the places where the enamel is stained. As such, it makes it easy to get rid of the stains.
The most important thing to do is to realize that for the activated charcoal to act, it must be left on the teeth for a couple of minutes. During its removal, the charcoal takes with it the plaque, stains and even food particles left in the mouth. Done regularly over the course of a few days, one can note a progressive change resulting in whiter teeth. There are a few things that you must take note of however. These include:
- Do not expect to see results immediately. As with any other natural home remedy, results are seen after a few days of consistent use. If you are looking for an instant solution, you may opt for professional dental cleaning.
- The use of activated charcoal for teeth whitening is not a substitute for regular tooth brushing using toothpaste, and neither is it a replacement for dental check-up.
- Consider the natural colour of your teeth. Some people have ivory coloured teeth which, to a large extent, look a little yellow. If this is the natural colour of your teeth, it may not be possible to get white pearl-like teeth – and that is okay.
- Activated charcoal should not be used if you have any open wounds or cuts as it may cause abrasion and thus worsen the injury in the mouth. When brushing, do not over scrub as this may damage the tooth structure or lead to chipping.
- Consult your dentist if you have crowns, veneers or fillings before using activated charcoal.
Other benefits of using activated charcoal for your teeth include its ability to restore the mouth’s natural pH as well s overall improving your oral health. If you do not get any reactions from this remedy, you may add it to your tooth care routine, but make sure to check with your dentist first.