Is charcoal good for your teeth?

Activated Charcoal For Whiter Teeth: Does It Really Work?

Black toothpaste for white teeth? That sounds like a contradiction. In fact, dental care products with activated charcoal are trendy. More and more people are rubbing the black paste on their teeth in the hope of getting a nicer smile from it. But how effective is activated charcoal at whitening teeth? And can you use them with a clear conscience? We clarify.

Activated carbon: what is it?

Activated carbon is a carbon due to its absorbent abilities is used in a wide variety of areas, such as medicine, drinking water treatment, ventilation technology and the chemical industry. The activated carbon works like a sponge. It is used, for example, to bind pollutants, poisons or odors.

Activated charcoal is obtained from various sources, such as vegetable, animal or mineral substances. The activated charcoal that is used for dental care is usually of vegetable origin; it is made from wood, coconut fiber, nutshells or peat. By the way, dental care is not the only area in which we encounter activated charcoal in everyday life. The substance is also found, for example, in water filters and in charcoal tablets, which are taken in case of gastrointestinal complaints. It also plays a role in cosmetics, for example in face masks.

Brushing your teeth with activated charcoal: what can the black powder do?

Many people want a bright, white smile. But very few teeth are really white. Often they have one Yellow or brown discoloration. The causes are manifold:

  • Dental plaque such as tartar or plaque
  • Consumption of tooth-staining beverages, including coffee, black tea, red wine, and fruit juices
  • Cigarette consumption
  • Taking certain medications

In dental care, activated charcoal is supposed to make discolored teeth lighter - without chemicals and the high costs of professional bleaching. It should remove color changes in a gentle way and let the teeth shine again.

Activated charcoal for brushing your teeth is in different variants available:

  • as an additive in toothpaste - recognizable by the black color of the toothpaste
  • as toothpaste powder
  • in capsule form

How does activated charcoal work in whitening discolored teeth?

Before and after pictures of teeth that have been treated with activated charcoal often show that the teeth have actually become lighter. In the case of toothpaste with activated charcoal, the bleaching effect does not come from the fact that the charcoal absorbs substances. The activated carbon does not differentiate between the substances that it binds to itself. In a tube of toothpaste it has therefore already combined with the other ingredients of the toothpaste. Your absorption capacity is exhausted. Therefore, it only works when whitening teeth mechanically.

The activated carbon contains small grinding wheels. When brushing, it simply grinds off the superficial discoloration from the teeth - similar to sandpaper. After a few applications, the color changes become weaker and the teeth appear lighter.

Normal toothpaste also contains such cleaning particles that remove dirt and deposits. The manufacturers indicate the degree of abrasion with the RDA value at. For regular toothpaste, this is between 40 and 80. The higher the value, the stronger the grinding effect. If you want to use activated charcoal for your teeth, you should therefore make sure that it does not exceed the maximum value.

Brushing Your Teeth With Activated Charcoal: A Guide

If you want to try teeth whitening with activated charcoal, you can choose between different application forms. The simplest is that Activated charcoal toothpaste. It is used like normal toothpaste. Sometimes you have to let the activated carbon take effect for a while, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

If you Activated charcoal powder for the teeth or activated charcoal capsules you can use it to make your own activated charcoal toothpaste. To do this, stir the powder or the crushed capsules with a little water to form a paste. Sometimes you can just chew the capsules. Then brush your teeth with the activated charcoal. Here, too, you have to let the paste work for a few minutes after brushing before you spit it out and rinse your mouth with water.

Is Activated Charcoal Harmful To Teeth?

Activated charcoal is easy to use in dental care. But that doesn't mean it's harmless. On the contrary: many experts advise against whitening teeth in this way. The grinding effect of the activated carbon makes the teeth look brighter for a short time. With prolonged use, however, activated charcoal not only rubs off the discoloration, but also grinds off the protective enamel, thereby roughening the tooth surface. On the one hand, this can lead to the Teeth become more sensitive and pain when eating cold or very hot food and drinks. You can also more prone to tooth decay become. On the other hand, plaque and discoloration can hold on to the roughened tooth better, which means that the tooth will discolor more quickly.

Scientists have published a study report in the British Dental Journal in which they come to the conclusion that activated charcoal toothpaste can be harmful. Because activated charcoal products can roughen tooth enamel, but - unlike many conventional toothpastes - do not contain fluoride, which is important for caries protection.

Bleaching teeth: alternatives to activated charcoal

If you are unhappy with the color of your teeth, you should speak to your dentist about it. This knows professional, gentle methods to whiten teeth. This may not be as cheap as a tube of activated charcoal toothpaste, but the result is often more permanent and healthier for your teeth.

If you want to prevent tooth discoloration, come for one thorough dental care not around. Regularly brushing your teeth and using flossing and a mouthwash not only keep your teeth healthy, but can also help prevent color changes. If you want to be particularly thorough, use an electric toothbrush. A good toothpaste containing fluoride also protects the teeth.

A professional tooth cleaning to be at the dentist. The teeth are thoroughly cleaned and freed of plaque, which can lighten discoloration. The costs for this are usually not covered by the statutory health insurance. Those insured by Techniker Krankenkasse who take out additional dental insurance from Envivas will be reimbursed the costs for professional teeth cleaning up to an amount of 150 euros per year.