Is Activated Charcoal Safe for Teeth Whitening?

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is activated charcoal safe for teeth whitening

We all want a beaming smile. It is one of the most important features if not, the most important feature there is and there are many ways to achieve it. In recent years, activated charcoal has been marketed as an alternative to undergoing professional teeth whitening near you. This is very appealing for people who find traditional whitening treatment to be outside of their price range and are looking for a way to whiten their teeth at home. However, little is said about the efficacy and safety of activated charcoal, and whether or not the results it produces are better than having your teeth whitened at a dental clinic near you.

What is activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a fine, odourless, black powder made out mainly of wood and other carbon-rich materials. It has been used in the medical world for decades due to its properties, since it is very porous and as a result, absorbent. For a very long time, it has been the treatment for drug overdoses and for patients who have ingested poison, since it absorbs these substances and toxins and prevents them from affecting the body.

Recently, it has been incorporated into toothpaste and other at-home teeth whitening kits to remove stains. According to manufacturers, the activated charcoal in these kinds of toothpaste can remove plaque and stains from the surface of your teeth. However, these effects haven’t been scientifically proven. Research has only shown some improvement in bad breath in people who use these products.

Is activated charcoal safe?

The use of activated charcoal in toothpaste and whitening kits is not supported by most dental associations. This is mainly due to the abrasive nature of this substance, which has been proven to erode tooth enamel when overused. The worst part is that when your enamel is eroded, the underlying dentin is exposed and it makes your teeth appear more yellow. Furthermore, just like professional teeth whitening, it is not recommended in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Why professional teeth whitening in York is a better option

The results you can achieve from professional teeth whitening by a dentist in York are much better. During this procedure, your dentist will apply a whitening solution containing high concentrations of hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. These chemicals are bleaching agents that interact with tooth enamel and significantly brighten your teeth. They achieve this by introducing oxygen into the stained molecules on the surface of your teeth. After the procedure, your teeth will be several shades lighter than before.

At-home options

If in-office treatments exceed your budget, there are other options on the market that you can use at home. However, only one of them will give you actual results, and that is custom teeth whitening trays made by your dentist. These are more affordable than in-office treatments, and consist of trays made to perfectly fit your teeth, which are filled with a specific amount of whitening solution. These have a higher concentration of bleaching agent than other at-home kits found in stores, while still being safe.

Side effects of teeth whitening

Most people who undergo teeth whitening experience tooth sensitivity after the procedure. This is normal and temporary. It occurs when the bleaching agent opens the pores of your teeth and exposes the nerve to temperature changes in the environment.

Maintaining your results

The results of teeth whitening won’t last forever and you must follow some recommendations to ensure your teeth don’t become stained again. These recommendations mainly involve changes in your diet and avoiding coffee, red wine, pop, tea, tomato-based sauces, soy sauce, and other foods and beverages with pigments that remain on the surface of your teeth and discolour them.