Every few years a new dental care fad pops up and we dentists and hygienists start hearing tons of questions about whether the latest dental home remedy or DIY tooth care product really works. One of the most popular ones we’ve seen lately is using activated charcoal paste to whiten teeth. Does it really works and is it safe??
The quick answer to both questions is: we don’t know yet. Viable studies have not been completed yet on whether charcoal can remove stains from teeth or whether charcoal can damage teeth. The idea behind the trend is reasonable enough. Charcol has been used for centuries for purification and the principal behind it is its porosity. As it has little holes in it that absorbs toxins. But when it comes to teeth, whether this purifying effect works on teeth is not known, though in theory the concept does make sense.
Regardless of whether charcoal can be effective for teeth whitening, the more important question is if it is safe. It is possible that charcoal is too abrasive for your teeth, meaning that if the charcoal is too rough, it can damage and strip away the outer layer of your teeth. There are plenty of reasonably priced tooth whitening products at the drugstore that are known to be effective and safe that we’d rather patients use. And remember, the best person to ask for advice about whitening your smile is your dentist, your smile-care professional!