Whitening Your Teeth With Charcoal? Why It's Better To Try Something Safer

If you search the Internet, you'll find a host of DIY and professional sites showing you how to whiten your teeth at home. While using coconut oil and other methods can help you achieve brighter, whiter teeth over time, some home remedies can be downright dangerous, including whitening your tooth enamel with activated charcoal. Charcoal can cause a number of problems, including constipation and tooth erosion. Here's more information about charcoal's affect on your oral and physical health and what you can use instead to whiten your teeth safely.

Is Charcoal Safe to Whiten Your Teeth?

Activated charcoal comes in powder form and is often used by doctors to treat people with acute poisoning. To keep the charcoal from harming patients when they administer it and to make it easier to absorb the poisons, doctors usually mix the powder with a liquid. In addition, doctors generally only use the mixture on a short-term basis to help their patients. Activated charcoal can become a problem when people use it regularly or on a long-term basis, such as taking it as a supplement or whitening their teeth. 

People who use activated charcoal to whiten their teeth typically don't dilute it with liquids. Users simply rub the substance on their teeth and wait for it work. This can be dangerous and life threatening. Over time, activated charcoal can potentially turn your tongue black, or it can cause constipation, blackened stools, and vomiting when swallowed. When exposed to tooth enamel on a regular basis, charcoal may erode it. Although tooth erosion is treatable with cosmetic dental treatments, such as bonding and veneers, you can't reverse the damage to your enamel once it occurs.

One of the best ways to whiten your teeth without the dangerous effects of charcoal is to see a dentist.

How Can You Whiten Your Teeth Safely?

A dentist's teeth whitening treatments are approved by the FDA. Treatments often contain safe chemicals like hydrogen carbamide or peroxide that bubble away the stains found above and below the enamel. A dental provider may also offer at-home whitening toothpastes and kits that help you maintain your professionally-whitened teeth between appointments.

In addition, you can keep your teeth white by eating a healthy diet of apples and celery. These crunchy foods remove plaque-staining debris from enamel safely. If you have concerns about what to eat, consult with a dental provider during your visits. 

For more details about the potentially harmful effects of activated charcoal or how to remove tooth stains safely, contact a dentist today, like one at Suncoast Dental Center.