Activated charcoal is becoming increasingly popular as a way to care for your oral health, especially when it comes to whitening. While activated charcoal is never going to replace in-office whitening options, such as laser whitening and custom trays, it can still be used in conjunction with such methods to make them last longer and further improve the appearance of your smile.
Activated charcoal is specifically created for medical purposes and goes through a heating treatment that increases its surface area to provide higher adsorptive power. For whitening purposes, it's usually mixed into toothpaste. You should always talk to your dentist before using it and should not use it all the time, but here are just four reasons to think about including it in your whitening routine.
1. Removes Surface Stains
Activated charcoal works by removing surface stains from your teeth. This happens when the highly absorbent material binds with staining compounds and plaque, which is then removed as you brush your teeth. It's also slightly more abrasive than normal toothpaste, so it is great at rubbing away stains. This helps keep your teeth whiter for longer between other treatments since normal staining sources, such as coffee and wine, won't be able to gain a foothold.
2. Keeps Tooth Surfaces Smooth
Activated charcoal does not actually make the teeth themselves whiter —that's why it cannot ever entirely replace other treatment options. However, its abrasive nature helps polish teeth to smooth away roughness. Since staining compounds find it easier to discolour your teeth when there are lots of small rough crevices to invade, keeping your teeth nice and smooth can help prevent discolouration.
3. Provides pH Balancing
As you may already know, certain foods and drinks are more acidic than others. Acidic drinks are particularly problematic since they erode enamel. This causes the darker dentin beneath your tooth enamel to show through and makes teeth rougher and more susceptible to staining. Activated charcoal can help address this issue since it binds with acidic compounds and helps remove them from your mouth.
4. Reduces Overall Costs
Finally, it's worth keeping in mind that charcoal toothpaste is inexpensive. In fact, it's usually close to the price of normal toothpaste. This is great for many patients who want to keep their teeth white since traditional whitening methods can be quite expensive. If you're worried about the cost of maintaining your smile, it might be worth using activated charcoal to increase the amount of time you can go between other treatments.
For more information about teeth whitening treatments, contact a dental office.