The perfect smile is something we’re all after, and part of that process often involves teeth whitening procedures. There are many options available to the public when it comes to teeth whitening: teeth whitening trays for at-home use, whitening tooth pastes and mouth washes, in-office whitening procedures, and other techniques, which as of late have included some questionable homeopathic remedies.
Charcoal for teeth whitening is a recent trend and social media craze that has people running to their local health food stores for a quick fix to yellowed, stained teeth. Unfortunately, there is a lack of information about this potential solution that may leave many consumers at risk, or at the very least, pretty disappointed with the results. In this article, we’ll go over some basic information about using charcoal for teeth whitening purposes and what you can do to learn more before trying it yourself.
Charcoal Whitening Hasn’t Been Formally Approved
The first and most important thing to keep in mind about charcoal for teeth whitening purposes is that oral health professionals and researchers have not approved this method. Of course, like the larger medical industry, dentistry usually puts funding into research that will benefit large corporations that thrive off of dental hygiene products. However, it’s important to keep in mind that simply basing your oral hygiene practices off of social media is not only unwarranted, but may in fact be unsafe.
For a balanced approach, let’s look at some of the benefits and drawbacks associated with using homeopathic whitening techniques, such as charcoal pastes.
Benefits of Homeopathic Whitening
The immediate benefits of homeopathic whitening techniques are simple: they’re cheap and usually easy to use. Since most of us have quick access to a health food store nearby, picking up some charcoal to scrub onto your teeth is easy, and may even been cheaper than some of the approved methods that dentists typically use. Besides the ease and financial attainability, there isn’t much else we can say with certainty about charcoal as a benefit in your oral hygiene and cosmetic practices.
Drawbacks and Warnings
There are certainly some things to remain cautious of before you scrub that charcoal on your teeth. First, as we mentioned before, these methods aren’t approved by any governing body in the dental industry, which is concerning; however, there are more risks and warnings that consumers should be aware of:
Tooth enamel corrosion
Unlike the already-approved methods for teeth whitening that have shown to be safe in moderation, there is a propensity for consumers to use charcoal in excess, which can lead to premature tooth enamel corrosion. This is problematic, as there is no formal testing and results to show how much charcoal one may use before it causes such damage.
It is important to keep in mind that our adult teeth have a certain amount of tooth enamel, which naturally corrodes over time with the foods we eat. However, scrubbing a highly corrosive compound such as charcoal onto one’s teeth may cause irreparable damage to enamel that you will never gain back.
Potential for opposite effects
Besides causing damage to your teeth, charcoal may also cause your teeth to become splotchy and stained. It is important to remember that no single human being has the same genetic makeup, which extends to the makeup of our teeth as well. How one individual’s teeth respond to charcoal may be significantly different from others.
Severity and efficiency is unknown and untested
Of course, charcoal products will range in severity and consistency, which is another drawback of using homeopathic methods – they’re usually not well-tested under a variety of conditions which lead to any degree of certainty in their effectiveness.
How We Can Help You
As you can see, there is a lot to consider before employing homeopathic techniques such as charcoal for teeth whitening. Here at the Dental Group of Simi Valley, it is our priority to help our clients make informed decisions when it comes to their health. We provide education and information for our patients who are interested in finding alternative methods of teeth whitening. If you would like to learn more about the teeth whitening options available to you, please contact one of our helpful dental professionals today.