Health and beauty trends pop up on the web at an alarming speed, and it is never easy to determine which trends are safe, effective, or work.
This has been particularly true for teeth whitening, which has become a more popular treatment in the last few years – whitening solutions have been offered on the web, as well.
One of the latest trends, on the Internet, on traditional media, and in markets, is the use of activated charcoal-based toothpaste to whiten and brighten teeth.
In some cases, these products are even recommended to ‘de-toxify’ the mouth, gums, and teeth.
At Ria Family Dental, we have something to say about this trend, and that is that like most trends, it is not a good, long-lasting solution to discoloured teeth.
Fortunately, at Ria Family Dental, we have safe and long-term answers to unattractive teeth, including teeth-whitening treatments and tooth veneers!
Let’s take a closer look at charcoal-based tooth whitening.
Charcoal in toothpaste?
When many of us think about charcoal, we immediately think about an outside barbeque or perhaps art supplies. But there is a slightly different kind of charcoal that goes in food.
That is activated charcoal (created with heat and gas), and it does have some medicinal value.
For instance, it is used to treat many types of poisoning due to its natural ability to absorb things.
Because activated charcoal has this absorptive quality, many new age and trendy products have begun to use it, claiming health benefits.
These uses include skin care products, detoxing juices, and toothpaste. Actually, charcoal has been used for toothpaste for centuries, including by the Romans (who also used crushed bones and oyster shells).
This is not due to absorption but to abrasion. And that is the first clue why charcoal toothpaste may not be a very good idea.
Charcoal toothpaste may temporarily whiten teeth, but primarily it is busy wearing the enamel off your teeth.
To begin with, the scientific and dental research (in such publications as the Journal of the American Dental Association), have found no proof that charcoal has benefits as a teeth whitener.
What the research suggests is that if charcoal-based toothcare temporarily whitens teeth, it is likely to eventually make them dingier, not whiter, and also lead to other dental issues.
The way charcoal “whitens” teeth is by grinding away their enamel. While this may have a “whitening” effect, it is also very damaging.
As enamel abrades, it reveals the dentin beneath. Unfortunately, dentin is naturally yellow-coloured, so the only effect this has is to (possibly) remove surface stains that could safely be treated by Ria Family Dental while leaving you with permanently discoloured.
With the top layer of enamel gone and the softer dentin exposed, your teeth are less protected and can become sensitive to even slight changes in temperature.
Abrasive materials like charcoal are likely to do more harm than good, leaving permanent damage behind.
As a final insult, studies have shown that charcoal-based toothpaste is extremely unlikely to contain fluoride, with less than 10% of charcoal-based toothpastes containing it.
This is problematic, as fluoride is a great tool in protecting your teeth. Fluoride protects against cavities, and ‘remineralises’ enamel, making it an even better defence against decay and discolouration.
There is more. Charcoal may interfere with some oral medications and cause gum damage due to its particulate and abrasive nature.
Finally, many users report having to use conventional toothpaste after brushing with charcoal toothpaste, to remove charcoal residue from between their teeth and gums.
If this charcoal fad is not effective and probably damaging, what can you do about your discoloured teeth? Your friends at Ria Family Dental have you covered with our professional tooth whitening and porcelain veneers!
Ria Family Dental answers
If you have discoloured teeth, consider professional tooth whitening.
At Ria Family Dental, we offer in-office teeth and home teeth whitening options so that you can choose which is comfortable for you.
We discuss each option with and help you determine what’s best, and our treatments are quick, safe, and effective, and can whiten your teeth up to 8 shades!
If you have stains that cannot be whitened out, or you have stained teeth with additional cosmetic issues, our porcelain veneers may be the thing for you.
They slip over flawed existing teeth and give your smile that attractive Hollywood look!
Join the Ria Dental Family in Yeronga!
At Ria Family Dental we provide comprehensive care addressing both your short and long-term dental care needs.
We provide an honest, judgment-free environment in which we practice convenient, comfortable, and conservative care designed to maximise your smile and oral health!
We are located at 1/451B Fairfield Rd, with Yeronga station and bus stops nearby, as well as convenient storefront parking. For the convenience of our patients, we offer early evening hours on most weeknights.
Our Teeth Whitening Promotions
Take-home kit consist of 3 tubes of zoom bleaching gel, upper and lower treys and tube of tooth mousse for only $250
We are located at 1/451B Fairfield Rd in Yeronga.