CLEAN & BRIGHT
The latest teeth-whitening technique is brushing with activated charcoal. We find out if it really works.
Find out if you can whiten your teeth with activated charcoal.
We all want pearly white teeth. But, some choose to turn to home remedies instead of a professional. There was the oil pulling trend, where you swish coconut oil in your mouth for a few minutes for whiter teeth and healthy gums. At one time, rubbing an acidic orange or lemon peel over the teeth came highly recommended. These methods received mixed reviews and left us wondering, “Are they worth trying?”
Now, the latest raved about whitening ingredient is activated charcoal. Not the same charcoal you use in barbeque pits, this charcoal has been ‘activated’ to maximise its absorptive properties against toxins and chemicals within the body. Brushing with it is said to remove teeth stains. We consulted Dr Agnetha Tan, a dental surgeon at All Smile Dental Clinic, to clear the air.
Q: Does brushing with activated charcoal brighten the teeth?
“Theoretically, yes, because it’s an abrasive substance that scrubs off surface stains, thus leaving your teeth cleaner and brighter.”
Q: Is it safe to use in this way?
“There is no solid evidence that states activated charcoal is good for your teeth, gums or the oral cavity. It’s a purifying agent that absorbs impurities, then secretes them out through bowel movements. But, we do not know if homemade activated charcoal capsules or toothpastes will do any good to your teeth. Like any abrasive substance, long-term use may affect the gums and enamel layer (outer layer of your tooth), eventually causing permanent teeth sensitivity.”
Q: What should we do instead for whiter teeth?
“I would recommend an inoffice whitening procedure, or a whitening gel that you can use at home that’s been approved by the Ministry of Health. All whitening gels contain peroxide, a strong whitening agent that has a tendency of causing temporary teeth sensitivity. Purchasing them online is not advisable, as you should consult your dentist before using any teeth-whitening products. To be on the safe side, let the professionals handle the job!”
Dr Agnetha Tan, dental surgeon at All Smile Dental Clinic FOR MORE BEAUTY TIPS, LOG ON TO WWW. HERWORLD. COM.MY