The lat­est teeth-whiten­ing tech­nique is brush­ing with ac­ti­vated char­coal. We find out if it re­ally works.

Herworld (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

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

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