Is it possible that charcoal -- that black material used in barbecue grills -- can actually whiten teeth? Actually, it's a substance known as activated charcoal that people are using for this purpose. Consult a dentist before giving it a try:
About Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is a purified form of charcoal used in alternative and conventional medicine. It absorbs toxins in the digestive system and carries them out of the body in the waste elimination process.
People interested in natural healing may consume active charcoal as part of a general detoxification process. In conventional medicine, doctors provide the substance to patients on an emergency basis to absorb specific types of poisons.
Activated Charcoal and Teeth Whitening
Since activated charcoal is absorbent, a theory has developed that it can absorb stains on teeth resulting from tannins. Tannins are found in coffee, black tea and red wine, beverages most commonly noted for reducing teeth whiteness.
Skeptics say that absorbing toxins in the body isn't the same as removing stains from tooth enamel. It may not be powerful enough for that.
Using Activated Charcoal
If you decide to try whitening your teeth with this substance, you don't even need to brush with it. Simply mix a small amount of powdered activated charcoal with an equal amount of water, swish it around your mouth and then hold it in your mouth for a good 10 minutes or so. Then spit it out -- or swallow it -- and rinse your mouth with water. But don't swallow the substance within two hours of taking any medication, as it can absorb that medication and flush it right out of your system.
You'll need to repeat this process daily until you see results. That could take a week or a month, or it may not occur at all.
Only use a high-quality product from a reputable manufacturer. You can get these products in tablets and powder form from a natural food shop.
Why It's Important to See a Dentist First
You'll want to make sure your tooth enamel and your gums are in good condition before you start using this substance on your teeth. Activated charcoal normally isn't abrasive to enamel, especially if you don't brush with it, but it can be irritating to gums.
If you haven't had your teeth professionally cleaned in a while, it's possible that the polishing could remove any discoloration that has been troubling you.
In addition, you may decide that having your teeth whitened professionally makes more sense than trying an unproven and time-consuming product. Teeth whitening agents provided by dental clinics also are likely to work faster. You can find out pricing while you're at the clinic and make your decision at that time. Contact a company like Alaska Dental Arts to learn more.