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Used since the days of ancient Greece, activated charcoal is nothing new. However, it is making a resurgence today in oral health.
This natural and porous substance is said to cleanse by absorbing chemicals and toxins. When used on your teeth, it can remove bacteria in the mouth for fresher breath and scrub stubborn stains on your pearlers for whiter-looking teeth.
How to use charcoal for teeth whitening
Charcoal teeth whitening products include tooth powders, tooth pastes, toothbrushes and tooth tablets. They use "activated" charcoal, which is charcoal that's been treated to make it more porous and therefore more absorbent.
Common forms of charcoal used is activated coconut shell charcoal and Binchotan charcoal.
Powders and pastes are used as you would traditional toothpaste, by dipping a clean wet toothbrush into the pot and picking up some of the charcoal. Then, brush for a few minutes (generally two is recommended) and rinse your mouth out.
Tablets work in a similar way, only you first chew them until frothy before brushing. The toothbrushes are infused with charcoal and are used like normal toothbrushes.
Regular use is often recommended by the product manufacturers and they claim you should be able to see results within a few days. However, depending on the consistency of your stains, you may choose to use charcoal only when required.
How long does it take charcoal to whiten your teeth?
It's expected you'll notice a difference after a few days of consecutive use as the charcoal absorbs toxins with every brush. However, it depends on the severity of your stains and discolouration.
Activated charcoal powder vs toothpaste
While they serve the same purpose, there are a few key differences that are important to know between activated charcoal powders and your standard toothpaste:
Activated charcoal powder is praised for being a natural product, which is great if you're trying to lead a more green lifestyle. It's often organic and vegan and uses its natural ingredients to absorb stains.
Standard toothpaste, on the other hand, is a scientifically formulated product that contains multiple chemicals to clean and strengthen your teeth.
Both have abrasives to scrub stains and plaque from your teeth. However, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) has told the ABC that activated charcoal may strip tooth enamel. Toothpaste is formulated to be gentle on it.
That being said, if you're still keen on trying activated charcoal, consider a soft-headed brush which is gentler on teeth. Use it only when required, or use a less abrasive charcoal product such as mouthwash and oral sprays.
Chat to your dentist before using charcoal products and maintain regular check-ups in case it negatively affects your tooth health.
Toothpaste has fluoride to protect teeth from decay whereas many activated charcoal teeth whitening products do not.
In fact, the ADA says that activated charcoal has the ability to remove fluoride from toothpastes due to its high absorption abilities.
As to which actually works better? That's a more subjective answer.
On ProductReview.com.au Carbon Coco Teeth Whitening is the only charcoal teeth whitening product listed. It has a stellar 3.7/5 review across 170+ respondents. Many said they saw improvements within seven days and that their mouths felt cleaner and their breath fresher from using the product.
Of the teeth whitening toothpastes on ProductReview, there are a generous mix of positive and negative reviews. Those with the most reviews though, didn't include such high praise. For example, White Glo Express Whitening System has a 2.7/5 star rating across 75 users and White Glo Professional Choice Whitening had a 3.1 rating across 69 users.
What charcoal teeth whitening products are available?
Some of the most common teeth whitening products are:
- Tooth powder: This activated charcoal powder is used to clean teeth much like you would standard toothpaste.
- Toothpaste: Activated charcoal is mixed with other ingredients, often coconut oil, to form a paste, which makes it easier to brush. Charcoal toothpaste can be flavoured with spearmint and be made with silica and vitamin C to promote good gum health.
- Toothtablets: A charcoal infused tablet you chew to dissolve then brush onto your teeth. It can feature cleaning ingredients such as sodium bicarbonate and cream of tartar.
- Toothbrush: Brushes where the bristles are infused with activated charcoal to cleanse your teeth and mouth. You can use them with standard toothpaste or with charcoal based toothpaste. Handles can be made from bamboo for the eco-conscious or plastic.
- Mouth wash: A mouth rinse to support your brushing routine that you can use to wash out nasties. On top of activated charcoal, ingredients can include coconut oil, aloe vera juice and spearmint essential oils which is antiinflammatory.
- Dental floss: Used to clean between teeth, charcoal dental floss is often made charcoal fibers mixed with thread, often bamboo filament or polyester yard. It is coated with wax (beeswax and Candelilla wax are common) and oil (e.g. coconut oil, peppermint oil) to make it waxy enough to slide between teeth.
- Oral spray: In between brushes, oral sprays are used to freshen your breath. The activated charcoal in these sprays naturally draws out bacteria which can cause your breath to smell.
- Amazon: Tooth powder, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash and dental floss.
- eBay: Tooth powder, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash and dental floss.
- Nourished Life: Tooth powder, toothpaste, tooth tablets, toothbrushes, mouth wash, dental floss and oral sprays.
- Chemist Warehouse: Tooth powder, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash and dental floss.
- iHerb: Tooth powder, toothpaste, toothbrushes and dental floss.
- Inspire Me Naturally: Tooth powder, toothpaste and toothbrushes.
Shop for charcoal teeth whitening products
Georganics Natural Toothpaste
Natural Family Co. BLAK Toothpaste with Activated Charcoal
Fluoride Free Activated Charcoal Toothpaste
Charcoal teeth whitening powder
Georganics Natural Toothpowder
Warpaint Natural Teeth Whitener
Organic Coconut Charcoal Tooth Whitener
Charcoal Toothbrush Soft with Slimmer Tip Charcoal Infused Bristles
Life Basics Bamboo
PA-Free Toothbrush with Charcoal Bristles,
Charcoal teeth kits
Teeth Whitening Kit for the Perfect White Smile
Natural Organic Activated Whitening Powder and Toothbrush Set
Magic Coco Set of Whitening Powder, Toothbrush and Toothpaste
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