Health and wellness bloggers have been discussing the benefits of brushing with activated charcoal to achieve whiter and brighter teeth for some time, and they’re still uncertain. YouTube vlogger Mama Natural posted a tutorial on the topic in July of 2014, which has since been viewed more than 1.6 million times.
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“This stuff is highly absorbent,” Mama Natural informs.” [It’s] some of the most absorbent material on the planet. In fact, hospitals have it on hand in case someone comes in with a poisoning because it can absorb that stuff and safely remove it from the body. The same reasoning works for our teeth. It absorbs bacteria, toxins and staining, and makes them whiter.”
image @WARPAINT Teeth Whitener
According to the Mayo Clinic, hospitals do in fact keep activated charcoal on hand for treatment of certain poisons, due to its absorbing capabilities. As for teeth whitening, the verdict is still unclear. Fashion and beauty blogger Andrea Obaez did a week-long experiment testing the efficacy of brushing with activated charcoal for teeth whitening using the same brand as Mama Natural.
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After brushing with the substance daily for a total of six days, Obaez reported back no noticeable change in the brightness of her teeth, stating, “No dramatic change, just clean teeth... Although the potential dangers of fluoride are a great reason to switch your toothpaste out for activated charcoal, I can see why most people prefer not to. A lot of users post dramatic before-and-after pictures online that praise the teeth-whitening powers of activated charcoal, but I'm not one of them. . . Regardless, I know one thing for certain—my bathroom sink has never shone brighter.”
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Stories from major networks like Fox Health have exhibited further doubt in the dental community, quoting professionals warning of enamel deterioration and tooth erosion. While there are doubts and praises everywhere, the main consensus seems to be that there’s not enough evidence to give a definitive thumbs up or down on the long-term effects of charcoal teeth whitening.
In the same vein as electronic cigarettes and juice cleanses, it’s one of those millennial-fads that could go either way with the health community. Voyeurs, be aware!
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