Most commonly available whiteners or whitening treatments involve hydrogen peroxide or whitening agents. These can cause tooth pain, gum irritation, sensitivity, etc. Enter activated charcoal.

Work In Progress
If you process charcoal with oxygen and either calcium chloride or zinc chloride, you get activated charcoal. The super-absorbent material contains tiny pores that bind poisons and chemicals, and remove them from the body.

“Activated charcoal is an excellent homemade remedy,” says Dr Joseph Banker, a celebrity cosmetic dentist in New Jersey and a popular advocate of the substance. “The tiny granules are extremely porous and are very effective in binding certain materials to their surface. Tannins, astringents found in tea, coffee, red wine, sauces, and other dark foods, cause many stains on teeth. These tannins readily bind to the surface of activated charcoal and ultimately remove these stains,” he adds. Activated charcoal can raise the pH in your mouth, preventing cavities and bad breath, and killing bacteria too.

Make It Your Own
It can be purchased at your local nutrition store. All you need for whiter teeth is a toothbrush, a capsule of activated charcoal, a cup and water. “The procedure is simple: Open a capsule over a cup, mix the charcoal with a small amount of water, and gently apply it to all the surfaces of the teeth. Use a toothbrush, but don’t apply any significant pressure. Leave the activated charcoal in place for two minutes; then, rinse with water until all the charcoal is gone,” says Dr Joseph.

Alternately, you can combine water and charcoal and swish the liquid in your mouth for about a minute; hold it in for three to five minutes before you spit it out.


On A Cautionary Note
Activated charcoal is a quick and painless remedy. It is very safe, but dentists advice against using it too often as the abrasiveness can do irreversible damage to teeth and gums. “If charcoal is ingested, it can cause medications to be ineffective, so try to avoid a procedure within a few hours of a taking a dose,” says Dr Joseph.

Make Note

  • The power of activated charcoal is limited to removing stains; it does not change the color of the tooth enamel.
  • It is important to ensure that you use only activated charcoal, since it is purified for cosmetic use.
  • As activated charcoal is extremely effective at pulling toxins from the body, it should not be taken within several hours of medication (or vitamins) that need to be absorbed.

It seems that although there aren’t quite as many studies to back it up, activated charcoal has become the trendy, new DIY remedy for whitening teeth anyways. Are you convinced?

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