Charcoal Whitening, Is It A Good Idea?

We have received a lot of questions from our patients about Activated Charcoal Whitening.  Does it work? Is it safe? How do you do it?  We can help you decide if it is a good idea or not.  

 

There are two ways that patients can achieve whiter teeth:

 

The first way uses a bleaching agent such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide in concentrations of 10-35%.  The material breaks down certain stains inside the tooth to reduce their color. Dental office whitening trays and strips purchased at the drug store use this method. Studies have shown that this method works well without any damage to the tooth.

 

The second way uses an abrasive, chemical, or polishing agent that removes surface stains.  Whitening toothpastes, baking soda and activated charcoal are examples. At this time, the American Dental Association has not recognized any formal evidence that activated charcoal actually whitens teeth.  

 

Activated charcoal is a finely milled black powder made from charred plant shells, bones, fruit pits, and an assortment of other organic materials.  The theory is that since it is used to absorb toxins from the body when someone ingests something harmful, then it may have the ability to bind to and absorb plaque and other surface compounds that stain teeth.  Activated charcoal does not change the color of teeth that are deeply stained or naturally yellowing.  The activated charcoal is also abrasive and the hope is that it may scrub off the surface stains.

Therein lies the problem with activated charcoal whitening.  It can be abrasive to the tooth enamel. Excess abrasion can cause gum recession, enamel loss, and sensitivity of the tooth.  

 

If you want to try charcoal whitening, activated charcoal can be purchased from health food stores and pharmacies in the form of capsules. Mix one capsule with 1 mL of water and make a paste.  We suggest that you consider smearing the product on your teeth instead of brushing it on. This allows the product to work without harming your enamel.  After about 4 minutes rinse your mouth. You may need to rinse several times. You can try this for several days. If you don’t see a difference in the color of the tooth after 5 attempts, then it probably won’t work for you.  

 

Although anyone can purchase activated charcoal powder, you should consult a dental professional before using it. The best way to keep your mouth healthy and your teeth white is to continue regular dental appointments.  At Dental Elements our hygienists will thoroughly clean your teeth, remove any surface stains, and discuss whether our professional whitening process, or an over the counter product would be best to whiten your teeth. He or she can also help you get to the bottom of why your teeth are staining.  

 

Contact us today, we’re here to help you have whiter teeth!  

 

Looking Back On Our Summer Jobs

Looking Back On Our Summer Jobs

Whether it was during high school or college, whether the goal was to have spending money or to pay rent, most of us know the struggles and the joys of working a summer job. Because we are feeling nostalgic as summer draws to a close, we’ve collected summer job stories from members of our team!

 Worst Summer Job Ever

Sometimes we find ourselves in summer jobs where the only good thing about them is that they only lasted a summer. Do any of our team’s stories sound familiar?

 

Doctor Charity:  The job that stands out as the worst I ever had was working the appetizer station at a large chain restaurant.  Spending the evening frying potato skins, cheese, and other assorted foods left a bad taste in my mouth.  (yes, pun intended)  Although, the occasional mess up with the molten lava chocolate cake wasn’t awful.

 

Amber:  The worst job I ever had was working at a fast food sandwich shop.  The floors were so greasy I had to walk carefully so I didn’t slip and fall.  Then when I got home at night I smelled like the food even after a shower.  That one stayed with me for a long time!

 

Check out this video from Jimmy Fallon to hear about some more bad summer jobs!

 

 

The Good Times

Just as there are bad summer jobs, there are also good ones. Maybe nothing particularly dramatic happened, but they still hold a fond place in our memories.

 

Pam:  The best summer job I had was working at Handy Dan’s Hardware Store.  I basically got paid to walk around and show people where the hammers were located.  Yes…that is all I did.  The best part was that I learned about tools.  I don’t know how to use them, but I know where to find them in a hardware store!

 

Jennifer:  My most fun summer job was being a lifeguard at a water park in my hometown. I got to make saves in the wavepool, make up fun songs about saving lives with my coworkers, and get some sweet tan lines!

 

Amber:  I loved working at Great Wolf Lodge!  I got to work with children in the Cub Club.  We played outside, tie dyed shirts, I got to read them stories at bedtime and of course there was the fun mascot who the kids really loved.

 

Wacky Hijinks

Whether the summer job itself is good or bad, it’s the funny stories and the crazy moments that stand out the most.

 

Krista:  While in high school I was a nanny and I had my first experience as a dental professional.  The little one that I was in charge was jumping on the trampoline.  After awhile she got off and placed both of her two front teeth in my hand!

 

Jen:  Assisting with Root Canals on Saturdays while I was going through hygiene school. I really enjoyed my doctor and he usually treated me to bagels in the morning. At 20 years old, that was pretty awesome. He was new to the specialist world and told great stories. The patients actually enjoyed their root canals and gave us lots of compliments by the time they were finished. It was a great feeling to help get people out of pain!

 

Now, It’s YOUR Turn!

What was YOUR most memorable summer job? Share your own experiences in the comments section below or send us a message on our Facebook page!

 

Thanks for being a part of our practice’s story!

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.