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!  

 

Obesity and Dental Health

Did you know that obesity contributes to poor dental health?  Studies show that obese individuals make poor diet choices, snack more frequently and have irregular home care.  They have more gum disease and tooth decay, and more missing teeth overall.   Because they tend to have fewer dental visits, they have more dental emergencies.  Obesity contributes to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, respiratory problems, acid re flux and cancers.  Therefore, obese individuals need to take more prescription medications which can cause dry mouth, and dry mouth contributes to dental decay.   Poor diet choices and belly fat can contribute to acid re flux which makes the mouth more acidic.  These mouth acids can melt away tooth enamel.  Individuals with a higher body mass have more insulin resistance and produce more inflammatory proteins, which contributes to gum disease.  

 

At Dental Elements we believe in total body health, and we know that good nutrition helps people lose weight, making it less likely that you will have dental problems. So we want to help you understand by offering nutrition education.  Dental Elements is partnering with Giordono Family Health and Fitness to provide wellness classes that assist families with adding better nutrition and basic fitness to their lifestyle.  Anthony Giordono, Health Coach, Personal Trainer and Food Guru, has teamed up with us and will be facilitating these classes. 

Meet Coach Anthony in this short video:

Meet Coach Anthony

 

The first class is “Nutrition and Fitness for the Busy Family ~ 10 Weeks to Re-shaping the way you Eat, Move, and Live.”  This course is going to change the way you perceive food and diet. You will learn the fundamental skills to eating healthy, come to know what foods work for you, and discover skills you never knew you had. During this course you will be provided lessons, asked to do real life application, and through it grow to love food for all the good it brings you and your family! This course is not a meal plan, or a specific diet. It is a road to defining your own “EATING STYLE” so you never have to diet again!

 

We invite you to join us starting in February, 2018.  Discounts on class fees will be given to new patients, patients who join our VIP program, and patients who refer friends and family to Dental Elements.  Contact any of our scheduling coordinators for details. 

Class size is limited, so sign up today!