“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
It is said that a good smile is the best greeting. The need for a good smile cannot be overemphasized.
However, what is the major factor that encourages smiling from most people? Your teeth. In particular, healthy looking, clean white teeth. Even though you need not have white teeth to to smile, it certainly helps in your confidence, allowing you to break into a full genuine smile.
The Pursuit of White Teeth
However, achieving white teeth is not very easy. This can easily be attributed to our constant consumption of various foods and substances which tend to discolour the teeth. These range from juices, to tobacco and candy.
For a long time, various solutions have been presented as a means of teeth whitening. These solutions range from the ones you can do at home to those that require professional dental help. The various solutions include whitening trays, over the counter whitening strip and gels etc.
These solutions have been in use for a long time and have been shown to work. However, they are usually expensive, slow acting or show no noticeable improvement. In recent times, another solution has been recommended, especially on social media.
The New Teeth Whitening Solution
We present to you, activated charcoal. There have been testimonies on social media on how effective it is. So, will charcoal really whiten your teeth? Let us find out.
What is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal is an ordinary charcoal (which you can typically get if you burn logs of wood) which has been oxidized. What this means is that the charcoal has been combined with a substance(oxygen), at very high temperatures in a chemical process which opens up the pores of the charcoal and enables it to better absorb other substances.
When the process is completed, activated charcoal comes out as a tasteless and odorless smooth grain powder.
The body does not absorb activated charcoal, therefore, when ingested in the body, it traps other toxins and is naturally passed out by the body.
History of Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal has been around for sometime. It has been typically used to treat indigestion, poisoning and other intestinal ailments. Before then, people in Africa had been utilizing it for ages. However, the use which we are talking about in this article is that of teeth whitening. Activated charcoal for teeth whitening only gained prominence in the last two decades.
So, How does Activated Charcoal Whiten My Teeth?
It is simple.
It does so by absorbing the particles, toxins and microbes and other agents which are found present in the teeth that cause discolouration. As we have mentioned earlier, when activated, the pores of the charcoal becomes enlarged. When it is therefore brought in contact with other particles, it easily absorbs them.
A simple way of illustrating this is what I call the scotch tape example; when you put scotch tape on a surface and leave it for some time, it absorbs some of the particle of that surface. When you then pull off the scotch tape, it takes away the particles of the surface with it. When you put activated charcoal on your teeth and remove it, it takes the discolouration causing agents with it.
Is It Safe to Use Activated Charcoal?
When the toxins and microbes in the mouth are absorbed by the charcoal, it traps them in its pores. In this way, the body does not digest the toxins or microbes but removes them along with the charcoal when you rinse it off.
One of the reasons that activated charcoal is highly recommended is that it is healthier than most alternatives. Fluoride based toothpastes and teeth whitening creams can be unhealthy for continuous ingestion.
On the other hand, activated charcoal is proven to be healthy. The charcoal is typically made of organic materials such as coconut shells. It is entirely safe for ingestion (it serves as an additional remedy when ingested).
Activated charcoal also helps in balancing the pH of the mouth. pH levels are acidic from 0 -6.0, neutral at 7.0 and alkaline from 8.0.
Typically, the appropriate pH level of the mouth is neutral 7.0. This means is that when the pH levels go down and become acidic, the mouth suffers. Activated charcoal evens out the pH of the mouth and reduces acidity. This in turn prevents tooth cavities and other dental ailments.
How Do I Use It?
Activated charcoal usually comes in pills. This is because, as we mentioned earlier, it is commonly used in the treatment of intestinal ailments, so, it is designed to be easily swallowed. A good number of drugstores will have it as pills. However, it is also available in paste and powdered form. This is definitely more convenient for use on the teeth. You can easily purchase powdered and paste charcoal on Amazon.
When you purchase your charcoal, simply apply as a paste on your teeth. It is advised that you do not rub it, so as not to cause injuries for yourself. However, a little scrubbing of the teeth may produce better results.
When you have applied it, leave it for about five minutes, then rinse out your mouth.
Important Things To Take Note
It is good to note here that activated charcoal by nature proves to be quite messy when used. Do be careful as it stains most surfaces that it comes in contact with (except your teeth). Try to keep away from children as they may spray it all over the place. When you use it in your mouth, it completely turn your whole mouth black. But not to worry, this is part of the process.
Afterwards, you are sure to see a difference in the whiteness of your teeth if you keep up the use consistently. Even though activated charcoal does not remove deep permanent discolourations, it removes the usual forms of stain common from everyday consumption of food and beverages.
So, can activated charcoal whiten your teeth? Yes, it certainly can. We will be adding it to our list of the best teeth whitening products for sure. If you want to read more about teeth whitening tips please visit our blog often!