Charcoal powder and black toothpastes containing activated charcoal have started to pop up in various places, both online and in stores. What is activated charcoal and does it make the teeth whiter?
Activated charcoal, or activated carbon, is made from materials with high carbon content, such as wood, bamboo or coconut shells. The activation is a process combining a carbonated mass with certain substances under high temperature, which gives the carbon high absorbency properties.
The absorbency quality of activated charcoal is the reason why it’s used to purify water and to absorb toxins in the stomach. Recently, activated charcoal has also become a common in cosmetics, in for example face masks and oral care products.
Activated charcoal is said to be able to absorb dirt and stains on the teeth, although this haven’t been studied enough for it to be a proven fact. But many seem to draw the conclusion that activated charcoal helps to make the teeth whiter, especially if it’s combined with other whitening ingredients in a toothpaste.
Activated charcoal has actually been used historically to clean the teeth. Compared to various salts and other old methods to clean the teeth, charcoal has shown to be a much softer and gentler option, as it does not scratch the enamel surface. With that said though, if you are curious to try charcoal whitening, it’s advisable to go for a charcoal toothpaste rather than brushing your teeth with charcoal powder. The toothpaste will be much less abrasive, much tastier and it will also contain other essential ingredients for maintaining good oral health.
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