Pretty much since the invention of the toothbrush, it’s been desirable for humans to have a nice smile- nice teeth, straight teeth, and bright white teeth are high in demand. You are bombarded with it everywhere-celebrities around the world in magazines, TV and movies all have pearly whites and it has no doubt inspired others with less than bright smiles to achieve the same look.
Almost all of us social media-ophiles are guilty of editing at least some of our pictures to brighten up our chompers.
How could you not want the same? Toothpaste commercials are among some of the most frequent ads we see and it seems like every month there is a new smile-enhancing product out there.
One of the latest trends might surprise you- using a black ingredient to get your teeth the whitest. That’s right- folks are turning away from the sensitivity-increasing bleaching strips and goops of the past and trading them in for products that make use of activated charcoal powder to whiten their teeth.
These products are typically faster to use than traditional slimy whitening kits. You might be asking- what is activated charcoal and should I really be putting this chemistry project in my mouth?
Activated charcoal is a form of carbon that has been manufactured to make its particles’ surfaces porous- these “pores” act as magnets for other particles, i.e. scrubbing off the stuff in your mouth that keeps teeth from being white, like tartar, bacteria and stains.
The general opinion of some dentists seems to be that these charcoal products are good options for users with surface stains; charcoal toothpastes and many other toothpastes for that matter simply can’t affect any deeper stains that lie below the outer surface of your teeth.
Other recommendations include using charcoal products sparingly and brushing gently, as many studies have not yet been done on the abrasive effects of it on teeth.
Use your regular toothpaste and add a charcoal product as a supplement to your dental health routine-and of course, ask your dentist! No one will know your teeth better.